Easy Bear Claw Recipe for a Special Breakfast: Bread Machine

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Sneak Preview: This Easy Bear Claw Recipe is a sweet yeast roll topped with icing and almonds. Although this dough is designed to be mixed in a bread machine, bakers who prefer a stand maker or their own hands will find those directions in the recipe notes.

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The dough for these bread machine bear claws is richer than the average cinnamon roll. Sour cream is the secret ingredient.

Three Reasons Why You Will Appreciate This Recipe

  1. They are fun to put together and a little something different to put on a brunch or breakfast table without getting complicated.
  2. It’s easy for kids to pick off the almonds if they don’t want them. Or you could leave them off if you prefer.
  3. This recipe is mixed and kneaded with a bread machine. No worries if you don’t have one. See the recipe notes on using a stand mixer or making them by hand.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

I made these for the first time and they turned out just lovely! So excited to make my own, super fresh bear claws at home rather than paying 4 dollars each for a semi stale one. Thanks again!“–CHELSEA D.

Recipe Inspiration

I adapted this bear claw recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Grant Corner Inn Breakfast and Brunch Cookbook by Louise Stewart(paid link). I have yet to find a bad recipe in this little book. This Twisted Cinnamon-Pecan Breakfast Yeast Bread is another treat from the same cookbook.

At one time, one of my goals in life was to try every one of Ms. Stewart’s yeast-bread recipes. Surely, this would qualify me for a Nobel Peace Prize or something similarly lofty. In reality, it would probably land me a spot on The Biggest Loser.

Although they look fancy, these sweet bear claws aren’t hard. Like all of my bread recipes, I make it in a bread machine. You can read about my bread machine philosophy in my list of bread machine tips.

Frosted Bear ClawsPin

Ingredients and Substitutions

How To Make Bear Claw Dough with a Bread Machine

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Add all the dough ingredients to the bread machine pan. Select the DOUGH cycle and push START.
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Lift the lid in the first minute after the mixing starts. Check to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly, and the dough is starting to clump.
dough should become smooth and elastic as the kneading progressesPin
Lift the lid and recheck the dough 12-15 minutes later. The dough should look smooth and shiny. The dough should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly. Allow the dough to rise in the machine until the end of the DOUGH cycle.

How To Roll Out and Shape a Bear Claw Pastry

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Dump the dough out of the bread machine pan onto a well-floured surface.
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Shape dough into a long cylinder.
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Roll into the shape of a long and skinny rectangle approximately 6 x 24 inches.
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Brush butter over the top from edge to edge.
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Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture over butter.
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Starting with the long side, roll the dough tightly and pinch to seal the seam.
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Portion into ten equally sized pieces. Use scissors or a pizza cutter to make two slices into each roll to within a half-inch from the other side.
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Alternate method: Use a pizza cutter to cut into the roll.
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Place formed bear claws onto a lined baking sheet.
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Bake in a 375˚F (190˚C) oven for 15-20 minutes.
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Remove rolls onto wire racks to cool.

After 20 minutes, glaze the Bear Claws (aka bear paws) with confectioners’ sugar icing. (This same glaze covers my Tangzhong Cinnamon Rolls and this Sweet Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe-so yummy!)

Sprinkle with toasted almonds immediately before the icing has a chance to dry. (Almonds on top are a cheaper and fresher way to get that delicious almond flavor rather than almond paste or filling.)

Your Questions Answered About Bread Machine Bear Claws

Can I make these pastries ahead of time?

Make the dough and form the rolls a day ahead of time. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.

At least two hours before you want to eat them, take them out of the fridge. Cover with a tea towel. When the rolls are warm and puffy, preheat the oven and bake.

How are these pastries different from an almond croissant?

Croissants are made with layers of flaky pastry. They are more difficult and tricky for the home baker. These are more like a traditional cinnamon roll shaped like a bear claw. Ice and decorate them with sliced almonds for a special treat that will impress your friends and family.

Can I freeze the dough and bake it later?

Yes. After the DOUGH cycle ends, shape the dough into bear claws. Place on the tray and freeze. Drop the rolls into a plastic bag as soon as they are frozen. Seal and place into a second bag or wrap with foil (double-wrapping). When ready to bake, remove the rolls to a baking sheet. Allow enough time for the rolls to defrost and rise until almost double before baking as directed.

I recommend you bake the rolls within 2-3 weeks for the best results.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

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Yield: 10 rolls

Easy Bear Claw Recipe made with a Bread Maker

Mix up these rich sweet rolls in your bread machine. They are really just fancy looking cinnamon rolls with icing and almonds on top. Crazy easy.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 11 votes


Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours



  • ¼ cup (57 g) water cool
  • ¼ cup (57 g) sour cream cool
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon table or sea salt
  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • ¼ cup (57 g) butter, chopped
  • 2-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (270 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast


  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) softened butter
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cream cheese
  • 1 ½ tablespoon coffee or milk
  • 1 cup (113 g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (23 g) toasted sliced almonds



  • Add dough ingredients to a bread machine pan in the order listed: 1/4 cup (57 g) water, 1/4 cup (57 g) sour cream, 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon table or sea salt, 1 large (50 g) egg, 1/4 cup (57 g) butter, chopped, 2-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (270 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, and 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast. Select the DOUGH cycle, then press START.
  • Check the dough at least twice during the mixing and kneading phase by lifting the lid to take a peek. The first time, look immediately after the machine starts mixing to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly. 
    Look again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle to assess the consistency of the dough. For most recipes, the dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Read more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here
  • When the DOUGH cycle completes, if the dough has doubled in size, go to the next step. If the dough has not doubled in size, leave it in the machine until it doubles before proceeding.


  • On a lightly-floured board. roll dough into a 6 x 24-inch rectangle.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons (28 g) softened butter on the rectangle. Sprinkle 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon evenly over the buttered area.
  • Begin rolling from the long side and roll up as tightly as possible. Flatten log slightly with palms, and slice the log into 10 pieces.
  • Using kitchen shears or pizza cutter, make 2 cuts into each slice, cutting to within 1/2 inch of the other side.
  • Twist each slice slightly to make it lay somewhat flatter. Place onto a greased baking sheet or one covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Cover and let rise until almost doubled. (45 minutes-1 hour)
  • Bake rolls at 375˚F (190˚C) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.


  • Soften or allow 2 teaspoons butter and 2 teaspoons cream cheese to come to room temperature. Combine the butter, cream cheese, and 1 1/2 tablespoon coffee or milk together and beat until perfectly smooth. Add 1 cup (113 g) powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle frosting over the rolls. Or pour frosting into a small plastic zippered bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag and use the closed bag to drizzle frosting back and forth over rolls.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup (23 g) toasted sliced almonds (cooled) over frosted rolls immediately before frosting dries.
  • Or pick up the frosted roll and turn upside down, pressing icing into a plate of almonds. This ensures the almonds will stick to the icing.


Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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Recipe Rating


  1. Judy Moyers says:

    5 stars
    Delicious !!The bread machine was a perfect mixer and time saver since the first rise was in the bread maker. Anyway, I made a batch into cinnamon rolls.
    and substituted chopped toasted pecans because I had no almonds. Picky family member loved them ! Thank you so much . .

    1. Hi Judy,
      Oh, I’m sure they made wonderful cinnamon. Thanks so much for coming back to say so.

  2. Chelsea Duenez says:

    5 stars
    Hi Paula, I made these for the first time and they turned out just lovely! So excited to make my own, super fresh bear claws at home rather than paying 4 dollars each for a semi stale one. Thanks again!

    1. I agree. Much better to eat them warm out of the oven, if possible.

  3. Can you suggest a good bread maker? I really want one, but my last one died after less than a year of light use, and I can normally fix broken appliances, my kitchen is filled with great vintage stuff that just needed a little love. But not that thing, it was ridiculous! Any ideas on a stronger model?

    1. Hi Sarah, I cannot remember if I ever answered your question. Please forgive. I have thought about it though. I love my Zojirushi, but of course, it is one of the most expensive. I like the way it has two blades and kneads the dough extremely well. That is, efficiently, without leaving flour in the corners. I’m sure there are many others that would be suitable. I would check places like Ebay and Craig’s List for like-new or never-used machines. So many people buy them and don’t like them because of the way they BAKE bread–something I never do. Have you seen this post?

  4. The recipe only mentions 2 Tbls sugar. but in the directions it states that after the yeast , water and 2 Tbls sugar to add the rest of the sugar? how much more?

    1. Laurie,
      I am completely embarrassed to find I left out such an important ingredient. Add 1/2 cup more sugar. I revised the post to show this correction. I am so sorry. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for writing.

  5. I can see why these are so deadly!!!! The frosting made with the coffee was incredible, and I don’t even Like coffee!!! Add that to cinnamon rolls and lets just say we are DONE!!! I used maple sugar instead of white and added a sprinkle of nutmeg. Haven’t eaten one yet, seriously afraid to start! Thank for the recipe!!!!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Guess they are all gone by now but hope you liked the almond fans. They are one of my favorites. I can imagine the maple sugar was wonderful.

  6. These look delicious! I’m going to give it a try today 🙂

    My mom and her dieting arent going to thank you for this though 😉

  7. These look amazing, I’ve got the dough in the breadmaker now! One question, about how much confectioner’s sugar did you add to the icing? Thanks!

  8. these are absolutely beautiful….no wonder you couldn’t help your self…
    nice process photos 🙂

  9. Romaine, this is fabulous!! Although you’ve been told that already! 😉
    I can’t wait to try. Thanks for the recipe and tips for Ms. Stewart’s book.

  10. Beautiful! It is stunning how easy this beauties are made. I love cinnamon rolls, so I have to try them!

  11. These cinnamon rolls look so yummy!!! Thanks for the recipe, I’m gonna try it out soon!

  12. You make it look so easy. I am going to have to try it.

  13. UUMMMM!!! These look fantastic.

  14. Dr Advice Online says:

    Those almond rolls look beautiful. I really enjoyed how you provided the photos and recipe. I will make these next week for my kids.

  15. Oooo, I have so bookmarked this page to make these in the near future. 🙂

  16. As usual, these breads look too delicious. I don’t know how you cook all this and stay in shape. I would gain so much weight. They look so good though that it makes me want to try to cook them.

  17. These look delicious. I don’t have much success with bread, but for some reason I can make cinnamon rolls that turn out fairly decent. I bet I could make these!

  18. I can almost smell them here…lovely!

  19. Fabulous photos! I use my bread machine for most all the bread I make, too. Although, I love to knead the dough-time is of the essence most of the time. I love how your blog is set up-the little jars for categories are very cool.

  20. Congrats to Gina! (I’m jealous, but I’ll get over it). 🙂 This is SO odd… I’ve got sticky bun dough rising, and cinnamon roll dough rising. I’m making 2 versions to take to work tomorrow. We must be symbiotic (or whatever that is…) but I LOVE almonds!!! I am making these…. for sure …. for sure…. and I love the addition of sour cream in the dough. They look stunning!!!

  21. Beautiful! I’m sure I could eat quite a few of these. I don’t have a bread machine, but I use my stand mixer to knead – it’s therapeutic to watch it do the work!

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  23. These look amazing… I guess I really do need a bread machine!

  24. WOW! These look amazing. After looking at the pics they don’t look as intimidating either. I will definantly be trying these.

  25. Yum – these look great! Thanks for the gift card – it’s so exciting to win something!

  26. These look delicious. I was so struck by the photo and how you acheived that look…thank you for sharing the technique, I am going to give this a try as these look so impressive. You are such a fun read!

  27. umm… heavenly delicious! I just love sweet, yeasty rolls!

  28. Those look amazing! YUM!

  29. Thanks for sharing these with Dad & Mom! Barrett and I got to eat one and Barrett couldn’t stop saying “Yummmmmm!”