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The Alligator Jaw Pastry is a total childhood throwback! This amazing treat is a triangle-shaped glazed pastry filled with delicious cherry buttercream frosting. Give this one a try!
Featured with this recipe
Alligator Jaws were my #1 favorite pastry when I was growing up. Hands down. In the small town where we grew up, there was an amazing little bakery just off of Main Street called Ron & Chris Bakery. We all loved going there for donuts, cookies, and freshly made sandwiches.
Their cherry chocolate chip cookies, ribbon sandwiches, and strawberry cream cheese croissants were among our favorites, but the alligator jaw pastry was the absolute best!
What Are Alligator Jaws?
What are Alligator Jaws exactly? Allow me to enlighten you. An Alligator Jaw is a triangle-shaped glazed pastry filled with a delicious cherry buttercream frosting. They are heavenly (super-rich, but heavenly all the same).
From looking at the photo, it’s probably clear how it got its name. I can almost imagine the jaws snapping!
A Childhood Favorite
A few years ago, I went to Cedar City, my hometown, with my heart set on getting an Alligator Jaw Pastry for old-times sake. To my dismay, the bakery was no longer open. I almost cried. Okay, I may have actually cried.
The more I have looked, the more I discovered that Alligator Jaws are one of those things that everyone in Cedar City knows about, but very few people outside of Cedar have even heard of.
It is the same with Ribbon Sandwiches. Who knew Cedar City had so many tasty foods that no one else has heard of?
- Warm water
- Milk – lukewarm
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil – for frying
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
Cherry Buttercream Frosting:
- Maraschino cherries – from a jar
- Maraschino cherry juice – from a jar
- Butter – softened to room temperature
- Powdered sugar
Creating the Alligator Jaw
That being said, there is no recipe to be found anywhere out there for Alligator Jaws. UNTIL NOW! I couldn’t go one more day without having an Alligator Jaw, so I came up with my own recipe. Lucky for me, it tastes just like the original.
To all my friends in Cedar City, here is our recipe for Alligator Jaws. Trust me, they taste just like the Ron & Chris Bakery original. I know there is a grocery store in Cedar City that sells them, but these are better!
To everyone else outside of Cedar City who has never heard of an Alligator Jaw pastry before, you are in luck! You don’t have to go on any longer wondering what an Alligator Jaw is or what it tastes like. You can try it out for yourself!
Can you tell how excited I am about this recipe? Not only do I love how delicious they are, but I also love the great memories they bring back from when I was a kid. I’m glad I can now share them with my family.
Frequently Asked Questions
Alligator jaws are like a triangular doughnut cut open with delicious buttercream inside.
More Pastry Recipes to Try:
- Pumpkin Pasties
- The Very Best Lemon Bars
- Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
- Blueberry Coffee Cakes
- Danish Pastries
- Pumpkin Scones
- Mini Fruit Tarts
How to Make Alligator Jaws Pastry
Alligator Jaws Pastry with Cherry Buttercream Frosting
For the Dough:
For the Dough:
- Dissolve yeast in water in a mixer. In a separate bowl, combine milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and add to yeast water.
- Slowly add flour and mix on low until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Cover with a clean dish towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Roll dough out on a floured surface until it is about ½ inch thick. Cut into tall triangles (about 2-3″ wide by 4″ tall)
- Place on a cookie sheet allowing enough room to let them rise. They rise for about 30 min.
- Prepare glaze while rising (see below).
- Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Slowly transfer the triangles with spatula to the hot oil and fry 30 seconds each side until lightly golden brown.
- Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift confectioners’ sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined.
- Remove the glaze from the heat. Dip fried triangles into the glaze, 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack placed in a half sheet pan until cooled.
For the Cherry Buttercream Frosting:
- In a food processor, process the cherries with the cherry juice (about 5 pulses).
- Place the processed cherries in a mixing bowl and combine with butter and about 1 cup powdered sugar.
- When well combined and smooth, add remaining powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach a good frosting consistency.
- Add more cherry juice if it gets too dry.
- Cut each triangle horizontally from the smallest point of the triangle to the back being careful not to cut it all the way through, making it look like an “alligator jaw”.
- Open the “jaws” and spoon a good spoonful of frosting between each half and spread evenly. Place top half back down and serve.
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