A bear claw is a sweet, yeast-raised pastry, similar to a Danish, originating in the United States during the mid-1920s.[not in citation given] A bear claw is usually filled with almond paste, and sometimes raisins, and often shaped in a large, irregular semicircle with slices around the outside, or rectangular with partial slices along one side. As the dough rises the sections separate, evoking the shape of a bear's toes.
The name bear claw as used for a pastry is first attested in 1936. The phrase is more common in Western American English, and is included in the U.S. Regional Dialect Survey Results, Question #87, "Do you use the term 'bear claw' for a kind of pastry?"