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Favorite French Dessert Recipes

Fail-Proof Traditional Sweets


We all have our favorite, go-to dessert recipes for dinner parties, casual guests, and cozy family dinners. Some like refreshing, light fruit flavors and others will accept nothing less than dense, dark chocolate. Here is a delicious collection of tradition French dessert recipes.

1. Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

©Sonja Pieper
Adding a touch of lemon zest and spice really perks up this classically delicious apple tarte Tatin recipe. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream to the dessert for a rich after-dinner treat.

2. Breton Butter Cake Recipe

This Breton butter cake is a classic dessert in Brittany. Kouign amann means "bread and butter," and if bread is the staff of life, then this special bread is certainly gilding the lily! Rich with butter and sugar, this cake needs no adornment whatsoever, although berries or whipped cream make for a special treat.

3. Calissons Recipe

Sarah Maternini
Most of the world’s supply of Calissons – a unique almond paste candy – comes from Aix en Provence. Most visitors to Aix come away with a penchant for the distinctive candy. They’re hard to find, but taking the time to make them from scratch is worth the effort.

4. Cherry Clafouti Recipe

This cherry clafouti recipe, also know as clafouti aux cerises, is the most well-known version of the traditional puffed French custard cake. In France, it is customary to serve clafouti with cherry pits intact.

5. Chocolate Mousse Recipe

©Kirti Poddar
Chocolate mousse is the quintessential romantic French dessert.

6. Crème au Caramel Recipe

©Muriel Amaury
Crème au caramel is a wonderful dessert recipe for dinner parties. Not only is the flavor mellow, sophisticated, and versatile; this bistro classic can be made up to one day in advance. Served in an impressive pool of homemade caramel, it needs no garnish other than an attractive plate.

7. Lemon Tart Recipe

©Neil Piddock
This is the quintessential French tart, found at patisseries and cafes year-round. Cool, sharp lemon filling contrasts nicely with the flaky, slightly sweet pastry. A little dollop of Chantilly cream served with the dessert makes the ideal treat.

8. Orangettes Recipe

Flickr user "grongar"
Orangettes are strips of candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate. They make an elegant gift and look great served on a decorative dish along with the coffee at the end of a meal. This recipe is several steps long, but it can be doubled if you want a bigger serving for the time spent in the kitchen.

9. Pears Belle Helene Recipe

Kent Wang
This classic French dessert is punched up with the essence of cinnamon. Ease of preparation and beautiful presentation make this dish a great selection for dinner parties.

10. Rum Baba Recipe

Janek Mann
Babas au rhum are lovely yeast-risen cakes studded with dried fruit and soaked in hot rum syrup. This recipe features the delicate flavor of citrus, imparted by just a hint of orange and lemon zest. Likewise, a small amount of warm vanilla has been added to the soaking syrup to cut down on the rum’s boldness. The result is a baba rum full of complex layers of flavor, while still holding to the traditional French recipe.

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