30 Classic French Desserts
Jun 28, 2022, Updated May 23, 2023
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When you think of incredible desserts, French desserts are the first thing that comes to mind. They have long been regarded as some of the best in the world.
From pastries you might find at the local French patisserie to classic French desserts such as creme brulee, the fruit tart, beignets, and nonnettes, there are endless delicious treats to be had.
We’ve rounded up our favorite French dessert recipes. There are many easy recipes for creating show-stopping, sublime desserts, and all-around gorgeous presentations for any party.
With choux pastry, fresh fruit, buttery cookies, and a plethora of other mouthwatering treats flex those culinary muscles and find your new favorite dessert today.
1. Tarte Tatin
A classic French dessert, this apple tarte tatin will be your new favorite dessert. With only a handful of ingredients, it’s a simpler alternative to the traditional apple pie with all of the same sweet, delicious flavors. It’s an easy recipe that results in a magical, charming dessert.
2. Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee is an easy, classic dessert to whip up and can be made a few days before you’re ready to enjoy it. It has a luscious, smooth, and creamy filling with a hardened top for a nice texture juxtaposition. Fresh fruit pairs well with this adding to the flavor. It’s a classic French dessert everyone loves.
Looking for a delicious sweet treat that feels like you’re at a fine dining restaurant? Look no further than this decadent, luscious, creamy, chocolate mousse, or mousse au chocolat. This is a Julia Child recipe and is one that has stood the test of time. It’s a silky smooth, rich, sublime dessert every chocolate lover will happily devour.
4. Cream Puffs
French bakers have been making these irresistibly fun cream puffs since the 16th century. They are delicate puffs filled with rich cream using choux pastry dough. The puffs are adorable, delicate, and airy. These French pastries are little puffs of heaven you can enjoy any time of the day.
The bûche de noël also known as the yule log, is a fun, decadent dessert made for the holiday season. It’s a chocolate cake topped with a tasty cocoa hazelnut whipped cream and rolled up to look like a log. Topped with chocolate ganache, it’s a rich, luxurious eye-catching dessert sure to wow your guests at your next holiday party.
Macarons are tasty, delicate, and dainty little morsels of goodness. They are elegant, light, meringue-based cookies with a buttercream or ganache filling. They have a crisp outside with a moist and chewy inside. You can make them in many different flavors and are a fun, delicious treat for parties.
This French lemon tart is a refreshing, bright, citrus dessert that is perfect for the warmer months. With a buttery, zesty cream filling, it has a silky smooth texture against the crisp, sweet shortcrust pastry. Top with fresh fruit to complete this sumptuous dessert.
If you love donuts, you’ll be over the moon for these French crullers. It’s an easy recipe with delicious choux pastry dough and a simple, sweet glaze. Choux dough is an appetizing pastry dough that is piped through a star tip to form beautiful round crullers. The crullers are topped with a delectable, sweet honey glaze making these wonderful to serve with breakfast, brunch, or as a dessert.
These are a classic French dessert of crepes with a sweet, tasty sauce made with caramelized butter, sugar, orange juice, and Grand Marnier. These delectable crepes are a delightful addition to an indulgent brunch or to have as a fun dessert.
Pate de fruit, also known as fruit gummies, are sweet, tasty fruit squares. While you can make any flavor you like, this recipe uses strawberries. They are fun, dainty squares dipped in sugar for a pleasing, delicious treat.
It only takes a handful of ingredients to make these light and airy meringue cookies. A delicious treat any time of the year, they are a great addition to your holiday dessert platters. This classic recipe yields beautiful little cookies that are only 25 calories each so you can indulge guilt-free.
12. Mille Feuille
This classic French pastry is simple to make while appearing elaborate and impressive. Utilizing frozen puff pastry and putting a little twist on the classic recipe by adding raspberry jam, this fun recipe creates an amazing, lovely summertime dessert. It’s great for picnics and potlucks or anytime you want to impress guests.
French truffles are a divine dessert that you can easily make at home. Chocoholics will love this recipe. It’s an easy recipe with only four ingredients and is a luscious, decadent chocolatey treat. These truffles are little bite-sized creamy chocolate goodies everyone will love.
14. Cherry Clafoutis
Cherry clafoutis is a tasty, rustic pie-like French dessert dusted with powdered sugar. Full of juicy, fresh cherries, this is an elegant, delightful dessert sure to impress your friends and family. It’s an easy recipe to make and is ready in an hour.
With apple season comes a variety of scrumptious apple desserts. This French apple cake is a rustic, incredibly inviting dessert. The secret ingredient is dark rum which adds a distinctive flavor to every bite. It’s a glorious, moist cake and has a tender crumb texture. It’s sure to be your new favorite apple treat.
This charming tart is a delightful dish added to any dessert table. Not only is it a beautiful, delicate tart, but more importantly, it’s a sweet, delicious treat. With its gorgeous design of apples inside the sweet shortcrust pastry, it will dazzle all your guests.
17. French Palmiers
French pastries are famous for a reason. They’re out-of-this-world good! Palmier cookies are an easy recipe to make. So simple, your kids could make it. Simply roll out your puff pastry on sugar, sprinkle with a little more sugar, roll, cut, and bake. Boom! A delicious treat everyone will enjoy.
When you’re looking for a fun, easy, and stress-free dessert that is versatile, then look no further than French financiers. They are tiny, rich, buttery cakes traditionally made in rectangles to resemble gold bars, which is how they got their name. You can also make them in your mini muffin tins. They are quite good on their own, however, versatile in all the additional flavors you can add. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips are just a few tasty options.
A galette isn’t quite a pie or a tart, it’s its own unique gorgeous dessert that is full of sweet, buttery flavors. It has a flaky pie crust bottom, a layer of creamy mascarpone cheese, a fresh fruit filling, and is topped with a vanilla simple syrup. This strawberry galette is a spring and summer favorite. It hits all the right notes and is the perfect addition to any party, BBQ, or summer gathering.
This is a gorgeous, indulgent dessert sure to please your palate. Pears are poached in a champagne, water, and sugar mixture. Once cooled, they are dipped in a rich, velvety chocolate sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. A wonderful balance of sweet, warm, and cold, this dessert is a real treat.
While many think of traditional French madeleines as beautiful buttery cookies, they are actually a cake. They are a wonderful dessert treat to enjoy with your coffee or tea or even to serve at your next brunch. These little seashell cakes are topped with confectioners sugar and are best served warm. They are the greatest little mouthwatering, bite-sized treat.
22. Homemade Crepes
This crepe recipe is for a basic crepe that is anything but boring. They are delicate, buttery, thin pancakes that have endless savory and sweet possibilities. While great on their own, with a little culinary imagination, you can create a myriad of different, delectable dishes.
This is an easy recipe to make at home for an upscale restaurant-quality dessert. It has a light and silky smooth texture and a sweet caramel sauce; this is the French flan. It only takes a handful of ingredients to create this amazing dessert. It’s best to flip upside down when serving to show off the caramel sauce and have a picture-perfect dessert.
Beignets are donut’s fun-loving, easy-going, rich aunt. They have a lavish feel with a pillow-soft texture on the inside and a crunch on the outside. A dusting with powdered sugar gives them a touch of sweetness. A staple on any trip to New Orleans, this classic beignet is a French pastry at its finest.
This is an extraordinary classic French dessert. You can use different fresh fruits, however, this recipe uses apricots. They are spread around a buttered dish and covered with a flan-like batter and baked to perfection. Flaugnarde is an appetizing option for breakfast or dessert.
Nonnettes are one of the older classic French pastries as they date back to the Middle Ages. They are tasty little gingerbread cakes that are filled with jam and drizzled with a zesty lemon glaze. It’s a flavor explosion in the best possible way. These little bites of heaven are irresistibly delicious.
27. French Fraisier
This classic French dessert is a summertime favorite. It has an abundance of fresh strawberries, two layers of Genoise, which is a French sponge cake, cream filling, and strawberry syrup. The presentation is spectacular while the cake is fresh, light, and a delicious treat.
28. Flan Coco
If you love coconut, you’ll love this recipe. This coconut flan is a traditional dessert from the French Antilles islands. The coconut flakes create a nice texture balance by becoming a biscuit texture while the flan is a luscious creamy texture topped with caramel. With a handful of ingredients and a little time, you’ve got this fabulous, light, and inviting dessert ready to enjoy.
No need to go to France or your local bakery to enjoy these opulent chocolate eclairs. With a handful of ingredients that you likely have in your pantry, you can create bakery-worthy eclairs at home. Choux pastry, a delightful vanilla cream filling, and a rich, decadent chocolate glaze create these swoon-worthy treats.
One of the best desserts for spring and summer is a fresh fruit tart. Bursting with gorgeous colors of juicy fresh fruit, an inviting sweet pastry crust, and rich pastry cream, they all come together to create this famous treat. It’s a picture-perfect dessert that will amaze your guests with its presentation and palate-pleasing goodness.
More delicious dessert recipes
- 1 Tarte Tatin
- 1 Creme Brulee
- 1 Chocolate Mousse
- 1 Cream Puffs
- 1 Buche De Noel
- 1 French Macarons
- 1 French Lemon Tart
- 1 French Crullers
- 1 Crepes Suzettes
- 1 Pate De Fruits
- 1 Meringues
- 1 Mille Feuille
- 1 Chocolate Truffles
- 1 Cherry Clafoutis
- 1 French Apple Cake
- 1 French Apricot Tart
- 1 Palmier Cookies
- 1 Financiers
- 1 Strawberry Galette
- 1 Pears Belle Helene
- 1 Madeleines
- 1 Crepes
- 1 Creme Au Caramel
- 1 Beignets
- 1 Flaugnarde
- 1 Nonnettes
- 1 French Fraisier
- 1 Flan Coco
- 1 Eclair
- 1 French Fruit Tart
- Choose your favorite French dessert recipe to try.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.