Did you know that you do not have to be in France to enjoy the sweet smells and tastes of authentic French baked goods? No matter where you are in the world you can get a little adventurous in the kitchen and bring France straight to you.
Below are some popular French baked goods that are timeless, tasty, and will transport you to a French bakery any time you sink your teeth into them.
1. Mille-feuille with strawberries and mascarpone
You will win all the hearts of people over when you serve them this dessert. It is layers and layers of thin pastries topped with an irresistible strawberry syrup with real strawberries in it. It is traditionally a very romantic dessert but is so good that you can eat it and turn any ordinary day of the week into something special.
Croissants are the perfect combination of light brown, buttery, flaky, but filling piece of bread. You can find them at just about any cafe that you walk into and for good reason, they are the perfect little treat that should be celebrated every day. Croissants are not the wrong type of flaky bread, they do not fall apart or crumble into your hands when you pick them up. They are the perfect buttery flakiness that make you water at the mouth. The best part about croissants as that they are perfect for any time of day. As a baked goods for breakfast with butter and jam, lunch with deli meat, snack time, a quick dinner when time is short. There are plain croissants, chocolate, ham and cheese, cream cheese, strawberry, and oh so much more. It is almost impossible to get too excited about croissants; they deserve all of the love they get and so much more. If you are new to the world of French treats, starting with a fresh croissant is the best way to go.
Paris-breast is truly something that can be found going back hundreds of years, but it is starting to turn heads in other countries now as well. This beautiful pastry gives you a perfect crunch on top and has a delicious cream on the inside. Paris-Brest is made out of cream puffs that are put into a circle and are then filled with a buttery, hazelnut, creamy custard and topped off with almonds that have been sliced or slivered very thin. On top of the thinly sliced almonds you will sprinkle either sugar or crumbled up cookies. This baked good is the perfect combination between crunchy and soft, sweet and a little bit of salt. You cannot get better than an original, which is why it is expected to be as popular as creme brulee in no time!
If you have never tried a French Canelé before then you have been missing out on this little morsel of heaven and your life is not complete. Canelés are the perfect little treats made of a crispy thin shell that has been caramelized and that has a rich custard that is sealed inside until you bite into it. As soon as your teeth get through the crispy exterior, they sink into the custardy heaven. Making your own canelé can prove to be a bit tricky, which is why they are so popular in French bakeries. Canelés are made with beautiful 2-inch canelé molds which look almost like delicate flowers and they are as tasty as they are beautiful.
5. Pain Au Chocolat
We all know that the world seems to revolve around bread (and for good reason! You can't go wrong with bread!) Croissants are one of the best types of breads, and you can make it even better by adding chocolate to the center. Pain au chocolat is a croissant that has a bit of a softer dough than usual as it has extra butter to it rather than milk. It is then rolled out and chocolate is added to the center of the dough, and the dough is rolled up around the chocolate. It is the perfect balance between buttery flaky bread and a sweet morsel of goodness.
Brioche is a French pastry puffy bread that is golden-brown and soft but dense almost like a beautiful pillow that fills your mouth. It is truly the most luxurious form of French bread. This type of French bread is made mostly from ingredients that you would find in regular breads; it needs all of the regular components like yeast, eggs, and flour. However, unlike regular breads you really have to go almost overboard and use a lot of eggs and butter in a brioche bread. It also has to be allowed to rest twice so that the yeast has plenty of time to rise! This huge bread is the real French bread original!
7. Eclairs with cherry and rose filling
If you have ever been to a French bakery, then you have probably noticed cases and cases of different flavored eclairs as they are extremely popular. And why would they not be? Eclairs are amazing no matter what type you try. However, cherry and rose eclairs are a twist on a popular treat that not many people see coming. It makes the dessert fresh, light, and just a bit tart so you are left feeling as though you just had a lovely light snack and not something too sweet and heavy. This beautifully baked treat is the perfect way to treat yourself and give yourself a little something extra special.
8. Salted Honey, pear, and chocolate tarte tatin
This baked French dessert is one for all of the chocolate lovers out there who want their fill of chocolate while still trying something a little bit new. This is a crispy pastry that comes together to create something totally and completely delicious. The chocolate in the tarte compliments the salted caramel and helps to bring out its flavors without making it too overpowering. While the walnuts and roasted pears make it a bit sweeter and give it an extra crunch that makes you smile with every single bite you take.
9. Pumpkin and chocolate eclairs
This is another twist on the famous eclair recipes that most people probably do not see coming. Eclairs covered with a whipped pumpkin icing and chocolate drizzled on top, or covered in chocolate icing with roasted pumpkin seeds. This is a recipe that is totally out of the normal, and not one that most people would thing of, but when you bite into a pumpkin and chocolate eclair, you will be so glad you ordered the delicious flavor combination.
10. Classic custard with poached pears
Pears pair well with other ingredients that bring out the tartness without making the dessert too tart or sour to eat. Poached pears with hokey pokey custard is a perfect balance between tart and savory. It is a perfect fall recipe, or for any time of year for that matter. You will need a sugar thermometer to make this recipe, but that extra step is totally worth the time you spend on it! You and the entire family will love ending the day with this fruity, tarty, savory baked dessert.
11. Caramel cake with apple and cinnamon
Everyone loves a traditional, good apple pie. Apple pie is a favorite dessert for people all around the world! However, combining the flavors of a favorite apple pie and a traditional cream caramel cake you get a favorite that is so decadent that you will not be able to put down your fork. It is a creamy cake that fills your mouth with caramel and apple goodness, with just a little kick from the cinnamon that makes it warm and puts you back in your childhood kitchen where your mother made her famous apple pie for you. This is a beautiful twist on a timeless recipe that will make you feel nostalgic and excited about something new at the same time.
12. Brown sugar Meringues topped off with a white chocolate mousse and a coffee syrup
Brown sugar meringues look like they are super complicated to make, but they are super simple and ultra delicious. Once topped off with a white chocolate mousse and a coffee syrup drizzled over everything they look downright amazing. The meringues are perfect and delicious without the topping, but to make it extra fancy, add in the syrup and chocolate mousse and see everyone's jaws drop at how beautiful they look and how wonderful they taste.
13. Crêpes with banana, rum, and hazelnut
This baked French pastry is so light and refreshing that you do not have to save it just for dessert, you can finally say yes to having dessert for breakfast and not feeling guilty about it! The hazelnut gives it a perfect crunch while the rum and bananas make it sweet and savory. Perfect in the evenings after dinner or in the mornings topped with syrup and accompanied by a nice hot cup of coffee.
14. Madeleines with lime sugar and grapefruit icing drizzled on top
This little pastry is as pretty as it sounds with cute designs that make it look flowery and beautiful. It is bursting with fresh citrus flavors which makes it the perfect dessert to end a hot summer's day!
15. Tarte Tatin with apples, gin, and juniper
An apple tarte tatin is an extremely traditional and classic dessert in France that everyone grows up knowing and loving. However, when you add in the gin and the juniper to the party, you put a fresh spin on a classic that keeps it new but remains something that you love. You cannot go wrong with this classic recipe!
The list above is extensive and every single dessert there is savory, sweet, and traditional to the area of France. Thankfully, you do not have to travel all the way to France to feel like you are already there. Eating any one of the recipes above will transport you there no matter where you are in the world.