There are a number of things that France is known for: Its stunning architecture, fascinating history, unique culture, and – of course – its cuisine. In fact, French culture is rooted in being social and enjoying a variety of flavors wherever possible!
That’s why it’s no surprise that French cuisine is a big part of French identity, and vice versa. Sweet French desserts – specifically pastries – play a big part in shaping how the French indulge. The cool thing about a large country like France is that you can find different French pastries that hail from all different regions.
As you travel across France, you will find that food plays a huge role in shaping a community. Many “pâtisseries” specialize in pastries while the local “boulangerie”is geared towards bread as more of a bakery. That said, some places are definitely both – while others specialize in on or the other. Whatever the case, you are sure to find amazing places to grab a delicious French pastry all over France!
Eric has been to lots of different cities across France – from Lille in the north to Marseilles in the south – and has enjoyed pastries all over. One time in Lyon, he stepped into a cafe/pâtisseries and ordered a mini raspberry fruit tart which he swears (to this day) was the best he has ever had.
If you are unable to get to France (or an authentic French bakery) any time soon, then the next best thing is to create French pastries at home. From classic profiterole (cream puffs) using pâte à choux to dipper éclairs and many pastries that use layered, buttery dough (for croissants), there is no shortage of sweet treats to create!
Luckily for you, there are many great French pastry recipes that aren’t overly difficult to create even though they look super fancy. Don’t let the sugary glazes, extra flaky layers, creamy fillings, or colorful decor scare you!
With so many different types of French pastries to choose from, it can be hard too figure out which French pastry recipes are something for you! Below you'll find a variety of recipes for delicious French sweets that are just like what you'd find if you traveled to France!
If you want to get right into it with a classic French sweet, these chocolate macarons might be for you. Easier to whip together than you might think, these dark morsels are filled with a dark chocolate ganache - a double hit for chocolate lovers!
Can you even have a post on french pastry recipes without mentioning croissants? Flaky on the outside, soft and airy on the inside, this recipe for classic croissants is sure to spruce up your weekend brunch! These buttery gems are delicious on their own or with a bit of sweet jam or savory ham and cheese!
Named after having "a thousand sheets", Mille-Feuille is a delicious pastry created with the classic puff pastry dough you find utilized in many French desserts. The creamy filling and glazed decor make it a beautiful pastry to serve up as well!
Next up on this list is a pastry similar to the Mille-Feuille but different in its own way - the Strawberry Napoleon. Made from flaky puff pastry, filled with rich pastry cream, and finished off with fresh strawberries, this layered dessert is another one that looks fancy but is simple enough to create!
Simple and airy, chouquettes are a go-to French pastry. Created from that signature pâte à choux puff pastry dough, these sugary little morsels are a great dessert in their own right - even without the cream filling!
Of course, you cannot have a round-up of French pastries without including the éclairs! These long pastries - utilizing pâte à choux pastry dough once again - are filled up with delicious pastry cream and dipped in chocolate for that signature glossy finish!
Putting a bit of a twist on the use of pâte à choux pastry dough, these cute little puff swans are a great looking French pastry. Filled with two different creams - chocolate and an orange zest - these swans are sure to impress dinner guests or that special someone!
Ah yes, the classic French cream puff. Made from that all-to-familiar pâte à choux pastry dough, these beautiful little puffs are loaded with a creamy center while the chocolate glaze provide a delicious second wave of flavor!
Created from two simple ingredients - simple puff pastry and sugar - these classic French cookies are crunchy and delicious. Pretty good for a pastry that is named after a palm leaf - or a butterfly... or a French heart - depending on who you ask!
We are guilty of adding another cream puff recipe to this post - but for good reason: They are so good! This unique take on the cream puff is loaded with a coffee liqueur cream and a drizzled coffee glaze!
Often called a cookie, Madeleines are a cute and delicious small sponge cake. Their classic shell shape gives way to a hint of lemon zest and vanilla. A light dusting of powdered sugar is totally optional!
Last, bur certainly not least - we have a classic pain aux raisins recipe. Perfectly swirled and loaded with raisins, this is a french pastry that hits all the key points: flaky and crunchy yet still soft and buttery!