French Dessert Recipes

Madeleine, mousse, éclair, clafouti recipes—find all the top-rated recipes for famous French pastries and desserts.

Staff Picks

Authentic French Meringues

Rating: 4.29 stars
Authentic French Meringues from a patisserie in France.

Creme Brulee

Rating: 4.49 stars
This is a very nice dessert to serve when entertaining. Delicious served over mangos sprinkled with rum, or strawberries with Grand Marnier® or Cointreau®.

Cream Puffs I

Rating: 4.15 stars
Puff pastry with a custard cream filling. Garnish with melted chocolate or a dusting of confectioners' sugar.

French Apple Tart (Tarte de Pommes a la Normande)

Rating: 4.75 stars
My mother used to cook this for us all, usually to go with Sunday dinner. I was hooked. Haven't had it in ages and I was wanting to bake something special for a special someone so I asked mum for the recipe. Tried it out today, and it's just as I remember. The thing that makes it for me is the frangipane. Hope you like it as much as me.

Canelés de Bordeaux

Rating: 4.86 stars
These crispy French custard cakes are traditionally baked in special fluted molds, but the molds were no longer available in my local shop. So I improvised with muffin tins and the results were pretty amazing. Just be sure you bake them long enough to achieve the classic crispy exterior.

Lemon Madeleines

Rating: 4.51 stars
Good tea cookies.


Rating: 5 stars
I love the classics. This is a spectacular confection! Named for a bicycle race run between the two cities of Paris and Brest, this wheel-shaped pastry of choux paste is hands down impressive. The classic version is made with a praline-flavored center but this pastry cream version is just as tasty.

Chef John's Creme Caramel

Rating: 4.85 stars
Creme caramel belongs on the short list for 'World's Greatest Dessert.' The way the almost-burnt caramel layer gets fused on, and becomes one with, the creamy custard is nothing short of magic.

Macaron (French Macaroon)

Rating: 4.14 stars
This is the quintessential macaron (NOT macaroon) recipe. I am a baker's apprentice, and after much trial and error, we (the baker and I) finally perfected the technique. We decided to share with you all. Pipe your choice of filling on a cookie and sandwich another cookie on top. These are like cloud cookie sandwiches and are delicious if done correctly. If you want to do it the super-easy way, just fill with your favorite flavor of frosting. Enjoy!

Choux au Craquelin

Rating: 4.69 stars
These gorgeous cream puff "crack buns" were inspired by the Great British Baking Show, which is currently my favorite thing on television. Speaking of favorite things, Boston cream pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts, and this was basically an individually portioned, probably superior version of that. These would be great filled with all kinds of things, but it's hard to beat vanilla bean pastry cream (see footnote).


Rating: 4.16 stars
Light and delicate choux pastry puffs filled with fresh cream and covered with warm chocolate ganache sauce are so easy to make, but everyone will think you are a master pastry chef!

Chef John's Chocolate Souffle

Rating: 4.8 stars
These visually impressive individual chocolate soufflés are perfect for your special someone. If you're serving more people, the recipe should scale up just fine.

Inspiration and Ideas

The 15 Most Iconic French Desserts
From simple tea cakes to multi-layered entremets, these recipes will show you the ins and outs of France's most famous desserts.
Authentic Macaron Recipes
French macarons are a labor of love, but the light and airy meringues are definitely worth the extra work.

Apple Clafoutis

Rating: 4.79 stars

Clafoutis is a French dessert which combines fresh fruit and custard. Just like a souffle, it rises beautifully then it deflates once cooled. It's best made in a cast iron skillet but any oven-proof skillet will work. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.