What Are the Different Types of Traditional French Desserts?

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  • Written By: Deb Clark
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Traditional French desserts are generally sweet, rich and creamy. Classic desserts can range from easy French desserts such as the apple tarte to very involved cakes with multiple layers of meringue and creams, such as the Dacquoise cake. Other traditional French desserts include creme brûlée and crepes. French desserts can include fresh fruits, rich chocolates, pastry creams or nuts. Many of them offer a variety of these ingredients, creating incredibly rich confections.

The popular Dacquoise cake is created by making at least two flavors of cream filling and a few layers of meringue. The traditional Dacquoise is made with almond and hazelnut meringues and a rich buttercream. Variations have popped up over the years, including chocolate and raspberry flavors, lemon and blueberry flavors as well as mocha and espresso flavors.

Apples are a popular element in many traditional French desserts. In some parts of France, apples grow easily and can be found in huge quantities for a low price. Tarte Normande is an example of easy French desserts that were created because of the sheer number of apples found in the Normande region of France. This is made by baking thinly sliced apples in French pastry dough and adding a clotted cream or vanilla pastry cream to the mix. Easy versions call for a ready-to-bake pastry shell and apples.


Traditional French desserts can also include recipes for creme brûlée. The exact origin of this dessert is unknown, but it has been celebrated and enjoyed in France for centuries. A creme brûlée is made with simple ingredients, but it does require some skill.

Eggs, cream, sugar a flavored orange or almond liqueur and fresh vanilla are used in traditional creme brûlée recipes. The cream and vanilla are heated on the stove top first. The egg yolks, sugar and liqueur are added to the cream. A blowtorch is used to brown and caramelize the dessert. There are other methods that don't include the blowtorch, but these leave a slightly less rich flavor.

Crepes aren't always used in desserts, but when sweet creams and fresh fruit are added, the results can be some of the most famous traditional French desserts found. Making a crepe is simple. The recipe is similar to that of a pancake, and it doesn't require much more effort.

Simple vanilla pastry cream can be used inside the crepe. Variations might include fresh fruits such as raspberries and strawberries, lemon creams and even dark chocolate mixes. French desserts can incorporate a wide variety of elements. Some regions are known for their pastries, and others are known for the fruit tartes.


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Post 1

I saw a Dacquoise cake made on "America's Test Kitchen." Good grief -- it takes hours and hours! And there are so many different components!

I have made apple tart before, and it's easy and delicious. My favorite French pastry would have to be the eclair. Custard and chocolate -- does it get any better? Beignets are also delicious, especially with a cup of strong cafe au lait.

I suppose when a supper can consist of bread, cheese, salad and olives, along with a glass of red wine, you can eat these kinds of desserts. Vive la France!

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