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French Dessert Ideas for your Wedding or Party

Thinking of adding French desserts to your menu? That’s a great thought! In case you can’t think of anything other than macaroons, we’ve rounded up a list of popular French desserts that match well with many menus. All of these desserts can be made in a mini size (perfect for a dessert buffet) or can be beautifully plated (perfect for full service).  Talk with your caterer or baker about which they recommend for your menu.

Cherry Clafoutis – Cherries baked in a flan-like custard and topped with powdered sugar.

Crème Brûlée – A rich custard topped with a layer of hard caramel. The custard is usually vanilla-flavored but can be served in other flavors such as lavendar, green tea or Grand Marnier (yum!).

Crêpe Suzette – Wikipedia says it best: The most common way to make Crêpe Suzette is to pour liqueur (usually Grand Marnier) over a freshly-cooked crêpe with sugar and ignite it. This will make the alcohol in the liqueur evaporate, resulting in a fairly thick, caramelized sauce.

Eclairs – An oblong dessert of crisp dough filled with cream or custard and topped with icing. But that is only the beginning. There are numerous variations to the filling and icing.

Financiers – A small cake, similar to sponge cake, that is made with almond flour. Many people enjoy financiers with coffee so be sure to include it at your gourmet coffee station.

Galette – A rustic fruit tart with hand folded edges. Any fruits in season work. They can also be filled with savory items, such as vegetables, for a delicious appetizer.

Gâteau Basque – A cross between a cake, a tart and a pie and filled with either pastry cream or black berry jam. This dessert is the perfect complement to coffee or tea.

Linzer tart – Jam sandwiched between two delicious cake-like cookies and topped with confectioner’s sugar. These cookies can be cut into a variety of shapes such as circles or hearts.

Macaroons (or Macaron) – These two-bite meringue-like cookies come in a wide variety of flavors. They look like pretty little cookie sandwiches.

Napoleons (Mille-feuilles) – A dessert with alternating layers of puff pastry and whipped cream, pastry cream or fruit preserves.

Opera Cake – This cake will have all your guests singing. (bad joke? Yeah, sorry about that. I couldn’t resist.) Layers of coffee syrup soaked almond sponge cake, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream and covered in a chocolate glaze.

Pâtes de fruits – Chewy candy squares. They come in a variety of flavors – strawberry, raspberry, guava, etc.

Petits Pots à l’Absinthe – A delicious pudding topped with fruits. The absinthe provides a light anise flavor.

Profiteroles – French cream puffs that can be plain or topped with chocolate, caramel or powdered sugar. I had these for lunch a few days ago (yes, I had dessert as a meal). I’m a fan and your guests will be as well!

Sablés – Delicious shortbread biscuits that melt in your mouth. The biscuits are generally vanilla but other flavors, such as chocolate, are also favorites.

Soufflés – A gently baked, light dessert that is usually served in ramekins. When properly made, the dessert “lifts” out of the dish.

Strawberry Vacherin – Decadent meringue and strawberries. Exactly how you serve it is up to you. I’ve seen the meringue topped with strawberries, strawberries topped with meringue and the meringue served as “sticks” on the side of the strawberries. All are delicious.

Tarte Tatin – An upside down caramelized fruit tart. Apples are most popular but some chefs like to use other fruits as well.


What have I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Photo credit: jeffreyw

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