10 Top Classic French Dessert Recipes

We all have our favorite, go-to dessert recipes for dinner parties, casual guests, and cosy family dinners. Some like the refreshing, light fruit flavors and others will accept nothing less than dense, dark chocolate. France in renowned for its wonderful desserts and pastries so enjoy this delicious collection, dessert time will never be the same again. 

  • 01 of 10
    Poires Belle Helene French Pear Dessert. Getty

    This classic French dessert is punched up with the essence of cinnamon. Ease of preparation and beautiful presentation make this dish a great selection for dinner parties.

    Poires Belle Helene Recipe

  • 02 of 10

    Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

    tarte tatin
    French Tarte Tatin. Ben Monk Getty Images

    Adding a touch of lemon zest and spice really perks up this classically delicious apple tarte Tatin recipe. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream to the dessert for a rich after-dinner treat.

    Apple Tarte Tatin

  • 03 of 10
    Cherry Clafoutis
    Cherry Clafoutis. Regis Vincent

    This cherry clafouti recipe, also know as Clafouti aux Cerises, is the most well-known version of the traditional puffed French custard cake. In France, it is customary to serve clafoutis with cherry pits intact.

    Cherry Clafoutis Recipe

  • 04 of 10
    Rum Baba
    Rum Baba. Owen Franken - Getty Images

    Babas au rhum were once the loved dessert of the '60's, they disappeared for a few decades except in the most classic of French restaurants. Glad to say, they are now back and as popular as they ever were. 

    Babas au Rhum Recipe

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Orangettes. Emrah Turudu Getty Images

    Orangettes are strips of candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate. They are a delicious treat and even better they make lovely gifts wrapped in a little cellophane and a pretty ribbon. 

    Orangettes Recipes

  • 06 of 10
    Chocolate Mousse
    Chocolate Mousse. Laurence Mouton - Getty Images

    Chocolate mousse is the quintessential romantic French dessert made so quickly and easily, what's not to like?

    Chocolate Mousse Recipe

  • 07 of 10
    creme caramel
    French Creme Caramel. Jose A. Bernat Bacete - Getty Images

    Crème au caramel is a wonderful dessert recipe for dinner parties and known as a  bistro classic for decades. The creme can be made at least a day ahead also making it somewhat convenient. 

    Creme Caramel Recipe

  • 08 of 10
    Lemon Tart
    Tarte au Citron. Getty Images

    This is the quintessential French tart, found at patisseries and cafes year-round. Cool, sharp lemon filling contrasts nicely with the flaky, slightly sweet pastry. A little dollop of Chantilly cream served with the dessert makes the ideal treat.

    Lemon Tart Recipe

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Classic French Opera Cake. Riou, Jean-Christophe - Getty Images

     There is much debate as to who, exactly, invented the original opera cake recipe and where. Some culinary historians have set it as far back as the 1890s, while others put its creation at a Paris shop in the mid-twentieth century. Most opera cake enthusiasts agree

  • 10 of 10
    Breton Butter Cake
    Breton Butter Cake. Guy Thouvenin / robertharding - Getty Images

    This Breton butter cake is a classic dessert in Brittany. Kouign Amann means "bread and butter," and if bread is the staff of life, then this particular bread is indeed gilding the lily! Rich with butter and sugar, this cake needs no adornment whatsoever, although berries or whipped cream make for a special treat.

    Breton Butter Cakes - Kouign Amann