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12 French Sweets You Must Try Before You Die

Today, Elena of Elana’s Travelgram is going to share with us 12 most delicious and amazingly looking pastries you would not resist when visiting France. She describes herself as a 20-something Ukrainian girl who often gets lost in different corners of the world. She is currently living an expat life in France.

Do you know how France actually tastes like? Sweet. It’s a heaven for all the foodies and sweet-toothed. With gorgeous boulangeries and patisseries nearly at every corner you simply can’t miss trying the next sweet delights. Let’s see what top 12 french sweets you simple can’t afford to miss when in France:

#1 Chausson aux pommes.

сhausson aux pommes

These small buns made of puff pastry filled with rich-flavored apple mash inside may not look special, yet they taste magnificent! It’s one of the most traditional French baking that was originally made in 1580 at a tiny city of Saint-Calais, Northern France. When the severe epidemic of plague killed nearly 2/3 of the city’s population, it is told that one lady made a huge apple pie that reminded of a slipper (chausson) to feed all the starving who were forced to stay in town and it helped to prevent further spreading of the disease. In 1992 Saint Calais community established La confrérie du Chausson aux Pomme – a brotherhood of bakers and locals who organize a parade and a festive each first Sunday of September with lots of chaussons aux pommes and other traditional dishes made and served to everyone.

#2 Le Merveilleux.

LeMerveilleux

Photo credit: Vincci

 

The name of the desert “Marvel” totally corresponds to its taste. A floating meringue desert filled with floral cream and chocolate or vanilla light cream and generously sprinkled with chocolate feathers or crunchy cookie crumbs. They filling and decorations may differ from Boulangerie to Boulangeries.

#3 Saint-Honoré Cake.

Saint-Honoré

Photo credit: CityofAnnie

 

Did you know there’s a special saint who patronizes all bakers and pastry chefs? That’s Saint Honorewhom you should thank for each magnificent desert you taste J. This cake’s traditionally made with crème cheboust for filling and whipped cream for decoration. The best thing about this cake are these small balls dipped in caramelized brown sugar and filled with lots of cream.

#4 Ice Cream.

ice cream

Though, it’s Italy who’s well-known for its amazing gelato, the French crème glacée is none the worse! Starting from standard flavors like lemon, strawberry or mango, you can as well taste something as gourmet (or weird) as goat-cheese, pine, rosemary, carrot or even beet. Check out Terre Adelice in Vieux Lyon for best ice cream experience!

#5 Patted’ours.

patte-ours

Photo credit: Yumelise

 

This small bun made of crunchy puff pastry and liquid chocolate filling that is very similar to Nutella and is called bear’s paw for its cute shape.

#6 Mango tart.

Mango Tarte

Photo credit: Phreddie

 

An amazing crunchy basket topped with caramelized or jelly covered mango pieces. In Paris, you should definitely grab few at at La Pâtisserie des Rêves.

#7 Marie Antoinette desert.

Marie Antoinette desert

Photo credit: Carl Marletti

 

I fell in love with the visual appearance of this one at first and the taste has proven to be even better! It’s made of two meringue macaron calves filled with light vanilla or rose cream, fresh raspberries and a few blueberries on top for decoration.

#8 Coussin de Lyon.

Coussin de Lyon

Photo credit: JaHoVil

 

Lyon’s local sweet specialty. A candy made of greenish marzipan filled with chocolate ganache and a few drops of curacao. For the first time this sweet was made in 1960 by a local chocolatier Mr. Voisin, who was inspired by the shape of a cushion used in the medieval ceremony for caring a 7 pound wax candle and a crown to the Fourvière hill.

#9 Paris-Brest.

 

An amazing cake sandwich filled with thick praline-flavored cream and covered with feather-like peanut slices. It was first made in 1910 as a commemoration of the famous bike race Paris-Brest-Paris held in 1891, round-shaped, so that it resembled a wheel.

#10 Tarte Framboise.

Raspberry tart

Photo credit: Guillaume Angibert

 

Another totally fantastic treat that is hard to describe in words. Fresh raspberries on a bedding of jelly-like vanilla cream in a crusty basket.

#11 Chouquette.

chouquettes

Photo credit: M.D.

 

These are like tiny éclairs, traditionally made of yummy choux pastry without any filling and sprinkled with sugar pearls. Yet some patisseries offer chouquettes with mouse or custard fillings or additionally covered with chocolate.

#12 Brioche Praline Rose.

Brioche Praline Rose

Photo credit: M.D.

 

A traditional Brioche is made with lot’s eggs and butter that makes it dough taste so rich. This one’s made special by adding nuts, caramelized in rose syrup. Total yum!

You can also check out the full list of 23 French pastry you should try before you die written by Elena and follow her adventures on Bloglovin’.

 Which one of these delicious pastries would like like to dig in?

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Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"

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{ 76 comments… add one }
  • santafetraveler April 21, 2014, 1:03 am

    Those made my mouth water- and there are so many more great French desserts!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 21, 2014, 2:00 am

      I wish I was in France right now. My Easter breakfast would look a bit different I guess :).

      Reply
  • Rachel M April 21, 2014, 6:55 am

    You’ve whetted my appetite, everything is so enticing!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 22, 2014, 12:44 am

      I know! That was the aim of this post to make people crave more sweets LOL!

      Reply
  • Franca April 21, 2014, 6:58 am

    When it comes to pastry I cannot resist, no matter if it is sweet or savory I have to have some. I already tried some of these French delicious treats, but there are still some that I must taste.. I’m craving for some mango tart right now :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 22, 2014, 12:45 am

      Me too Franca. I guess we would be perfect match for travels :).

      Reply
  • Sam April 21, 2014, 9:48 am

    French patisseries are like art galleries, in my opinion. I can’t help but slowing down as I walk past places selling stuff like this, just to admire the handiwork and attention to detail!

    Reply
    • Elena April 21, 2014, 10:24 am

      Yes, can’t agree more. The French chefs pay as much attention to the taste as to to the aesthetic appeal of the final product :)

      Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 22, 2014, 12:45 am

      They are, indeed!

      Reply
  • Katie April 21, 2014, 12:29 pm

    I’m a sucker for desserts – I’ve got a huge sweet tooth! These all seem delicious but Le Merveilleux might be on the top. A little but of chocolate and just screams French dessert to me. A friend is going to Paris in a few weeks so I’ll be sending her this!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 22, 2014, 12:46 am

      Same here, Katie. I’m the biggest sweet lover on this planet, but I need to watch out my sugar intake :).

      Reply
  • Emily April 21, 2014, 2:52 pm

    The first time we traveled through France we were poor University students and so the only thing we treated ourselves to were crepes. We’re headed back this summer and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into all the sweet and savoury treats!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 22, 2014, 12:46 am

      I actually never tried French crepes although I’ve already been to France. Hope to catch up next time!

      Reply
  • Kristin W. April 21, 2014, 10:29 pm

    YUM! This just arrived in my inbox – it’s early morning in Manila and I’m so hungry! I need to go find some breakfast :-)

    Thanks for the fantastic, colorful photos and great descriptions!

    Happy, Safe Travels! :-)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 22, 2014, 12:47 am

      Go grab some donuts. Manila is full of bakeries!

      Reply
  • Rebecca April 21, 2014, 10:58 pm

    they all look pretty dam amazing! I opted for the chocolate eclair when I was there but I would happily taste test them all :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 22, 2014, 12:47 am

      I actually would think twice before eating them – they just look way too PERFECT to me!

      Reply
  • Brian Wellman April 22, 2014, 2:26 am

    No pain au chocolat? It’s my favorite!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 23, 2014, 2:48 am

      Not this time :P

      Reply
  • Tim | UrbanDuniya April 22, 2014, 4:11 am

    I read the longer version of this post on Elena’s personal site, and it makes some interesting reading! Agness, if your weakness is sushi, then mine is dessert!!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 23, 2014, 2:48 am

      I’ve read it too and I loved it so I asked Elena to write the same one for me and she did !! :D Yes, my weakness is sushi, but I love desserts as well.

      Reply
  • Stef April 22, 2014, 7:28 am

    The sweets look all very tasty, but for now I’d love to have a Marie Antoinette desert here on my desk ;)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 23, 2014, 2:46 am

      :-)

      Reply
  • Jen Seligmann April 22, 2014, 9:19 am

    Yum! Why make me choose just one, I’ll have one small bite of each please!!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 23, 2014, 2:46 am

      HAHAHAHA You are so much like me!

      Reply
  • Zara @ Backpack ME April 22, 2014, 3:17 pm

    Thumbs up for that Marie Antoinette tart. I had one in France last summer but I had no idea that was the name. SO, SO GOOD!! :D

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 23, 2014, 2:43 am

      I will try it next time !!!!

      Reply
  • Charlie April 22, 2014, 11:06 pm

    That Marie Antoinette desert is crazy looking! So are those bright blue things! I had no idea the French had such brightly coloured sweets.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 23, 2014, 2:43 am

      I love, it does look yummy!

      Reply
  • Rebekah April 23, 2014, 7:31 am

    God those all look amazing. Do you have Haolicakes where you are? Its a bakery chain here and I love it when I’m craving something sweet.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 24, 2014, 1:37 am

      I’m in China right now and we don’t have Haolicakes here, but they look so goooood!

      Reply
  • Sofie April 23, 2014, 8:13 am

    Such a tasty post!
    I’d love to try the Paris-Brest

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 24, 2014, 1:35 am

      Me too! :D

      Reply
  • Heather April 23, 2014, 7:02 pm

    I’ll take one of each, please! And follow them up with a Nutella crepe :-)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 24, 2014, 1:28 am

      Someone said Nutella crepe? Omomomomo!

      Reply
  • Jess @UsedYorkCity April 24, 2014, 10:41 am

    Honestly, my go-to French desserts are typically macaroons or pan au chocolats or nutella crepes…I can’t want to add all these to my palette!:-)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 26, 2014, 10:01 am

      Omomomomomomom :-D!

      Reply
  • Megan @ Mapping Megan April 24, 2014, 6:30 pm

    Just saying – that Le Merveilleux looks absolutely devine!! And now my mouth is watering! Time to get to France!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 26, 2014, 10:13 am

      Sure it is! Let’s go to France!!

      Reply
  • Shing April 24, 2014, 7:21 pm

    I feel utterly seduced by them all! The appearance of the Marie Antoinette desert is pure beauty, and I imagine that describes the taste too!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 26, 2014, 10:14 am

      I love to look at the picture of the Marie Antoinette and imagine what it may taste like!

      Reply
  • Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats April 25, 2014, 11:42 am

    Love French pastries so much! I think my list would be a bit different, but there are just so many great ones out there!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 26, 2014, 10:23 am

      I would also add more goodies here :-)!

      Reply
  • Marysia @ My Travel Affairs April 25, 2014, 10:15 pm

    Paris-Brest and Marie Antoinette for me please :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 26, 2014, 10:27 am

      For me as well Marysia! Great choice by the way! ;-)

      Reply
  • Beth April 26, 2014, 6:26 am

    I will be trying a few of these while I’m in Paris this summer for sure! ;)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 26, 2014, 10:29 am

      I might be around there this summer as well :) so keep me posted! X

      Reply
  • Charli April 27, 2014, 5:28 am

    Holy cow!! I’ve been on a low sugar diet for almost a year now and I’m salivating, this is torture they all look so yummy!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 28, 2014, 2:36 am

      Seriously? Poor you! :)

      Reply
  • Becky Padmore April 28, 2014, 5:39 pm

    Oh wow they all look delicious but if I had to choose it probably would have to be Marie Antoinette desert, it looks so colourful!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 29, 2014, 1:51 am

      Seems like everyone is obsessed with this one! :)

      Reply
  • Shereen April 29, 2014, 7:53 pm

    Whoa reading this post definitely made me hungry. I would love to try #6 since I love mango and I would totally agree that the appearance of the Marie Antoinette desert is to die for alone. I wish we had some of these around where I am.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 30, 2014, 12:47 am

      I also love mango. My favourite dessert in Thailand was sticky rice with fresh mango on top. Simply yummy!

      Reply
  • The Guy April 30, 2014, 10:43 am

    Wonderful selection of indulgent eats. I especially like the name Marvel :-)

    This brings back memories of my last trip to Sacre Coeur in Paris. The ice cream shops in that area have some of the best ice creams I’ve ever known.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 2, 2014, 3:25 am

      I wish I could try these ice creams! :)

      Reply
  • Aubrey April 30, 2014, 4:29 pm

    Oh my goodness, why did I read this right before lunch. I’m basically drooling over here, I want to try everything!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 2, 2014, 3:23 am

      Hahahaha! You’re not the only one here, I’m afraid.

      Reply
  • Casey @ A Cruising Couple April 30, 2014, 7:41 pm

    Considering we are in France right now, this is NOT going to be good for my waistline, but it is going to be oh so good for my soul! Thanks for sharing! Next week we go to Paris where I’m going to be taking a macaron making class, and I am so so so excited :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 2, 2014, 3:23 am

      Are you in France now? I’m so jealous. Keep eating and don’t worry about your waistline. Diet will start next year :).

      Reply
  • Agness Walewinder May 2, 2014, 3:22 am

    I’m glad to hear that! :) Bon voyage!

    Reply
  • annie May 5, 2014, 11:11 am

    i am drooling over every single one of these! i’ve only tried a few of them….bookmarking this for our next french trip!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 6, 2014, 2:48 am

      Same here Annie, same here!

      Reply
  • Michelle May 5, 2014, 11:16 am

    OMG all of these look so good!!! I have such a weak spot for sweets haha. I’ll have to get my hands on that Marie Antoinette pastry the next time i’m in France….I love macaroons!!

    Reply
  • Ryan May 6, 2014, 6:40 am

    By golly…foodgasms galore! All of these look incredibly scrumptious, thanks for the feature and I’ll be sure to look at for them when I go to France! Tarts ftw!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 7, 2014, 2:09 am

      HAHAHA!

      Reply
      • Clariza May 14, 2014, 7:27 am

        Wow! these sweets look so amazing! If im going to Europe this October, I really need to try some of these.

  • Sonja @ The {Happy} Travel Bug May 7, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Delish! I’m going to France next year and feel the need to try every one of those! ;)

    Reply
  • Ron | Active Planet Travels May 7, 2014, 11:04 pm

    Man those dishes look delicious…can’t wait to visit Europe and go on a foodie rage! lol

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 8, 2014, 12:24 am

      8 weeks left for me Ron! :-)

      Reply
  • Lesley Peterson May 8, 2014, 8:15 pm

    WONDERFUL photographs! That merveilleux really looks marvelous. Imagine there’s a saint in charge of all desserts. Only in France!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 9, 2014, 12:51 am

      Can’t wait to visit France once again!

      Reply
  • Sand In My Suitcase May 11, 2014, 4:38 am

    What a great collection of delicacies! But a chocolate croissant is enough to put is into sweet heaven.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder May 12, 2014, 1:25 am

      My favourite one that’s for sure!

      Reply
  • Milena Yordanova July 8, 2014, 8:35 am

    They all look so yummy! I wish I was in France so I could try all of them. The bear’s paw is so cute.

    Reply
  • Catherine March 10, 2015, 8:25 am

    Oh my, these all sound amazing! Only tried two of the twelve so far, so still got a long way to go!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 11, 2015, 6:25 pm

      Great!

      Reply

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