recipe

Petit Fours: the best recipe for a classic French dessert

Total time: 2H
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
lemon curd
1 batch
raspberry cake filling
1 batch
For the cake
unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup
cream cheese, softened
4 oz
Sugar
1 ½ cups
Large eggs
4
Vanilla Extract
2 tsp
All-purpose flour
2 cups
Salt
½ tsp
Baking powder
1 tsp
Whole Milk
1/4 cup
For the icing
butter, cubed
15 tbsp
Heavy Cream
1 ½ tbsp
light corn syrup
6 tbsp
Salt
1/8 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp
Powdered sugar
4 ¾ cups

Beautiful bite-sized Petit Fours are a classic French treat that is popular for tea parties, brunches, bridal showers, and weddings. Made from a light, spongy cake, sweet filling, and covered in icing, they're sweet yet delicate. They're simple to decorate, so you can make your petit fours into gorgeous, elegant sweets you can serve for many occasions. Despite their reputation for being difficult, petit fours (which means “small oven” in English) are easy to make. And while usually made in sweet versions, savory petit fours are also made. With these simple instructions, you'll be making them like a pro in no time!

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How to Assemble Petit Fours

Putting your petit fours together is easy. Cut the first cake into 3 equal pieces. Cover 2 layers with filling then stack the pieces on top of each other. Repeat with the second cake. If you're using a standard jelly roll pan, the cake slices should be around 5 inches wide.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cakes into smaller pieces of about 1 ½-inch in size to get beautiful bite-sized treats.

Filling Variations to Try

Just about any filling will be amazing in petit fours. Try chocolate, vanilla buttercream, caramel, or peanut butter. You can also use other firm jams like peach, apricot, persimmon, cherry, and so on. Choose your favorites and experiment with flavor combinations!

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How to Make Icing for Petit Fours

It's easy to make icing for petit fours. Simply melt butter, heavy cream, and corn syrup, then add in the vanilla and sugar until the mixture becomes smooth. For thicker icing, add more sugar, or add more cream if it's too thick.

You can also flavor your icing with lemon or orange zest, vanilla, almond, and other essences.

How to Decorate Petit Fours

There are many ways you can decorate your petit fours. The most simple is to add food coloring to the icing. You can also make unique shapes and designs using a piping bag and royal icing. Sprinkles, edible flowers, or non-pareilles are all wonderful ways to decorate these bite-sized treats.

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How to Store Petit Fours

Keep your petit fours fresh by storing them in an airtight container. They'll stay good for 2 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge. You can also freeze your petit fours for up to 3 months.

How to Make Petits Fours

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 2 jelly roll pans with cooking spray.

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Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese in a large bowl.

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Add in eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.

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Whisk salt, flour, and baking soda together in a small bowl.

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Set the mixer to low and add in the flour a bit at a time.

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Add in the milk, alternating with flour.

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Mix well.

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Transfer the batter to the two jelly roll pans.

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Spread well the batter. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pans from the oven.

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Let the cakes cool completely.

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Once cooled, cut each cake into 3 pieces.

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Layer the fillings on a layer of the cake.

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Repeat spreading the jam filling on another layer.

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Stack the 3 layers one on top of the other.

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Gently press down.

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Cut the cakes into 1 ½-inch pieces. Wrap and place in the freezer.

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In a medium saucepan, bring 2 to 3 inches of water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Place a heatproof bowl over the saucepan. Whisk cream, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla until combined.

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Slowly add in the sugar.

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Whisk to combine. If adding food coloring, mix it in now.

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Take the petit fours out of the freezer. Using a fork, dip them into the icing one at a time, then place them on the baking sheet and let the icing harden before serving.

Notes

Room temperature ingredients are best when baking. You'll be able to mix the ingredients more evenly.

Don't forget to scrape down the bowl as needed when adding the flour and milk to the butter mixture.

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