Christmas time in France brings with it a host of traditional desserts made with the finest ingredients, like thick, gooey chocolate and mouthwateringly sweet fruit.
Whether you’re French or enjoy the holiday season, these French Christmas desserts are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The best part? They’re all easy to make at home! Here’s our guide to the top French Christmas desserts served in France this time of year.
Bon appétit! 😋😋😋
1. Classic French Madeleines
Madeleines are quintessential French Christmas desserts that are often served as an accompaniment to coffee.
A Madeleine is a small, buttery, shell-shaped cake with a crisp exterior and soft center. Moreso, it can be cooked in various ways, such as baking in the oven or frying in oil.
They are traditionally served with crème anglaise, like vanilla custard sauce. But they can also be served with chocolate sauce or whipped cream.
2. Beginner’s Guide to French Macarons
French macarons are popular worldwide and can be found in many different flavors. However, they are most commonly used as an alternative holiday dessert during winter.
Originally from France, these delicate cookies are made from ground almonds and egg whites that are whipped until light and fluffy. After, they are piped into two circles, one on top of the other.
Then, they’re baked for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they take on a slightly golden hue. The macaron is given its signature look by filling it with buttercream frosting or ganache.
And then garnish it with a dash of powdered sugar. This is likewise one of the delectable French Christmas desserts.
3. French Creme Caramel Recipe
In France, creme caramel is the quintessential Christmas dessert. This custard dish is easy to make and tastes delicious with a crisp sugar crust. It can be served warm or cold, making for a nice centerpiece at any holiday dinner table.
Additionally, making your creme caramel will guarantee that you have a tasty homemade treat! You don’t need many ingredients: heavy cream, whole milk, eggs, vanilla extract (or other flavorings), cornstarch, and brown sugar.
Be sure not to overheat the mixture on the stove, or it will curdle. Use low heat when stirring together all of your ingredients so as not to overheat them. Most importantly, this is included in the list of French Christmas desserts.
4. French Chocolate Truffles
French chocolate truffles are one of the most famous French Christmas desserts. They’re made with a mix of chocolate, butter, and heavy cream.
Plus, the truffles can be dipped in chocolate or topped with various toppings such as nuts, candied fruit, peppermint, or sprinkles. Are you sure you don’t want to give these desserts a try?
5. French Croquembouche
French croquembouche is a tower-shaped dessert that consists of choux pastry balls. These balls are stacked on top of each other with custard or whipped cream in between.
Meanwhile, the name of the specialty of the French Christmas desserts comes from the words Croque meaning to bite, and bouche, meaning mouth.
6. Tarte au Citron
Tarte au Citron is a classic French dessert that can be served as an appetizer or as the meal’s finale. This recipe includes fresh lemon juice, zest, eggs, butter, sugar, and flour. You also need a tart pan with a removable bottom and baking paper.
Moving on, the crust is first made by mixing the butter and sugar until light in color. The eggs are then beaten one at a time before adding the flour.
Next, you will add in the lemon zest and juice, which should be mixed until well combined into the dough mixture. This is one of the French Christmas desserts that will make you keep coming for more!
7. Marrons Glacés (Candied Chestnuts)
One of the most popular and delicious French Christmas desserts is the Marrons Glacés or Candied Chestnuts.
These chestnuts are cooked in sugar syrup until they are tender, peeled, and rolled in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and butter.
Then, they are served on their own as a sweet snack or mixed into cakes, tarts, and other pastries. The candied chestnut originated from an Italian recipe called Marron glacé, which means frozen chestnut.
8. Chocolate Soufflé
The recipe for a chocolate soufflé, one of the delicious French Christmas desserts, is deceptively simple.
Using just six ingredients, it’s a dessert that can be whipped up in mere minutes and served with very little preparation.
This easy-to-make dish’s decadent, rich flavor makes it the perfect finale for your holiday meal. Just make sure you have an ovenproof dish on hand before you start!
The key to making a successful soufflé is getting the eggs mixed well without overmixing them, so they become too light.
The first step is to whip egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale yellow. Then mix in cocoa powder, melted butter, and vanilla extract until combined.
Afterward, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form; then fold into yolk mixture one-third at a time, careful not to deflate too much air from the egg whites. Else, you’ll end up with a flat soufflé.
9. Christmas Gingerbread Cake
The most common of the French Christmas desserts are gingerbread cake. It is traditionally a yeast-based dough that is rolled out, shaped, and then baked in a loaf tin.
Gingerbread can be made with molasses instead of sugar syrup for an intense flavor.
10. Lightest French Chocolate Mousse Without Cream
Lightest French Chocolate Mousse Without Cream is a rich, decadent dessert that’s perfect for a holiday party.
This mousse is made with only egg whites, cocoa powder, and chocolate, so it’s lower in fat than most other chocolate mousses.
Plus, you can serve this mousse in small ramekins or glasses with whipped cream on top. Or you can also put it into one large serving dish and put the whipped cream on top of that.
However you serve it, Lightest French Chocolate Mousse Without Cream is delicious; hence, one of the best French Christmas desserts.
11. Ile Flottante (Floating Island)
Ile Flottante is a very popular dessert in France for the holidays. It’s made of beaten egg whites and sweetened, lightened, stiffly-whipped cream on a custard sauce bed.
Uniquely, Ile Flottante is the perfect dessert for those who are looking for something light and airy with a slightly eggy flavor.
This dish, as an amazing one of the French Christmas desserts that it is, would be perfect alongside coffee or tea. Especially while reading holiday books or doing holiday crafts with family and friends.
12. Bûche de Noël
The Bûche de Noël is a giant log cake baked in a long loaf pan with layers of sponge cake, chocolate ganache, and whipped cream.
The Bûche de Noël is typically decorated with icing and pieces of pâte de fruits. This is one of the French Christmas desserts you wouldn’t want to miss out on!
The Pithivier is a deep-dish pie made of puff pastry that has been brushed with egg and sprinkled with sugar before baking.
The Pithivier is traditionally filled with creamed white meat and served on its own or as an accompaniment to ice cream or fruit compote.
Not to forget its numerous nutritional benefits too. This is one of the French Christmas desserts you shouldn’t shove aside!
14. Easy Christmas Cinnamon Palmiers Cookies
Discussing the list of delectable French Christmas desserts without the Cinnamon Palmiers Cookies? No, that’ll be wrong!
Palmiers have been a favorite of mine for years now, and I can’t believe it took me this long to make them myself, finally. The first time I had one was when I worked at the Vermont Country Store in Middlebury, VT.
They were always on display at the front counter and would disappear quickly. Proceeding, we would sell small bags of them for $4, and people would buy three or four bags at a time.
My favorite way is just plain with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. But my mom often puts chocolate chips or shredded coconut in the middle before baking them.
15. Easy Candy-Striped Meringue Cookies
Baking these candy-striped meringue cookies is a great way to keep it simple and let the design do all the work.
These French Christmas desserts are quick to make and can be made up to three days in advance.
The kids will love helping you with this one! Follow these steps:
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, ensuring enough space between them for spreading.
- Draw a 7-inch circle on one of the sheets with a pencil or marker, then turn it over so you don’t smear the ink when tracing around it.
- Repeat on the second sheet (you’ll need 4 circles total).
16. Christmas Meringue Spheres
Being one of the French Christmas desserts, the recipe for these spheres is very simple. You will need egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract. To start with: Prepare your baking dish by greasing it with butter or cooking spray.
Next, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until all of the ingredients are mixed well together.
Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and cook in an oven preheated to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Or until lightly browned on top.
Once done, let it cool and carefully remove it from the pan using a spatula to cut it into individual pieces. Lastly, you can serve it with ice cream as desired.
17. Eggnog Crème Brûlée
This french Christmas dessert combines two popular french desserts: Crème Brûlée and Eggnog. Traditionally, Crème Brûlée is served in small custard cups or ramekins.
In this recipe, the eggnog replaces the milk and heavy cream found in a traditional crème brûlée. This, in turn, brings out the flavor of the spices in the eggnog.
The top of each custard cup is then sprinkled with brown sugar and caramelized with a torch or broiled until it bubbles and turns golden brown.
Finally, this wraps up our list of the various French Christmas desserts you should try out this season!
No matter how you celebrate Christmas, one thing that you’re likely to find in abundance at any gathering is desserts.
The French are known worldwide for their love of sweets, and Christmas is no exception. After all, how can you say merry Christmas without the tasty treats? Above is our list of traditional French Christmas desserts, so you know what you’re in store for this holiday season!
We hope this list of French Christmas desserts has given you some ideas for your holiday celebration.
From the classic pain d’epices, to the more well-known bûche de noel and galette des rois, these are some delicious french Christmas desserts. Happy Holidays!