How Many of These French Desserts Can You Name?

By: Jennifer Post

How Many of These French Desserts Can You Name?
Image: © Manogna Reddy / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The French are known for their unique flavors, history and complicated techniques when it comes to food. But when you really break it down, a lot of the processes they use are the same that are used anywhere else. It comes down to the amount of care put into the baking of a dessert and the quality of ingredients. The art of pastry was basically invented in France, and there are plenty of culinary and pastry schools that primarily teach French cuisine and technique. It's no wonder that the most delicious and fancy desserts do come from France!

When you think of a traditional bakery case, it could be filled with heaping mounds of cream or frosting, but in France, the shelves are filled with small pastries and desserts that are uniform in size and shape and mesmerize you with how perfect they are. Being a baker in France isn't just a job; it's a way of life. You have to eat, breath and sleep pastry and innovation. A lot of pastry chefs take inspiration from local legends or their family history to bring old French recipes back to life. Think you can name all of the French desserts in this quiz? Take it now to find out!

Macaron This nutty French sandwich cookie is chewy, crunchy and perfect for a one-bite snack. What is it?
Macaron
Don't confuse this with a macaroon, which is a coconut cookie. A macaron is an almond-flour meringue-type cookie that can be flavored with almost anything and filled with cream, chocolate or jam.
Macaroon
Éclair
Madeleine

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Palmier Which French dessert gets its name because it looks like a leaf but is popularly called an elephant ear?
Croissant
Palmier
A palmier is delicious because it's baked puff pastry rolled with cinnamon and sugar, and then rolled in that same mixture before it goes in the oven. They're sweet and crunchy and can be found in almost any bakery.
Financier
Tuile

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Dacquoise This is a popular layer cake made with almond and hazelnut meringue instead of a sponge. Can you name it?
Kouign-amann
Canelé
Dacquoise
Sometimes cake can lack texture, but when the cake is a Dacquoise, that's not the case. The meringue adds a crunch, while the cream in between the layers add the creamy and soft feeling you love about cake.
Petit four

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St. Honore Cake Named for the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, which dessert includes puff pastry and choux pastry?
Viennoiserie
Religieuse
Croustade
St. Honoré cake
This classic French dessert uses two intricate French pastry techniques. The puff pastry serves as the bottom layer, while the choux pastry (what éclairs are made out of) is piped on top of that.

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Pain aux raisins Which pastry is also called escargot, even though it's sweetened bread dough and not snails?
Pain aux raisins
This pastry uses croissant dough which is then rolled to look like a snail shell. This one in particular is rolled with raisins and pastry cream. In America, it's traditionally made with Brioche dough.
Croquembouche
Jésuite
Conversation tart

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Tarte des Alpes Coming from the area in its name, which French dessert is filled with sweet jam and covered in a pretty lattice pattern?
Bichon au citron
Tarte des Alpes
This dessert is specific to a certain region of France, and in other areas, it takes on other names and the recipe varies slightly. It's a shortcrust pastry topped with a delicious fruit jam and lattice-style pastry.
Chouquette
Puits d'amour

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Dariole Named after the mold it's baked in, which puff-pastry dessert is filled with sweet almond cream?
Merveilleux
Pithivier
Dariole
In French cooking, a Dariole is just a mold, but it's also the name of the pastry baked inside of it. Puff pastry lines the mold and is filled with an almond cream and baked until golden brown. There's even savory versions!
Charlotte

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Crêpe Suzette The name is a combination of the main component and the caramel sauce it's drenched in. Which is it?
Pain d'épices
Floating Island
Clafoutis
Crêpes Suzette
The origin of this dessert has been widely disputed, with one story saying it started as a mistake and another saying it was originally made for a little girl named Suzette. No matter where it comes from, this crepe with a butter-caramel sauce sure is delicious.

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Praline Which French dessert is actually just a general term for any treat containing nuts and sugar?
Praline
The two common ingredients in this dessert are listed above, with cream being a popular third ingredient. They can be filled chocolates, nuts mixed with caramel or a cookie that contains chocolate and nuts.
Norman Tart
Mendiant
Flaugnarde

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Pêche Melba With peaches being the main flavoring, which French dessert was named to honor an Australian opera singer?
Profiterole
Pêche Melba
Peaches Melba is a dessert consisting of peaches and ice cream with a raspberry sauce. Renowned French chef Auguste Escoffier first made the dessert at the Savoy Hotel in London for the famed soprano, Nellie Melba.
Teurgoule
Soufflé

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Baba au rhum Cake soaked in sugar syrup takes it to a whole new level. Which French dessert does just that, with a little extra pizzazz?
Savarin
Gougère
Baba au rhum
Baba au rhum is a cake baked in a cupcake tin that is essentially left out to dry for a period of time so it can be doused in a simple syrup made with rum. That syrup rehydrates the cake and makes it as moist as ever.
Brioche

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Mille-feuille It's name means "a thousand layers," though it's not actually that tall. Which French dessert is made from notoriously layered pastry?
Coussin de Lyon
Angel wings
Gâteau à la broche
Mille-feuille
Mille-feuille is a layered dessert. Puff pastry is baked in sheets, cut to size and layered with things like pastry cream, whipped cream and other flavorings like mousse or jam. It can have lots of layers but not quite a thousand.

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Beignet Which French sweet treat will leave you messy and sticky and is popular in New Orleans?
Beignet
A beignet sounds like a complicated dessert, but it's quite literally fried dough. It's traditional square in shape, and once it's been fried, it's liberally covered in powdered sugar. Like, a mountain of powdered sugar goes on top.
Paris–Brest
Vitréais
Canelé

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Pain au chocolat Take a classic French breakfast, add chocolate and call it dessert. Can you name it?
Tarte tropézienne
Pain au chocolat
"Pain" means "bread" in French, and "au chocolate" means "chocolate," of course. This dessert is made with croissant dough, and in the middle is chocolate of some kind, whether it's chocolate chips or small strips of high-end chocolate.
Gougère
Pêche Melba

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Mousse Which dessert is light as a cloud, as rich as Bill Gates and requires a multi-step process?
Yule log
Riz à l'impératrice
Mousse
Chocolate is the most common flavoring for mousse, but it can really be flavored with anything! Fruit puree is a great choice, as well as things like lavender. Since the base is cream, egg whites or gelatin, it can take on some pretty strong flavors while remaining super light in texture.
Plombières

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Poire belle Hélène The French really like soaking things in sugar syrup! Which pear dessert is no different?
Café liégeois
Dariole
Marjolaine
Poire belle Hélène
Another Auguste Escoffier creation, this pear dessert was named after the operetta, Le Belle Hélène. The pears are poached in a sugar syrup and then served with or atop vanilla ice cream.

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Calisson Which French dessert, a candy made from candied fruit, is also topped with a thin layer of royal icing?
Calisson
These have a texture similar to that of marzipan but are made with a paste of candied fruit and ground almonds. The main and most popular flavoring is melon. Most of the world's supply of these treats are still made in Provence.
Coconut cake
Fraisier
Norman Tart

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Paris Brest It might look like a doughnut, but it's something else entirely. Which French dessert is made of choux pastry and filled with praline-flavored cream?
Far Breton
Paris Brest
This layered dessert is full of flavor and texture. The main pastry is what éclairs are made of, so it's soft and crisp at the same time. Then you have the smoothness of the cream filling and the crunchy aspect of the toasted almonds on top.
Gâteau Basque
Gâteau au yaourt

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Ispahan This "cake" made from layers of macarons is named after a type of rose, hence the classic red hues of the dessert. Which is it?
Mont-Blanc
Kouglof
Ispahan
The flavors are a combination of rose, lychees and raspberries in this Pierre Hermé dessert. The top and bottom layer are a red-colored macaron, and in the middle is a luscious buttercream with halved raspberries.
Meringues

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Petits Pots This creamy and sweet traditional French dessert would please even the smallest of mouths. What is it?
Pâte de Fruit
Galette
Sablés
Petits Pots
This smaller version of a pots de creme is great for parties or if you want just a little touch of sweetness after dinner. It's a custard-based dessert that can be flavored with almost anything and can be topped with fruit or brulèed.

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Gâteau Basque Meaning "cake of the house," which French dessert is filled with either vanilla pastry cream or black-cherry jam?
Gâteau Basque
To be a true Gâteau Basque, its said that only black cherries from the Basque Country should be used. The cream version is more popular and tied to the Southern Basque region of Spain.
Napoleons
Vacherin
Coeur à la crème

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Tarte tatin Take a sweet, buttery crust and fill it with caramelized fruit. Which French dessert do you end up with?
Custard tart
Tarte Tatin
This was another delight created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in France and then became their signature dish. Traditionally, the fruit used is apples, but it can also be made with pears and other stone fruit.
Pot de crème
Saint-Epvre

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Fondant au chocolat This French dessert, when translated, is essentially chocolate lava cake. Which one is it?
Boudoir
Biscuit
Fondant au chocolat
What we know as lava cake, the French know as fondant au chocolate. It's a soft chocolate sponge cake with a melted/undercooked filling that oozes out when you cut into it. It's traditionally served with vanilla ice cream.
Dame blanche

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Biscuit à la cuillère Called "ladyfinger" in English, this dessert is actually a sweet, cake-like cookie and not the thing you serve with a Southern breakfast. What is it?
Lunettes de Romans
Moelleux
Divorcé
Biscuit à la cuillère
In many other countries, "biscuit" actually refers to a cookie and not the fluffy breakfast side we have in America. If you don't know what a ladyfinger is, it's the base of the dessert tiramisu.

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Langue de Chat Which dessert is a long and thin sugar cookie named after a cute part of your favorite furry animal?
Langue de Chat
The signature look of this cookie is where it gets its name. It's long, thin and takes on the appearance of a cat tongue when baked. It's a sweet and crunchy cookie, as opposed to a soft and chewy one.
Merveilleux
Opéra
Pâte à choux

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Punitions Which fluted French shortbread cookie is made by hand at the bakery in which it was made popular?
Succès
Punitions
Made at Boulangerie Polaine, these shortbread cookies (similar to those shown here) are made on a marble slab much in the same way as pasta. Then, believe it or not, the cookies are baked in a wood-fired oven, much like a pizza is.
Crème mousseline praliné
Sablé Breton

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Crème Anglaise Which French dessert is used as a sauce for other treats and tastes a lot like melted vanilla ice cream?
Marquise au chocolat
Frangipane
Crème Anglaise
This is mostly a pouring custard for other cakes or desserts. The reason is tastes like melted vanilla ice cream is because that's basically what it is. It's essentially the custard that, when frozen, becomes ice cream.
Ganache

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Creme brûlée Bring the heat to this widespread French dessert and see if you can crack the code to the sweet custard. What is it?
Riz à l'impératrice
Pièce montée
Calvados
Creme brûlée
Cooked vanilla custard gets covered in white sugar and then caramelized with a flame. That's the brûlée part. It's served in many restaurants, but it's also easy to make at home with the right equipment.

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Croquembouche Pile it high with caramel and watch your guests jaw drop when you walk in with decadent showstopper. Can you name it?
Croquembouche
This French dessert is a tower of cream puffs that are stuck together with caramel. It's designed to be a pull-apart dessert and is traditionally the centerpiece of a holiday table. It's a complicated technique but so worth it if you nail it.
Calisson
Mille-feuille
Kouign-amann

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Financier A small French almond cake isn't fancy, but it satisfies even the strongest sweet tooth. Which is it?
Flaugnarde
Financier
There's a specific mold for these cakes so that they're perfect and uniform every time. The mold resembles a bar of gold, and that's likely where the name "financier" came from. But the name could also come from its popularity in the financial district of Paris.
Crème caramel
Crêpes

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Clafoutis Black cherries strike again with which classic French dessert that gets covered in a sweet batter?
Gateaux
Breton Butter Cake
Clafoutis
Black cherries are the most traditional, but now there are all kinds of versions of clafoutis. The fruit of choice gets covered in a flan-like batter that gets fluffy when baked. It can be served with powdered sugar or soft cream.
Lemon Tart

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Tulipes Which French dessert is a vessel for things like ice cream or sorbet and is made to look like the blooms of a spring flower?
Elephant ears
Soufflé
Profiterole
Tulipes
Made from a thin, sweet cookie baked on a flat griddle-like surface, the cookie is then molded while it's still soft to look like the tulip flour. It's basically the waffle-cone bowl of France.

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Opera cake Made with layers of almond sponge cake that have been soaked in a sweet coffee syrup, which dessert is then layered with decadent chocolate ganache?
Opera cake
This French dessert is very similar to the Italian dessert tiramisu. The main difference is that the French version uses almond sponge cake instead of ladyfinger cookies, and it's covered with chocolate ganache instead of cocoa or espresso powder.
King cake
Crêpes
Éclair au chocolat

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Orangettes Chocolate and citrus don't classically go together in many cultures, but in France, they do. Which dessert below showcases that flavor combination?
Far Breton
Orangettes
Orangettes are made of candied orange peel that is then covered in chocolate. It's sweet, it's tart and it can be just a tad bitter. But the flavors somehow work together. The candying of the orange peel softens it and brings down the bitterness.
Gâteau au yaourt
French Apple Pie

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Mendiants This dessert seems like a no-brainer, but there is an art behind the construction of these small, round chocolate confections. What are they?
French lemon tart
Canelés
Mendiants
The name makes it sounds fancy, but a mendiant is a circle of chocolate studded with nuts and dried fruit. The combination can be whatever you like, but the classic is raisins, hazelnuts, figs and almonds.
Bugnes Lyonnaises

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Mont blanc Made of pureed sweet chestnuts and whipped cream, which dessert is named for a snow-capped mountain?
Tarte tropézienne
Chocolate Religieuse
Fig tart
Mont blanc
The flavors of this cake are unique, but so is the design. There is a pastry crust filled with the chestnut puree and then the cream is squiggled on top to look like spaghetti.

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Madeleine Which seashell-looking cake has a dainty name and an even daintier mouthfeel?
Madeleine
No one knows the exact origin of the Madeleine cake, but there are several theories. All you need to know is that to make them right, you need the special fluted pan that gives them their signature seashell look.
Saint Honoré
Madeleines
Kouglof

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Croustade This sweet and crisp French dessert element below lends itself to many other fillings and accoutrements. Can you name it?
Île flottante
Croustade
The name implies a crust, and that's exactly what it is! It is any kind of base for things like pies or galettes. It's traditionally a puff pastry or other flaky pastry like phyllo. Croustades also can be filled with savory treats, such as shrimp and dill (shown here).
Raspberry Charlotte
Chouquettes

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Charlotte This dessert utilizes many of the elements in this quiz, like the ladyfinger and mousse. The ribbon tying at the end finishes it off. Which dessert is it?
Mille-feuille
Choux à la crème
Charlotte
This dessert can be served hot or cold, but either way, it's a trifle of flavor and texture. There are now so many different varieties out there, but originally, it's said to originate from a word meaning "dish of custard."
Butter cake

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Meringues This sweet treat can be served fluffy, toasted, baked or as a layer in a pavlova. Which crisp and chewy dessert is it?
Cookie au citron
Short crust
Eton mess
Meringues
Meringues are typically a cookie made from a mixture of egg whites, sugar and a stabilizer. They can be flavored and colored with pretty much anything and need to be baked low and slow to get the signature crisp-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside mouthfeel.

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