See If You Can Name All These French Pastries!

By: Ian Fortey

See If You Can Name All These French Pastries!
Image: Pixabay by JillWellington

About This Quiz

The history of French pastry goes back a heck of a long time. As far back as the 1200s they were making desserts and pastries. Puff pastry was created in 1540. Whipped cream came from France in 1660. Macarons date back to 1793. Ganache was invented in 1850. It's safe to say almost everything you love about dessert today owes the French a great debt. How everyone in that country isn't just terribly unhealthy and sticky with sugar fingers all day every day is a mystery that no one will ever be able to solve. The French just make amazing desserts.

People train their whole lives to master the fine art of French dessert making and pastries. A pastry chef, or pâtissier, can go to school and then work in a kitchen for years to perfect the craft of pastry-making. It may just be a donut to you, but it can be serious business to the French. And why not? Deliciousness is no easy task. If you feel like you know a little bit about French pastries, whether that's making them or just eating them, why not try your hand at identifying some? We bet you can't get them all. Take the quiz and see!

Beignet This French dessert is deep-fried choux pastry. What's it called?
Madeleine
Beignet
A beignet is sort of kind of a French donut but closer to a fritter if we're being honest. Essentially it's just fried dough and it's been around since the days of Ancient Rome. If you want to try a good one and can't make it to Paris, there's always New Orleans.
Tuile
Pralines

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Macaron Tell us the name of the dessert that looks like a fancy Oreo cookie (though it doesn't taste like one).
Financier
Tarte Tatin
Profiterole
Macaron
Macarons are essentially meringue cookies with a filling between them. They're not to be confused with a coconut macaroon which is basically a coconut cookie, but the two foods actually started as the same thing way back in the day. One recipe replaced almond paste with coconut was all.

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Rum Baba Do you know the name of this boozy little cake?
Rum Baba
A rum baba, also called a baba au rhum, is generally a small cake that you thoroughly soak in syrup that's made from rum, hence the clever name. You can make larger versions of the cake but usually, they're meant to be individual desserts so you can enjoy the rum all for yourself.
Babka
Gateau a la broche
Palmier

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Tarte Tatin You need to caramelize fruit in a pan before you flip it over to make this dessert. What is it?
Peche Melba
Tarte Tatin
A tarte tatin is a kind of upside-down cake essentially, and while you usually make it with apples you could probably use any kind of fruit that you can caramelize in a pan like pears, peaches, pineapple or whatever.
Norman Tart
Croquembouche

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Jesuite Any guesses what this pastry that was named after a hat is called?
Mont blanc
Madeleine
Jesuite
The Jesuite gets its name from the triangular hat worn by Jesuits, traditionally. It's a flaky pastry filled with frangipane cream and then topped with almonds and powdered sugar. All things being equal, it doesn't look much like a hat.
Far Breton

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Madeleine This dessert is essentially a very small sponge cake. Tell us what it is.
Pain aux raisin
Religieuse
Tuile
Madeleine
Madeleines look like cookies but are small sponge cakes from the Lorraine region of France. They're traditionally made in a shell-shaped pan which gives them their distinctive shape, although technically you could make them in any shape at all.

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Palmier What is this pastry that also goes by the unappetizing name of "pig's ear?'
Kouign Amann
Palmier
Palmier, also known as a pig's ear, elephant's ear or palm tree, is oddly often shaped like a butterfly. Why not call it that? Who knows. It's made in a very similar way to a croissant, only the dough has no yeast so it doesn't rise.
Kouglof
Chouquettes

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Tuile You can make a savory version of this out of cheese if you want to. Name it!
Tuile
A tuile is basically a crispy cookie or wafer that's very thin and often used as a kind of garnish. The word itself means tile because they're shaped to look like a kind of French roof tile.
Puits d'amour
Vitréais
Canelé

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Opera Cake As a coffee-lover, you know the name of this dessert, right?
Croustade
Opera Cake
The opera cake is a dessert made with almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup layered with ganache and buttercream. It also has some mysterious origins and may date back to 1960, 1955 or the 1800s depending on who you ask.
Tarte des Alpes
Profiterole

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Dacquoise This dessert comes from the French town of Dax, which inspired its name. Know it?
Teurgoule
Pêche Melba
Flaugnarde
Dacquoise
The dacquoise cake is mostly made of meringue layered with buttercream, whipped cream and a cookie base. You can put a little fruit glaze on top of it as well because how is that ever a bad idea?

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Flaugnarde Which dessert gets its name from a language called Occitan?
Flaugnarde
Flaugnarde is a dessert made from fruit that is baked in a pan with a flan batter covering it. It can be made with fruit like apples, peaches, pears or whatever and looks like a big ol' pancake full of fruit when it's done.
Fraisier
Mendiant
Croquembouche

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Conversation_Tart The recipe for this dessert was created to celebrate the publication of a book. What is it?
Dariole
Crème caramel
Tarte conversation
Tarte conversation, which literally means "conversation tart," dates back tot he 18th century when it was created to celebrate the publication of a book called "Les Conversations d'Emile." Must have been a heck of a book.
Bichon au citron

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Croquembouche What is this remarkably tall dessert very often seen at weddings?
Croquembouche
The croquembouche starts as a fairly simple dessert; just choux pastry puffs. But to make it into a proper croquembouche you pile them into a cone and then drizzle the whole thing with threads of caramel. It can also be decorated with sugar or chocolate decorations to up the wow factor a bit as well.
Brioche
Gougère
Paris–Brest

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Clafoutis Do you know this dessert that, if you're making it the proper, traditional way, requires black cherries?
Mille-feuille
Puits d'amour
Clafoutis
A clafoutis (very similar to a flaugnarde) is made by laying down your black cherries in a pan and then covering it with a flan batter. Apparently, if you want to be ultra-traditional you'll include the cherry pits which slightly alter the flavor and also contain trace amounts of cyanide. Yum!
Tarte Tropézienne

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Dariole This dessert often looks like a stretched-out pie or cake. What is it?
Dariole
Darioles get their name from the mold in which they're baked which is a small cylinder that makes for an overall long-looking cake or pie when it's done. Savory ones can be filled with meat, cheese or veggies while dessert ones may have custard or almond cream
Floating island
Poire belle Hélène
Riz à l'impératrice

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Angel wings Tell us the name of this dessert that is basically just pieces of crispy, fried dough.
Pièce montée
Calisson
Angel wings
Angel wings have found their way into cuisine all around the world and date back to Ancient Rome. Often they're a treat reserved for just before Lent. They're very simple and are just thin twists of dough fried and dusted in powdered sugar.
Beignet

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Gougère What do you call this pastry that isn't technically a dessert?
Gâteau à la broche
Bichon au citron
Teurgoule
Gougère
A gougère is a tiny little choux pastry puff which can be the start of a dessert in many cases, but in this one it's filled with cheese, making it a savory pastry. Sometimes you can up the ante by filling them with mushrooms or sausage as well.

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Bichon au citron Most people would probably just call this pastry a turnover. What else can it be called?
Macaron
Bichon au citron
Bichon au citron is a type of puff pastry that would arguably be a turnover if you filled it with some kind of jam. However, since it's filled with lemon curd, it's a bichon au citron. Does it have anything to do with bichon dogs? That's a good question.
Religieuse
Pralines

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Vitréais This apple cake comes from Brittany in France. Name it!
Baba au rhum
Coussin de Lyon
Mille-feuille
Vitréais
A vitréais cake comes from the town of Vitré in Brittany. The town only has a population of about 18,000, so good for them for creating what would go on to become a world-famous dessert.

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Puits d'amour Which dessert's name translates to "well of love?"
Puits d'amour
The puits d'amour cake is generally a small cake that is filled with something like jam or vanilla pastry cream. The recipe dates back to the 1700s, and at the time there were two versions. One was a large cake meant to be shared and one was a small version meant for one person.
Palmier
Tarte des Alpes
Éclair

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Tarte des Alpes In some places, they call this the "pie of the valley." Do you know its French name?
Viennoiserie
Tarte des Alpes
Clearly from the Alps, the tarte des Alpes is a jam-filled pie covered with a lattice pattern of pastry on top. It was traditionally made as a winter dessert with preserved fruit from the summer months included as a filling.
Madeleine
Pain d'épices

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Petit four What do you call this bite-sized dessert treat?
Crème caramel
Pêche Melba
Viennoiserie
Petit four
The name petit four actually means "small oven" which is kind of weird, right? But not really! Back before gas ovens were a thing and the French were baking in big brick ovens, petit fours were cooked during the cooling process because it took the ovens so long to cool down between uses.

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Charlotte Some people call this an icebox cake. What is it?
Charlotte
The original recipe for a Charlotte doesn't sound super delicious. You'd dip stale bread in butter then line the pan with it and fill it with fruit puree or custard. There are dozens of other ways to make one, though, so stale bread isn't necessary.
Jésuite
Mendiant
Poire belle Hélène

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Kouign Amann Tell us the name of this pastry that isn't just made with butter, it's made with sooooo much butter.
Calisson
Soufflé
Kouign Amann
A Kouign Amann is a dessert that was called the "fattiest pastry in all of Europe" by the New York Times. For two cups of flour, you'll need about 11 tablespoons of butter which is, you know, a lot.
Teurgoule

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Flans pâtissier Basically, this is just a custard tart. What do our French friends call it?
Pot de crème
Flan pâtissier
Custard tarts, or flans pâtissier as they're known in France, are popular in numerous countries. The French versions are typically a little bigger around than a British one, but also thinner as well.
Financier
Pain aux raisins

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Profiterole You might know these little guys better as cream puffs. What are they?
Profiterole
Profiteroles are just little choux pastry balls filled with whipped cream, pastry cream or even ice cream if you're feeling fancy. If you want to go super nutty you can make a savory profiterole filled with meat or cheese.
St. Honoré cake
Calisson
Marjolaine

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Yule log What do you call this dessert that you bust out at Christmas?
Mousse
Norman Tart
Bûche de Noël
The Bûche de Noël, or Yule log, is a traditional Christmas dessert designed to look like a literal log for festive reasons. It's a sponge cake and the frosting is often chocolate. It's made as a roulade which means the cake is rolled so inside there can be either frosting or jam filling as well.
Pièce montée

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Canelé This little cake is flavored with rum and vanilla. Name it!
Crêpe Suzette
Canelé
There's a custard center in a canelé and the outside is caramelized to make it a little crunchy because who doesn't like a crunchy, caramelized crust? They come from the Bordeaux region of France and pair nicely with wine.
Norman Tart
Pralines

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Éclair You can find this famous French dessert in bakeries and supermarkets all across America. Tell us what it is.
Croquembouche
Fraisier
Café liégeois
Éclair
Eclairs may be the most famous French pastry in the world, or at least some of the most popular. They're choux paste piped full of cream and topped with chocolate, which is kind of perfect when you think about it.

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Mille-feuille The name of this dessert means "thousand sheets." Sound familiar?
Mille-feuille
The mille-feuille can be found in cookbooks as far back as the 16th century though its origins are unknown. It's made with puff pastry layered with pastry cream. It's usually about 5 layers, so the "thousand" part in the name is a bit of an exaggeration although the puff pastry can make it seem that way.
Coussin de Lyon
Petit four
Pièce montée

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Pain au chocolat Which dessert could be easily mistaken for a croissant?
Financier
Pain au chocolat
Pain au chocolat or "chocolate bread" in English is essentially made the same way you make a croissant, but it has some dark chocolate baked into the center of it.
Tuile
Pot de crème

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Paris–Brest This pastry was created to commemorate a bike race back in 1910. Tell us the name of it!
Mille-feuille
Gâteau à la broche
Poire à la Beaujolaise
Paris–Brest
Paris-Brest was created to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bike race, because what says physical fitness and bike racing quite like a hazelnut-cream filled pastry dessert?

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Religieuse Which dessert is designed to look like the pope's hat?
Pain au chocolat
Saint-Epvre
Religieuse
A religieuse is made of choux pastry cases piled on top of each other to look like the pope's mitre. The inside should be filled with custard and then you can decorate the outside of the dessert with chocolate or buttercream.
Teurgoule

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Savarin This cake was named for an 18th-century food writer. What is it?
Petit four
Savarin
A Savarin gets its name from writer Brillat-Savarin back in 1845. Savarin did not name it himself; rather it was named for him by a pair of pastry chef brothers named the Juliens. If you soak it in rum it becomes a rum baba.
Croustade
Canelé

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St. Honoré cake You can trace the roots of this dessert back to 1847 in Paris, France. Tell us what it's called.
Jesuite
Far Breton
Choux pastry
St. Honoré cake
Named for Saint Honore, the bishop of Amiens and the patron saint of bakers, the St. Honore Cake is puff pastry with choux paste on top and cream puffs attached to it. It's usually decorated with whipped cream using its very own St.Honore piping tip. Fancy!

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Tarte tropézienne Do you know this pastry that was named by actress Brigitte Bardot?
Tarte tropézienne
La Tarte de Saint-Tropez or the tarte tropézienne is a filled brioche that was made in 1955 by a pastry chef from Saint-Tropez. Word is Bardot was filming the movie "And God Created Woman" at the time when she named it.
Eclair
Croustade
Paris-Brest

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Viennoiserie The recipe for these desserts starts a lot like bread until some sweeter ingredients are added. What is it?
Coussin de Lyon
Viennoiserie
Viennoiserie is a catchall name for a family of baked goods basically, which includes things like croissants and turnovers. It's made with a yeast dough that you add cream and sugar and other ingredients to in order to fancy it up.
Macaron
Bugnes Lyonnaisses

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Pain aux raisins Which dessert goes by the less sweet-sounding name "escargot?
Pain aux raisins
Pain aux raisin is a breakfast pastry popular in France that is basically a croissant that was made with raisins. The type of dough it's made from, pastry in some cases or perhaps brioche in others, often depends on where it's being made.
Madeleine
Mont blanc
Ispahan

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Gâteau Basque Traditionally, the pattern carved into the top of this dessert tells you what's inside it. Do you know what it is?
Clafoutis
Mousse
Gâteau Basque
From the Basque region of France, a Gâteau Basque or Basque Cake can have a variety of fillings. If the filling is pastry cream, then there's traditionally a crosshatch design carved into the top. If it's black cherry jam then a Basque cross will be on top and so on.
Norman Tart

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Mont blanc Did they name this dessert after the pen or is the pen named after the dessert? Maybe it's neither! Name it!
Mont blanc
The mont blanc is made with chestnut cream and meringue and looks like a tiny little bird's nest with a candied nut nestled into the top of it if it's made properly. Dust it with a little powdered sugar to get that "blanc" part down.
Palmier
Crepe
Tarte tatin

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