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Pâtisserie shop in France

Photo: Welleschik via wikimedia.org


There's no need to go to Paris and breathe longingly on every cake shop window. Make your own patisserie at home with these jaw-dropping recipes. Waistlines, you have been warned.

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Translated as 'a thousand leaves' (referring to the zillion layers in the puff pastry) millefeuille are great fun to make – if you use shop-bought pastry. Flavour your crème patisserie with a touch of vanilla extract and use a toothpick to create the feather pattern in the glaze. Lush.

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Chocolate dome cakes

OK, OK. We know it doesn't look possible to make these chocolate domes but trust us, it is. And inside, gosh – just wait until you see what's inside …

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An undisputed delicacy in France, these speciality cakes are traditionally made with beeswax. Ask the French to mind their own and follow this recipe sans strange ingredient. Merci!

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Opéra gateau

Coffee-drunken layers of soft sponge sandwiched with dreamy ganache and melt-in-the-mouth French buttercream. Excuse me but you've got chocolate all over your mouth.

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Pineapple and coconut macaroons

Photo: Martin Poole


Pineapple and coconut macaroons

You'll need to be quick if you want to catch one of these exotic beauties – as soon as they come out of the oven, they're practically an endangered species.

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Photo: Seven


Classic éclairs

Now this is what we call a tempting prospect – just look at that slathering of chocolate ganache! This easy éclair recipe makes eight and they're best eaten on the day. Shame that. 

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Lemon madeleines

Photo: acupofmai.com


Lemon madeleines

When life gives you lemons … forget the lemonade. Lemon madeleines are so much better! Finally we understand what Proust was on about. He described them as "a little shell of cake, so generously sensual beneath the piety of its stern pleating …" Ooh er.

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Mini double chocolate berry cakes

For those who love chocolate desserts … and fruity desserts … and can never make their mind up. Ladies and gentleman, this one's for you.

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Earl grey profiteroles

These delicate choux pastry buns are filled to bursting with Earl Grey-infused crème patisserie, then dressed to the nines in tonka bean chocolate, honeyed figs and dried cornflowers. Style and substance all in one fell swoop – what a rare combination.

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Tarte aux fraises

Chocolate-biscuit pastry, strawberry puree and a secret layer of pistachio cream … That's enough. We can't bear this looking-and-not-eating malarkey anymore.

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Mont Blanc

And to finish on a high? Make that a Mont Blanc sugar high of chestnut mousse, chantilly cream, confiture de cassis (watch it – it stains!) and icing sugar snow. Great view from over here!