How to Make Petit Fours Recipes

The French were the first to learn how to make petit fours recipes. This is a French word commonly referring to small bites of cake. Not as common, but it could also mean small pastries, even baked appetizers. Interesting to me is the plural for petit four which is “petits fours” with “s” on both words. (None that I know use that spelling.

How to Make Petit Fours RecipesHow to Make Petit Fours Recipes

This French word “petit four” comes from the old brick ovens in which they were baked back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After the main baking was finished, these little cakes or pastries could bake quickly utilizing the heat while cooling down. Long before the name became main stream in the United States, most referred to this type of food as a “mini” or “bite size”.

It has only been in the last four decades that Americans have learned how to make petit fours recipes. This was after these pretty little cakes started appearing in bakeries across our country. I remember when my daughter, Kelly spotted them as a little girl in our local bakery. I had to buy her one with a pink little rose on top. She has loved them ever since that time.

Today the way bakers have learned how to make petit fours recipes is quite different from those early times. I do not know what they baked them in back then which enabled the cakes to bake so quickly. I am assuming the batter had to bake in small molds to finish while the oven was cooling. Today, we mostly bake these little bites in large sheet pans. After the baking and cooling we cut little pieces in all kinds of shapes and designs.
TIP: Cut shapes and decorate for wedding showers like cakes, wedding dresses, invitations or rings.
TIP: Cut shapes and decorate for baby showers a baby’s foot, bib, shirt, diaper or baby toys.

Many have learned how to make petit fours recipes to serve at weddings. They are very popular for parties, wedding and baby showers, anniversary parties, birthdays and all kinds of special occasions. The cakes can be made with any of your favorite cake recipes. Since the cakes are so small, pouring a thinner icing over the cakes is best and less time consuming. There are many different icing recipes for this and they can be made in any flavor you like. These little cakes can be decorated with icing flowers, chocolate chips, nuts, candies, toasted coconut, candied fruit or numerous other ingredients.

When learning how to make petit fours recipes with pastry, the ideas are endless. This type makes delicious savory appetizers to serve at your parties. Your guests will love them when you cut puff pastry into pretty designs and filled with cheese fillings. Cream cheese and others or combinations of cheeses make great fillings. Chopped pimiento, green pepper, chives and various herbs add flavor to the cheeses. Also chopped ham, bacon, beef and other meats are often added to the cheeses. Simply use your imagination when making recipes for petit four appetizers.

NOTE: When you learn how to make petit fours recipes, you might want to cut some in hearts, shamrocks or other designs with cookie cutters. When you cut the cake or pastry like this, you will have extra pieces of cake or baked dough left. I utilize this by making crumbs. I put the cake crumbs in a plastic bag, label it and store in the freezer. Cake crumbs are good for cheesecake crusts, to add to puddings, trifles and other recipes. Likewise, I also freeze other baked pastry dough. You will be amazed at how good these crumbs are in soups, stews, salads and other recipes.

NOTE: After cutting petit fours, freezing them slightly makes them easier to frost. If you are learning how to make petit fours recipes, use a small brush to brush away crumbs before frosting.

NOTE: When learning how to make petit fours recipes, you can also brush the cakes with melted jelly to prevent crumbs from interfering with the icing.


Vanilla Petits FoursVanilla Petits Fours

Learn how to make petit fours recipes with egg whites, vanilla and almond extract?

  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • ¼ Cup solid white shortening
  • 1 ¼ Cups sugar (Divided)
  • ¾ Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Cups cake flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ Cup milk
  • ¾ Cup egg whites

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Grease and line 9X12 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
Thoroughly cream together the butter, shortening, 1 CUP sugar and vanilla.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
Gradually beat flour mixture into creamed mixture alternating with milk.
Beat egg whites until frothy; gradually beat in ¼ CUP sugar.
Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold egg whites into batter spread into prepared pan.
Bake for 40 minutes until pick comes out clean; cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan and cool completely.
Cut cake into squares, rounds, triangles or other shapes.
Frost with any powdered sugar frosting made thin enough to spread easily.
NOTE: If desired tint with pastel colors; decorate with nuts, candy, etc.


Brownie Petits Fours RecipeBrownie Petits Fours Recipe

Learn how to make petit fours recipes with chocolate and coffee. This very delicious cake recipe has no added sugar (other than the chocolate chips) and only 2 tablespoons of flour. If you need to avoid sugar, eliminate the glaze.


  • 1 Package (6 Ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Teaspoons Instant coffee granules
  • 1/3 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Tablespoon coffee liqueur
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 Eggs (Separated)
  • 2/3 Cup pecans (Finely ground)
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon cream of tartar

Coffee Glaze

  • ½ Cup butter
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 Cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Grease and flour BOTTOM only of 8X8 inch cake pan.
Combine in top of double boiler chocolate and coffee.
Place over hot (Not boiling) water; stir until smooth.
Remove from heat; scrape into large mixing bowl with rubber spatula.
Add butter, liqueur and vanilla to the chocolate; mix well.
Beat in the egg YOLKS just until combined; add pecans and flour.
In a small mixing bowl combine egg WHITES and cream of tartar.
Beat with clean beaters until stiff peaks form.
Fold ¼ CUP of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture.
Gently fold remaining WHITES into the chocolate mixture.
Spread batter into prepared pan; bake for 30 minutes.
Cool for 1 hour; remove from pan to cool completely.
Cut cake into 36 squares; place on wire rack over tray.
FOR GLAZE combine in saucepan the butter, water and coffee.
Heat until coffee dissolves and butter melts; remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla; gradually stir in the powdered sugar mixing well.
Spoon glaze over squares to coat; dry on wire rack.
Chill until set and decorate as desired; makes 36.


How to make petit fours recipes with white cake?


  • 2 Cups PLUS 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
  • 1 ½ Cups sugar
  • 3 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup solid white shortening
  • 1 Cup milk
  • ¼ Teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ Teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 Egg whites (Unbeaten)

Butter Frosting

  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ Teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 Cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 Egg white (Unbeaten)
  • 3 to 6 Tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Grease and line with parchment paper a jelly roll pan (15X11 inches).
Sift together in large mixing bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add shortening, milk, vanilla and almond; beat 2 minutes on medium speed.
Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula.
Add egg whites and beat for 2 minutes scrapping the bowl.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan; bake 20 minutes until pick is clean.
Cool cake; cut into oblongs, squares, circles, diamonds or any shape.
FOR FROSTING cream butter, vanilla and almond together.
Gradually beat in sugar until creamy; add egg white beating until fluffy.
Blend in enough cream to get desired spreading consistency.
Spread tops and sides with butter frosting; decorate as desired.


Learn how to make petit fours recipes for special holidays.


  • 4 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • ¾ Cup flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Jar (10 Ounces) apple jelly

Almond Paste

  • 1 Cup ground almonds
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon almond extract

Sugar Icing

  • 1 Pound powdered sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Drops red food coloring
  • For Decorating:
  • Candied cherries, dragees, candied flowers, nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
FOR CAKE grease and line 15 ½ X 10 ½ inch jelly roll pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Beat eggs in mixing bowl on high speed until foamy.
Gradually sprinkle the sugar into egg while beating.
Continue beating about 7 minutes until a pale yellow.
On low speed beat in the flour mixture; beat in the almond.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan; bake 20 minutes.
NOTE: Cake will spring back when finger touch when done.
Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert and peel off paper and cool completely.
Melt apple jelly in a saucepan; brush jelly over cake.
Cut cake in HALF CROSSWISE making 2 cakes (10 ½ X 7 ¾ inches).
FOR ALMOND PASTE mix almonds, sugar, yolk, juice and almond in bowl.
Sprinkle work surface with powdered sugar; turn out onto surface.
With sugar coated hands knead mixture until smooth and not sticky.
Between 2 sheets of wax paper roll almond paste to 10 ½ to 7 ¾ inches.
Peel off top paper; invert onto 1 of the cake halves and peel off paper.
Top almond paste with other cake half with GLAZED SIDE DOWN; press firmly.
Cut lengthwise into 6 strips (1 ¼ inches wide); cut each strip into 5 pieces.
Brush cut sides of pieces with remaining jelly; place on wire rack over pan.
FOR ICING combine and mix all ingredients until smooth.
Spoon icing over cakes until all are covered.
NOTE: Scrape up drippings and return to the bowl. Mix well adding ½ teaspoon of water if needed.
When icing has dried, decorate as desired; makes 30.


Learn how to make petit fours recipes with toasted peanuts.

  • 1 Loaf angel food cake (8 Ounces)


  • 2 Teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • ¼ Cup hot water
  • ½ Cup PLUS 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 Pound powdered sugar (Sifted)
  • 3 Cups toasted peanuts (Coarsely chopped)

Slice angel food cake into 2 layers; cut each layer into 10 squares (1 ¼ inches).
FOR FROSTING dissolve coffee granules in hot water; set aside.
Cream butter on medium speed of mixer; gradually beat in 1/3 of the sugar.
Add 2 tablespoons of coffee mixture; beat in remaining sugar until blended.
Gradually beat in remaining coffee mixture until spreading consistency.
Spread a thin layer of frosting on sides and top of cake squares; makes 20.


Learn how to make petit fours recipes with chocolate ganache.


  • ¾ Cup softened butter
  • 2 Cans (8 Ounces) almond paste
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 ½ Cups flour
  • 1 Can (12 Ounces) apricot filling

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 ½ Cups whipping cream
  • 24 Squares (1 Ounce each) semi sweet chocolate (Chop)
  • 6 Ounces melted white chocolate

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Grease bottom and sides of 2 jelly roll pans (15X10 each); line with parchment.
FOR CAKE beat butter and almond paste on medium speed until creamy.
Gradually beat in the sugar; beat in eggs one at a time.
Stir in the flour; spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes; cool in pans on wire racks.
Turn one cake out onto a flat surface; remove parchment paper.
Spread cake with apricot filling; top with second cake removing parchment.
Cut with 1 ½ inch round cutter; place rounds on wire rack over tray.
FOR CHOCOLATE GANACHE beat cream in heavy saucepan over low heat.
Add chocolate stirring until smooth; top tops and sides of cakes with warm ganache.
Scoop up ganach which drips to the pan; stir and reheat to finish cakes.
Chill cakes 10 minutes to firm ganache; decorate with melted white chocolate.


Learn how to make petit fours recipes with mini chocolate chips and chocolate glaze.


  • 2/3 Cup softened butter
  • 1 ½ Cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 ¼ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons marshmallow cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Line jelly roll pan (15X10 inch) with foil; grease foil.
FOR CAKE cream butter, sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition.
Combine flour baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk.
Beat mixture until smooth; stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan; bake 20 to 25 minutes until tests done.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan, remove foil and cool completely.
Cut cake into 1 ½ inch shapes; place shapes on a wire rack over a tray.
FOR GLAZE combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to boil.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted.
Blend in marshmallow cream and enough hot water for pouring consistency.
Spoon glaze over cakes to cover.
NOTE: Scoop up drippings and reheat over water if more glaze is needed to finish cakes.
Let cakes set until glaze firms up; decorate with chips, candied fruit or decorative frosting.
Makes about 5 ½ dozen.