Holiday Recipe Ideas: Petit Fours

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Petit Fours

Petit Fours are small cakes.  The name literally translates to “small oven” which refers to the manner in which they were prepared in the 18th century when they originated in France. They were baked in a small oven next to the large bread oven using coals that were fading but still hot enough to bake small cakes and cookies.

The cakes take some time and patience  – so plan accordingly.

I resurrected this recipe for our family Holiday party.  They are a cake lovers dream!

Buon Appetito!

Holiday Petit Fours
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
Darling and elegant little cakes that make a Holiday buffet special!
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1⅓ cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
    Decorator Frosting
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 - 4 Tbsp. milk
  • red and green food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in vanilla and beat to incorporate.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Add to creamed mixture - alternating with the milk. Beat well after each addition. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter until completely incorporated.
  4. Pour batter into a well-greased 9" square pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.
  6. Cut sides off of cake and cut into 1¼" squares or 1¼" x 2" rectangles.
  7. Combine glaze ingredients in a large bowl. Beat slowly to combine. Beat on high speed to make smooth.
  8. Put cakes on a rack on top of a sheet pan. Drip glaze over each cake with a spoon, sealing completely. Do not touch the cakes with your spoon as it will attract crumbs.
  9. Allow to partially dry to add fondant flowers or colored sugar. Dry completely to decorate with decorator frosting.
    Decorator Frosting
  10. Cream the butter, shortening, and vanilla together in a small bowl with a hand mixer.
  11. Beat in the sugar and 3 Tbsp. of milk, adding another, if necessary.
  12. Divide frosting into separate bowls and color one with red food coloring, the other with green food coloring.
  13. Fill pastry bags fitted with desired tips and decorate your petit fours as desired.


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