Here are the best French pastry cookbooks (“les livres de pâtisserie française”) by the most famous French pastry chefs! Being French, I love to bake (and savor) good French pastries (“pâtisseries”) and desserts. But I know the art of French pastry making can also be intimidating sometimes, with its complex creations —such as croissants, Éclairs, Saint-Honoré, Opéra. That is why you probably may need a little guidance when baking French pastries at home.
So, in today’s post, we’ll go through a selection of the best French pastry cookbooks (ordered by release dates), selected for both their mouthwatering recipes and easy-to-follow instructions and geared for amateur home chefs or more experienced pâtissiers.
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1. Laduree: The Sweet Recipes, Philippe Andrieu (2011)
In Laduree: The Sweet Recipes, Philippe Andrieu —the Pastry Chef at Ladurée— reveals 100 of the most famous Ladurée recipes. From the Strawberry Cake with Rose Choux Pastry to Pistachio Financiers and the world-famous macaroons in all their variety, if you’re a fan of the world-famous Ladurée tea shop, then this French pastry book is a must!
Did you know? “The story of Ladurée started in 1862 when Louis Ernest Ladurée opened a bakery in the heart of Paris at 16, rue Royale. Ladurée’s rise to fame came in 1930 when his grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, had the original idea of the double-decker, sticking two macaron shells together with a creamy ganache as filling.”—Source: Wikipedia
2. Pastries, Pierre Hermé (2012)
In his book Pastries, the couturier of pastry Pierre Hermé shares his 100 tried-and-tested recipes for the great classics of French pastry and other definitive desserts from around the world. Pierre Hermé’s mastery of technique and talent for combining textures and flavors have earned him the reputation as one of the world’s most skilled and inventive pastry chefs. This book is not recommended for beginners, but if you’ve been baking for a while and want to take home baking a step further, this book is a must!
3. Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry, Christophe Felder (2013)
With Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry, all the classics of French patisserie are made accessible for the home cook. In this book, for each of the 233 recipes, 3,500 step-by-step photographs will help you through every step of the instructions. You’ll learn all the techniques and the nuances of French pastry, how to do the important base components like crème patisserie, pâte à choux, and chocolate ganache before tackling the famous and more complex creations—such as Éclairs, Saint-Honoré, Opéra.
4. The Pâtisserie of Dreams, Philippe Conticini (2014)
After receiving several awards and working in Michelin-starred restaurants, Philippe Conticini cofounded and became head pastry chef of the Pâtisserie des Rêves, a patisserie with outlets in France, Japan, and the UK. In his book, La Pâtisserie des Rêves (translating literally as “The Patisserie of Dreams”), he shares over 70 recipes of his signature pastries, including the traditional Saint Honoré and Paris-Brest.
5. Macarons: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier, Pierre Hermé (2015)
Macarons include more than 60 elegantly photographed recipes of one of the most coveted, sought-after desserts: the macaron. From classic recipes such as vanilla and chocolate (see the Infinitely Chocolate Macaron recipe) to more original flavor combinations like cucumber and tangerine or wasabi cream and strawberry, Macarons is definitely the ultimate guide to macarons!
6. Patisserie at Home, Mélanie Dupuis and Anne Cazor (2016)
In Patisserie at Home, the pâtissière Melanie Dupuis and molecular gastronomist Anne Cazor demystify the art of French baking for home cooks. From the fundamental base recipes for pastry dough and fillings techniques for mastering chocolate and transforming sugar to the most famous French pastries and desserts, this cookbook features 100 easy-to-master recipes to help home cooks create the perfect dessert.
7. French Patisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques, Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts (2017)
Ferrandi is the French School of Culinary Arts in Paris and is the ultimate pastry-making reference! French Patisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques —written by the school’s experienced teaching team of master pâtissiers— provides all of the fundamental techniques and recipes that are explained step by step in text and images. It also features advice on how to equip your kitchen and the essential dough, fillings, and decorations. This pastry cookbook covers everything from quick desserts to holiday specialties, ice creams, sorbets, and chocolates.
8. Fruit: The Art of Pastry, Cédric Grolet (2017)
Cédric Grolet is one of his generation’s most talented pastry chefs —he was named World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2018! He’s recognized for his trompe l’oeil pieces that appear to be the most perfect fruit but are, once cut, revealed to be exquisite pastries with surprising fillings. In his book Fruit: The Art of Pastry, the chef explains his techniques and search for authentic tastes and reveals 130 recipes featuring 45 fruits.
9. Encyclopedia of Chocolate, Frédéric Bau (2018)
Frédéric Bau is the founder of L’École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona and a great figure in world pastry. In his book Encyclopedia of Chocolate: Essential Recipes and Techniques, the chef presents everything the amateur or professional baker needs to learn about cooking with chocolate: 100 fundamental techniques and more than 100 recipes explained step-by-step. Recipes include great classics like Black Forest cake and profiteroles, tarts, shared delights, teatime treats, iced desserts, and more.
10. French Pastry at the Ritz Paris, François Perret (2020)
François Perret has been the award-winning pastry chef of the legendary Ritz Hotel in Paris since 2015 and the Ritz Paris Le Comptoir. In his book French Pastry at the Ritz Paris, the chef reveals the recipes of his best creations! From the famous honey madeleine or the Poire BelleHélène en cage to the marble cake, Perret writes about his inspiration for his top ten creations and five haute pâtisserie desserts. A must-have pastry book if you’re a Ritz Hotel Paris pâtisseries fan!
11. Opera Patisserie, Cédric Grolet (2020)
Opera Patisserie coincides with the opening of Cédric Grolet’s new boulangerie-pâtisserie shop in the Opéra district in the heart of Paris. With this book, the chef returns to the essentials with a collection of hearty and accessible French recipes. From croissant to mille-feuille, from Tarte Tatin to éclairs, the book features 100 fully illustrated desserts we all love. It’s definitely one of my favorite French pastry cookbooks!
12. French Pastries and Desserts by Lenôtre (2021)
Gaston Lenôtre, the legendary French master pâtissier, was recognized for having made desserts lighter and more delicious. In this new edition of the cult cookbook —first published in English in 1977— French Pastries and Desserts by Lenôtre, the chefs at Lenôtre Paris reveal 200 essential French pâtisserie recipes adapted for amateur bakers and experienced professionals alike.
13. The Ultimate Book of Chocolate, Mélanie Dupuis (2021)
The Ultimate Book of Chocolate is a masterclass in making chocolate desserts from an expert pastry chef! In this book, Melanie Dupuis will take you through all the different varieties of chocolate you will be working with, as all the other basic ingredients are required. You’ll learn the various techniques from tempering to making ganache, chocolate mousse, creme Anglaise, biscuit bases, meringue, and more. Also, this book includes every chocolate dessert you could ever imagine.
14. Reasoned Gourmandise, Frédéric Bau (2021)
Frédéric Bau was the first pastry chef to speak of “gourmandise raisonnée” (reasoned gourmandise) as an antidote not against sugar or butter but against excess. In his pastry book Reasoned Gourmandise, the pastry chef explores the foundations of a new, healthy, virtuous patisserie. From Paris-Brest to lemon pie and fruit soufflé to the entremets Squarely chocolate, the chef reveals 60 tasty recipes and a repertoire of essential preparations.
15. Flowers, Cédric Grolet (2022)
Flowers is Cédric Grolet’s latest book of haute-cuisine pastry entirely devoted to flowers. Through this book, the chef combines gourmet recipes with the artistry of piping to create original cakes and tarts in the shape of flowers. Discover more than 80 recipes for cakes, tarts, and entremets, presented by season, in a wide range of edible flowers. These recipes are simple and can be made with minimal equipment—a pastry bag and tip is sufficient.
The Best Pastry Cookbooks French Edition
- 20 ans de pâtisserie, Christophe Michalak (French Edition, 2020)
- Infiniment macaron, Pierre Hermé (French Edition, 2020)
- La pâtisserie de Yann Couvreur (French Edition, 2017)
- La Pâtisserie de Cyril Lignac (French Edition, 2017)
- Scandaleusement Décadent, Bernard Laurance (French edition, 2020)
Et voilà! I hope this guide to the best French pastry cookbooks will give you a little guidance to bake the most delicious French pastries at home. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.
Bonjour and bienvenue (welcome) to Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. My name is Leonce, and I’m originally from Annecy, France. I created Leonce Chenal to share my love for France and the French art de vivre (the art of living) with you. I genuinely hope my enthusiasm for this beautiful country encourages you to experience its wonders for yourself. Merci for visiting. Bien à vous, Leonce.