16 French Desserts For Bastille Day That Are Surprisingly Easy To Make

As a self-proclaimed Francophile, I am obviously very excited for Bastille Day, which is on July 14. I'll take any excuse to celebrate French culture, and there's no better day to do that than the French version of the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, I can't be in France to participate in the parades and celebrations, but that doesn't mean I can't make New York feel like France... with French desserts.

There is a lot to get excited about when it comes to French culture and history... namely the food. No matter how you feel about the European country, you have to hand it to them — the French know how to make dessert. From creamy custards to fruit tarts to sweet pastries, every item is decadent and delicious. The good news is that most of them are also a lot easier to make than you would think. So instead of dropping cash at a French bakery, try making your own. Enjoy these 16 French desserts that are surprisingly easy to make on Bastille Day, or really, any day of the year.

Creme Brulee

Thanks to the burnt sugar topping, creme brulee seems really intimidating to make. It’s actually not that difficult though. Actually, the top is probably the easiest part! This is one of the more simple recipes out there, and is guaranteed to produce a crowd-pleaser.

Image and recipe: Averie Cooks

Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a traditional French dessert that is made of baked fruit covered in a thick batter similar to flan, dusted with powdered sugar, and then served warm. It’s traditionally made with black cherries, but you can play around with it. This recipes uses lemons and blueberries, and it really could not be more simple.

Image and recipe: Food Doodles

Cream Puffs

Cream puffs are a traditional French pastry stuffed with whipped cream, pastry cream, or custard. They are delicious and a total delight to look at and eat. Cream puffs look intimidating, because all pastries do, but they really aren’t that hard to make. Just make a huge batch so you have these for a while!

Image and recipe: A Pretty Life In The Suburbs

Pain d'épices

The name of this dessert sounds scary because it’s in French, but it’s actually just a basic spice bread — it’s basically like gingerbread. This spiced bread is popular for the holidays, but you can eat it whenever because it’s delicious. It’s also really simple (and great for breakfast!).

Image and recipe: Anula’s Kitchen

Madeleines

Madeleines are a little French cake/cookie type of deal. They’re really simple, but they’re a classic, and sometimes it’s nice to just have something easy and delicious. I’ve made these before, and it was so easy. The hardest part was finding a madeleine pan (Williams-Sonoma, obviously)!

Image and recipe: The Kitchn

Eclairs

Eclairs are definitely one of the most popular French desserts out there. If you don’t already know, it’s a pastry filled with cream and topped with chocolate icing, and it’s incredible. While this might take you a while to make, it’s not the hardest dessert you’ll ever put together.

Image and recipe: Let The Baking Begin

Croissants

If you don’t know what a croissant is, then I feel really sad for you, and also confused. These flakey, buttery pastries are so incredible, and are good served at any time of the day. You can take the super easy way out and make these with already-made puff pastry, or you can go the serious DIY way and make them from scratch. It’s not that difficult, and it’s very rewarding.

Image and recipe: Half-Baked Harvest

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies are super popular, so you may not have realized that they’re a popular French dessert (although they originated in Scotland). This recipe uses only three ingredients!

Image and recipe: The Comfort Of Cooking

Crème Fraîche

Creme fraiche is a soured cream that sounds and looks very fancy, but is actually just a European version of sour cream. The French language tends to do that to things. Anyway, creme fraiche is super easy to make and it’s a great thing to know how to put together. It’s delicious with fresh fruit or on top of a pie.

Image and recipe: Food and Style

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is a classic, and if you want to learn how to make any French dessert, I think it should be this one. This recipe isn’t difficult, and you’ll find it hard to stop eating.

Image and recipe: Brown-Eyed Baker

Palmiers

Palmiers are a French pastry that are sometimes also known as “elephant ears.” Can’t you see why?! I went to Spain a few months ago, and for some reason, these were popular. I couldn’t stop eating them because OMG they’re so good. Luckily, they are also surprisingly easy to make.

Image and recipe: The Kitchn

Apple Tarte Tatin

A tarte tatin is basically an upside down pastry with caramelized apples. It’s SO good. This recipe uses four ingredients (four!), and will make you so happy.

Image and recipe: The Comfort Of Cooking

Macarons

Macarons have a reputation for being super difficult to make. Maybe they can be, but this recipe promises to be one of easiest ones out there. Hey, it’s worth a shot!

Image and recipe: Bravetart

Custard

Custard is clearly very popular in French desserts. It’s typically used as a filling for pastries, but you can also just eat custard plain if you want. This recipe is really easy and helpful.

Image and recipe: The Kitchn

Crepes

Crepes seem hard because they’re very thin and they look so elegant and fancy. But they’re not! Crepes are essentially thin pancakes. They’re made the same way, except they’re just a little more delicate. The best thing about them is that you can add whatever you want. This recipe uses whipped mascarpone and blood orange compote for so much deliciousness.

Image and recipe: Half-Baked Harvest

Soufflé

OK, I’ll be honest: a souffle is not the easiest thing you’ll ever make. It can be a little scary to make, actually. But who says you can’t try?! This recipe gives easy instructions for raspberry souffle, and it’s not hard to follow.

Image and recipe: Blogging Over Thyme