Petit Fours

by Gretchen Price on September 22, 2013

Post image for Petit Fours

These fanciful little cakes that literally translated from French means, “Small Oven”
Well, you know what they say sometimes it gets “lost in the translation” because I often refer to them as petite cakes or small French finger cakes.
I suppose you would need a small oven to make such a small cake, but not where I come from! At Woodland Bakery we use a giant oven to make hundreds of dozens of these little gems at a time!

I know that they may seem intimidating at first glance. But watch how simple I demystify the making of the Petit Four in just minutes!
You will of course need to have your Mise en Place together ahead of time, such as Golden Vanilla Cake and Buttercream recipe prepared.

But once you have that ready, you are half way home!

For 6 dozen Petit Fours
Yes it’s a lot, but you can freeze the cake part so nicely (for up to 3 months WELL WRAPPED) and you can have Petit Fours at your fingertips ANYTIME!
You will need:

1 Recipe Golden Vanilla Cake
1/2 Recipe Swiss Buttercream

Bake the cake recipe in 2- 1/2 Sheet Pans so you will have 2- very thin layers of cake. Be sure to use parchment paper liners in the bottom of each pan to ensure a proper release without cracking your cake

Assembling the Petit Four:
Once the cake layers have cooled completely, remove one of them carefully from the pan by inverting it onto a large cutting board or something similar in size to avoid breakage. (another empty sheet pan would also work)
Remove the parchment paper from the cake layer and then re-invert back INTO THE SAME CAKE PAN THAT IT BAKED IN.
Now you will spread half of the buttercream over the cake layer as even as possible and place the second cake layer over top of the buttercream.
Press firmly.
Spread a very thin layer of buttercream over the top layer and place the entire sheet pan in the freezer or the refrigerator to firm up. Approximately 30 minutes.
**At this point you may store the Petit Four Sheet in the freezer wrapped with plastic wrap for up to 1 month.

Next you are ready to ice with Poured Fondant Icing
Prepare the entire recipe if you plan to ice the whole 3 dozen petit fours at once, or you may prepare HALF recipe if you are only icing a small amount.
Watch the video that follows to see how to ice and decorate Professional Bakery Style Petit Fours in just minutes!

The difficult thing about using the Poured Fondant Icing, is that you cannot refrigerate these little cakes. Poured fondant has a natural tendency to dissolve in the humid conditions of a refridge. But you can store the Petit Fours in an airtight container in a COOL room temperature for up to 4 days.

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy Smith July 27, 2014 at 3:38 am

Hello Gretchen! Than you for sharing your recipes.They look scrumptious! I really enjoyed your tutorial for the petite fours on YouTube.I use tutorials for many things and some folks ramble on so.You are fun to watch and you get right to the point….creating wonderful baked goodies! If ever you tire of your bakery,you could always teach,you’d be excellent at it!

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Gretchen Price July 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Thank you so much for the comment, its funny that I get so many comments from people telling me to shut up stop talking and GET to the POINT! hahaha
Thanks! Glad you are enjoying!

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Ann Marie July 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Hi Gretchen, Thank you for sharing your recipes with us! I have a question about making this ahead of time. Can I make the cake, ice the center and freeze it? and how long will it last in the freezer? (then add the fondant icing when I am ready) Thank you :)

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Gretchen Price July 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

yes you can, up to a month wrapped well

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Eina July 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Hi Gretchen!
Can I use ganache instead of poured fondant icing? I was thinking of dipping some of them in milk chocolate and then drizzling them with white and vice versa. Good? Can I store them at room temperature when they are done?

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Gretchen Price July 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Yes you can use ganache and you can store at room temp for a day or two, just not HOT temperatures

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Maggie Henry July 3, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Total happy dance! Just found out you are in the next town over from my kidsin Madison. I will get to visit your shop at the end of the month! Do you ever do classes? Your you tubes are awesome, how in the world do you keep from nibbling ?

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Gretchen Price July 4, 2014 at 12:27 am

YAY! I do not do classes YET, but plan to in the future!
Haha, I nibble EVERYDAY! Its a nightmare!

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Heather June 28, 2014 at 2:01 am

Hi Gretchen! Came across this recipes as I’ve been in search of a good one for my daughters 2nd birthday, to which I believe having smaller portions would be great for little hands. My question to you is – The cake, can you substitute the vanilla extract for another flavor? Only reason I ask, is I know some don’t believe you should in certain recipes. Thanks!

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Gretchen Price June 28, 2014 at 2:17 am

Sure you can use any flavoring you like

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Molly June 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Thank you so much for posting this blog. And this petit four recipe! I am doing petit fours for my girlfriends baby shower in 2 days. I have the cakes all done and am just wondering about the poured fondant. I tried one other recipe which was a total fail cause it set up so incredibly fast. I tried adding a little more water to thin it out and it left the ones that I iced after a little sticky to the touch. I was using a cooked poured fondant where you take it to soft ball stage and then let it come down in temp before whipping it in the food processor. So i guess my question is. With your recipe you say to just add water to get it to the correct consistency but will this leave them feeling sticky afterwards? You also said you would make it a little runnier for petit fours because they should be sheer? will this affect how it hardens as well? thanks so much!

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Gretchen Price June 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm

adding water will thin it for you if it is too thick, so no it doesn’t change it, unless you add too much in which case it will drip all over and barely cover the cake.

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Ann June 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Hello,

So if I use pound cake instead and bake it thin in two sheet pans instead of one, will the recipe still taste alright?

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Gretchen Price June 4, 2014 at 11:46 pm

yes

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Jen May 26, 2014 at 4:19 am

What brand of food dye do you use?

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Gretchen Price May 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm

chefmaster gel paste

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Jen June 18, 2014 at 2:29 am

Thank you! :)

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Jen June 18, 2014 at 2:32 am

Is there a difference between Cheftmaster and AmeriColor?

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Gretchen Price June 19, 2014 at 12:29 am

in Brand Yes, but I find they are very close to each other, I use both

Jolene May 7, 2014 at 2:42 am

Hi, I am making petit fours for a tea party for 150 people. From your previous comments and your comment on the tutorial about your girlfriends cake in the freezer….it’s not ok to put them in the refrigerator , but it’s ok to freeze them after icing them with the poured fondant?

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Gretchen Price May 7, 2014 at 2:47 am

Hi There, I have not had great experience in freezing these after they have been iced, the condensation will melt the icing and you will have a terrible mess…however maybe your freezer was magical, or she ate them before they had time to get ugly!

Since the icing sugar is so sensitive to humidity, it is wise to make a test with one or two and see how your fridge reacts, since everyones experience may be different.
I have 1 fridge at the bakery that is very dry. I can store the petit fours with no trouble. ALL My other fridges melt the icing and they are a drippy mess

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Jolene May 17, 2014 at 1:14 am

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will heed your warning.

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Josie April 11, 2014 at 3:18 am

Hello again…one more ? For the petit fours do you ever make them
With preserves instead of buttercream??

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Gretchen Price April 11, 2014 at 4:21 am

Yes you can do that

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Josie April 11, 2014 at 3:10 am

Wen you say 1 recipe for the sponge ..does that mean 1 recipe for the half sheets, in others words 2 recipes total?

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Gretchen Price April 11, 2014 at 4:24 am

1 recipe of cake
excepted from the blog:
Bake the cake recipe in 2- 1/2 Sheet Pans so you will have 2- very thin layers of cake

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Molly April 10, 2014 at 2:50 am

Will the buttercream inside and the poured fondant stand up to high temps and humidity? I want to serve at my outdoor wedding in June in the South. Any suggestions?

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Gretchen Price April 10, 2014 at 7:41 pm

As with anything in those temperatures,you must be careful on how to handle and store.
But I have had no trouble here in hot humid NJ

Just be sure to keep them cold until the party starts .

**I may have mentioned it is not great to refrigerate the petite four because the humidity from the refridge will melt the icing, but you will have to keep these cold, so do a test batch and keep them in the fridge for a day to be sure your particular fridge is not super humid

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Karen April 9, 2014 at 11:26 am

Hey Gretchen
What cake do you prefer to use for the petit fours, Frangipan or the Golden Vanilla Butter cake? I have a 13″x18″ pan How much batter will I need, how long to bake it? Where can I find the Frangipan recipe? I need to make 2 cake and place on e on top of the other right? Thank you for your time!!

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Gretchen Price April 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm
Karen April 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

I seen some people dip the pettier fours rather than pour the fondant. My question is how do you get it off the fork without messin up the fondant? Im goin to try your way and see how I make out Thank You

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Gretchen Price April 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Yes, I have seen many dipping them as well. I guess you should see which way works best for you then stick with that

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Kim Martin April 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Hi,
I was just wanting some tips and tricks for making these petit fours please and thanks in advance can’t wait to hear back from you :)

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Gretchen Price April 2, 2014 at 1:59 am

Sure, watch the video, it is step by step instruction…no tricks

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Fernanda March 30, 2014 at 4:53 am

Hi,

I would like to make one layer only. Which size pan should I use? Sorry I’m totally new on that:)
And also, can I make any cake? Maybe replace the oil for butter so the cake will be firm?

Thanks!

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Gretchen Price March 30, 2014 at 3:31 pm

HI there,
You can use any cake recipe you wish, half the recipe and use a smaller pan
It depends which recipe you are using as far as switching butter and oil, so please read WHAT IS CAKE before you begin

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Karen March 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Hi Gretchen
My question is where can I buy the sheet pans that you use for the Petit Fours? I have the 12″ x18′ – 2′ also 11′x18′ – 2′ cake pans will they work?? What size pastry bag do you use all the time I see it is bigger than what I use. Thank You for being so patient with me!!

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Gretchen Price March 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

I use everything here in the XL KIT everyday.
Its an 18″ bag, and you can actually buy just the bag here in the Woodie Store.
Sheet Pan HERE

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Kristi St. Pierre March 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm

I’ve only seen the store bought prerolled fondant. Since I’m completely new to this I assumed that they had one that you would melt to use for petite fours. But now that you have explained things I think I completely understand !! Thank you!!

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Kristi St. Pierre March 2, 2014 at 3:52 am

I’ve only seen the ready rolled fondant in the store. I thought maybe they had one you melted.. I didn’t see the recipe but will go look!! Thank you !!

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Kristi St. Pierre March 1, 2014 at 11:36 pm

I did watch the video and got a lot of helpful tips! I’ve never made petite fours before but have eaten then and LOVE them!! I was always told fondant taste nasty and I’ve never tried it myself so I was thinking of making a homemade icing similar to (powder sugar type icing) what you could buy in the store. But since you have just told me that’s pretty much what makes it a petite four and that’s what is always used to make them I will do that! What I was trying to explain with the cake is that the recipe is for a wedding cake and has sour cream in it’s so it’s a dense cake as most wedding cakes I’ve had are. Or does it need to be a lighter type cake? And are petite fours filled? I can’t say I’ve ever noticed they were filled.. I just know they are delicious!! Thank you for your help!!

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Gretchen Price March 2, 2014 at 2:52 am

The poured fondant icing as attached to the this recipe right here IS powdered sugar icing, so I am not sure where you are confused that this is something else.

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Kristi St. Pierre March 1, 2014 at 9:24 am

Can I use an vanilla wedding cake recipe (it includes sour cream) to make petite fours? And can I use a regular icing recipe to ice the cakes instead of using fondant? Do petite fours have fillings? Sorry for so many questions! I’m new to this baking thing and don’t have any knowledge of petite fours. Thanks for the blog! Love it!!

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Gretchen Price March 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm

I cannot really comment on other people’s recipes, as I do not know the specifics of how they are meant to be prepared.
But generally any cake can be used for Petit Fours as long as you can bake thin layers and cut them into small pieces.

If you watch the video that goes along with this post, many of your questions will be answered, and why I take the time to film videos rather than just post instructions. Please take a minute to watch.

As for using another icing? Not sure what you mean, what recipe and why? Poured fondant is what makes a Petit Four a Petit Four.

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Susan February 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

Hi Gretchen,
Can I use marzipan between the layers of the petit fours? If so, would you please
suggest one.
Thanks!!!

PS I don’t know what I like more, your advice or how quickly you reply. You are a
true pro in more ways than one.

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Gretchen Price February 17, 2014 at 8:44 pm

You can use marzipan, sure, I cannot really suggest one though because I do not buy marzipan, I make it.
but perhaps you meant Almond Paste?? And not really marizipan??
At any rate you can simply use THIS RECIPE for petite fours and forgo the whole “marzipan” conversation altogether.

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Audrey February 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Hi Gretchen,

My icing fondant is too drippy cause I’ve added too much water. Is there a way to thicken it?

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Gretchen Price February 13, 2014 at 3:47 am

add more confectioners sugar

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Le February 12, 2014 at 2:50 am

Hi Gretchen…
I made your Petit Four recipe, over the last two days, I made the cake, Swiss buttercream and fondant icing. What a marvelous recipe, I have to admit, the flavor of the cake and buttercream is the best, I can’t thank you enough for what you have done in sharing your recipes with us all, the world is a little sweeter with you in it!! Thanks again…

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Terri February 3, 2014 at 4:27 am

Just found your blog…LOVLE IT!!!!!!

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kelly January 29, 2014 at 5:03 pm

this is the best website EVER — new to all this youtube stuff so i was soo happy to find you- as a new baker i am trying to make your petite fours — am i right in reading that i make your golden vanilla cake recipe and divide it between two half sheet pans — right ? or do i make two of these recipes ? i know its says 1 recipe but i am just making sure –cause it sure is a thin layer

do you have a video were your making this recipe using the half sheet pans and i just cant find it ? i need visual most of the time to go with the instructions so i know what it should look like since i new at this –
again thanks for alll your step by step — i love them

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Gretchen Price January 30, 2014 at 2:44 am

Hi glad to know you are liking the site.
Welcome.
As written in the blog:
Bake the cake recipe in 2- 1/2 Sheet Pans so you will have 2- very thin layers of cake.

You are not mistaken, Petit Fours are very small delicate 1 – 2 bite pastries, so the cake is very thin.

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Conni December 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Actually you can put them in the Fridge and does not dissolve with the humidity. I have been making Custom Cakes for over 6 years and always put my Fondant covered Cakes in the Fridge and they are just as perfect. When you first take it out of the Fridge it will be a little shiny but as it sits out the Moister dissipates and the Fondant is just fine with no shine.

Thank You for the Tutorial!

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Melinda December 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Gretchen, I see in one of your replies that you use frangipane rather than the golden vanilla cake for the Pettit fours. I would like to make these as gifts, and so I don’t mind the extra expense. Would you mind sharing the recipe for the frangipane? Thanks for ALL that you do!

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Gretchen Price December 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm

CLICK HERE for the recipe

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Suwelly December 10, 2013 at 2:13 am

i mean can i use white chocolate chips?

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Gretchen Price December 10, 2013 at 2:37 am

yes it should be OK

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Suwelly December 10, 2013 at 2:10 am

Hi, i was wondering if there is any substitute for the White Merckens Coins? can i use white chocolate instead?

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Sherril November 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm

If you use a ganache and freeze, what happens? I know fondant can not freeze.

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Gretchen Price November 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm

ganache will also condensate and drip a little “moisture’ and make it look a runny mess.
Test one before you do a whole batch to make sure you are OK with the results

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Sherril November 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Can they be frozen if a white chocolate ganache is used for frosting instead of poured fondant?

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Gretchen Price November 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

The freezing happens BEFORE THE ICING IS APPLIED, never after, once the icing is on, serve immediatley

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Helena November 13, 2013 at 3:08 am

Hi Gretchen
I remember seeing your Christmas Petit Four decoration a year ago on you tube, but can’t recall how you did the decorations. There were three designs. Would you tell me what tip you used for the poinsettia and what were the other two designs and what tips did you use for those? If it is too much trouble to make a video, can you just walk through the process with written directions? Thank you for your help.

Helena

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Gretchen Price November 13, 2013 at 4:12 am

I think I make a wreath and some holly and poinsettias
All done with the very small #3 tip found in my Cake Kit here

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Sherril November 13, 2013 at 2:10 am

A second question, is there any such thing as poured marshmallow fondant? I love the taste of that on my cakes.

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Gretchen Price November 13, 2013 at 4:05 am

I have not heard of that, but it doesn’t mean it is not a real thing!

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Sherril November 13, 2013 at 2:08 am

I feel very silly asking this but if you use a 12X18 pan and cut 1″ squares, isn’t that a lot more than 3 dozen?

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Gretchen Price November 13, 2013 at 4:09 am

Wooops! I Love it when you guys double check me!!
Thanks! Updated to 6dz!

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Erin November 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Do you put bc or royal icing flowers on top? Thank you :)

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Gretchen Price November 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm

you do either, but I use Buttercream

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Helena November 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Hi Gretchen,
Can you please show us how to decorate christmas Petit Four. Different kinds of design would be great . Thank you.
Helena

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anita November 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

Im new to your videos. Love them. Im not a professional so im wondering what size is a half sheet pan?

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Gretchen Price November 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thanks! Glad you are here! Good question, usually I write that in, but sometimes I forget! If you ever need to reference anything CLICK HERE for PAN SIZES
By the way, it’s 12X18″

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anita November 4, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Thanks. Can’t wait to try these.

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Dana October 12, 2013 at 1:08 am

HI Gretchen! luvvvvv ur videos! question…how much would you charge for these delicious lil bites??

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Gretchen Price October 13, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I use frangipane for the cake at the bakery (which is an expensive almond paste cake recipe) so I charge $2.25 ea

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Hira February 15, 2014 at 8:45 am

So you dont use your Golden Vanilla Cake for them as you have written for us in the recipe? :)

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Gretchen Price February 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

No at the bakery I use Frangipan cake which is an almond paste cake. Same recipe as the rainbow cookies

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denise October 11, 2013 at 5:10 am

so these should not be put back in refrigeration once the have been coated with the poured fondant?

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Gretchen Price October 12, 2013 at 12:26 am

correct

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denise October 12, 2013 at 3:18 am

Thanks so much! :)

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Mike October 10, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Hi Gretchen how long can those petit fours last in room temp

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Gretchen Price October 11, 2013 at 12:15 am

a few days

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Maria October 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm

yes i am using merckens. you mentioned in your video your girlfriend has a piece of petit four left in her freezer from a party she did a month ago. What kind of petit four is that?

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Gretchen Price October 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

One from my bakery!

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Maria October 4, 2013 at 7:07 am

Can i use your mist sponge cake recipe for petit fours?

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Gretchen Price October 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

yes

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Maria October 4, 2013 at 6:48 am

Gretchen, Is it ok to use the chocolate coins (pastel colors) for pettit fours?
Can it be stored in the freezer? How long?

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Gretchen Price October 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm

yes I think so, (if it is wilton or Merckens coins you are talking about??) NO to freezing poured fondant cakes

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