Petits Fours

Petits Fours

Petits Fours are dainty icing-coating miniature cakes that add a special touch to showers, open houses or teas. This easy recipe makes an impressive, beautiful dessert.

2:00 prep time
48 petit fours
10310 Ratings



3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 cup milk


3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon almond flavoring or vanilla
3 drops food color, if desired


Candy flowers, if desired
Frosting flowers, if desired


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13x9-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. Set aside.

Beat sugar and butter in another bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy. Add 1 egg white at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed after each addition just until mixed.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on cooling racks 10 minutes. Loosen edge of cake by running knife around inside edge. Carefully remove cake from pan; cool completely.

Trim edges from cake; cut cake into 48 (1 1/2-inch square) pieces.

Combine sugar, cream of tartar and water in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 12-14 minutes or until mixture comes to a full boil. Cover; boil 3 minutes. Uncover; continue cooking 15-20 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 228°F to 234°F, or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a 2-inch soft thread. Remove from heat; cool to 110°F or 1 hour or until bottom of pan is slightly warm to touch. (Do not stir.) Stir in powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon almond flavoring and food color, if desired.

Place cooling rack over waxed paper. Place 1 cake piece on fork; drizzle icing over top and sides of cake, making sure each side is covered. Place onto rack; let stand until icing is set. (If icing becomes too thick, reheat over low heat 2-3 minutes or until thin consistency and easy to drizzle.)

Garnish each petit four with candy flowers or frosting flowers, if desired.

Recipe Tip

- If you do not have a candy thermometer use these guidelines for the cold water test:

*Use a clean spoon.
*Drop small amount of mixture into a cup of very cold water.
*Test hardness with fingers. At 223°F to 234°F, the mixture should form a 2-inch soft thread.

- Package petits fours in a festive candy or cake box for gift giving.

Nutrition Facts (1 petit four)

Calories: 100

Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 1mg

Sodium: 40mg

Carbohydrates: 21g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Protein: 1g

Recipe #5598©1995Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

The cake was very dense. The frosting turned to sugar. I don't recommend it to anyone.
Test Kitchen Comment


Sorry this cake did not meet your expectation. In order to frost the cake squares it is important that the cake itself be slightly dense and firm. The frosting, too, for this type of cake is more sugary and not a creamy buttercream type.
Posted June 24, 2013
now is this granulated or confectionary sugar?
Test Kitchen Comment


For the cake you need to use granulated sugar and for the frosting you should use powdered or confectioners sugar. One other thing - the recipe states to sift the powdered sugar. When making a frosting we typically will sift the powdered sugar to make sure it is as fine as possible so you will get a very smooth frosting. Have fun baking!
Posted April 03, 2013
the cake was too dense. and the glaze was too heavy. I did not like ths recipe at all.
I read the reviews after I made the recipe myself and don't understand the ones who complain about the cake. I let it sit overnight and it was perfect for cutting. It has a light flavor, not much, but that is how petit fours are supposed to be. Your fillings (if you use them) and frostings should have the flavorings. I didn't use the frosting recipe as it called for granulated sugar, I used Martha Stewart's recipe instead which called for a ton of powdered sugar. All in all I loved the recipes and would do it again.
Thank you so much! The icing turned out perfect ! A request... can you suggest a way in which the sweetness can be a little reduced?? Perhaps substitute a few tablespoons of corn flour for the powdered sugar?
The texture of the petit fuors was great, but they were really not all that tasty. The cakinward tasteless and the glaze was definitely not as thick as it looks in the picture. Just overall they were a pain to make for the mediocre result.
After looking at a number of online recipes for petit fours, I ultimately made this one, and I thought it worked out wonderfully. The cake was easy to bake and tastes great. After baking, I froze the cake overnight to make it easier to cut. Post-freezer, cutting it was easy and crumb-free. I then put the cut pieces back in the freezer and got them out a few at a time when I was ready to ice them. This solved the "cake-too-soft to ice" problem- when frozen, the cake is pound cake consistency (but it thaws to the nice soft consistency one associates with petit fours). Though somewhat time consuming, this recipe was easy and had great results!
From the Test Kitchens... Thanks for your comment. The recipe does call for a box cake mix. We made these small cakes again in the Test Kitchens. I understand about the light texture of the cake from a box mix. As you mention a pound cake works well or a white cake from scratch. That is what we re-tested the recipe with and it worked so much better since the cake is not so light and fine textured. A suggestion is to use our Classic White Cake recipe.
Here is why I am giving these petis fours such a low rating. I bake all the time and I have never had so much trouble with what you would assume to be such a simple recipe. Yes making the cake is clearly simple and already know it tastes good. However, this kind of cake it way too light and breakable to make into these little squares. I was able to cut them into pretty close to perfect squares but they were so flimsy to handle once they were cut (and even broke several while trying to cut them). I did chill them for a bit to make them as hard and workable as I could and as soon as I poured the glaze on them, they just all fell apart. I would reccomend that if you want to make petit fours to use a much more dense/moist cake (like a butter or cream cheese pound cake). Not white boxed cake mix. Just didnt work for me at all!!
These petit fours are worth every minute they take to prepare. They absolutely melt in your mouth!
this recipe is really good and also so really easy to make! it's a keeper!

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