My guide to the best European desserts contains the most famous desserts from Europe, including countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland. And what's more, my list of European desserts includes recipes and tutorials on how you can make them yourself without having to travel anywhere except your kitchen!
- The best European desserts
- 1. Mille Feuille - France
- 2. Sacher Torte Cake - Austria
- 3. Macarons - France
- 4. Homemade Ladyfingers - Duchy of Savoy/France
- 5. Victoria Sponge Cake - UK
- 6. Croquembouche - France
- 7. Basque Burnt Cheesecake - Spain
- 8. Paris-Brest - France
- 9. Baklava - Turkey
- 10. Tiramisu - Italy
- 11. Ricotta pie - Italy
- 12. Napoleon Cake - Russia
- 13. Mini Tiramisu Cups - Italy
- 14. Homemade Ferrero Rocher - Italy
- 15. Panna Cotta - Italy
- 16. Galette - France
- 17. Choux Au Craquelin - France
- 18. Crème brûlée - France
- 19. Eton Mess - UK
- 20. Flødeboller - Denmark
- 21. Bougatsa - Greece
- 22. Sernik - Poland
- 23. Medenki - Bulgaria
- 24. Tarta De Santiago - Spain
- 25. Melopita -Greece
- 26. Pastéis De Nata - Portugal
- 27. Papanasi - Romania
- 28. Turkish Delight - Turkey
- 29. Kladdkaka - Sweden
- 30. Apfelkuchen - Germany
- 31. Affogato - Italy
- European Desserts FAQs
- Related recipes
- Top 31 Best European Desserts
These easy European cakes and pastries are the most delicious and famous desserts. I have traveled extensively in Europe and tried eating as many of their famous desserts as possible. It is always so exciting to discover a country's own baking style and flavor profile. And while some European countries' cuisine is more famous than others, they all have amazing recipes to discover.
The best European desserts
I have included the most reliable recipes you can trust to make these European dessert recipes easy. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do; let me know which one is your favorite.
1. Mille Feuille - France
Mille Feuille means "a thousand leaves" in French, and it gets its name from the compacted layers of puff pastry that form this incredibly French dessert. Puff pastry normally rises as it bakes, but here we weigh it down so that it forms crisp, thin pieces of delicious buttery pastry instead.
Crisp puff pastry with vanilla pastry cream is a match made in heaven, you have to try it.
2. Sacher Torte Cake - Austria
Austrian sacher torte is a Viennese specialty, and it's a European cake recipe that defines elegance. Two layers of chocolate sponge cakes, a fine layer of apricot jam, and smooth chocolate glaze make this dessert a must-try European cake, one of the best European chocolate desserts for sure.
he taste of this European layer cake recipe is delicately fruity without being too sweet, and the texture is out of this world. Sacher Torte cake definitely deserves its spot amongst the best types of European cakes.
3. Macarons - France
Macaron is a classic European dessert that is hugely popular worldwide because it looks so pretty and tastes so good! You can make macarons in so many flavors; they are also very versatile and make great gifts or petit fours after dinner.
I created a macaron class that you can join online today because I love making macarons so much. While they might seem challenging, you will love to make them yourself once you learn.
4. Homemade Ladyfingers - Duchy of Savoy/France
Slightly crisp on the outside yet soft and airy on the inside, Ladyfingers (or savoiardi) is one of my favorite European desserts. They originate from Savoy, which is now part of France, but the story goes that they were presented to the King of France as a gift in the 15th century and went down in history as an official 'court biscuit.'
Savoiardi ladyfingers are so easy to make, and the delicious cookies bake up so light and fluffy. I promise you'll love these perfect little sponges!
5. Victoria Sponge Cake - UK
Victoria sponge is a classic British cake named after the famous British queen, so it is certainly one of the most famous European cakes. Bake moist layers of sponge cake and sandwich them together with strawberry jam and lashings of whipped cream. I decorate my Victoria sponge cake with more piped whipped cream and fresh fruit, and it looks so decadent and regal.
Victoria sponge is the perfect European cake to make this summer for the coronation of King Charles III, served at tea time, of course.
6. Croquembouche - France
Croquembouche is a very famous sight in French patisserie windows. Have you ever seen a tower of profiteroles wrapped in a delicate cobweb of spun sugar? It's certainly a showstopper! A beautiful and impressive croquembouche is traditionally served at weddings as a grand centerpiece; it isn't hard to see why.
7. Basque Burnt Cheesecake - Spain
I love Spanish food. This Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe comes together in just five minutes and only uses five simple ingredients, yet it has such an unbelievable texture and taste. Basque Burnt Cheesecake, or San Sebastian Cheesecake, is the easiest cheesecake of all; honestly, it's a must-try! There is no water bath, but the result is still the creamiest, most amazing custard-like texture with a caramelized top.
This is definitely among my personal top European desserts. And what's more, it is so easy to make!
8. Paris-Brest - France
Imagine a ring of choux pastry filled with hazelnut praline crème mousseline filling. Certainly, it sounds delicious, one of my favorite French desserts! This classic French pastry recipe has it all. Crispy pâte à choux, silky, nutty creme mousseline filling, extra praline paste, and roasted hazelnuts make Paris-Brest one of the most impressive European desserts of all! This fancy-looking dish is a great dessert for a dinner party as it feeds a crowd and looks so impressive.
You could serve Paris Brest at any time of year, but I think it makes a great Christmas or Thanksgiving dessert for the holiday season.
9. Baklava - Turkey
Baklava is originally from Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East, and it's certainly easy to see why its invention is hotly contested between countries. It is a layered dessert made of filo pastry (phyllo), filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. Enjoy baklava with hot, strong coffee to bring out its delicate sweetness and nutty flavor.
And, if you love baklava, you should also definitely make my baklava cheesecake.
10. Tiramisu - Italy
Traditional tiramisu is soft and creamy with airy ladyfingers, a rich yet light mascarpone cream, espresso coffee, and a dusting of delicious cocoa powder to finish. Tiramisu originated from the Veneto region in Northern Italy, but it is so popular worldwide that you can enjoy it in Italian restaurants anywhere. And now, you can try my easy recipe and eat it at home too.
11. Ricotta pie - Italy
This easy Sicilian Ricotta pie with a hint of lemon is one of the creamiest, most delicious European desserts you will ever make! Classic Ricotta Pie is traditionally a Spring dessert associated with Easter, but I think you can enjoy it at any time of year. The fresh lemon flavor, creamy filling, and crispy pie crust us the most amazing flavor and texture combination.
12. Napoleon Cake - Russia
You might be mistaken in believing Napoleon cake is French, but it is actually Russian! Napoleon cake is a classic Russian layer cake made of crunchy puff pastry and silky pastry cream. It was first served in 1912 to honor the 100th anniversary of Russia's victory over Napoleon. It will tower above your dinner table with its many layers of buttery pastry and smooth filling; trust me, this puff pastry dessert is certainly a real showstopper.
13. Mini Tiramisu Cups - Italy
The Italians scored the jackpot when they invented Tiramisu. And now you can make delicious individual portions of Tiramisu, so you don't have to share! I love Tiramisu so much that I made an easy version with just three ingredients you can whip up in minutes. This simple tiramisu recipe is a great way to enjoy a classic European dessert with zero hassle and using basic pantry ingredients.
14. Homemade Ferrero Rocher - Italy
Ferrero Rocher is a famous Italian chocolate truffle with a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a creamy hazelnut filling, covered with chocolate and crunchy hazelnut pieces. It is divine! In this recipe, I show you how you can make this European chocolate dessert yourself at home.
I like to serve Ferrero Rocher after dinner with coffee; the flavor combinations work so well together. Alternatively, homemade Ferrero Rocher makes great gifts for friends and family.
15. Panna Cotta - Italy
Panna cotta means "cooked cream" in Italian, and this European dessert is incredibly versatile. It is a molded dessert of sweetened cream thickened and set with gelatin to make the texture stable yet still jiggly. It can be flavored in so many ways, from coffee, coconut, vanilla, or other fruit. This particular Panna cotta recipe is made with coconut milk, so it is, in fact, a dairy-free European dessert.
16. Galette - France
Galette has to be one of the easiest French desserts. The super-rich, buttery rustic crust only takes a few minutes to make, and you can layer it with whichever fruit you prefer! It's just so easy. Bake galette in the oven until it is crispy and bubbling, and simply serve it with ice cream for the tastiest, easiest dessert.
This French galette recipe is topped with perfectly spiced tender poached pears that melt in your mouth and some crunchy roasted walnuts to add even more delicious texture. Serve pear and walnut galette in Fall for a perfect harvest season dessert.
17. Choux Au Craquelin - France
Choux au craquelin is an elegant crunchy cream puff made from choux pastry topped with a thin cookie disc called craquelin. Craquelin adds an extra sweet, crunchy texture, and you can pipe the interior air pocket full of delicious fillings like diplomat cream for a classic European dessert.
Choux au craquelin is effectively the pro version of cream puffs, and it's certainly one of the best European desserts! This delicious choux recipe is a crème brûlée version of cream puff, which is also a European dessert, French to be exact.
18. Crème brûlée - France
I bet you love ordering Crème brûlée as a dessert in restaurants, however did you know that making Crème brûlée at home is in fact shockingly easy? It is one of the most delicious custard creams of all that comes together in literally 5 minutes using 3 simple ingredients: cream, egg yolk, and sugar. This is a no-fail, restaurant-like professional yet easy Crème brûlée recipe that will impress everyone, try it!
19. Eton Mess - UK
Eton Mess is a classic British dessert that is quintessentially summery in flavor. Tradition tells us that Eton Mess was served at the annual cricket match between Harrow and Eton schools every year, and it has gone down in history as one of the most famous British desserts.
It is so simple to make with just a few basic ingredients, yet they work together so perfectly. Crunchy meringue is smashed together with fresh berries and whipped heavy cream, and whilst it can be argued that the result is messy, it is also super tasty!
20. Flødeboller - Denmark
Danish cream puffs (Flødeboller) are a cookie, wafer, or marzipan disk topped with velvety, foamy meringue. Then, they are delicately covered with either dark or white chocolate to make a soft, creamy, and delicious European dessert. This sweet treat is typically served at birthday parties or special occasions; it isn't hard to see why. Flødebollers have a marshmallow-like quality and amazing texture.
21. Bougatsa - Greece
Bougatsa is a Greek custard pie, and it's so delicious! It can be sweet or savory, but dessert lovers will adore this European dessert recipe I found and added to my list. Classic Greek phyllo pastry (or filo pastry) is filled with custard and topped with a honey drizzle and pistachio nuts. It's sweet, crunchy, delicious, and, furthermore, very pretty too.
Serve Bougatsa in Summertime; it makes an excellent Summer dessert for lunch parties.
22. Sernik - Poland
Sernik is a Polish cheesecake with cocoa crust on the top and bottom, contrasting with the cheesecake filling. The cheese filling is traditionally made from Polish curd cheese (twaróg), which you could substitute with ricotta or mascarpone if you cannot find it in grocery stores. Polish families all have their own take on this famous Eastern European dessert; it's undoubtedly popular for a reason!
23. Medenki - Bulgaria
Bulgarian honey cookies or Medenki are so delicious; simply put, you have to try them. Spiced cookies are baked, then dipped in either white, dark, or milk chocolate. Honey is a common baking ingredient in Bulgarian cuisine and lends a unique taste and texture to baked goods. Traditional honey cookies are soft and chewy, and utterly mouthwatering. Bulgarian cookies taste so good with coffee and are certainly an Eastern European dessert recipe to try.
24. Tarta De Santiago - Spain
Tarta de Santiago is a traditional Spanish almond tart that is delicious and, furthermore, very easy to make. Cakes with almond flour have a rich, moist texture and nutty taste, and what's more, this is also a gluten-free European dessert. Serve this easy torte recipe with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream or mascarpone to compliment the almond flavor.
I believe Tarta de Santiago should be one of the most famous European cakes because it tastes so good!
25. Melopita -Greece
Melopita is a traditional Greek honey cake or pie made with anthotyro or mizithra cheese which is similar in taste and texture to ricotta. It has been said Melopita cake originates from Sifnos Island in the Cyclades, and it is traditionally served at weddings and festival events.
The creamy pie filling tastes amazing in contrast with the crunchy pie crust, and the honey flavor is super delicious. Use authentic Greek honey for the best results in baking this European dessert. It's well worth hunting out at the grocery store.
26. Pastéis De Nata - Portugal
These famous Portuguese custard tarts are one of my favorite European sweet treats. You will never forget the first time you eat one of these famous Portuguese tarts. This is a popular European dessert for a reason!
A crisp, flaky puff pastry crust holds a luscious creamy custard center that's spiced with cinnamon and vanilla. In conclusion, you simply have to try Pastéis De Nata as soon as possible. It's well worth a trip to the grocery store or even to Portugal!
27. Papanasi - Romania
If you haven't tried Papanași before, you can thank me later! They are a Romanian and Moldovan traditional fried pastry that tastes absolutely incredible. Romanian fried donuts are soft yet also crunchy, oozing with sour cream and sweet blueberry jam, and every bite is so delicious. Honestly, the fried dough has the most incredible texture. It's no wonder they are among the most popular Eastern European desserts.
28. Turkish Delight - Turkey
Here is something more unusual to try and make yourself at home. Turkish Delight, or Lokum in Turkish, was first produced in Anatolia and then spread all over the world during the period of the Ottoman Empire. So Turkish Delight could certainly be one of the old world European dessert recipes.
The small sweet cubes of gel, sugar, and starch are commonly flavored with rosewater or sometimes orange, vanilla, mint, pomegranate, and strawberry. You can also stuff Turkish Delight with nuts. Because why not? Serve Turkish Delight with strong and aromatic Turkish coffee.
29. Kladdkaka - Sweden
Swedish sticky chocolate cake (or Kladdkaka) is a chocoholic's dream with its rich chocolate flavor and gooey texture. Pour the sticky chocolate cake batter into a tin and bake the most decadent European dessert with a crunchy exterior and gooey, fudgy interior. Just like most Swedish desserts, this recipe is extremely simple, with basic pantry items you are sure to have. Simply put, you need to make this European cake.
30. Apfelkuchen - Germany
A classic German apple cake (Apfelkuchen) is a Bavarian dessert you have to try. Coffee and cake time is known as Kaffee und Kuchen in Germany. And, of course, I love a country that takes baking this seriously! Basically, you must make a point of sampling this German apple pie if traveling in Europe and you want to eat some of the best European desserts. Or alternatively, try this easy recipe to make it yourself!
31. Affogato - Italy
Have you ever tried Affogato? Certainly, this is a recipe for you if you like coffee and love dessert. This traditionally after-dinner European dessert is an Italian specialty. A steaming shot of espresso coffee is poured over cold vanilla ice cream to create the perfect pick-me-up. Add a splash of liqueur too, and some grated dark chocolate to make it even more luxurious. Affogato is a very easy European dessert recipe and a classic.
European Desserts FAQs
Macarons, crème brûlée, ladyfingers, and Turkish Delight are some old European desserts that are still hugely popular today.
It could be argued that France has the best desserts, but every other European country, including Italy, Spain, and Germany, also makes delicious offerings. You will find a popular dessert you love in whichever country you are in!
Vanilla custard tarts from Portugal, crème brûlée from France, Baklava from Turkey, Victoria Sponge from England, and Tiramisu from Italy are some of the most well-known desserts from Europe.
Certainly, some European desserts contain less sugar than other world cuisines. But there is a range of sweetness to be found to suit everyone's tastes.
This depends on the baker and who is eating it! European cakes typically have less sugar and a more delicate texture but there are some very delicious American cakes as well, so it really depends on how they are being made and your taste.
Top 31 Best European Desserts
European dessert recipes
- Mille Feuille
- Sacher Torte
- Homemade Ladyfingers
- Victoria Sponge Cake
- Basque Burnt Cheesecake
- Ricotta Pie
- Napoleon Cake
- Mini Tiramisu Cups
- Homemade Ferrero Rocher
- Panna Cotta
- Choux au craquelin
- Crème brûlée
- Eton Mess
- Tarta de Santiago
- Pastéis De Nata
- Turkish Delight
- Select your favorite recipe(s)
- Go to the individual recipes
- Enjoy the most amazing European desserts