A French Cake and Cookies for Christmas

December 12th, 2016

French Christmas Cake and Cookies

My cottage was supposed to be on a local Christmas Tour this year.  Since it has a country French look to it, we decided to carry the theme throughout the house.  David downloaded some lovely Christmas carols sung in French and I made Eiffel Tower sugar cookies and a French Cake from Mimi Thorisson.  Because of the fire on the mountain, the tour was cancelled . . . so, I ended up with a freezer full of cookies and this delicious cake.

French Christmas Cake and Cookies

The sugar cookies are simple.  Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  I used this one from Alton Brown. You can use royal icing or any white icing that you prefer.  Sprinkle with gold sparkles and the Eiffel Towers will glow as if they were lit.  I bought my eiffel tower cookie cutter on line.

French Christmas Cake

I received French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson in October.  I had pre-ordered it from Amazon.  This is her second book and it is just as delightful as her first book, A Kitchen in France.  She says about this salted butter chocolate cake “This is the dessert I make when I don’t know what dessert to make.  It sounds like a second choice, but it’s not at all.  It’s the popular choice, the one that I know everybody will always like and that never goes out of fashion.  The salted butter is a subtle touch; you can taste it, but I’m careful never to let it overpower the chocolate, which would be hard anyway, because this cake is just so chocolate-y.  I like to bake this cake so it’s set but still moist, but my kids often ask me to take it out a minute or two earlier so it’s runny and delicious.  The choice is yours.”

French Christmas Cake and Cookies

All of these treats will remain in the freezer until Christmas.  It feels good to have a stash of goodies ready to go for family and friends.


6 1/2 Tablespoons Salted Butter, plus more for the pan
8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
A Handful of Red Berries or Currants
Confectioners’ Sugar for Serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Pour an inch or two of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set on top of the pan of simmering water.  Stir until the butter and chocolate are melted.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.  In another bowl, sift the flour and add the fleur de sel.

Stir the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Add the vanilla.  Fold in the flour until just combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

Let cool in the pan for at least 1 hour before unmolding.  Serve topped with berries, if desired, and a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.

Printable Recipe

16 responses to “A French Cake and Cookies for Christmas”

  1. They both looks beautiful! I am so sorry your tour was cancelled. I know you worked really hard to put it together.

  2. Sorry to hear the tour was cancelled but thankful you and so many are okay.


  3. Jane says:

    I had no idea the fires (or was this something different?) were so close to you. I’m so sorry your home tour was cancelled…it takes a good bit of time to get ready for that. Best of luck for next year!

    Both of these recipes look wonderful to me and I’m Pinning. Haven’t started baking yet but I love anything I can freeze. Thank you!

    Jane x

    • Penny says:

      The Gatlinburg fire was separate Jane. But our fires were also out of control. Luckily the firefighters could contain them. If the winds had been higher it might have been a different story.

  4. Monique says:

    Pretty pretty post ..I totally hear you re cancellation..unfortunate..but so fortunate that all is well..

    Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse:)

    Penny..years ago a home we lived i at the time was on a tour..one that raises a lot of money..and a subsequent year..gardens at aanother home..I would never do either again lol.
    800 people came through the house..I have no idea how many attended the garden tour..but it was a dry dry summer like the one we just had:(
    I was “freaking out”:)

    • Penny says:

      I was worried that I didn’t have enough cookies for everyone. I was planning on making more when I heard that the tour was cancelled. I don’t think we would have had 800. This is a small community, but who knows? At least I have a year to get ready. Thanks Monique.

  5. Chris says:

    Those are so cute! Glad y’all were safe! I was sad to see the tower up on Wayah Bald burned. It’s just up the street from my parents and sister’s cabin and we’ve hiked there many a time with our kids when they were young.

  6. Susan says:

    What a shame your tour had to be cancelled, Penny. The fire was all over the news and I’m thankful that your home and others around you were not damaged. Your cookies are so pretty but that cake! I know it would be something special with all of that luscious chocolate. Thanks so much for the recipe and Happy Holidays!

    • Penny says:

      The cake is amazing Susan. The fluted pan I used was smaller than what was called for, so I put the extra batter in two small souffle dishes. We ate that instead of the cake and it was creamy and delicious. Happy holidays to you too!

  7. I’m sorry the tour was cancelled but I’m sure everyone understood why. Your cookies and cakes look wonderful. I was wondering, which we you baked your cake…the full time or a little under baked?

    • Penny says:

      I did it a little under. Because the mold I used was smaller, I had enough batter to do 2 small ramekins along with the cake. They were great. Still haven’t tasted the cake; it is in the freezer. Merry Christmas Karen.

  8. Barbara says:

    The cake looks marvelous, Penny and the cookies are adorable.
    I’m sorry about the canceled tour, but so glad you are all right. I followed it on the news and was frightened for you.
    Have a wonderful Christmas. You have much to celebrate’

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.