In the world of teeny, tiny sweet treats, petit fours are the queen. These cute little squares of cake are wrapped in sweet fondant and usually topped with piped royal icing flowers. I decided to give mine an update with brightly colored coatings and a sprinkling of confetti, but we'll give you the skills to make 'em any way you like. Aren't you fancy!
Making the glaze
To make a great petit four, you're going to need a strong glaze game. This icing is my absolute favorite because it's thick enough to give the cakes a clean, opaque finish, but still thin enough to make dipping and tapping off excess frosting a breeze.
Poured fondant icing recipe
Adapted from King Arthur Flour's Poured Fondant Icing Recipe
- 1 cup candy melts
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup hot water
- Melt the candy melts in the microwave in a small heatproof bowl.
- In a larger bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup and hot water until smooth.
- Whisk the candy melts into the sugar mixture until combined.
It's that easy! Use the icing right away and reheat as needed to keep the glaze pourable. Unused icing can be stored in an airtight container (with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the icing) for up to a week.
How to make petit fours
- Pound cake, baked in a square or rectangular pan
- Poured fondant icing (recipe above)
- Chopstick or skewer
- Heart and circle cookie cutters
- Pastel confetti quins
- Parchment paper
- Sheet pan
Step 1: Level the cake
Trim the top of your pound cake so that it's level. I'm not filling my petit fours, but if you wanted to, this is when you'd do it. Just slice the cake in half horizontally and fill with buttercream or jam. Make sure to chill the cake completely before moving on to the next step so that the filling doesn't squish out while cutting.
Step 2: Cut the cake into squares
Use a ruler and sharp knife to cut the pound cake into little cubes. The classic size for petit fours is a 1" cube, but you can cut yours as large or a small as you like (consider that a perk of being in charge of your own dessert!).
If you wanna show off a little, you can cut more petit four shapes using circle and heart cutters.
Place the cut cake pieces onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and pop them in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Dip the cake cubes
Stick the end of a skewer or chopstick into the cut side of a piece of cake.
Then dip the cake in the poured icing, completely coating the top and sides. Tap the stick against the side of the bowl to shake off any excess frosting.
Step 4: Let the petit four dry
Slide the fork under the dipped petit four and gently lift it off of the stick. Move it to a parchment-lined baking sheet (or a drip rack), using the stick to help slide it off the fork.
Feeling extra? Add sprinkles!
An easy way to doll up your petit fours is with a quick dip in some sprinkles. After coating your petit four with icing, dip the top in pastel confetti quins.
Arrange finished petit fours on a platter or in paper baking cups. Store unfilled petit fours in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. How you store filled petit fours really depends on the stability of the filling, but be warned that storing them in the fridge will cause the icing to sweat and get sticky.
Now that you've mastered the basics, feel free to change up the colors to match your event or season, or try dipping the tops of your cakes in sanding sugar, crushed candy or nonpareils.