Petit four

Petit four

An assortment of petits fours
Type Confectionery
Course Dessert
Place of origin France
Main ingredients Varies by type
Cookbook: Petit four  Media: Petit four
French assortment of petits fours

A petit four (plural: petits fours, also known as mignardises) is a small bite-sized confectionery or savoury appetizer. The name is French, petit four (French pronunciation: [pə.ti.fur]), meaning "small oven".


Petits fours were traditionally made in a smaller oven next to the main oven.[1] In the 18th century some bakers made them during the cooling process of coal-fired brick ovens to take advantage of their stored heat, thus exploiting coal's high burning temperature and economizing on its high expense relative to wood.

In 19th century France, gas ovens did not exist. People largely used the breadmakers' ovens which only had two settings, a very strong and high heat setting used for roasting meats and vegetables, or the petit four setting. This setting was of a lower temperature allowing the correct heat to cook pastries.[2]


Petits fours come in three varieties:

In a French patisserie, assorted small desserts are usually called mignardises, while hard, buttery biscuits are called petit fours.

See also

Food portal


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Petits fours.
  1. Lynne Olver. "The Food Timeline: history notes--cookies, crackers & biscuits".
  2. Jebirashvili, Revaz. "The History of Petit Fours". Mini Desserts. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
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