+33 (0)1 40 51 78 18

Friday 1 Feb 2019    The French Pastry Guide

The selection at Georges Larnicol ©LaCuisineParis

Kouign-amann - A Guide To French Pastry

When something translates to "Butter Cake" you know it's going to be a treat...

Brittany is the promised land of butter. So it stands to reason that one of the most buttery, sinful and sensational cakes in France hails from this beautiful buttery region. The New York Times once dubbed it "the fattiest pastry in all Europe" - so naturally we're big fans. It may look like a strange name, but the Kouign-amann  (pronounced queen-a-mahn) means "butter cake" in Breton. It's certainly an apt title. Long before the Cronut craze exploded in 2013 (thanks to New York pâtissier Dominique Ansel), in France the Kouign-amann had been gleefully thickening arteries for centuries with its laminated layers of butter, dough and caramelized sugar. 

Now a Brittany classic, the Kouign-amann's exact history is debated. Popular theory dates the creation of the pastry to around 1860, in the town of Douarnenez, in the Finistère department of Brittany. 

In Paris over 150 years later, this particular pastry is a treasure which must be sought out - the kouign-amann is by no means a common feature in the windows of Paris boulangeries! Until quite recently if you wanted to experience a true kouign-amann you would have had a journey to Brittany on your hands - hands which would soon be covered in butter and sugar, making the adventure wholly worthwhile. But no longer! Brittany has finally arrived in Paris in the form of brilliantly executed kouign-amann and kouignettes - smaller versions of the traditionally large circular cakes (which will have your cholesterol levels breathing a sigh of relief). 

So where will you find it? Patience grasshopper. First it is essential that you know the best way to appreciate a kouign-amann, and that's to heat it in the oven beforehand. Warmed through, the pastry's layers become more pliable and delectable and delicious, the heat bringing out the flavours of the sugar and butter to rapturous results. 

Yann Couvreur 

Stylish is a byword for Yann Couvreur, where the pastries are as beautiful as the surroundings. Yann Couvreur's second boutique opened on the lovely rue des Rosiers in the Marais back in 2017, a lovely honey-toned wood frontage that opens directly onto the cobbled street. Inside you'll find millefuille to die for while his Paris Brest is generally regarded as The Best In The Known Universe. There's also the latest seasonal baba au rhum to get your teeth into but besides all that is - of course - the kouign-amann. 

23 bis rue des Rosiers, 75004


Georges Larnicol 

The great thing about Georges Larnicol's kouign-amann offering is choice. You can pick up a larger round version to share, choose littler versions, and even opt for different flavours such as salted caramel, pistachio, almond, raspberry, chocolate, rum and raisin, chocolate, orange confit.... Larnicol's self-service approach can be a dangerous thing, so be prepared to accidentally fill a bag (for research purposes...) and then prepare for a full-on butter fest. 

14 Rue de Rivoli, 75004

The selection at Georges Larnicol ©LaCuisineParis

Le Grenier à Pain

Pastry chef Michel Galloyer opened his first store in Angers, and is now head of an international bread and pastry empire, not to mention a training school for the bakers of the future. So it's good to know that despite Le Grenier à Pain's worldwide success, the quality and consistency means we can confidently enter them into our list of Where to Find Kouign-amann in Paris. 

91, rue Faubourg Poissonière

Central Paris Location

Last Minute Course Places

15 Apr 2024

  • French Technical Classes / Mastering Classic French Sauces
  • Three hours of mastering the French Classic Mother Sauces - the grand canon of Cuisine Française. We’ll tackle emulsions, roux, reductions and more!

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 14:30 - 17:30
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 1 place left

15 Apr 2024

  • French Macarons / Les Macarons : Technical 3-hour
  • For the serious Macaron lover. Three hours of intensive Macaron time - we will tackle two types of classic macaron shells and four types of classic macaron fillings!

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 9:30 - 12:30
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 5+ places left

16 Apr 2024

  • French Baking Classes / Le Croissant & Breakfast Pastries
  • The 'Roi' of the Parisian breakfast table, Le Croissant ! Enjoy three hours of mastering this decadent, flaky, buttery French icon.

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 10:00 - 13:00
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 1 place left

16 Apr 2024

  • French Pastry / Les Choux, éclairs and more : Technical Choux Pastry
  • Intensive everything Choux Pastry, from Savory to Sweet! From the tempting and delicious éclairs and Paris-Brest to delicate savory Gougères!

  • La Cuisine Paris, 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris     Time: 9:30 - 12:30
  • Price: €119.00     Availability: 5+ places left

17 Apr 2024

  • French Market Tour and Cooking Class / Marché Monge
  • Spend the morning like the locals, with a typical Parisian experience. A full immersion in to French culture with a French Market Tour followed by a hands-on French Cooking Class right in the heart of Paris !

  • Meet outside of Metro Station ‘Place Monge’ on metro line 7. Upon exiting the Metro, please take exit ‘Sortie 1 (Escalator) : Place Monge’     Time: 9:30 - 13:30
  • Price: €189.00     Availability: 3 places left

Sign up for Le Chou Chou, our Monthly Newsletter from Paris!

Get in touch

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call on +33 (0)1 40 51 78 18 or email contact@lacuisineparis.com    Click here for further contact details