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Great Cakes of France | The Religieuse

Coffee and chocolate religieuse cakes

Delicious choux pastry buns, filled with cream and topped with icing adorn the counters of boulangeries and patisseries throughout France. The religieuse is one of the most loved cakes of France…

The creation of the Religieuse dates about to round about 1856. Invented in Paris by an Italian pastry Chef by the name of Frascati.


The cake is called a Religieuse because apparently it resembles a chubby Nun in a habit. Apparently. Perhaps if you’ve had several glasses of wine, but I can’t see it myself.

This is not a delicate cake to nibble, this is a pillow of cream and sweet choux pastry and sweet icing. It’s a cake you immerse yourself in and not for the faint hearted.


Generally the icing is chocolate or coffee flavoured but bakers use different flavours and I’ve seen salted caramel, rose and strawberry. A large choux bun goes on the bottom filled with crème pattiserie and is topped by a slightly smaller choux bun filled with crème patisserie then the whole thing is topped with icing and, depending on the baker’s whim, ornamental tidbits.


Plunge your fork into the centre, break off a piece and savour that oh-so-sweet French taste that’s been around for almost 200 years and is as much loved today as the day it was invented.

More great cakes of France
Madeleine – named after a royal kitchen maid
The great French eclair
The fabulous, glamorous Opera Cake, named after The French Opera

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