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Stupid question: can I buy a birthday cake in France?

(41 Posts)
Howmanysleepsnow Sun 19-Jul-20 21:49:27

We’ll be in France on DS’s birthday. How easy will it be to buy a birthday cake (chocolate rather than fondant icing)? Do they sell them in supermarkets like here? Or is a patisserie a better option?

OP’s posts: |
SheWranglesRugRats Sun 19-Jul-20 21:50:24

Pâtisserie is your best option

tired17 Sun 19-Jul-20 21:51:39

From my experience, it isn't easy to buy birthday cakes similar to uk ones in France - my DD had a birthday there one year, we resorted to buying cakes from a patisserie, and lovely they were to

BaronessBomburst Sun 19-Jul-20 21:53:18

I've never seen one and I've been in many a French supermarket. Maybe in a big Carrefour but you won't get a traditional British birthday cake in a local village supermarket.

Howmanysleepsnow Sun 19-Jul-20 22:05:46

He’s not really keen on traditional British birthday cakes as he doesn’t like icing or buttercream. Can you buy a whole cake in a patisserie?

OP’s posts: |
mynameiscalypso Sun 19-Jul-20 22:08:33

You can definitely buy whole cakes in our local supermarkets but your best option might be some kind of tart? I've not really seen full sized cakes for sale often but nearly all bakeries will do some kind of fruit tart.

tired17 Sun 19-Jul-20 22:12:51

I think you probably can buy a whole cake in a patisserie but be aware that they are hand made and decorated delicacies and the price will reflect that. Depending on his age and how you are travelling you might be better off taking one from home

ICouldHaveCheckedFirst Sun 19-Jul-20 23:01:38

You can buy gorgeous 'gateau' type cakes in the big supermarkets and patisseries.

We have happyvmemories of buying a vast chocolate concoction on our last day, for DH's birthday which was on the day we were driving to the ferry. We stored it in the fridge overnight then transferred it to the cool box in the car. Stopped in the middle of nowhere, on a Sunday, for a picnic lunch. It was about 35 degrees and the cake began to melt before our eyes. And did I mention we'd packed away the cutlery? grin . Cue us all eating gooey cake, with our fingers.... grin

ViveLEntenteCordiale Sun 19-Jul-20 23:12:22

Yes you can get a gâteau type cake in a big supermarket - they are usually in a fridge in the fresh bakery section though and need to be kept chilled. They are usually made with crème pâtissière and/or cream rather than buttercream. The packet cake/biscuit section would be pretty disappointing on the birthday cake front.

You can usually order from a patisserie or even a Boulangerie that sells cakes a couple of days before you want it - you need to be clear about what you want though as French gâteaux are often more mousse than cake (not a bad thing, but you need to set expectations correctly! Again it will normally need to be refrigerated.

MrsGatsby99 Mon 20-Jul-20 06:02:26

For best quality, go to a patisserie and pre-order. But larger supermarkets do decent French-style cakes.
Speaking from being married to a Frenchman for 20 years. Celebrated quite a few birthdays in France. My personal favourite though would be just to go to a local boulangerie/pâtisserie and ask for 'un assortiment' of individual cakes/tarts/macarons etc...really delicious and a bit different if your DC would like that, of course.

Impatientwino Mon 20-Jul-20 07:33:23

Not helpful at all but this thread has made me wistful for wandering aimlessly in French supermarkets just looking at all the things grin

I love food shopping there when on holiday!

You can get some lovely gateaux in the larger supermarkets or a patisserie and they would be delicious!

When I was a child on holiday there we would choose a sort of large chocolate profiterole that had a smaller one on the top (a bit like a snowman) and it was filled with a chocolate creme pat.... yum!

Cbatothinkofausername Mon 20-Jul-20 07:45:24

Impatientwino
Was it a Croquembouche? That would be amazing as a birthday cake.

SheWranglesRugRats Mon 20-Jul-20 08:32:47

that would be a religieuse.

OP If you're in Paris you could just go to Marks and Spencer and buy a British-style cake from there.

SheWranglesRugRats Mon 20-Jul-20 08:33:27

We had a croquembouche wedding cake. It was amazing grin

Wilburgh Mon 20-Jul-20 08:36:59

I had the best birthday cake of my life once from a french supermarket. It was lush (bought two more that week 😂)

Malin52 Mon 20-Jul-20 08:40:37

As PPs have said the fresh bakery section in a big Carrefour or Geant always have some beautiful big gateau type cakes. They are seriously splendid looking and will feed about 25

RaelImperialAerosolKid Mon 20-Jul-20 09:14:06

I am as we speak eating a Black Forest Gateaux purchased from Careefour for 11 euros - best birthday cake ever!

Nordicwannabe Mon 20-Jul-20 23:03:57

You can't seem to get religieuses these days (translation: nuns. Either chocolate, or even better coffee). I asked at a swish boulangerie recently and they had no idea what I was talking about shock

JaJaDingDong Mon 20-Jul-20 23:34:49

What you want is a tarte aux fraises from a patisserie. A whole one. Delicious.

Fanthorpe Mon 20-Jul-20 23:42:51

I want a coffee religieuse so much. Or a Paris Brest. Or both.

BaronessBomburst Mon 20-Jul-20 23:53:21

Best religieuse I ever had was from a tiny village bakery somewhere around Fôret de Hardilot. That was a coffee one too!

Hearhoovesthinkzebras Mon 20-Jul-20 23:55:28

We've never found a traditional birthday cake but they have beautiful gateaux in patisseries.

Hearhoovesthinkzebras Mon 20-Jul-20 23:56:45

I want a coffee religieuse so much

Oh yes. Do they sell them here?

KoalasandRabbit Mon 20-Jul-20 23:56:48

My DH is French and my French MIL always buys birthday cakes (similar size to here) from the paisserie - I think they are pre-ordered as they are personalised. They are normally quite heavy mousse, sometimes with lots of cream. A chocolate one would be like this, at least the ones MIL gets. I'm not keen on them though partly as MIL serves them after a 5 course meal and the cakes are heavy and creamy but they look pretty. I prefer individual cakes but its personal preference really:

www.alamy.com/stock-photo-tasty-french-chocolate-birthday-cake-with-fruit-topping-94597523.html

heartsonacake Tue 21-Jul-20 00:01:47

This thread is very interesting! So if birthday cakes are hard to get hold of in France, do the French not celebrate their birthdays with cakes like we do?

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