Petit Fours

Makes 30


For Cake

  • 8 oz almond paste
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened (room temperature)
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour

For Glazing Fondant

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • food coloring

For Layering

  • ½ cup apricot jam, puréed (or jam of choice)

For Thinning Fondant

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water


  • jelly roll or half sheet pan (about 18" x 12")
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • parchment paper
  • offset spatula
  • candy thermometer
  • food processor
  • serrated knife
  • double boiler
  • cooling rack


Make Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Fit mixer with paddle attachment and add almond paste and sugar. Start on low speed, gradually increasing to medium and beating to combine
  3. Add the butter and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 1 minute
  4. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is well-incorporated before adding the next
  5. Add the flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated, about 15 seconds
  6. Coat a jelly roll pan (half sheet pan) with nonstick cooking spray, then line with parchment paper
  7. Pour batter onto the prepared pan. With an offset spatula, spread batter evenly out to the edges of the pan. The cake will not spread while baking
  8. Transfer cake to the oven and bake until the edges are golden and the top is a pale gold, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cake cool completely

Make Fondant 

  1. Add water, corn syrup and sugar to a sauce pan, in this order. Using your hand, stir sugar gently until dissolved in water
  2. Heat the sugar, water and corn syrup over medium. Once bubbles begin to form, increase the heat to high. Do not stir the syrup
  3. Insert a candy thermometer, clipping it to the side of the pot and wait till the mixture reaches soft-ball stage (240°), about 3 minutes. The finished syrup should be clear
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer it to a food processor that has been fitted with the blade attachment
  5. Immediately clean the candy thermometer
  6. Insert the cleaned thermometer into the syrup mixture and clip it onto the side of the food processor
  7. Allow the syrup to cool, undisturbed in the food processor to 140° (this will take about 20-30 minutes)
  8. Once cooled, add any coloring or flavoring (vanilla, almond extract, etc.) and process on high for 2 minutes until the syrup changes from a glassy mixture to an opaque paste. For immediate use, transfer to a heat-proof bowl and keep glaze at around 95º (but more than 100º). For later use, transfer to an airtight container

Slice & Layer Cake

  1. Once the cake has cooled, loosen the edges of the cake with a serrated knife. Using a ruler, measure and cut the cake into three equal pieces (about 6" in width each for an 18" pan)
  2. Transfer one piece of cake to your work surface (keeping the parchment on the bottom). Spread a thin and even layer of jam over the cake, being sure to reach all the edges
  3. Place another piece of cake over the first with the parchment facing upward. Remove parchment and add jam. Finish by adding the third layer of cake, also removing the parchment
  4. At this point the cake can be used immediately, or kept well-covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (or the freezer for up to 4 weeks)
  5. Using a ruler and serrated knife (dipped in warm water for cutting clean edges), cut the cake into even squares, using the width of the ruler as a guide (about 1-¼" to 1-½" each). As you remove the squares, lift them from the parchment still lining the bottom of the cake

Thin Fondant Glaze & Decorate

  1. In a small saucepan, dissolve 1 cup sugar in ½ cup water over medium heat (about 1 minute)
  2. Meanwhile, reheat the bowl of fondant over a double boiler until it begins to soften and is pliable. Remove fondant from heat
  3. Using a ladle, add the heated syrup to the fondant, about 2 tbsp at a time. Mix with a spatula, continuing to add more of the syrup as needed, until the desired consistency is reached (thin enough for the glaze to drip over the cakes — you'll generally need to add about 6-8 tbsp total)
  4. Tip bowl so fondant pools to one end. Using a fork or skewer, dip each Petit Four into the fondant, one side at a time, until fully coated. Release the glazed Petit Four from the fork or skewer from underneath and place it on a cooling rack that is set over a sheet tray. Repeat until all cakes are glazed
  5. While fondant is still warm on the cakes, add desired decorations to the tops. Watch Linda's Gum Paste Flowers & Sugared Flowers videos for ideas
  6. Allow the Petit Fours to dry for at least an hour before placing on a plate or in small paper cups for serving