Tarte Tropezienne

The Tarte Tropezi­enne was cre­at­ed in the beau­ti­ful town of Saint Tropez, on the French Riv­iera.  As the sto­ry goes, famous French actress Brigitte Bar­dot fell in love with the dessert while film­ing a movie there, and sug­gest­ed the name “tarte tropezi­enne.” The cake was there­after named “tarte tropezi­enne.” It is com­posed of a brioche (sweet bread), sprin­kled with pearl sug­ar, and filled with a mix­ture of vanil­la pas­try cream and whipped cream.

tarte tropezienne



Most ingre­di­ents are easy to find, with the excep­tion of two of them, that might require a lit­tle bit of research: orange blos­som water and pearl sug­ar.

Orange blos­som water can be dif­fi­cult to find, depend­ing on where you live. I found it at an inter­na­tion­al gro­cery store in my area (Fresh Farms). If you can’t find it in your area, you can order it online.

The French pearl sug­ar need­ed can­not be found in the US, but bel­gian pearl sug­ar or swedish pearl sug­ar are both close equiv­a­lents. You can find them at Sur La Table or Ikea or online. I per­son­al­ly used this Bel­gian pearl sug­ar:


You will need a 9‑inch round cake pan, and an elec­tric hand mix­er to whip the cream.

It is also help­ful to have a food proces­sor with a dough blade or oth­er knead­ing machine. If you don’t have one, don’t wor­ry, you can knead by hand.


The recipe I chose is for a tarte tropezi­enne of about 9 inch­es. I took a French recipe and sim­pli­fied it to make it as easy as pos­si­ble to make in the US. As a result, I did mod­i­fy a few ingre­di­ents and mea­sure­ments. The brioche is easy to make, but does require some time. The dough needs to rest to rise. First, for 2 hours, and then for 1 addi­tion­al hour, so plan your time accord­ing­ly.

Print Recipe
Tarte Tropezi­enne
Please note, this recipe is for a 9 inch round cake pan.
tarte tropezienne
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 min­utes
Cook Time 25 min­utes
Pas­sive Time 3 hours
For the brioche
For the fill­ing
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 min­utes
Cook Time 25 min­utes
Pas­sive Time 3 hours
For the brioche
For the fill­ing
tarte tropezienne
First, start mak­ing the brioche
  1. Start with mak­ing the brioche dough. Dis­solve the dry yeast in the luke­warm milk. This should take about 10 min­utes or so.
  2. In a mix­ing bowl, pour the yeast-milk mix, the gran­u­lat­ed sug­ar, the egg, the water and the orange blos­som water. Add the flour and the pinch of salt and knead (in a food proces­sor or with your hands). Add the soft­ened but­ter, and con­tin­ue knead­ing until you have a uni­form dough.
    tarte tropezienne brioche dough
  3. Cov­er with a kitchen tow­el and set aside for 2 hours. Dur­ing this time, the dough will rise. See pic­ture.
    brioche dough after 2 hours
Then, the pas­try cream
  1. In the mean­time, pre­pare the pas­try cream. In a pot over the stove, warm the milk with a tea­spoon of vanil­la extract. Bring it to a boil, and then con­tin­ue on low heat for 20 min­utes.
  2. In a bowl, mix the eggs and egg yolk, the sug­ar and the corn starch.
    mix for pastry cream
  3. Add the mix­ture to the warm milk on the stove. Mix with a whisker or wood­en spoon on low heat until the mix­ture turns into cream. Please note, this requires mix­ing the entire time, and you need to be patient as it might take some time for the mix­ture to turn into cream.
    pastry cream for tarte tropezienne
  4. Remove the pot from the stove. Off the stove, add the but­ter and mix until the but­ter is ful­ly incor­po­rat­ed. Place the cream in a bowl cov­ered with plas­tic wrap in the refrig­er­a­tor for about one hour.
    pastry cream for tropezienne
Back to the brioche
  1. Your brioche dough has now risen dur­ing the 2 hours that it was set aside. Apply your fist to the dough mul­ti­ple times, so as to remove any gas that might be in the dough.
  2. In a 9 inch cake pan cov­ered with parch­ment paper, place the brioche dough. Flat­ten it and give it the shape of a disk so it cov­ers the whole sur­face of the round cake pan. Cov­er with a kitchen tow­el and set aside for 1 hour. Dur­ing that time, the dough will rise again.
    tropezienne brioche in cake pan
  3. Pre­heat oven to 375 degrees Fahren­heit. Brush an egg on the sur­face of the brioche with a pas­try brush (egg wash), and sprin­kle with pearl sug­ar.
    tropezienne brioche prior to baking
  4. Bake the brioche in the oven for 25 min­utes. Take it out of the oven, and let it cool down.
    tropezienne brioche
Back to the fill­ing
  1. Now is the time to add the whipped cream to the pas­try cream. First, whip the heavy whip­ping cream. To do so, first put a bowl and the beat­ers of the elec­tric mix­er in the freez­er for about 15 min­utes. This will make it eas­i­er to whip the cream. Then, pour the heavy whip­ping cream in the cold bowl and whip it with the elec­tric hand mix­er, first on low speed, and then grad­u­al­ly increas­ing speed. Please be patient, this might take some time.
    whipping cream
  2. Once you have whipped cream, add the pas­try cream. Mix gen­tly. This is your fill­ing.
    tarte tropezienne filling
Bring­ing it all togeth­er
  1. Using a big enough knife, cut the brioche hor­i­zon­tal­ly in half.
    splitting tropezienne brioche
  2. Spread the fill­ing on top of the brioche’s bot­tom half.
    spreading tropezienne filling
  3. Cov­er with the top half of the brioche. Eat imme­di­ate­ly or refrig­er­ate to enjoy lat­er.
    tarte tropezienne
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Bon Appétit!

French Mom


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Recipe Name
Tarte Tropezi­enne
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