Makes 30 1 1/2″ Pieces

1 Cake recipe, below
1 Fondant Recipe, below
1 1/2 Cups Jam, warmed (raspberry is nice!)
1/2 Cup Marzipan
Powdered Sugar, for rolling out marzipan
Melted Chocolate, for decoration, optional

Makes 5 Cups of Batter

2 1/2 Cups plus 2 T. pastry or cake flour
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tbs Earth Balance
2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice and Zest of 1 whole Lemon
1 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Soy or Rice Milk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Pure Lemon Extract

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Brush a Jelly Roll Pan (half sheet size, 12 x 17 x 1″) with oil. Use two sheets of parchment paper to cover the bottom, overlapping each long edge of the pan. This will allow you to lift the entire cake out of the pan without breaking it. The oil helps the parchment stick to the pan, so it doesn’t slip while pouring in the batter.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add Earth Balance, water, and lemon juice and beat well (with an electric mixer if available) for about a minute. Add the remaining ingredients and beat again. Pour the batter into the lined jelly roll pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the top is lightly browned, and the center springs back to your touch. Allow to cool in pan until just warm.

Génoise Out of the Oven

Gripping the parchment in the center on either side, gently lift the cake out of the pan and place it on a large cutting surface. It should look like this:

Génoise Removed from Jelly Roll Pan

With a serrated knife, cut off all the caramelized edges (eat them!), and quarter the cake. Below is a photo of one of the four trimmed quarters:

Trimming the Génoise

Alright, here’s the first tricky part. With a large serrated knife, cut each quarter in half horizontally. You can take as much time as you need. Cut a little bit at a time, making sure your knife is being held level. Ideally you want two even layers.

Slicing the Génoise

Carefully separate the layers. You should now have this:

Génoise Slices

Spread the warmed jam on one of the sliced cake quarters. You don’t need a ton of jam, just enough to color the cake. You should still be able to see the cake through the jam.

Spreading the Jam

Begin stacking, alternating cake and jam, until you have four layers of cake. You should have enough cake to make two stacks, each stack containing four layers of cake and three layers of jam. Trim the edges if needed.

Divide the marzipan in half. Knead it until it softens, then roll each chunk out separately using powdered sugar to prevent it from sticking.


Roll it out until you get a thin, even sheet that is larger in all directions than your layered cake.

Marzipan Sheet

Brush one side of the marzipan with water to make it sticky, then place it on top of your cake, sticky-side down. Trim the edges off with scissors. Repeat for the second rectangle of cake.

Ready to be refrigerated

The cake is now ready to be refrigerated. It should be approximately 1 1/2 inches high. Cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight; this helps the jam set up and will help the cake stay together when you cut it into petit fours.

Layered Génoise Measures 1 1/2 Inches

Now the cake has been refrigerated overnight!

Using a ruler, score the marzipan with 1 1/2 inch grid as a cutting guideline. Each rectangle of cake should have 15 full squares, and a little extra that you can cut off and eat. Here’s the scored, trimmed cake:

Score the Marzipan

Keeping your knife as straight as possible, use long, sawing strokes to cut the cubes. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out.

Cut Petits Fours

Prepare your fondant:
Helen Fletcher’s Poured Fondant

2 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Corn Syrup

Written directions copy and pasted directly:
Poured Fondant, coolingHeat sugar, water and corn syrup to the soft-ball stage (238°F; 114°C). Pour into the food processor fitted with the steel blade. Wash the candy thermometer well and reinsert into the syrup. Let the syrup cool undisturbed in the workbowl to 140°F (60°C), about 30 minutes. Remove the thermometer.

Add any coloring or flavoring (vanilla, almond extract, etc.) and process 2 to 3 minutes, until the syrup completely converts from a glassy syrup to an opaque paste. When thoroughly cooled, store sealed at room temperature for 24 hours. Use or refrigerate for later use. [I just want to add: It will harden once completely cooled, simply microwave to liquify. It is warm enough to use for the petits fours immediately after processing.]

Poured Fondant, mid-processPoured Fondant Complete

Place your petits fours on a cooling rack and pour your fondant into a small bowl. You’re ready to ice them!

Petits Fours ready for Icing

In my opinion, icing is the hardest part. You need to keep your fondant warm and melty, and you’ll notice that it starts to set up fast. Give it a stir with a spoon before you dip each piece, as this will break any skin that has formed on top of the fondant. If it gets too thick (thinner is better), pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and try again.

Start with the ugly ones, that way if you mess up on the first few you won’t be as sad. Hold each cube so your forefinger is on the top of the cake (touching the marzipan) and your thumb is on the bottom. Dip all four sides.

Icing Petits Fours

Place the dipped petit four on the rack. Use a spoon to ice the top.

Icing Petits Fours

Let the petits fours set. You may need the help of a sharp knife to remove them from the rack once the fondant is hardened. I drizzled some melted chocolate over them to decorate, but you can decorate them anyway you want. Piped buttercream, molded marzipan, whatever makes you happy.

Petits Fours