Cafe Pouchkine

Café Pouchkine cakes

In Paris, a city full of spectacular pastry shops, it really takes something major to grab me by the shoulders and shake me to attention. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the other ones, but when you see something as jaw-dropping as the pastries at Café Pouchkine, you can’t help but stop and stand at full attention.

Café Pouchkine macarons Café Pouchkine cakes

Emmanuel Ryon, the pastry chef, lives in Moscow and runs their pastry shop there. But he has finally opened in Paris on the ground floor of the Printemps department store, and he and his team use Russian ingredients in uptakes on classic French pastries. You’ll find cakes made with buckwheat flour and kvas, which figures into Paris Moscou, a caramel cake spiked with the fermented rye liqueur, rolled-up morning pastries wound up with wild blueberry swirls, and cheesecake made with Russian fromage blanc.

Café Pouchkine Café Pouchkine cakes

Sharp triangles, layered with Russian spice bread are lined up in exceedingly neat rows, and I’d be interested in seeing how they make those bulls-eye macarons, with a perfect, contrasting-colored dot in the center of each. And when I saw the cakes topped with various slices, scoops, and boules of fresh fruits and berries, my jaw dropped a little and wondered how many people, and how long it took them, to make each and every one of those carefully crafted petits gateaux.

Café Pouchkine pastries

They say you eat with your eyes. And looking at everything is almost as good – or even better – than tasting some of these beautiful pastries. But for those who want to linger, there a small bar where you’re welcome to enjoy your pastry in the small café, or take them home with you. Me? All I can do is stand there, and gawk.

Café Pouchkine
Printemps Department Store
64 Boulevard Haussmann (8th)
01 42 82 43 31


Related Links

Café Pouchkine à Paris (Passions Gourmandes des Christophe Michalak)

Café Pouchkine (Paris Breakfasts)

Café Pouchkine (The Skinny Bib)

Café Pouchkine (Paris By Mouth)

Le Café Pouchkine à Paris (You Tube/Video)


  • September 15, 2011 9:47am

    Emmanuel Riyon is besides a pastry “MOF” (=one of the best craftsman in France), which explains the high level of those pastries Reply

  • Claire
    September 15, 2011 9:53am

    Oh my goodness! There aren’t many things that make the 24hr trip to Europe seem like a good idea, but pastry is my Achilles heel. Actually it may be a good thing it’s so far away.. And i have never seen anything like those macarons – which is surprising in the city where Adriano Zumbo works! Did you try one? Reply

  • September 15, 2011 10:33am

    Oh I have passed this! I was grabbed by the bulls eye macarons, will give it a try! Reply

  • September 15, 2011 11:05am

    Wow! I’d spend all day gawking too. How amazing are these cakes? Reply

  • September 15, 2011 11:25am

    Ok, so, bullseye macarons – I think we have the autumn patisserie trend right there! They’ll be in The Paul by Christmas. Reply

  • stephanie
    September 15, 2011 11:29am

    you wrote….”They say you eat with your eyes. And looking at everything is almost as good – or even better – than tasting some of these beautiful pastries.”

    Does that mean that you tasted these pastries and that they do not taste as good as they look? Maybe you do not dare say anything negative for fear that the Russain mafia will get you??

    They are stunning. I particularly love the fruit tart with dragon fruit balls. Mmmmmm…. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 11:31am

    One of my favorite pastry shops in Paris. “Medovik” (honey cake) is to die for! Reply

  • Orchid
    September 15, 2011 11:47am

    Mmmmm I am going there right now!!! Reply

  • Liina Land
    September 15, 2011 11:54am

    I have been reading this blog for a while now – but not until today did I feel, that I HAVE to plan a trip to Paris – a gulinary one is preffered…. these pictures took my breath away! I can only imagine what these little pieces of art must taste like. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 12:10pm

    wow, this is so beautiful! Reply

  • September 15, 2011 12:12pm

    I’ve begun reading all your posts all over again, specifically, the Paris ones because I’ve moved here to study cuisine at Cordon Bleu here (James Beard scholarship!). Exploring the pastries and food is going to be so much fun with all your advice. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 12:30pm

    Spectacular pastries. Cafe Pouchkine makes me smile as it reminds me of a song I love by Gilbert Becaud called “Nathalie”. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 12:44pm

    Wow- the bulls eye macarons are amazing, how do you think he does that? Reply

  • September 15, 2011 1:11pm

    I am a baking student and love looking at the fabulous creations other chefs. I am so inspired by this! In my Petit Four class we made L’Operas and I thought those were fancy. =) These are wonderful! Thank you for sharing! Reply

  • September 15, 2011 1:50pm

    I LURVE this place!!
    It’s like a mini museum for inside of Printemps
    Having petit dej’ there was such a treat…just to soak up all the details
    But I still haven’t had their extravagent meringue citron
    NEXT TIME I will!!
    They are supposed to be opening up in NYC too.
    I love their crazy extravagant website too – as fanciful as their pastries-
    Thanks David for posting on them!!
    . Reply

  • September 15, 2011 2:40pm

    Those pastries are the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Wow, just wow. Reply

  • threeoutside
    September 15, 2011 3:14pm

    Is that *gold* on those dark morsels in the first photo? *blinks* Looking is all I could *afford* there… Reply

  • September 15, 2011 3:39pm

    For a second there, I was curious as to why they would be using chives to adorn their pastries.

    I’m sorry I missed you at Omnivore! Did you have to stand on the stool this time? Reply

  • September 15, 2011 3:54pm

    Don’t just stand there, eat something :) Reply

  • September 15, 2011 3:58pm

    The hot chocolate is also excellent! Reply

  • Devon
    September 15, 2011 4:18pm

    I travel to Japan frequently and am interested in both the similarities between the pastry shops in Japan and Paris. You will always find the pastry shops in the basement of department stores (or in the train stations!) and the aesthetics of the pastries are unreal. Very similar to the photos above. What makes me love it so much is that (i) it is so contrary to the U.S. where you could never find everything for your day, including pastries, in your local Macy’s; and (ii) that building such beautiful creations is considered artwork. It truly is. I actually framed some of my photos of cakes and pastry selections in the Kyoto Train Station! Reply

  • September 15, 2011 4:57pm

    Oh my. Definitely jaw-droppingly beautiful. I love the breathtaking petits gateux with the finest little flake of gold foil perched delicately at the top of the glazed strawberry. Hmmm…..Paris isn’t THAT far away from Sweden. Maybe I need to look into a flight. Reply

  • david
    September 15, 2011 5:02pm

    I keep meaning to go as well, and somehow, I’ve never made it. Thanks for the prompting though Reply

  • September 15, 2011 5:36pm

    They look fantastic. Is that rosemary as a garnish? If so, love it. I have been on a buckwheat tangent lately so this intrigues me. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 5:59pm

    These look sooooo amazing. I miss eating pastries. Reply

  • Wow. They are just fantastically beautiful and jump right off the page and into my mouth. I definitely need to make a trip to Paris soon to try these firsthand. It is so refreshing to know that they are made with these ingredients not normally found in such fine pastries. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 6:05pm

    The photos look beautiful. And in fact, often in Paris, I just have a look on the window of pastry shops and enjoy all the nice cakes and tartes they are offering (not necessary to always buy one). Here, you definitely show us some top of the class pastry, where I am not sure if the taste or the design is the leading element. Though, I am pretty sure (even without having tasted one) that Café Pouchkine will succeed in both. I’ll keep in mind not to miss this next time I’ll be at Printemps. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 6:33pm

    I’ll be sure to go and gawk at Cafe Pushkin when I’m in Paris next month. My husband has business in the financial district so we always stay at Hotel Ambassador which is just a few blocks from Printemps! Reply

  • September 15, 2011 6:38pm

    I was looking at their website (all in Russian) which spells it “Pushkin”, so I really didn’t misspell it :) Pouchkine is the French derivative maybe? Reply

    • September 16, 2011 7:58am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, it likely is. The Café Pushkin website isn’t in French (or English) and has some flash elements – and I don’t speak a word of Russian, but does give a glimpse into the café in Moscow. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 6:53pm

    Totally divine! I stopped off at Printemps for a handbag and ended up with a bag of macarons instead. Totally worth it and it saved me a bunch of Euros too. I bought the macarons in every colour and not only did they taste gorgeous, they looked so beautiful too….

    Thank you again for this reminder…. Shopping in Printemps has taken on a new level…. I now have another excuse to go there and next time, I’m gonna have myself a gâteau. :-) Reply

  • September 15, 2011 7:01pm

    Darn it! Something else I missed on my Europe trip earlier this summer. I guess I’ll have to come again, those macarons look too good to pass. And they look waaay better than what I attempted to make the other day, my chocolate macarons looked like a 4 year old’s playdoh project. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 7:11pm

    Thank you for providing one more excuse to come back to Paris! Your photos are stunning (and making me crave post-lunch dessert!). Reply

  • Little Miss Macaron
    September 15, 2011 8:33pm

    Gelato can pull me in. A beautiful gateau holds me raptured. Anything involving Dulce de Leche has an instant, undeniable magnetic attraction.

    However, nothing satisfies me, nor intrigues me, nor captivates me, in the way an exquisite selection of masterful pastries can.
    They are the beautiful combination of art, design and taste. They are delicious in every way. They are irresistible.
    Pastries are the food connoisseur’s version of “the woman in the red dress”. The sexiest food on the planet.

    Thanks for this post David, you made me wolf whistle out loud on the train when I saw this!! (I probably looked like a pervert… If only they knew) Reply

  • September 15, 2011 9:12pm

    When I read your blog, it halts my otherwise unceasing pangs of missing Paris. Thank you so very much for the work you do! Reply

  • September 15, 2011 9:23pm

    “All I could do was stand there and gawk…”
    You really expect us to believe you didn’t taste? :)
    Will remember this for next trip – even if all I can do is look! Reply

  • Doukissa
    September 15, 2011 10:00pm

    Now, you’re talkin’ my kind of pastries~~yum-yum. In the ’80s I worked at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles where we, the employees, were allowed to eat the “leftover” pastries from Bernards. Everyday Bernard use to whip up delicious pastries that looked similar to these and then some even more exotic. Those were the sweetest days. Reply

  • Annabel (Mrs Redboots)
    September 15, 2011 10:04pm

    It’s the fruit tarts that I find to die for….. last time I was in Paris we were “en banlieu” at Boulogne-Billancourt, and there was this bakery that sold the most amazing fruit tarts and gateaux (and sandwiches – we bought ourselves a sandwich and a fruit tart each on our last day!). They were just so beautiful, like glowing jewels. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 10:35pm

    What a delight! I could go crazy in a place like that. :) Reply

  • September 15, 2011 10:39pm

    GORGE! (ous) Haha Reply

  • September 15, 2011 10:47pm

    What is the spiral thing in the last picture? Or rather, what is the filling? That’s not the blueberry swirl thing you described, right? Looks amazing. Reply

  • September 15, 2011 11:44pm

    These photos are absolutely stunning. Makes me want to jump right into the computer.

    I love everything Parisian. Planning a trip in a couple years.

    Love your memoir about moving to Paris. I have it on my table at work and sell, sell, sell it. We all smile just thinking about it. Reply

    • September 16, 2011 8:03am
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks! And glad you’ve enjoyed the book and it’s popular in your store! : ) Reply

  • September 16, 2011 12:38am

    That is ART! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing such scrumptious pictures! Reply

  • Gavrielle
    September 16, 2011 1:16am


    Wow, there are balls of dragonfruit on those amazing fruit tarts. I’ve never seen dragonfruit outside of China/Hong Kong/Singapore (and it’s no doubt in other Eastern countries as well). I had no idea you could get it in Europe. Reply

  • September 16, 2011 1:18am

    i am terrible at presentation, so i truly admire anyone that can create such aesthetic masterpieces! This is astounding and inspiring. Now i’m dreaming about sitting somewhere in Paris enjoying a box of these gorgeous macarons and re-reading the Pushkin from my college Slavic Lit days. :) Reply

  • September 16, 2011 2:47am

    Thank you for posting this David – it is seriously a joy for the eyes! I don’t think I’ve ever seen prettier pastries. Wow. I want to pin that on my wall ; ) Reply

  • Tom L
    September 16, 2011 3:50am

    I swear, if I lived in Paris, I would weigh 300 pounds or more. Their desserts are simply divine. Not as sweet as American pastries but all the more flavorful for it. And each a work of art. And the prices! Half what I would have expected for such quality. So thank you for a calorie free exhibit of the wonders one beholds in Paris. Simply the best! Reply

    • September 16, 2011 8:02am
      David Lebovitz

      When I went to pastry school here, I asked one of my instructors why the prices in France for pastries seemed so reasonable. He said that because there were so many pastry shops, prices had to be kept down. However in the past few years, people in France (like in many other countries) have become more price-sensitive and places like this, and the other swanky shops around town, aren’t necessarily geared towards the locals. But it is free to look, and the occasional indulgence is within reach of most. Reply

  • September 16, 2011 4:44am

    All I can do is stare. I am desperately trying to work up a recipe for that last bit of magic. I think I’ll start with apricots.
    Beautiful work, those folks are BEYOND talented! Reply

  • Norine
    September 16, 2011 6:12am

    Ah, just like those we can find at the mall in Modesto – not. I’ll try to pull myself out of yet another depression. Reply

  • September 16, 2011 12:52pm

    Wow, what beautiful pastries. I’ll be in Paris in a bit and this place will definitely be on my itinerary. Reply

  • Celia
    September 16, 2011 1:11pm

    I can buy one, put a glass dome over it and have it to admire. Extraordinary, but difficult to eat………………too beautiful!!!!! Reply

  • September 16, 2011 1:45pm

    I love this patisserie so much. I just wish they had a salon de the. The little bar is ok for a breakfast stop, but doesn’t do justice to the elegance of the cakes for a nice afternoon tea. I think a salon de the that is reservation only is what they need: none of this awful queuing business like Laduree. Reply

  • Laysa Durski
    September 16, 2011 4:19pm

    They do reeeeealy beautiful things! I was in love when I went to the pastry!

    Do you remember the name of this fruits cake? Thanks :) Reply

  • September 16, 2011 9:12pm

    One word: WOW!!! Reply

  • Carolyn
    September 16, 2011 9:38pm

    I didn’t see the link to the translated version of their site on their Russian page, but here is the original Cafe Pushkin in English:
    Just beautiful! Reply

  • naomi
    September 16, 2011 9:45pm

    Too funny – I googled kvas to find out about it, and read the Wiki entry, which said it is a drink for school children too as the alcohol is low in it. Also, it seems the might cola company began selling in in NYC last year. Reply

  • Valerie Manzo-Wong
    September 16, 2011 10:11pm

    Duly yummy noted. Oh yes!! Reply

  • Lando
    September 17, 2011 5:09am

    Like everyone else, I am astounded by the colors and obviously delicious combinations, yet I think what really stands out behind all this is the amount of work put into these delicacies! Hours, upon hours… Now, the verdict: Was it as memorable to your palate, as it was to everyone’s eyes? :-) Reply

  • September 17, 2011 8:12am
    David Lebovitz

    Carolyn: Thanks. It’s too bad they don’t show all the desserts and pastries on their site but it is an interesting little glimpse into their Moscow café.

    naomi: I like flavors like rye and buckwheat in my desserts, so kvas would fit into that category. I’ve seen recipes (online) to make it yourself, so no need to patronize a cola company!

    Anna: Yes, it’s not really a café…it’s more of a comptoir (counter). I think it’s more in the spirit of the Moscow café rather than a real café. We took our treats outside and found a bench to enjoy them there, although I hear the hot chocolate is good at the counter, or, um, café. Reply

  • September 17, 2011 8:25am

    Wow! Thank you so much for mentioning this place; I actually live in Moscow so I am totally going to check it out now.

    I never knew they had pastries at Cafe Pushkin. The only French patisserie that I knew of here was Eric Kayser, which is just amazing in itself. Reply

  • September 17, 2011 2:26pm

    Oh my god!!! I am really not sure if there is more that I can say. Those may just be the most beautiful pastries I have ever seen! I can only imagine how fantastic they must taste. Reply

  • ranchodeluxe
    September 17, 2011 4:30pm

    Beautiful photos, David. Che bella… Reply

  • September 17, 2011 5:25pm

    oo, nothing makes me happier than seeing someone bring in another culture’s influences into french pastries. its why i love sadaharu aoki so much, and now i’ve got a new pastry shop to visit whenever i make it back to paris. Reply

  • September 18, 2011 5:09pm

    I almost don’t care what they taste like. I am just enjoying the beauty of these photographs! They are gorgeous. They make the pastries almost surreal with those unbelievable colors. Wow. Thanks. Reply

  • September 18, 2011 5:09pm

    Gorgeous and enticing. Will be on my itinerary next time. Reply

  • September 19, 2011 5:25am

    Such a tease! It feels a bit unfair that someone can makes something so perfect and desirable. An instant fan! Reply

  • andi
    September 19, 2011 7:36pm

    You don’t live by bread alone, but, ah, these cakes… And if they taste only half as incredible as they look I think I should go to Paris finally. What the Louvre wasn’t able to achieve, Café Pushkin will… Reply

  • JimmyJay
    September 20, 2011 4:34pm

    A note to Devon: You can find everything you want for your day in one place in the U.S. – it’s called Wal-mart & in some cases Target. Reply

  • September 21, 2011 2:01am

    These are adorable desserts! I want some now! Reply

  • Rowi
    September 21, 2011 2:47pm

    Perfect timing! I would be in Paris for a long weekend and would definitely visit this place. Many thanks for this post and for all other posts esp on Paris!

    If you have any not-to-be-missed gourmet events, or shops to visit this coming weekend, I would be most grateful to be in the know. Reply

    • September 21, 2011 4:27pm
      David Lebovitz

      You can find a good list of upcoming food-related events in Paris at Paris by Mouth. (And I agree; it’s unfortunate that the website and booking engine for “Tous au restaurant” (a ‘restaurant week’ event intended to allow people to experience certain restaurants in Paris offering price reductions) isn’t operational. There’s also a flea market on the Boulevard Beaumarchais in the Bastille on September 24. Bring a shopping bag! Reply

  • September 21, 2011 8:21pm

    That is certainly eye catching. This is not just baking but a work of art. Reply

  • Rowi
    September 22, 2011 10:54am

    Many thanks for your valuable tips! Sweden just had “Krogveckan” (restaurant week) last week where one paid roughly 21€ for two courses, normally a main course alone would cost around 25-35€. It was a breeze to book a table (bookatable website) and husband and I enjoyed a very good and inexpensive dinner in Stockholm.

    I’ll have a couple of lightweight shopping bags with me to visit the fresh markets. Will check out the flea market in the Bastille, thanks!

    Cheers! Reply

  • September 25, 2011 9:03am

    He publicado esa foto en Mis Favoritas de la semana, puedes verlo aquí
    Espero que te guste! Reply

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