Back

Gâteau Basque: The Ultimate French Pastry Indulgence

Traditional French Gâteau Basque Cake Recipe

Discover the delightful world of gâteau Basque, a French pastry that marries the best elements of cookies, tarts, and pies. This buttery, golden delight boasts a creamy center and a tender, crumbly crust that will transport your taste buds straight to the charming Basque country.

Imagine biting into a sophisticated, grown-up version of a Pop-Tart, but with the elegance and richness only French pastry can deliver. That’s the magic of gâteau Basque. This traditional treat from southwestern France has captivated dessert lovers for centuries, and now you can bring a taste of the Basque region into your own kitchen.

Our recipe combines the classic flavors of vanilla pastry cream and black cherry jam, nestled between two layers of buttery, almond-infused dough. The result? A heavenly pastry that’s perfect for breakfast, teatime, or an indulgent dessert.

A Brief History of Gâteau Basque

Gâteau Basque, known as “etxeko bixkotxa” in the Basque language, rose to fame in the 19th century thanks to Marianne Hirigoyen, a talented baker from Cambo-les-Bains. Today, this beloved pastry is celebrated with its own museum, annual festival, and a dedicated association of pastry chefs committed to preserving its rich tradition.

What Makes Our Gâteau Basque Special

Our recipe stays true to tradition while incorporating a few delightful twists:

  • Almond flour for extra texture and flavor
  • A splash of rum (optional) for depth
  • Both pastry cream and cherry jam for the ultimate filling experience

Get ready to impress your family and friends with this show-stopping French delicacy. Let’s dive into the recipe!

Gâteau Basque Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8.8 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups; 250g)
  • 1.7 ounces almond flour (1/2 cup; 50g)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, divided; for table salt, use half as much by volume
  • 7.4 ounces unsalted butter (15 tablespoons; 210g), softened to about 65°F (18°C), plus more for greasing
  • 5.2 ounces granulated sugar (3/4 cup; 150g)
  • 1 large egg (50g), brought to slightly cooler than room temperature, plus 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk (15g), straight from the fridge, for egg wash
  • 8 ounces (1 cup; 225g) vanilla pastry cream (see note)
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7ml) rum, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream
  • 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup; 85g) black or other cherry jam, spread, or preserves (see note)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl and paddle, add the 1 large egg, and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing on low speed until just combined.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a smooth ball. Divide the dough into two equal portions (about 340g each) and shape into flat, round disks. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and position the rack in the middle. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with butter and set aside. Remove dough disks from the refrigerator.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together pastry cream, rum (if using), and almond extract until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Prepare the egg wash by whisking together the remaining whole egg, egg yolk, cream, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  7. Roll out one dough disk on a lightly floured surface to a 9-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully transfer to the prepared cake pan, pressing it gently into the corners and up the sides.
  8. Spread the cherry jam in an even layer over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Top with the prepared pastry cream, spreading it evenly.
  9. Roll out the second dough disk to an 8.5-inch circle and place it over the filling. Tuck the edges in and seal them with the bottom crust. Fold any excess dough over the top and press to smooth.
  10. Brush the top with egg wash and create a decorative pattern using the tines of a fork. A classic crosshatch design works beautifully, but feel free to get creative!
  11. Bake until the cake is puffed and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  12. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Gently loosen the edges with a butter knife, then invert onto a plate and flip back onto a serving platter. Slice and serve your homemade gâteau Basque with pride!

Notes

While traditional Basque recipes use local black cherry jam, any high-quality cherry jam, spread, or preserves will work beautifully in this recipe.

For a chocolate twist, try substituting 8 ounces (1 cup; 225g) of chocolate pastry cream for the vanilla version.

Make-Ahead and Storage

Your gâteau Basque can be refrigerated for up to 3 days when wrapped tightly in plastic. Bring to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
507 Calories
28g Fat
57g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 507
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 291mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 102mg 8%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 160mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: