Gâteau Basque Recipe

I think for a gâteau Basque I want to go to a lady who really knows: Dorie Greenspan. This recipe is an American adaptation of a recipe she got in Basque Country (where she claims she ate gâteau Basque three meals a day).

10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
2 ounces (1/4 cup) light brown sugar
1.75 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
about1 cup black cherry preserves or pastry cream
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water (for the glaze)

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixer fitted with the paddle beat the butter and sugars on medium for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the egg and beat about 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix for about another minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two or three additions, mixing only until they just disappear. The dough will be quite sticky.

Lay a sheet of wax paper or plastic on the counter and put half the dough in the center of the sheet. Cover it with another piece of plastic or wax paper, then roll the dough into a circle a little more than than 8 inches in diameter. Repeat with the other half of the dough, then refrigerate both pieces for at least three hours.

When ready to assemble, preheat your oven to 350 and grease an 8-inch round cake or springform pan. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up a few minutes. Peel off the wax paper and lay one layer in the pan. Press it into the corners. Spread the jam or pastry cream on dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Moisten the uncovered edge and lay on the second piece of dough, passing the edges to seal.

Paint on some egg wash and make the crisscrossing pattern on top or the Basque cross if you like depending on the filling! Bake for 40-45 minutes until well browned. Cool the can in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it. Invert the cake onto another wire rack, then back again (or, if you’re using a springform pan, just release the clasp and slide the cake onto a rack. Cool completely and serve the same day.

8 thoughts on “Gâteau Basque Recipe”

  1. I’m not surprised she ate it 3 meals a day. Seriously, there are few things that have affected me as profoundly as eating my first piece of gateau basque. I was blown away.

  2. *gasp!* Gâteau Basque! I’m so extremely excited for this! 🙂 I’ve seen them a few times in the patisserie display case at the TIFF Lightbox bistro in town, but they *always* sell out by the time I swing by to get them. May well make my own now then!

    Super excited to see how they turn out in the photos 🙂

  3. I’ve never had Gâteau Basque before but I really want to try this recipe! I would definitely make it with the pastry cream….sounds delicious!

  4. I encountered this dessert while at a nice restaurant in Seattle and after the first bite, I said to myself, “I need to learn how to make this!” Thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe! I filled mine with pastry cream, topped the cooled cake with fresh blueberries and raspberries, and toffee-covered almond slivers. A huge hit!

  5. Hi Joe,

    Gateau basque has become my fancy take-to-parties dessert. People are just amazed at both the look and the taste. I was asked to provide dessert for a larger group function and decided to try making a 9×13 pan and wow, it worked beautifully! Aside from the flour I scattered over the kitchen in trying to fit a triple batch in my mixer, it mixed up just fine. I used just the cherry preserves for filling. Even though I had to patch the chilled dough it still looked beautiful, and I have never before made a dessert that was so easy to cut straight and clean without crumbling. Thanks!

    1. Great to hear that, Kathy!

      Gateau basque is indeed one of those deceptively simple recipes that really wows people. Well done and thanks so much for getting back to me on it!


      – Joe

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