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Gâteau Basque

Gâteau Basque

A French butter cake filled with pastry cream.



  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add the egg and beat another 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture may appear curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two or three additions, mixing just till they’re incorporated into the dough.
  3. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface and put half of the very soft and sticky dough in the center of the sheet. Cover with another piece of plastic, then roll the dough into a circle slightly larger than 8 inches in diameter. As you’re rolling, turn the dough over and lift the plastic frequently, so that you don’t roll it into the dough and form creases. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  4. Put the dough on a cutting board or baking sheet and refrigerate it for about 3 hours or for up to 3 days.
  5. When you’re ready to assemble and bake the gateau, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350º. Generously butter a 2-inch high 8-inch round cake pan or springform pan.
  6. Remove the layers from the refrigerator and let them rest on the counter for a couple of minutes before peeling away the plastic or paper. Fit one layer into the pan, pressing together any cracks or breaks with your fingers. Trim off any excess dough. Spoon some of the jam (3/4+cup) or pastry cream (3/4 cup) onto the dough, starting in the center of the cake and leaving one inch of dough bare around the outer edge.
  7. Moisten the bare ring of dough with a little water and then top with the second piece of dough, pressing down around the edges to seal it.
  8. Brush the top of the dough with the egg glaze and use the tips of a fork to create a cross-hatch pattern across the top.
  9. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Carefully flip cake over onto a cooling rack and then quickly invert it onto another rack so that it can cool fully right side up. If you’re using a springform pan, remove the sides and carefully move to a cooking rack using a large spatula.


The pastry filled version is best served on the day it is made.

Recipe from: Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan