Gâteau Basque (Basque Cake)

Basque Cake is a great traditional gâteau, and at the same time is very simple and delicious.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. butter, diced and at room temperature
  • ¾ cup plus ⅔ cup sugar, divided
  • 2½ cups plus ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. rum, divided
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 egg yolk


  • In a large bowl, stir ½ cup butter with a wooden spoon until it’s soft. Stir continuously as you add ¾ cup sugar, 2½ cups flour, the baking powder, 2 eggs, salt, and 2 tablespoons of rum. Stop when the dough is combined and can be shaped in a large ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the cream. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over medium-low heat. In a bowl, whisk 3 eggs and ⅔ cup sugar, then add ⅓ cup flour. When they are perfectly combined, add half of the warm milk. Whisk firmly together, then pour everything back in the saucepan, with the rest of the milk. Whisk continuously as you bring to a boil over medium heat, for 3–4 minutes. Add the rest of the rum, stir, and stop the heat. Let the cream cool down to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9"-round springform pan. Put half of the dough at the bottom, and press it lightly onto the bottom and up the side of the pan. Pour the cream on it. Roll the rest of the dough into a 9" circle, and put it on top. Press gently to seal the edges. Using a fork, lightly score the top in a diamond pattern. Brush it with the egg yolk. Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Eat cold the next day.