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Travel France from your kitchen: Gâteau Basque recipe

Journey to the far southwest via this simple recipe for this much-loved signature classic of the Basque country

A gâteau Basque is something of a moveable feast because it was not invented by a commercial chef. It emerged naturally over the centuries from domestic kitchens, each home cook coming up with their own unique variation.

Today it is mainly served on celebration days and holidays. It can use apricots, cream, plums, or cherries. This recipe doesn't use any red fruit, but you can always add a layer of jam if liked. 

Serves 6-8 people


For the pastry:
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
100g sugar
1 pinch of salt
125 softened butter
For the cream filling:
250ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
30g flour
50g sugar
1 soupspoon rum
Plus one egg to glaze


If possible, make the pastry the day before baking the cake. Beat the egg, the extra egg yolk, the sugar and the salt.

When the mixture is white, add the softened butter and the flour and work the mixture by hand into a ball.
To make the cream, boil the milk with the vanilla extract.

In a bowl, beat the two egg yolks and the sugar until it turns white, then incorporate the flour and the rum.

Gradually add the boiling milk, mixing all the time. Turn the mixture back into the pan you used to heat the milk and heat gently until it thickens. Do not allow to boil again.

Line a cake tin with 3/4 of the pastry and when the cream is cool, pour it into the lined cake tin.

Cover with a lid made from the remaining pastry. Make patterns with a fork and then brush with a glaze of beaten egg.

Bake at 210 degrees for 40 minutes.

More recipes to try 

We're approaching the end of our cook-off journey around the regions of France and would love to hear from you if you've attempted any of the recipes so far! Email us with your pictures and the subject line 'Lockdown recipes' to

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