Gateaux Basque


I have been obsessed with Gateaux Basque since the first moment I came across this lovely pastry. It was on my honeymoon in San Sebastian (in the Basque part of Spain) where it was offered as a turn down every night. It was love at first bite! Or maybe it was that I was in love… Well, the marriage didn’t last but the love for gateaux Basque has not faded.

It looks simple but its flavor is complex and it is a bit tricky to make. The dough has to have the right temperature (cool) or it will fall apart and the filling is a lovely custard. The dough and custard will meld together during baking and the result is simply divine. For a composed dessert I serve this with equally addictive Armagnac prunes and a dollop of whipped cream. You can definitely make this cake a day in advance.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ almond flour
  • large pinch Maldon salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened, plus more to butter the pan
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 2 extra large egg yolks
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 2 tbs pernod
  • 1 large egg yolk for eggwash

How to

Combine all dry ingredients (except Maldon salt)in the bowl of a kitchen aid with a paddle attachment. With the mixer running low, add the butter. When the butter has been incorporated add the egg, 2 EGG YOLKS, lemon zest, Maldon salt and pernod. Mix at low speed until it comes together. Wrap 1/3 in plastic and 2/3 in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 3 extra large egg yolks
  • 4 tbs granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • ¾ tbs salt
  • 2 tbs Armagnac
  • 1/3 cup almond flour 

How to

In a medium pot bring milk to boil and turn off the heat. 

Whisk together egg yolks, corn starch, sugar, salt  until pale yellow. Slowly add hot milk to temper the egg mixture and once all mixed return the mixture to the stove and cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened. Strain into a shallow pan, place  plastic wrap on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. 

Once cool add almond flour and Armagnac.



Lightly butter a 9” ring mold 1” high. Roll out the larger piece of dough on a lightly floured surface. Don’t worry if it breaks, you can patch it up and mistakes will disappear when it bakes. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll over the ring and gently tuck the dough into the corners, let extra dough fall over the edges. Fill the shell with the custard. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a circle slightly larger than the pan. Place the dough over the pastry cream. Roll the pin over the top of the ring to seal the bottom and top layers together. Chill for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Whisk the remaining egg yolk with a little water and brush the gateaux with this egg wash. Score the top of the cake with a paring knife in a crisscross pattern.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden and the center is set.

Let cool completely.