This traditional butter cake from Brittany, in northwest France, is one of the simplest, most satisfying of the French cakes—it doesn’t require layers, frosting, or any special equipment. Find more in our One-Layer Cakes Special Issue!
Almond Gâteau Breton
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
- 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (71 grams) whole blanched almonds, toasted
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons water
- Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
- Lemon Compote (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine granulated sugar and almonds. Process until finely ground, about 2 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar mixture at medium-high speed until thickened and light yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually add melted butter, beating until combined. Sift flour over batter; stir just until combined (batter will be thick; do not overmix).
- Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 2 teaspoons water. Brush egg wash over cake. Using a sharp knife, deeply mark a circular pattern on top of cake.
- Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with Lemon Compote.
Makes 1½ cups
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup almond liqueur
- 1 large lemon, zested and sectioned
- ½ cup (85 grams) chopped candied ginger
- In a medium saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat until golden in color. Remove from heat, and add almond liqueur. Place saucepan back over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon zest and sections and ginger. Let cool. Compote will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.