Friday, October 30, 2009

Basque Cake

Basque Cake - October 30, 2009

Of all the things we made at CIA, Basque Cake has to rank as one of my all-time favorites. Perhaps it's just the simplicity of the cake after all the fancy stuff we made. Or maybe just because it's so good. Basque Cake is a vanilla butter cake filled with pastry cream. The edges are a little crisp and the middle is soft and gooey with the goodness of butter and pastry cream. I don't make it that often though because it's so rich with butter, sugar and pastry cream and I want to keep on fitting in my clothes.

The recipe calls for baking in a 10-inch springform pan but I made these in a molten chocolate cake pan with 6 individual-sized cups with removable bottoms. My friend Annie the Baker and I found these pans on sale at Shackford's, a wonderful little kitchen store in Napa. They were on sale and there were 2 left so Annie and I each got one. Using the pans with removable bottoms is great because you can just push the cakes up when they're baked and take them out intact. There was enough batter and pastry cream left over that I also made a cake in a ramekin and an 8" round cake pan. Don't try taking it out of the pan(s) while they're still too hot or they'll break apart. Also, if you're going to use any pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan, line the bottom of the pan with foil. There's so much butter in the batter that some of it leaks out when it's first placed in a hot oven and you don't want that dripping in the bottom of your oven.

To make this cake, you're going to need a kitchen scale to weigh everything accurately. I don't have the volume measurements for this, only weights. Every baker should have a food scale anyway - you can be much more accurate when baking if you weighed rather than volume measured everything.

Basque Cake

1 pound butter, softened
1 pound sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs, at room temperature
13 ounces cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark rum
8 ounces pastry cream
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F – 350˚F.
2. Grease and flour 1 10-inch cake pan or springform pan. Put parchment paper on bottom.
3. Cream butter with sugar and vanilla. Do not overwhip; use paddle attachment. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt, and gradually fold into butter mixture with wooden spoon.
5. Spoon into large pastry bag fitting with a plain tip (#9). Pipe approximately half of the mixture in a spiral onto bottom of prepared pan. Pipe extra ring around inside edge of pan to prevent filling from sticking to sides of pan.
6. Stir rum into vanilla custard. Spread evenly over mixture inside of outer ring, using small spatula or palette knife.
7. Pipe remaining mixture in spiral over filling.
8. Bake in preheated oven 45 to 60 minutes or until center of cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
9. Dust top with sifted confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Alternatively, spread mixture in pan instead of piping it.


  1. For not being a dessert person,, this one sounds tempting! I think I might hit Bed, Bath & Beyond for some little removable-bottom pans just so I can make this tomorrow!


  2. LOL, Kimberly - too bad I'm not going to be in Fremont tomorrow. Otherwise I'd bring you one :). I have 2 for friends I'm seeing tomorrow then the rest I froze to give to my parents on Sunday and to give to people at work.

  3. Yum!! Thanks so much for linking up!!

    {Sweet Treats Thursday}