gateau basque slice

About This Gateau Basque

A gateau basque is a fruit and cream-filled tart from the Basque regions of France and Spain. Although I call it a tart, it’s really more of a cross between a tart and a cake. The gateau basque is made in a similar manner to a typical tart, with a pastry dough that is fitted onto a tart pan.

However, the pastry dough contains baking powder. This baking powder puffs up in the oven, giving the tart crust a more cake sponge-like texture. The best part? The tart is filled with both pastry cream and your favorite fruit jam, ensuring layers of fruit, cream, and cake tart in every bite!

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Now let’s talk about all the reasons why you should make this gateau basque recipe:

The recipe is an accessible intermediate-level recipe for beginner bakers looking to step up their pastry game.

I’m not going to lie—this recipe is one of the more complicated recipes on Hummingbird High. Why? It involves many steps: first you have to make the pastry dough, then the pastry cream, and then assemble and bake the tart. All these different components also need to be chilled along the way.

But despite the recipe containing multiple components, each individual part actually comes together easily. The pastry dough comes together like cookie dough, while the pastry cream is made with a standard recipe worth mastering. And unlike other pie or tart doughs, assembling the pie is a breeze! Although the recipe looks complicated at first glance, all you need to do is press the dough into the pie. There’s no complicated rolling out and weaving (like pie lattices, ugh). Be sure to check out the video tutorials to lead you along the way!

The recipe fits easily into your schedule.

I divide this recipe up over two days. On Day 1, I instruct you to make both the pastry dough and the pastry cream. Why? These components need to be chilled before assembling the tart. Take back control of your schedule and make them a day ahead! On Day 2, I instruct you to assemble and bake the tart. This is the kind of recipe time management that I write about in my cookbook to ensure that you’re not in the kitchen making this recipe all day.

But if you want to take it even further, you can also make the different components up to 5 days in advance! And if you don’t mind an all day project, go ahead and make everything in the same day. Like I said—this is a recipe that fits easily into your schedule!

The recipe is easily customizable.

In the recipe, I give you lots of options. You can make the pastry dough with almond extract OR vanilla extract. You can make the pastry cream with vanilla beans OR vanilla extract. The best part? You can use whatever jam you like best, customizing your gateau basque with different flavors. Go wild!

gateau basque

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make this gateau basque, here’s everything you need to make the recipe:

Shopping List For Gateau Basque Recipe

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • almond OR pure vanilla extract
  • cornstarch
  • whole milk
  • seedless fruit jam

And let’s talk about some key ingredients and potential substitutions:

Common Ingredient Substitutions For The Recipe

Here are common substitutions for the ingredients in the recipe:

  • All-Purpose Flour. Substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite 1-1 Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I like the ones by Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Baking Company) to make the recipe gluten-free!

  • Kosher Salt. Replace the kosher salt in the recipe with half its amount in table salt.

  • Unsalted Butter. You can substitute the unsalted butter with salted butter without any noticeable difference in taste. You can also use vegan butter sticks to make it dairy-free—just make sure your white chocolate doesn’t have milk powder in it!

  • Cornstarch. You can replace the cornstarch with other thickening starches like potato or tapioca starch.
gateau basque sliced

How To Make The Recipe

Here are the basic steps to make gateau basque from scratch:

Day 1: Make The Pastry Dough And Cream

  1. Prep the ingredients for both the pastry dough and the pastry cream. (Prep Time: 10 minutes)

  2. Make the pastry dough and refrigerate overnight. (Work Time: 10 minutes)

  3. Make the pastry cream and refrigerate it overnight. (Work Time: 15 minutes)

Day 2: Assemble And Bake The Tart

  1. Assemble the top crust of the gateau basque and refrigerate while you assemble the bottom crust. (Work Time: 10 minutes)

  2. Assemble the sides and bottom crust of the gateau basque. (Work Time: 15 minutes)

  3. Fill the tart. (Work Time: 5 minutes)

  4. Affix the top crust of the gateau basque onto the tart and refrigerate while you preheat the oven. (Work Time: 5 minutes)

  5. Once the oven is done preheating, make the egg wash and brush the tart with it. (Work Time: 5 minutes)

  6. Bake the gateau basque. (Bake Time: 50 minutes)

Best Recipe Tips

Tips To Help You Fit The Recipe Into Your Schedule

  • Because this recipe has multiple parts (you have to make the tart dough, pastry cream, AND assemble the tart!) and requires lots of chilling, I suggest breaking it up into two days. What does that mean? On Day 1, make the pastry dough and pastry cream since both need to be cold before being used in the recipe. On Day 2, the next day, assemble the tart and bake the entire thing!

  • Want to split up the work even further? Both the pastry dough and pastry cream can be made up to 5 days in advance; simply store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Tips About Ingredients

  • The tart dough recipe instructs you to use 1 egg yolk to make the dough. Don’t throw out the egg white! You’ll need it for assembling the tart later.

  • The recipe gives you a couple of options in terms of ingredients. You can use almond or pure vanilla extract when making the tart dough—but I recommend almond for a more authentic experience.

    You can use a vanilla bean pod or vanilla extract to make the pastry cream. I recommend the vanilla bean pod to ensure that your pastry cream has pretty specks of vanilla throughout!

    You can use any kind of seedless jam you want in the recipe, but I recommend blackberry, cherry, strawberry, or raspberry.

More Tart Recipes

Get the Recipe: Gateau Basque Recipe

A gateau basque is a fruit and cream- filled tart from the Basque region. It is a cross between a tart and a cake, with layers of pastry cream and jam.
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For The Tart Dough

  • 2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 Tablespoons (5 ounces or 142 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cup (4.65 ounces or 132 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon almond OR pure vanilla extract

For the Pastry Cream

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 99 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce or 28 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 cups (16 ounces or 454 grams) whole milk, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod OR 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes


  • ½ cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) seedless fruit jam
  • 1 large egg white
  • ½ teaspoon water



Day 1: Make The Pastry Dough and Cream

  • Prep the dry ingredients for the pastry dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Cream the butter and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the eggs and extract. Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg and egg yolk one at a time, adding the next egg only after the previous one has been fully incorporated. Add the extract and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two halves, adding the next half only after the first half has been fully incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Prep the dough for storing. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured counter with the spatula. Quickly knead the dough into a rough ball. Divide the dough in two portions with a bench scraper—one portions should be slightly larger than the other. If you want to be precise, use a digital scale to divide the dough. It will typically weigh between 20 to 21 ounces (or 567 to 595 grams). The smaller half should weigh between 9 to 10 ounces (255 to 283 grams), with the larger half weighing between 10 to 11 ounces (283 to 312 grams).
    Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Prep the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch for the pastry cream. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Add the sugar and cornstarch and whisk vigorously until combined. At first, the mixture will clump and be difficult to whisk—this is normal, I promise! Keep whisking until it thins out, then thickens into a thick, creamy base.
  • Prep the milk. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan whisk together the milk and salt. If using a vanilla bean pod, use a sharp knife to slit 1 vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into the milk. Place pod in the milk, too. Bring to a simmer slowly over medium-low heat and cook, whisking occasionally, to allow the vanilla to infuse the milk.
  • Slowly combine the milk and egg mixtures. Using a ladle and whisking constantly, slowly stream half of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Once combined, stream the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining warm milk.
  • Cook the pastry cream. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Strain the pastry cream. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and pour the pastry cream through the sieve to remove any lumps. Discard any solids.
  • Add the butter. Whisk the cold butter into the pastry cream, one to two pieces at a time, until smooth.
  • Prep the pastry cream for storing. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight.

Day 2: Assemble And Bake The Tart

  • Roll out the top crust. Remove the smaller piece of dough from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap.
    Place the dough on top of a generously floured piece of parchment paper around the size of a half sheet pan. Sprinkle the dough with more flour and place a second sheet of parchment paper over the dough, creating a parchment sandwich with the dough in the middle.
    Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough between the parchment sheets, working from left to right. Turn the dough as you go to create a circle. If the parchment paper starts to wrinkle and leave creases in the dough, pull the sheet loose and smooth it before rolling the dough more. If the parchment paper starts to stick to the dough, sprinkle with more flour as necessary as you roll.
    Continue rotating and rolling until you have a 10-inch circle of dough. Transfer the dough, still on the bottom sheet of parchment paper, to a half sheet pan. Refrigerate while you work on the bottom crust.
  • Press the bottom crust into the tart pan. Remove the larger piece of dough from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap.
    Use a bench scraper to cut the dough in half, then cut one half into 6 pieces. Roll the pieces between your palms on a lightly floured surface to form dough ropes that are about ½ inch thick.
    Arrange the ropes around the sides of the tart pan, leaving no gaps between each piece of dough. Use your fingers to press the dough ropes into the sides of the pan so that they flatten and adhere up against the tart pan, reaching all the way to the top of its sides.
    Press the remaining half of the dough into and across the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Where the bottom meets the sides, smooth and press the dough together to seal. You can also use a lightly floured tart tamper or the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten the dough into the pan.
  • Fill the tart. Scrape the chilled pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a small tip. Pipe two 1-inch thick circles of pastry cream along the outer edges of the bottom crust—doing so results in an empty circle in the middle of the pastry cream.
    Use a cookie dough scoop or spoon to scoop the pastry jam into that circle. Use an offset spatula to spread the jam evenly in the circle.
    Pipe the rest of the pastry cream on top of both the pastry cream and jam in the bottom crust and use an offset spatula to smooth the top.
  • Assemble the tart. Remove the cold dough circle from the refrigerator and slide it off the parchment paper onto the top of the tart, covering the pastry cream completely. Press firmly around the edge so the top crust adheres to the sides of the pan, pressing down and pinching away any extra overhanging dough.
    Use a pastry brush to brush off any excess flour on top of the tart. Place the tart on an aluminum-foil lined sheet pan and refrigerate while you preheat the oven.
  • Preheat the oven. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Eggwash the tart. Once the oven is preheated, make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water.
    Remove the sheet pan with the tart from the refrigerator and, working quickly, use a pastry brush to coat the entire surface of the tart with a thin layer of egg wash.
  • Bake the tart. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top of the tart is shiny and deep golden brown.
    Cool the tart on the sheet pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, unmold the tart by setting the pan on top of a wide glass or mug and carefully pulling down the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
  • Serve and store. Serve slightly warm, or at room temperature. The tart can be stored at room temperature, under a cake dome or a large bowl turned upside down, for up to 1 day. After that, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.