Gâteau Breton au Blé Noir (Buckwheat Cake from Brittany)

December 7, 2016

Author Notes: Somewhere between a soft shortbread and a dense pound cake, the hearty Gateau Breton has been a mainstay at bakeries in Brittany since 1863 when it won first prize in its class at l’Exposition Universelle de Paris. A non-buckwheat version of the gateau is also common, but I love the deep, nutty flavor imparted by the blé noir. Slice in diamond shapes, as is tradition, and serve with a cup of coffee for a lovely morning treat.

For more about the gateau: http://bit.ly/2hkpplf
Andrea Bearce Duty

Makes: 1 9-inch cake


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, plus 1/2 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum or brandy
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Grease a nine-inch cake pan or glass pie pan with butter.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, buckwheat flour, sugar, salt and baking powder until evenly combined. Add the cubed butter and mix on low to medium speed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Turn the mixer off.
  3. In a small bowl, use a fork to lightly whisk the egg yolks with the rum. Turn the mixer back to low speed and pour 4 of the eggs yolks into the flour mixture. The dough will begin to come together as small chunks, then bigger ones and finally forming into one cohesive dough. When this happens, turn the mixer off and scrape the dough into the prepared pan.
  4. Press the dough into the pan making sure the thickness is even throughout. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg yolk with two teaspoons water. Brush the top of the dough with a thick layer of the egg yolk mixture, then use the tines of a fork to draw a cross-hatch design into the dough. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cake is a deep golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into slices or in traditional diamond shapes.
  5. Store tightly wrapped in plastic at room temperature.

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