Breton cake

Breton cake recipe - Lilie Bakery

A pastry that has been delighting Bretons (and not only) for generations: the Breton cake ! It is prepared like a shortcrust pastry, and baked in a cake pan. The result ? A gourmet cake with a good taste of butter! A simple recipe to make at home with only 6 ingredients.

A few details about this Breton cake recipe

  • flavors : a good taste of butter, with a slight hint of vanilla (it's my little extra touch).
  • texture : it's a rather dense and crumbly cake that will make you think of Breton palets if you've ever tasted it! Depending on the degree of cooking, it will still be slightly soft inside.
  • difficulty level : very easy to make! Few materials needed.
Breton cake easy recipe - Lilie Bakery

6 ingredients only

  • salted butter : as a 100% Breton recipe, it is important to use salted butter (not unsalted butter).
  • egg yolks : there are a lot of them in this recipe, that's what gives the Breton cake this little biscuit side. Do not throw away the unused egg whites: take the opportunity to make meringues or pavlovas for example.
  • granulated sugar : you can adapt the quantity to your taste.
  • flour / baking powder : this is what gives density to the Breton cake.
  • vanilla extract : it's my little extra touch! This adds even more flavor to it.

How to make a Breton cake?

  1. Whisk the yolks and sugar
  2. Add the softened butter and vanilla
  3. Add flour and baking powder
  4. Place the thick batter in the bottom of the pan
  5. Coat the surface of the cake with egg yolk
  6. Draw 6 lines with a fork
  7. Bake the Breton cake
  8. Leave to cool before cutting into pieces

NB: the quantities and the detailed recipe are given to you at the bottom of the page.

My advice for a successful Breton cake

  • use butter very soft, it is important for it to be easily incorporated into the yolks/sugar mixture.
  • once the flour is added: do not over mix the dough. This allows the Breton cake to retain its softness.
  • wait for the Breton cake to cool to cut it more easily (in classic slices or in diamonds as tradition dictates).

How to store your cake

Breton cake is also called “travel cake” because it keeps very well! I advise you to keep it at room temperature, for about 5-6 days, in an airtight box to prevent it from drying out.

On the other hand, I strongly advise against the refrigerator: the butter contained in the cake would make it very hard once put in the cold.

Piece cut Breton cake - Lilie Bakery

Other recipes to try

If you like easy and friendly recipes, then I advise you to take a look at these other recipes from the blog:

If you make this Breton cake, do not hesitate to rate the recipe below and tag @liliebakery on Instagram so I can see your beautiful cakes!

Breton cake recipe - Lilie Bakery
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4.8 on 26 votes

Breton Cake, The Easy Recipe

An irresistible cake with its good taste of butter! True emblem of Breton culture, a very easy recipe to prepare at home...
Prep time15 minutes
Cook time40 minutes
Total55 minutes
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: cake
Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg yolks + 1 for the glaze
  • 210 g granulated sugar
  • 250 g very softened salted butter
  • 0,75 tsp vanilla extract
  • 330 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 pinches of baking powder

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 170° traditional heat. Butter a 20cm round pan.
  • Whisk together the granulated sugar and egg yolks until the mixture whitens.
  • Add the very softened diced butter and the vanilla extract. Incorporate everything well, beating with a mixer or a wooden spoon.
  • Add the flour and baking powder last. By hand, knead the dough until the flour is no longer visible (as for a shortbread dough).
  • Pack this sticky dough into the buttered pan. Smooth the top by hand or with the back of a spoon.
  • Put the last egg yolk in a small container. With a pastry brush, brush the top of the cake with the egg yolk.
  • With the back of a fork, draw 3 parallel lines on top of the dough. Turn the pan a little then draw 3 parallel lines again. This allows you to create diamonds.
  • Bake the mold for about 40 minutes (the duration varies according to the ovens). The main thing is that the top of the cake is golden brown. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack out of the oven.
  • NB: the cake hardens as it cools. It is easier to cut once cooled. Store at room temperature only.

Notes:

This Breton cake can be stored very easily at room temperature for 5-6 days. Be sure to put it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. 
Do not put it in the refrigerator because the butter it contains would make it very hard.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @liliebakery on Instagram so I can see the result :)
March 31, 2023
April 14th

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18 comments

  1. Reply

    Anne Laure

    April 7th

    5 stars
    Yum a Breton cake, all my childhood and my holidays in Brittany! My grandmother added bergamot essence and pieces of candied orange and angelica! But he looks a lot like him… I'm going to test him!

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      April 11th

      Hello Anne-Laure, indeed it always reminds many things of the Breton cake! It's up to you to personalize it as in your memories :) See you soon

  2. Reply

    Annette

    April 9th

    The Breton buckwheat flour cake is also very delicious by Laurent Mariotte, to try for gluten-free, the Breton buckwheat palets are a real delight, a treat for the taste buds, go to the stove ladies or gentlemen

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      April 11th

      Hello Annette, indeed I was told about a buckwheat version but I haven't tasted it yet. See you soon :)

  3. Reply

    Samantha

    July 28, 2023

    5 stars
    Thank you for this delicious recipe ! I made this a few weeks ago and it was so good! My family loved it :)

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      August 5, 2023

      Thank you very much Samantha! Glad your loved ones enjoyed it, see you soon :)

  4. Reply

    Patrice

    August 12, 2023

    4 stars
    Hello,
    Very good recipe but my cake swelled, my pinch of yeast is too big.
    How many grams of yeast do you recommend?
    Thank you

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      August 19, 2023

      Hello Patrice, to answer you, the pinches are very light, it is not quantifiable in grams or in teaspoons. You just have to take a little yeast between thumb and index finger and repeat another time because there are two pinches. See you soon :)

  5. Reply

    Peggy

    September 4, 2023

    5 stars
    My first Breton cake but not the last, excellent recipe I will treasure it!! THANKS

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      September 4, 2023

      Thank you very much Peggy for your feedback! See you soon :)

  6. Reply

    Shirley

    September 11, 2023

    Hello! I plan on making this cake and have a couple questions. The ingredients say to use granulated sugar, but the instructions reference powdered sugar. Which should I be using? Also, It lists baking powder but in the comments, yeast is mentioned. Which is it? If it is yeast, is instant yeast OK? Looks amazing and can't wait to make it! Thank you so much for sharing this :-)

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      September 13, 2023

      Hi Shirley, it's granulated sugar (not powdered sugar) and baking powder (not yeast), the automatic translation of my recipes can get wrong sometimes, sorry for this! I hope you'll like this Breton cake :)

  7. Reply

    nathalie

    11th October, 2023

    excellent

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      16th October, 2023

      Thank you Nathalie! See you soon :)

  8. Reply

    Rita

    December 8, 2023

    Hello, thank you for the recipe! What size mold do you use?

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      December 11, 2023

      Hello Rita, the size is specified in the recipe, it is a 20cm round mold. See you soon :)

  9. Reply

    Katy

    14th February 2024

    5 stars
    Hello I would like to divide the quantities by 2, which mold and what cooking time would you recommend? THANKS

    • Reply

      Lilie bakery

      16th February 2024

      Hello Katy, I do not recommend dividing by two because my recipe is already for a small 20cm mold… The Breton cake is soft to the core thanks to its thickness, if you reduce the quantities, it will be dry. See you soon :)

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