Recipe type: Dessert
Total time: 
Serves: 12
A classic French cake traditionally filled with pastry cream or berry preserves.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup loosely packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 1 cup of pastry cream (recipe follows)
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water (for egg wash)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the egg and beat about 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix for one more minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two or three additions, mixing only until they just disappear. The dough will be quite sticky.
  3. Lay a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on the counter and put half the dough in the center of the sheet. Cover it with another piece of plastic or wax paper, then roll the dough into a circle a little more than than 8 inches in diameter. Repeat with the other half of the dough, then wrap and refrigerate both pieces for at least three hours.
  4. When the dough goes into the fridge, prepare the pastry cream so it can also chill before use: In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and first ¼ cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and egg. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch; then stir them into the egg until smooth. When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing constantly so that you do not cook the eggs. As soon as they're combined, return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly so the eggs don't curdle.
  6. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla, and pinch of salt, mixing until completely blended. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before using.
  7. When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch round cake pan or springform pan. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for 10 minutes. Peel off the wax paper or plastic and lay one layer in the pan, pressing it into the corners. Spread the pastry cream in the middle of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Moisten the bare edge by brushing on a bit of water, then lay on the second piece of dough, pressing the edges together to seal.
  8. Brush on the egg wash and make a crisscrossing pattern on top with a knife if desired. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until well browned. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it. Invert the cake onto another wire rack, then back again onto its bottom (or, if you’re using a springform pan, just release the clasp and slide the cake onto a rack. Cool completely.
  9. Best served the same day, but leftovers keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Recipe by Hidden Ponies at