A Traditional Fruit Cake Recipe from Brittany


La Bretagne (Brittany) has many sweet dishes to offer. Certainly, the many combinations of crêpes are world famous. Other traditional desserts include the Far Breton or the decadent sweet and buttery Kouign-amann.

Here is a simpler yet homey, filling recipe which is especially well-adapted to the beloved blé noir (‘bleh nwhar’; buckwheat) of Brittany. In France, the word cake (pronounced like in English) designates fruit cakes, that is, cake made with dried or candied fruits, usually presented in a simple, rectangular shape. Some salted versions called cake salé (with ham, olives, vegetables) also exist.

For 6-8 people. Preparation: 10 min.; cooking: 40 min.

• 175g of buckwheat flour (if not from Brittany, look for local, quality buckwheat)

• 175g sugar

• 3 eggs

• Oil

• 5cl (1.5 oz) of milk

• 1 packet of yeast

• 250g apricots in syrup


– Preheat oven to 220 °C (425 °F)

– Separate egg whites and beat until firm and fluffy.

– In a bowl, put the flour, sugar, yeast, oil, milk and the 3 egg   yolks. Mix for a few minutes.

– When the mixture is smooth, gently incorporate the egg whites.

– Drain the apricots in syrup, coat them with buckwheat flour before adding to them to the dough. Butter your cake mold and pour the dough into it.

– Bake for 10 minutes at 220 °C (425 °F), then lower it to 180 °C (350 °F) and cook for another 30 minutes.

– Check with the tip of a knife.

Note: This cake can be made with apples or other seasonal fruit.

(Breton Cakes photo via Flickr)