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Fantastic Basque cakes beyond Gateau basque

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Gâteau Basque is undeniably the most famous Baque cake ever. But if you are interested in other amazing Basque cakes beyond the Basque cake, keep on reading


The Basque country is a famous foodie destination in Spain and beyond for its marvelous Basque cuisine. The mix of mountains and the sea of mesmerizing Basque country has been reflected in Basque cooking traditions and traditional Basque foods.

The Basque cuisine is famed for the fish and seafood dishes prepared with fresh fish and seafood from the Atlantic Ocean and the Biscay Bay, famous Idiazábal sheep cheese, celebrated Rioja wine from the Basque province of Álava, aromatic Basque Txacoli wine …. and delicious Basque desserts, among which probably the most popular is Gâteau Basque.  

If you are interested in learning more about Basque cakes, here are the best Basque cakes you need to try on your visit to the Basque country.



Basque cake is one fo the most famous Basque foods
Basque cake © World Travel Connector

Gâteau Basque (literally meaning the Basque cake in the French language) is the signature dessert of the Basque Country.

Gâteau Basque is called Etxeko Bixkotxa in the Basque language, meaning ‘cake of the house‘. The Basque cake is also called Pastel Vasco in the Spanish language.

So, please feel free to order Etxeko Bixkotxa, Gâteau Basque or Pastel Vasco when in the Basque country. In any case, you will get the Basque cake.

The Basque cake is made of baked shortcrust pastry with a filling. There could be two types of filling: black cherry jam and vanilla cream.

The most common filling in the French part of Basque Country is the black cherry jam and the most common filling in the Spanish part of the Basque Country is vanilla cream.

Sometimes, most typically a homemade Basque cake can be filled with fruits like apricots, blackberries, figs, or cherries.

But in any case, this traditional Basque dessert tastes incredibly good.

The Basque cake was created in the mid-19 century on the Basque farms. It served as Sunday bread and a cake for feast days and other important occasions. The top of the Basque cake is traditionally decorated with lauburu, or the Basque cross, a symbol of the Basque country.

Today Gâteau Basque (Pastel Vasco or Etxeko Bixkotxa), is deeply associated with the Basque identity. The Basque Cake Festival is celebrated every year in October in Cambo-les-Bains.

2. TRAINERA – Basque apple cake

Basque apple cake is one of the best Basque foods
Basque trainera © World Travel Connector

Basque trainera is an apple cake made of baked broken dough filled with almonds, and with apples on the top.

The cake resembles the Basque trainera boat.

Trainera is a traditional Basque rowing boat. Historically Basque fishermen used trainera rowing boats for fishing anchovies and sardines in the Cantabrian sea and most notably, in the Biscay Bay.

In modern times, spectacular trainera races (las regatas de traineras) in the open sea of Bilbao, San Sebastian, Portugalete, Orio, Zarautz, and some other seaside Basque places are held in summer. One of the most famous trainera races is Bandera de la Concha that has been held in San Sebastian’s La Concha bay every year for two first Sundays in September since 1879.

3. PANTXINETA – Basque pastry with custard cream and almonds

Panchineta cake is one of the most popular Basque cakes
Pantxineta © World Travel Connector

Panchineta is a traditional Basque cake made of puff pastry filled with custard cream, topped with toasted almonds, and garnished with powdered sugar.

Just to point it out straight away, Pantixineta or Panchineta is one of my favorite Basque cakes and Basque desserts.

Basque Pantixineta is native to San Sebastian (Donostia). Otaegui Pastry in San Sebastián created the first Pantixineta at the beginning of the 20th century.  The name of Pantixineta is derived from the French Franchipán.

If you want to try authentic Pantixineta, keep in mind to order this traditional Basque dessert with a cup of coffee in San Sebastian.


Basque cheesecake is one of the most famous Basque cakes
Basque cheesecake Photo by Jojo Yuen (sharemyfoodd) on Unsplash

Basque burnt cheesecake is another one of the most famous Basque cakes.

In fact, today’s world raves about amazing burnt Basque cheesecake. And for a good reason!

This intentionally burnt cheesecake is creamy inside but caramelized outside. The balance of sweet and creamy interior and caramelized and somewhat bitter exterior is what makes this famed Basque cheesecake uniquely delicious.

Basque cheesecake was created in La Viña restaurant in San Sebastian in 1990. Spanish chef Santiago Riviera created the cake inspired by globally popular ‘tarta de queso’.

Basque burnt cheesecake is served at room temperature and typically prepared 3 days before serving.

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