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Monday, August 15, 2022

Homemade Gerbeaud cake with a rich filling, based on an old family recipe

In many places in Europe, one of the great favorites of Christmas is a thickly filled Gerbeaud cake with soft dough, topped with a layer of chocolate.

Gerbeaud cake is associated with French-born master pastry chef Émile Gerbeaud, who, according to popular belief, was the creator of this apricot-peach, walnut and chocolate delicacy. The popularity of the cake has stayed undiminished ever since, and it has remained and indispensable treat on the Christmas table. Because it stays fresh for a long time, it may be prepared several days before the holidays. The dough is much softer and crumblier if you soak the yeast in sour cream.

Ingredients for the dough

  • 500 g flour
  • 250 g butter
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 250 g yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar for the yeast
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling

  • 400 g apricot jam
  • 300 g ground walnuts
  • 200 g icing sugar

Ingredients for the topping

  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Homemade Gerbeaud cake with a rich filling, based on an old family recipe


Heat the sour cream to lukewarm, add a teaspoon of sugar, crumble in the yeast and wait until it rises in about 10 minutes.

Crumble the flour with the butter previously cut into small pieces, add the salt, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, egg and the yeast mixed with the sour cream. Knead the dough until it is not sticky anymore (comes off your hands easily).

Divide the dough into four equal parts, shape four loaves, cover and set aside to rise in a warm place for 40-50 minutes.

After the resting time, place the loaves on a floured surface and roll out one by one. Place one of the dough sheets on a baking tray lined with baking paper, spread a generous amount of jam and then sprinkle with the chopped walnuts mixed with sugar. Continue layering, finishing with the last layer of dough.

Stab densely with a fork and bake the cake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. When light brown, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate over steam, then stir in the oil and coat the top of the cake. Chill in the fridge for several hours before slicing.

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