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16th Nov 2019

Having friends over for brunch? Rick Stein’s rich cake recipe is sure to impress

Leslie Ann Horgan

Rick Stein’s latest book celebrates the best in French food, adding modern touches to traditional cuisine. This ring cake would make a striking centrepiece for Saturday brunch – with the leftovers made into mouthwatering French toast on Sunday, as Rick recommends…


Gâteau battu is from the Somme area of France. ‘Battu’ literally means beaten cake and it’s traditionally baked in fluted metal moulds, but for ease I’m using a bundt tin. With its rich buttery yeasted batter, this cake is like a cross between a brioche and a panettone, not too sweet. It’s extremely nice as it is, spread with strawberry jam, toasted or even dipped in egg and fried in butter, like pain perdu.



140g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
3 tsp active dried yeast
4 tbsp warm milk
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
50g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, 2 whole and 2 separated


Generously butter a non-stick bundt tin measuring about 20cm in diameter and 10cm deep. Sprinkle the dried yeast over the warm milk in a jug and leave it somewhere warm to froth and foam for a few minutes.

Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack in the 2 whole eggs, then add 2 of the yolks, the melted butter and the frothy yeast mixture. Beat to make a smooth batter.

In a separate bowl whisk the 2 remaining egg whites to soft peaks. Beat a tablespoon of the egg whites into the batter to loosen it, then gently fold in the rest with a large metal spoon.

Turn the mixture into the greased tin and cover loosely with a clean tea towel or cling film. Leave the cake to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C. Bake the cake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes in the tin and then turn out on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Rick Stein’s Secret France is published by BBC Books in hardback at €31.99.