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Gâteau St. Honoré: France’s Signature Cake Gâteau St. Honoré: France’s Signature Cake


Gâteau St. Honoré: France’s Signature Cake

Discover the art of French patisserie with Gâteau St. Honoré, a dessert that combines puff and choux pastry, pastry cream, and caramel for a sublime treat.

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In the pantheon of French desserts, Gâteau St. Honoré stands as a monumental tribute to creativity, tradition, and the fine art of pastry. Named after Saint Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs, this exquisite dessert embodies the essence of French patisserie. With its harmonious blend of textures and flavors, Gâteau St. Honoré is not merely a dessert; it’s an experience, a journey through the heart of French baking tradition.


To embark on this culinary adventure, you’ll need:

For the Puff Pastry Base:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry

For the Choux Pastry:

  • 125 ml water
  • 125 ml milk
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 150g all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 eggs

For the Pastry Cream:

  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g cornstarch

For the Caramel:

  • 200g sugar
  • 60 ml water

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 300 ml heavy cream
  • 30g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the Puff Pastry Base:

    • Preheat your oven to 200°C (390°F).
    • Roll out the puff pastry and cut into a 10-inch circle. Prick with a fork and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Make the Choux Pastry:

    • Combine water, milk, butter, salt, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
    • Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously until a dough forms. Cook over low heat until the dough dries slightly and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
    • Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next.
    • Pipe small dollops onto a baking sheet and bake at 200°C (390°F) until golden and puffed, about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Prepare the Pastry Cream:

    • Heat milk with the vanilla bean split lengthwise. Remove from heat just before boiling.
    • Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light, then incorporate cornstarch.
    • Gradually pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return to heat and stir until thickened.
    • Cool, then refrigerate until use.
  4. Assemble the Gâteau:

    • Fill the baked choux pastries with pastry cream.
    • Prepare caramel by heating sugar and water until amber.
    • Dip the base of each filled choux into caramel and arrange them around the edge of the puff pastry base.
    • Whip the cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
    • Fill the center of the gâteau with whipped cream.
  5. Final Touches:

    • Optionally, drizzle with more caramel or chocolate sauce for decoration.


  • Consistency is Key: Ensure your choux pastry is the right consistency before piping. It should be smooth and hold its shape.
  • Caramel Caution: Be careful when working with caramel; it’s extremely hot.
  • Pastry Cream Perfection: Strain your pastry cream to remove any lumps for a silky texture.
  • Chill the Cream: Chill your mixing bowl and whisk before whipping the cream for best results.

Serving and Presentation

Gâteau St. Honoré is best served at room temperature to fully appreciate its textures and flavors. Present it on a beautiful serving dish and consider garnishing with edible flowers, gold leaf, or a dusting of powdered sugar for an extra touch of elegance. Pair with a sweet dessert wine or a cup of espresso to complement its rich flavors.


Crafting a Gâteau St. Honoré is a testament to the art of French pastry, making it one of the signature cakes around the world. While challenging, the satisfaction of creating such a masterpiece is unparalleled. Each layer, from the flaky puff pastry base to the creamy choux crowns, tells a story of dedication, tradition, and culinary excellence. This dessert is more than just a treat; it’s a celebration of the enduring legacy of Saint Honoré and the countless pastry chefs who have followed in his footsteps. Bon appétit!

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