Making Gateau Au Beurre: A Delight from Haiti

 When it comes to global cuisine, the Caribbean offers a vibrant and flavorful array of dishes, and Haitian food is no exception. Among Haiti's culinary treasures is the traditional Gateau Au Beurre, or Haitian butter cake. Passed down through generations, this rum-infused cake holds a special place in Haitian culture and varies slightly from family to family.


In this blog post, we will explore the art of making Gateau Au Beurre. Whether you're an experienced baker or a novice, this guide will simplify the process of creating this delightful Haitian treat.

What Makes Gateau Au Beurre Unique?

Gateau Au Beurre stands out from your typical butter cake. Its distinctiveness lies in the harmonious blend of flavors, often featuring Barbancourt rum, renowned for its quality, and aromatic lime or orange zest. These tropical, citrusy undertones perfectly complement the cake's sweetness and buttery richness.

Essential Ingredients

Before we begin, let's gather our ingredients. For a cake serving 10-15 people, you will need:

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 can of evaporated milk (12 oz)
  • 2 tbs of dark rum (Barbancourt)
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of lime zest
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp of salt

For the Optional Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs of melted butter

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. While it's warming up, take a moment to grease your chosen cake pan, ensuring that every nook and cranny is coated for easy removal later.

Step 2: Mix the Base

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, butter, and lime zest. Use an electric mixer on low speed to blend these ingredients for approximately 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add Liquids and Flour

Pause the mixer and incorporate the Barbancourt rum, evaporated milk, and flour. Resume mixing at medium speed for another 5 minutes.

Step 4: Spices and Flavorings

This is where your cake gains its distinctive character. Add the baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract. Continue mixing for about 20 minutes or until you achieve a smooth consistency.

Step 5: Fill the Pan

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, filling it halfway. This will allow ample space for the cake to rise without overflowing.

Step 6: Bake

Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes. You will know it's done when a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 7: Optional Glaze

While your cake is cooling, you can prepare the optional lemon glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and melted butter until smooth. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle the glaze over it for an extra burst of flavor and a touch of sweetness.

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally, Gateau Au Beurre is enjoyed on its own, but it pairs wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some tropical fruits like mango or pineapple. Whether you're celebrating a birthday, a holiday, or simply indulging in a regular day, this cake is sure to be a hit.

Final Thoughts

Gateau Au Beurre embodies Haiti's rich culinary heritage, offering an explosion of flavors that are simultaneously exotic and comforting. It's more than just a cake; it's a celebration of culture, history, and, of course, exceptional taste. So, the next time you're feeling adventurous in the kitchen, consider bringing a piece of Haiti into your home with this delectable Gateau Au Beurre.

Happy Baking!

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