Nevada - Basque Cake with Cherry Preserves

Nevada has one of the largest Basque populations in the United States and their culinary culture is prevalent particularly in Reno and northern Nevada.  

According to Nevada Magazine "Basque settlers made their way to Nevada during the mining booms of the mid to late 1800s and into the 1900s. While mining was the catalyst, most Basques discovered they could make better money providing meat and wool to miners, and Nevada’s open spaces proved the perfect fit for their herds."

Today there are many Basque family style restaurants in Nevada and Basque Cake is a typical sweet!   

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup sour cherry preserves
1/4 cup sliced almonds, optional
Confectioners' sugar for dusting 

recipe - courtesy of Gale Gand

  • Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter a 10-inch cake pan or spring-form pan.  In a mixer with a whip attachment, beat the butter until creamy.  Gradually beat in the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Sift the cake flour, salt and baking powder together and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until a soft dough forms and no white streaks of flour remain.  Spread half of the batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Stir the almond extract into the cherry preserves.  Spoon the cherry preserves over the batter, spreading it within 2 inches of the border.
  • Drop the remaining batter by large spoonfuls or pipe it with a plain tip over the preserves.  Spread the batter carefully over the jam to the edge of the pan.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds, if using. 
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer inserted into the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Unmold the cake and dust with confectioners' sugar. 

Yum!  This is a really fantastic cake that is simple but impressive!  



  1. This was an amazing cake that does not taste simple to make. One of the best desserts I've ever had and I will try to make this soon - maybe for Easter!

  2. The recipe reads like it should be a tasty cake to try. However, the picture above doesn't look like the cake is done when sliced. Looks more like pudding. Is the cooking time correct?

    1. Thanks so much for your question! Yes, the times listed are correct and as with any recipe your baking time will vary depending on your oven, etc. You'll notice that the recipe notes the cake is done when a few moist crumbs remain on a skewer when tested. It is definitely more moist in the middle than cake, but not quite as loose as a pudding.