Simple Haitian Cake (Traditional Gateau Au Beurre)

Discover the Flavors of Haiti with Gateau Au Beurre – Haitian Butter Cake

Photo Credit: Toa Heftiba

Are you ready to embark on a flavorful journey to the heart of Haiti? If you’re a fan of unique and delicious cakes, then you’re in for a treat! Today, we’re diving into the world of Haitian cuisine to explore the delightful and mouthwatering Haitian Cake – Gateau Au Beurre. Whether it’s for special occasions, birthday cakes, or simply to satisfy your sweet tooth, this traditional Haitian cake recipe is a must-try.  By the end of our journey, you will have all the needed info on how to make Haitian cake.

Haitian Cake – A Taste of the Tropics 🌴

Haitian cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors, and Haitian Cake – Gateau Au Beurre is just one of the gems that you can explore. This delightful cake is often enjoyed with fresh fruit on the side, adding a tropical twist to your dessert table. Imagine savoring a slice of this rich dessert, surrounded by the vibrant colors and warmth of Haiti.

Embracing Haitian Heritage

Haitian cuisine is known for its distinctive ingredients and flavors, and Gateau Au Beurre is no exception. This cake is a beloved part of Haitian desserts, often served during holidays and celebrations. Its unique flavor profile comes from the use of Barbancourt rum, a classic Haitian spiced rum that adds an extra layer of richness and depth to the cake batter.

Celebrating Haitian Heritage Month

Did you know that May is Haitian Heritage Month across the globe? It’s the perfect time to dive into Haitian cuisine and explore the rich flavors that define this culture. Share your love for Gateau Au Beurre with your friends and family during this special month.

Keeping the Tradition Alive

Haitian Cake – Gateau Au Beurre is more than just a dessert; it’s a symbol of tradition and family. Many families have their own variations of this recipe, passed down through generations. By making this cake and sharing it with your loved ones, you’re not only indulging in a delicious treat but also preserving a piece of Haitian heritage.

We will explore how to make Haitian cake in this article so that you can be part of keeping this tradition alive!

Haitian Cake isn’t just a sweet treat; it’s a symbol of unity and pride. It’s often present at family gatherings, where generations come together to share not only a delicious cake but also cherished moments.

This cake is also an essential part of the vibrant Haitian heritage, making appearances during Haitian Heritage Month and other cultural celebrations.

In the United States, where there are large Haitian populations, this cake serves as a connection to one’s roots. It’s a reminder of the rich history and traditions that have been carried across oceans and generations.


If you’re just starting your journey into the mesmerizing world of baking, and you’re searching for those golden tips to perfect your cake game, you won’t want to miss this! Baking, cooling, and frosting a cake can feel like a daunting task. For all the best tips, check this article out on Beginner’s tips for baking, cooling, and frosting cakes!

Simple Haitian Cake (Traditional Gateau Au Beurre)

Recipe by kitcheneasylifeCourse: DessertDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



Haitian butter cake is a rich, moist dessert infused with tropical flavors, often featuring a satisfying blend of butter, spices, and sometimes rum for an authentic Caribbean treat.


  • 2 cups of sugar

  • 2 sticks of cold butter

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

  • 1 cup of sour cream

  • 1/4 cup of Barbancourt rum

  • 1/4 cup of orange juice

  • Zest of one orange

  • Zest of one lemon

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and cold butter. You can use an electric mixer for this purpose. Once the mixture is fluffy, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. This is the best way to ensure a fluffy cake.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Gradually add this dry mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream. Start and finish with the dry ingredients, and mix at low speed until just combined.
  • Now comes the magic touch of Haiti – the Barbancourt rum! Pour it into the batter, and don’t forget to add the orange and lemon zest for that lovely citrusy kick. Mix everything at medium speed until the batter is smooth and well incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth it out. Bake in the center of the oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


  • See below for variations!

As you explore the world of Haitian desserts, don’t forget to share this recipe on how to make Haitian cake with your friends and family. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate Haitian heritage, and it’s a cake that’s sure to be loved by all. 

Special Additions and Variations 

Haitian Cake – Gateau Au Beurre can be customized in a variety of ways to suit your taste. Some people like to add a guava jelly filling for extra sweetness, while others go for a strawberry filling, perfect for the holiday season. And let’s not forget the classic cream cheese frosting or a simple glaze to top it off.

For those who want to take their Gateau Au Beurre to the next level, consider these tips:

  1. Guava Filling Surprise: Remember that layer of guava jelly we added earlier? It’s a delightful surprise that adds a burst of tropical flavor to each slice. You can experiment with other fruit fillings like mango or passion fruit for a twist on tradition.
  2. Lemon Coconut Glaze: For a refreshing twist, try a lemon coconut glaze. Mix coconut milk, lemon juice, and powdered sugar until you achieve a creamy consistency. Drizzle it generously over the cake for a zesty, tropical finish.
  3. Cream Cheese Frosting: If you’re a fan of creamy goodness, a cream cheese frosting is the way to go. Whip up a batch of cream cheese frosting, spread it generously on top of your cake, and garnish with a sprinkle of coconut flakes. This variation is a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
  4. Cupcakes Galore: If you’re hosting a gathering, consider turning this recipe into individual cup cakes. They’re perfect for parties and gatherings, and they make portion control a breeze.
  5. Serving Suggestions: Haitian Cake pairs wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. You can also garnish it with fresh fruit like mangoes, pineapples, or passion fruit for that extra touch of Caribbean paradise.

Elevate Your Haitian Cake Experience

Here are some additional tips and ideas to make your cake even more delightful:

Food Processor Magic: If you don’t have an electric mixer, fear not! You can use a food processor to cream the sugar and butter, and then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl for the remaining steps. It’s all about finding the best method that suits your kitchen.

Family Time: Baking Haitian Cake can be a wonderful family activity. Get your kids involved in the kitchen and share the joy of cooking. It’s a fantastic way to create lasting memories and pass down the love for Haitian heritage.

Storing Your Cake: To keep your Gateau Au Beurre fresh, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. If you have any leftovers (though it’s hard to imagine!), it can stay moist and delicious for days.

Join Us for a Haitian Cake Celebration!

As we wrap up this Haitian Cake adventure, let’s celebrate the joy of food, family, and the vibrant culture of Haiti. Gateau Au Beurre has not only satisfied our taste buds but also enriched our understanding of Haitian heritage.

🍰 Share the Love: Share the love for Haitian Cake – Gateau Au Beurre with your friends and family. It’s a delightful treat that’s meant to be enjoyed together. Whether you’re celebrating special occasions or simply indulging in a slice of happiness, this cake brings people closer.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family Time: Continue to cherish family time and involve your kids in the kitchen. It’s not just about cooking; it’s about creating lasting memories and passing down the love for food and togetherness.

📸 Share Your Creations: Share your Haitian Cake – Gateau Au Beurre creations on your blog and social media platforms. Let your readers and followers experience the magic of Haitian flavors through your lens.


Our culinary journey doesn’t stop here.  When it comes to distinctive Haitian flavors, there’s a rich tapestry of tastes waiting to be explored. From the earthy notes of Barbancourt rum that infuse warmth into dishes, to the zesty citrus flavors of orange and lime zest that brighten up Haitian desserts, the cuisine of Haiti is a delightful fusion of influences from Africa, France, and the Caribbean.

Don’t miss out on the unique sweetness of sugar cane juice, the tropical richness of coconut milk, and the bold, savory flavors of dishes like Griot (fried pork) and Tassot (fried goat). Haitian cuisine is a tantalizing journey of flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

🎂 What’s Next?: What’s your next culinary adventure? Perhaps you’ll explore more Haitian recipes or take a journey to a different culinary destination.  As you continue to explore Haitian cuisine, don’t forget to try other traditional dishes like Griot (fried pork), Accra (black-eyed pea fritters), or Tassot (fried goat). Haitian food is a world of flavors waiting to be discovered.


Haitian Cake, or “Gateau Ayisyen,” is more than just a dessert; it’s a piece of Haitian culture and history that has transcended generations. Its unique blend of flavors, from the rich rum to the zesty citrus, creates a symphony of taste that’s truly unforgettable.

As you embark on your journey to make this classic pound cake, remember the cultural significance it holds. Share this article on how to make Haitian cake with loved ones, and let the flavors of Haiti bring joy and togetherness to your table.

We hope you have enjoyed this article on how to make Haitian cake.  As you prepare your Gateau Au Beurre and savor its unique flavor, raise a glass to the incredible world of Haitian food. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this cake is a fantastic addition to your repertoire. With its rich history and distinctive ingredients, it’s a dessert that’s sure to be cherished by all.


Q: What is Haitian Cake Made Of?

  • A: Haitian cake is a delightful blend of everyday baking ingredients with a tropical twist. It’s made with flour, sugar, butter, and eggs – just like your standard cake. But, here’s the kicker: the Haitian touch comes from the addition of rum (often dark, Haitian rum for authenticity), lime zest, and sometimes a hint of vanilla or almond extract. This gives it a unique flavor profile that’s both familiar and exotically delicious!

Q: What Makes Haitian Food Unique?

  • A: Haitian food is a rich collection of various cultural influences, including African, French, and Taino native traditions. It’s known for its bold flavors, extensive use of herbs, and a unique blend of spices. The use of ingredients like plantains, rice, beans, and pikliz (a spicy pickled vegetable mix) is common. The cuisine often features a wonderful balance of spicy and savory, which makes every meal an adventure for your taste buds!

Q: What are Haitian Mud Cakes?

  • A: This is a bit of a tough topic. Haitian mud cakes, or galette, are not really a culinary item but more a symbol of the dire economic situation in parts of Haiti. They’re made from dried yellow clay, water, and sometimes a bit of fat or salt. These mud cakes are traditionally eaten by people in extreme poverty to stave off hunger. It’s a stark contrast to the vibrant, flavorful dishes that characterize Haitian cuisine and serves as a reminder of the socio-economic issues facing the country.

Q: What Does Haitian Food Taste Like?

  • A: Haitian food is hearty, often spicy, and incredibly flavorful. The use of herbs like thyme and parsley, along with spices such as allspice, cloves, and pepper, create a rich and aromatic experience. Dishes like griot (fried pork), diri ak djon djon (black mushroom rice), and soup joumou (pumpkin soup) showcase the depth and variety of Haitian cuisine. It’s a celebration of tastes that range from savory and spicy to subtly sweet and tangy.

Q: What is Dominican Cake Made Of?

  • A: Dominican cake, a close Caribbean cousin to Haitian cake, is a light, fluffy creation that’s all about its unique texture. It’s made with the usual suspects: flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. However, the magic lies in the whipping process, where the eggs are beaten for a long time to incorporate air, giving the cake its signature airy quality. Flavorings like vanilla, orange zest, or pineapple juice are added, and it’s often filled with dulce de leche or fruit preserves. Topped with a meringue frosting, it’s a dreamy, cloud-like dessert that’s a must-try!
IngredientHaitian CakeDominican Cake
FlourAll-purpose flourAll-purpose flour
SugarGranulated sugarGranulated sugar
EggsYesYes (whipped for airiness)
FlavoringRum, Lime zestVanilla, Orange zest
LeaveningBaking powder (optional)Baking powder
FillingNot typicalDulce de leche or preserves
FrostingLight, often rum-flavoredMeringue frosting

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