French cuisine is known for its sophisticated pastries, but we also have very simple yet delicious recipes too. The Nantais Cake is a traditional almond and rhum cake that originated in the city of Nantes, in western France. I discovered it when I traveled to Brittany and really fell in love with it.
The Nantais is a simple yet elegant cake, made with almonds, sugar, butter, eggs, and a “touch” of rhum. The result is a soft and fluffy cake with a nutty aroma and a hint of alcohol. The cake is typically baked in a round shape and topped with glazing, giving it a rustic and charming appearance.
One of the best things about this rhum cake is that it is incredibly easy to make, even for those who are not into baking. Simply mix the ingredients together, pour into a cake pan and bake. In just a few simple steps, you can enjoy a taste of traditional French cuisine in the comfort of your own home.
Ingredients to make the best Nantais cake
Rhum: you can use any type of rhum for the cake but if you want a really white icing you will need to use white rhum
Salted butter: it is very typical in Brittany (where Nantes is located) to eat salted butter. This rhum cake is no exception as the recipe calls for it. Use a good quality butter.
Almond flour: we call it almond powder in French. I buy it in bulk at Costco usually. You could also finely grind almond to use for this cake
Tips to get the better Nantais cake
This cake is best served the next day. Prepare it a day prior to serve it so it can develop its flavor.
When preparing the icing, make sure it is nice and creamy. If too runny, add a bit more sugar. On the contrary, if too thick, add a bit more rhum.
Want extra rhum flavor: brush the cake with rhum when you take it out of the oven. It will help reduce the sweetness of the cake and add even more rhum flavors to it. Careful not to give this cake to kids, even if the alcohol in the cake is baked, the icing contains pure alcohol.
I don’t eat/drink alcohol
The Nantais really gets its flavor for the rhum but you can replace it with some lemon, orange juice or even orange blossom water should you want an alcohol free version.
Replace the rhum in the icing by water or lemon.
How to store the Nantais
You can keep it two days at room temperature or up to 7 days in the fridge. Cover it with aluminum or wrap it with plastic for optimal conservation.
You can also freeze your Nantais by wrapping it in plastic for 3 to 4 months.
Nantais or Almond & Rhum Cake
- 125 g sugar
- 125 g salted butter room temperature
- 125g almond flour
- 40 g flour
- 3 eggs
- 30 g rhum
- 20 g rhum
- 100 g powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F), grease a round cake pan with butter and dust with flour.
- Mix the butter and sugar well, until creamy. Whisk in the almond flour.
- Add the eggs one by one.
- Incorporate the flour with a spatula, don’t overmix. Finish by adding the rhum.
- Pour in a round mold and bake for 45mn.
- Remove from mold and let completely cool down on a rack before glazing.
- Prepare the glaze by stirring the rhum and powdered sugar. Cover the cake with it and spread with a spatula.
- Let set at least an hour, or even better overnight, before eating.