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Nov 20, 2023

Almond Rum Cake | Gâteau de Nantes

You can trace the lineage of this deliciously moist almond rum cake to Nantes, a city in the Loire Valley in the western part of France. 

Two slices of Gâteau de Nantes with the whole cake in the background.

Gâteau de Nantes is a rich cake, made with almonds, flour, sugar, lemon zest, eggs, and lots of butter. It's then soaked in a rum and sugar syrup that is spiced with black pepper and allspice. Finally, it is topped with a sweet rum glaze. 

It's a simple yet elegant cake, and totally rich. It's origins can be traced to the nineteenth century to showcase the port city's sugar and rum trade with the West Indies. 

It fell off the radar for much of the twentieth century, but became popular again in the 1970s or so. 

Gâteau de Nantes with lemons in the background.

The cake is wonderful the day it is made, and even better the next day. 

It's important to let it come completely to room temperature before glazing it and then to store it uncovered at first, and then under a cake dome or loose foil. If you refrigerate it, the glaze will become sticky. 

With rum in the batter, the soaker, and the glaze, this is definitely a cake meant for grown ups. 

Gâteau de Nantes Slice with the cake in the background.

Instead of a rum glaze, you could instead make a lemon glaze with lemon juice and confectioners' sugar to compliment the hint of lemon in the cake. 

Note: I used a small amount (about 20 grams) of pecan flour because I ran out of almond flour. It was a very small amount but it's probably why there are little flecks in the crumb of the cake. 

Equipment You May Need:

You will definitely need either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, especially for whipping the butter and sugar together, and then adding the eggs. 

You need to get the butter and sugar totally fluffy and pale. It's also important to develop a lot of volume to the batter as there is no leavening agent other than the eggs. 

A mesh sieve is also helpful for sifting the almond flour for the cake and the confectioners' sugar for the glaze to remove any clumps. 

Gâteau de Nantes whole cake on cake stand.

Cake Slice Bakers Logo.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Gateau Book Cover.

Our choices for November 2023 were ~

Spice Cake

Coconut Yule Log with Yuzu Buttercream

Almond Rum Cake

Gâteau de Nantes on a cake stand.

Gâteau de Nantes

Gâteau de Nantes
Yield: 16 slices
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 50 MinInactive time: 2 H & 30 MTotal time: 4 H & 5 M
You can trace the lineage of this deliciously moist almond rum cake to Nantes, a city in the Loire Valley in the western part of France.


  • 6 large room temperature eggs
  • 226 grams (1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 4 lemons
  • 250 grams (2 1/2 cups) almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 80 grams (2/3 cup) all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons dark rum
Rum Soaker
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
Rum Glaze
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 172 grams (1 1/2 cups) confectioners' sugar


To Make the Cake
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment and brush the sides with butter.
  2. Lightly whisk together the eggs in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium speed until fluffy and pale. Beat in the almond flour and salt until incorporated.
  4. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the eggs and continue beating until the batter is pale and really fluffy.
  5. With the mixer on low, mix in the all purpose flour and then mix in the rum. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan for five minutes and then turn it out onto a cake platter.
For the Soaker
  1. While the cake is baking, in a saucepan, bring the sugar, water, allspice, and pepper to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Turn off the heat (to prevent the rum from igniting).
  2. Add the rum to the pan and then bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Leave the syrup on a warm burner until the cake is ready. Strain out the allspice and peppercorns.
  3. To soak the cake, cut several small shallow slits into the top of the cake (what was the bottom in the pan) with a sharp thin knife. Slowly brush the soaker over the cake until all of it has been absorbed. Let the cake cool, uncovered, until completely at room temperature, about 90 minutes.
To Make the Glaze
  1. Whisk together the rum and the confectioner's sugar. Pour it in a steady stream over the center of the cake and let it spread evenly.
  2. Let the cake sit, uncovered, for one hour to let the glaze set.
  3. Keep the cake at room temperature under a cake dome.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

21 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

8 g

Carbs (grams)

40 g

Fiber (grams)

2 g

Net carbs

38 g

Sugar (grams)

32 g

Protein (grams)

6 g

Cholesterol (grams)

100 mg
Did you make this recipe?
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Would you like to comment?

  1. I didn't have enough almond flour either but I just added more ap flour. I like the little flecks in your cake.

  2. Rum cake doesn't usually appeal to me, but this one looks fabulous!

  3. That glaze though... YUM. What an elegant cake.

  4. This cake looks just perfect for company. I love the idea of using lemon in the icing.

  5. Beautiful cake, Karen!

  6. I love a good, dense, hearty cake - I look forward to giving this recipe a try around the holidays.


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