Savarin – Baking with Julia

Adapting recipes, yeah we all do it, it’s fun and who knows where a recipe will end up after it has been adapted or used as inspiration. One such example is the Savarin which was invented in 1844 by Parisian patissiers the Julien Brothers. The savarin was strongly inspired by the Rum Baba, but it doesn’t have the dried fruit in the dough and it has been soaked with different alcohol.

I was a bit “yeah whatever” about doing this recipe, I had made rum baba’s before and I can say that I wasn’t a fan of the small rum soaked yeast cakes. But one of the reasons for doing this challenge (Baking with Julia) is to open myself to recipes that I wouldn’t normally make, so yes, there was a little adapting / tweaking done to the original recipe.

The actual recipe was easy to follow and I would say that my only complaint was that nowhere in the recipe could I find what size cake tin to use. The only guide was that it made 6 servings, so I had to guess. I’m not actually sure I got the size right as there didn’t seem enough dough for the tin and I only achieved a 3/4 rise in the dough after an hour. I was kind of hoping that it would rise a bit further in the oven when it was baked, but alas no. It came out the same size it went in so I was left with a rather flat cake. Maybe I would have had a better result if I had left it longer or doubled the recipe.

Traditionally, the filling is put in the centre hole of the savarin, but as it was so thin I decided to cut the cake in half and use crème patissiere as a filling. From there, I loaded the top with fresh fruit, sprinkled some pear liqueur on top of the cake and dusted with icing sugar. I also decorated the top with a few caramel shards. I was actually really pleased with the result, the savarin was light and moist with a lovely hint of sweet pear flavour combined with the silky smooth crème patissiere. The addition of the fresh summer berries gave this dessert a colourful summer look that looked great as a centrepiece on the table.

Check out the Baking with Julia (Tuesdays with Dorie) link to see how the rest of the group got on.


Adapted from Baking with Julia (contributing baker David Blom).


Makes: 6 portions

The Dough

Makes 1 thin savarin. If you want a thicker savarin double the ingredients for the dough.

  • 60ml lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 125gm all purpose flour
  • 30gm unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature.


Pour the warm water into a medium size bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into the water.

Add egg to the water/yeast mixture and stir gently with a spatula to ensure there are no lumps of yeast.

Put the flour into a mixing bowl of a stand mixer and add the yeast. Using a paddle attachment mix on a low speed. Mix for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is just blended.

Increase the speed to med-high and mix for a further 8 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Add the butter (a piece at a time) and mix on a low speed for approx. 3 minutes or until the butter is completely absorbed.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for approx. 15 minutes. Dough will only rise slightly, you are looking for a noticeable increase in volume and lightness.


Spray a 20cm ring tin with vegetable oil, place dough in tin and spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for approx. 30 minutes or until dough has risen to the top of the tin.

Tip: My dough took an hour to rise to 3/4 way up the tin, but it is winter here so I put it down to it not being warm enough. I should have left it longer before I baked it as the savarin did not rise any further in the oven.  It actually didn’t feel as if I had enough dough for the size of tin I used and the end product was thinner than I expected it to be.

Preheat oven to 175°C. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the savarin is golden and starts shrinking from the sides of the tin. Unmould onto a cooling rack and cool completely before soaking.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water.


Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has completely melted (approx. 30 seconds) take it off the heat.

Cut the savarin in half to allow for the later addition of crème patissiere.

Place a cooling rack over a baking dish, place both pieces of the cold savarin on top of each other on the rack. Use a tablespoon and pour spoonfuls of the hot syrup over the top of the savarin until it is plump and can not hold anymore liquid.

Allow the savarin to cool completely on the cooling rack.

Crème Patissiere

Make one portion of crème patissiere


Place the bottom half of the savarin onto a serving platter.

Tip: Be careful moving the pieces of savarin as they are moist and can be easily broken.

Pipe the crème patissiere around the bottom half of the savarin. Evenly space raspberries around the crème patissiere on the savarin.

Tip: The crème patissiere is quite soft so don’t pipe too close to the edges or it will melt over the sides.

Place the top half of the savarin on to the crème patissiere. Arrange a selection of berries in the middle of the savarin. I have used strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries and some passionfruit pulp.

Sprinkle the top of savarin with pear liqueur. I used an eye dropper to put my liqueur on top.

Dust with icing sugar and place caramel shards on top for decoration.



20 thoughts on “Savarin – Baking with Julia

  1. Ckay

    Wow Karen, you’ve baked the nicest savarin I’ve seen.
    Many thanks for the lovely pictures and interesting post. We have learned so much! Thank you

  2. Tammy

    Absolutely lovely, and I’m so glad I dropped by your site. This will be my go-to place for learning tricky baking techniques in the future. Thanks for the beautiful presentation, great photos, and helpful tutorials

  3. laurasmess

    This looks incredible Karen. Thanks for all the fantastic baking tips and adaptations… I love the sound of the pear liqueur. And don’t even mention all that fresh ripe fruit and creme patissiere… to die for! xx

  4. TheKitchenLioness

    You certainly turned an ordinary savarin recipe into an extarordinary and show-stopping dessert! Thank you also for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment!
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  5. Jill

    Beautiful! I like how you split it and filled it with pastry cream. I agree that the recipe should have provided more information on the pan size.

  6. SandraM

    You should be very pleased with your results!! It looks amazing!! I probably wouldn’t have tried this recipe either, if it wasn’t for this group. But I am glad I did. Oh and I found watching the video of the Julia and David making this helped immensely. Sometimes I find the recipes a little confusing. But this was an easier recipe for sure.

  7. Teresa

    Nice interpretation. The split cake, filled with pastry cream, and the caramel shards make it look very elegant.


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