Savarin Deliciousness

The savarin is a typical French pie that goes back to the 1830's or possibly earlier. It may look like a regular crown cake but the difference is it's yeast raised and soaked in a syrup. 

Savarin pie

There are several varieties, some more popular than others. A good suggestion is the orange-rum version with chantilly cream and fruit garnish.

Its richness will certainly keep you savouring each mouthful.


  • 300 g strong flour
  • 10 g fine sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 15 g fresh yeast
  • 120 g milk
  • 75 g unsalted butter (soft)
  • 5 g salt
  • Zest of 1 orange.

Chantilly cream: 

  • 500 ml cream 35-40 %
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Pineapple slices
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Berries/grapes


  • 1 liter water
  • 400 g fine sugar
  • 3 star anis
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp extract
  • Rum (amount to taste)
  • Peel of 1 orange (only orange part without the white)

Apricot glaze:

  • 160 g Apricot jelly or jam if not available.
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 tbsp rum or kirsch (optional)

Baked dough separated from pan wall.


  1. Grease the pan and dust it with flour.
  2. Warm up milk until it's lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the milk.
  3. Whisk flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add eggs, orange zest and yeast-milk. Whisk everything until you have a smooth mass, between a dough and batter.
  4. Cut the soft butter into smaller parts and mix it in the dough. Beat energetically during 5 to 10 minutes. Use a stand mixer if preferred.
  5. Scrape off the dough from the bowl wall. Leave to proof during 1 1/2 hours. It should double or triple in size.
  6. Beat the air out of the dough and put it in the pan until it's half full. Some dough may remain depending on the height of the pan. 
  7. Leave to proof in a slightly warm place until it reaches the pan rim. Before the rim is reached, preheat (±15 minutes) convection oven at 180°C.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until it's golden brown and there's separation from the pan wall. After 15 minutes you may want to lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the savarin if you think it's browning too much.

Rum Syrup:

  1. Add rum to the water until you're satisfied with the taste. Start with 40 ml.
  2. Boil the water-rum mix and add the sugar. Wait until it is completely dissolved and take it of the fire.
  3. Immediately add the vanilla, cinnamon stick, orange skin and star anise to the hot rum-water. Let it infuse for a while.
  4. Soaking: either have the savarin cold and soak with warm syrup or soak with cold (room temp.) syrup on a warm savarin.
  5. Take a pan larger than the pie's diameter, pour in the syrup. It will float which is normal. With a ladle, pour slowly over the entire cake a few times. Let it absorb most of the syrup. This can take some time.
  6. Take it out of the pan and move to a recipient to contain the excess syrup. Be careful. It's better to wait until it's all cold. 
  7. Store the cake 24 hours in the refrigerator. If the bottom of the recipient is dry you may want to pour more syrup over the cake. Use a tester stick (something like a large wooden needle) and see if it comes out wet.

Apricot glaze:

  1. Whisk the jelly with the water. If you like, add the rum or kirsch. If jelly is not available, mix the apricot jam first with the water before sieving. You do this by pressing the jam through the sieve with a tablespoon. Only lump free apricot paste should be used
  2. Cover the soaked savarin with the jelly using a pastry brush.

Chantilly cream:

  1. Pour some water in a tray or bowl with ice cubes and lay the metal bowl with cream in it.
  2. Beat energetically with hand mixer at medium speed. Wait until the cream thickens some and add sugar gradually.
  3. Add the vanilla while mixing. Continue whipping the cream until it becomes a light paste, comparable to firm, whipped egg whites that you can scoop. Do not over-mix otherwise it will turn into butter.
  4. Using a piping bag with large star nozzle, fill the hole of the cake with the chantilly cream.
  5. Decorate the savarin with the rest of the cream to your liking and garnish with the fruit.

Tools used: Savarin pan 23 cm, wooden spatula, pastry scraper, pastry brush, sieve, whisk.