Feast Your Eyes On Monet's Birthday Cake

  • September 12, 2020 17:23

  • Email
Prue Leith's version of Le Gatêau Vert — Monet's favorite birthday cake.
The Great British Baking Show
Monet's house in Giverny.
Monet's beloved Le Gatêau Vert is a very, very sweet cake even with its abundance of pistachios, lemon and spinach.
The Monet Cookbook: Recipes from Giverny (2016) by Florence Gentner

Looking for layers and layers of sugary comfort right now? For art's sake, we tried making Claude Monet's favorite birthday cake, Le Gâteau Vert. This lemony pistachio layer cake is wrapped in vibrant green fondant icing colored with spinach (don't tell the kids), and was featured as the technical challenge on TV's The Great British Baking Show in 2018 (episode 2).

The recipe, taken from the artist's own notebooks, is also detailed in Monet’s Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet by Claire Joyes.

Monet's birthday (November 14) must have been quite a fête because this cake is not easy to master, even with an Americanized ingredients list and a few hacks as presented in Bon Appetit. Before getting excited about baking it, consider the challenge of making marzipan and génoise sponge, plus spending a small fortune on pistachios. (If sourcing edible flowers proves difficult, replace the recipe's garnish with raspberries or other cake toppers.)

A day later, the green cake is done, and our rustic-looking version is delicious—moist, flavorful with no hint of spinach.

Monet largely preferred simpler recipes—fish soup, potato pie, strawberry mousse. Some 60 of his favorites are presented in The Monet Cookbook: Recipes from Giverny (2016) by Florence Gentner. Images of the dishes are shown alongside Monet's artwork and photographs of his life in Giverny, and the book offers a rich visual and culinary "escape." (Available from The Getty online store.)

Monet's garden in Giverny.

Tags: european art

  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Lenfest Hall, facing East toward the Forum (below), the Great Stair Hall (above) - On view- Generation, 1988, Martin Puryear - Steve Hall © Hall + Merrick Photographers, 2021

Philadelphia Museum of Art Opens New Galleries and Public Spaces in Major Renovation

  • ArtfixDaily / May 6th, 2021

On May 7, 2021, the Philadelphia Museum of Art unveils to the public the culmination of two decades of planning, ...

Desert X installation view of Zahrah Alghamdi, What Lies Behind the Walls.  2021.  Photography by Lance Gerber.  Courtesy the artist and Desert X.

Take A Virtual Walk-Through of Desert X 2021 in the Coachella Valley

  • ArtfixDaily / May 4th, 2021

After a postponement due to pandemic stay-at-home orders, Desert X 2021 is in its final weeks of a 9-week (to May 16) ...

Ackroyd & Harvey, installation of Beuys’ Acorns, at Tate Modern.

British Artists Ackroyd & Harvey Plant 100 Oak Trees Outside Tate Modern

  • ArtfixDaily / May 4th, 2021

In advance of the Tate Modern galleries' reopening (planned for May 17) in London, Beuys’ Acorns is a fresh ...

George Bellows' "Polo Crowd"

Bill and Melinda Gates Are Splitting Up. Now What About Their Art Collection?

  • ArtfixDaily / May 3rd, 2021

Bill and Melinda Gates are ending their marriage after 27 years, the couple announced via Twitter on Monday. Noting ...


ARTFIXdaily Artwire