Far Breton with Prunes, the Easiest cake from Brittany

far breton with prunes, the easiest classic recipe from Brittany

Far Breton with prunes is a classic dessert from Brittany. I give all the secrets for an ultra-gourmet, melting texture, and golden brown far.

Far Breton as its name says, is a typical recipe from the repertoire of Brittany’s cuisine. When baking a traditional recipe, unless you want to give a modern take or reduce the amount of sugar or fat, there’s no need to reinvent things.

In the recipe I’m sharing with you today, I’ve just reduced the amount of sugar for a tasty but not overly sweet dessert. After all, the prunes already do the job! Plus, this express recipe is incredibly easy to make.

The secrets to Mastering Your Far Breton

The two secrets to achieving a traditional well-balanced, dense yet smooth and creamy texture with a perfectly golden top are:

  • Using hot milk (whole milk is even more indulgent), so you should heat it in a saucepan before adding it to the mixture.
  • Starting to bake with a very hot oven and then reducing the temperature.
far breton French recipe step by step

How to prevent the prunes from sinking to the bottom?

Everyone has their trick: sprinkling the prunes with flour, letting the mixture rest in a cool place or the fridge for about ten minutes before putting the far in the oven, or soaking the prunes in hot water…
Personally, I wonder if starting with high heat at the beginning might help. Who knows…

far breton French recipe step by step

What temperature to bake the far breton?

In this recipe, I suggest starting at high temperature, 210°C / 410°F and then, after 10 minutes, lowering it to the typical cake baking temperature of 180°C / 350°F for 45 minutes.
I know it might seem like a lot at first, but it’s what gives it that texture and lovely golden appearance. This tip was passed on to me by a Breton woman :-)

far breton French recipe step by step

Origin and History of Far Breton

A quintessential Breton specialty, the term “far” first appeared in writings in the 18th century without specifying exactly what it referred to. Initially, it seemed to refer to a stuffing for poultry cooked in a pot, thus closer to the contemporary “kig-ha-farz.”

It wasn’t until 1850, in the Celto-Breton dictionary by Le Gonidec, that “far” appeared, referring to a “dough made from wheat or buckwheat, placed in a small cloth bag to be cooked in broth. It can also be baked in the oven, adding prunes or raisins.

The “far” was therefore often initially in a savory version, somewhat used as a substitute for bread.
A simple and filling dish, it was prepared with the ingredients available on the farm: eggs, milk, flour, wheat or buckwheat.

Sailors often took it during their voyages. Brittany has a long history of fishing boats going far away for months.

Where does the word far or farz come from?

In French, we use the word “far.” In Breton, Brittany’s dialect, it’s written as “farz” (far) or “farz forn” (oven-baked far). The word “far” could have multiple origins: from “farine” (flour) or “farci” (stuffed), according to Alain Rey in his historical dictionary of the French language, from the Sanskrit “bhar” meaning food, or from the Latin “far” which refers to wheat, spelt, oatmeal, or even a cake (like “far pium,” Virgil’s sacred cake).

Traditional Far breton cake from Brittany with prunes

Why Are Prunes Added to Far Breton?

Prunes add a sweet and moist touch to the cake, but they were initially added their calorific value. As we’ve seen, far breton was a sort of travel cake for sailors.
Adding prunes provided a valuable nutritional contribution (prunes are notably rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and have a high caloric intake (229 kcal per 100 g).
A good thing is that prunes are available all year round. I’ve read that sailors would exchange them for fish during their journeys.

Raisins can replace prunes. Some say that the real traditional far breton is without prunes.

After reading an 80-page book dedicated to far, I realize there isn’t just one recipe but a multitude of variations depending on the regions of Brittany and families. Coming soon on the blog: another recipe with buckwheat flour.

A fun fact (for a French like me!) is that the French word for prune is pruneau and that the French word for plum is prune!

Far breton cake from Brittany with prunes

What’s the difference between far, flan vs clafoutis?

Flan doesn’t contain flour or butter, just a mixture of eggs and milk and/or cream. “Flan pâtissier” or Parisian flan does have butter and is baked in a pastry crust, often puff pastry.

The closest pastry to far would be clafoutis or flognarde. The distinguishing ingredient is the filling, which isn’t fresh fruit like in cherry clafoutis but dried fruit: prunes or raisins. It’s a bit like a crepe batter filled and baked in the oven!

The ingredients needed are very simple, only five.

All you need are prunes set in an egg and flour custard, a kind of pudding.

  • Milk Preferably whole milk
  • Eggs Choose large eggs at room temperature
  • Flour All-purpose flour is fine
  • Sugar Granulated sugar is fine, but you may use raw sugar
  • Prunes Substitute raisins
  • Optional Cognac or brandy, vanilla, icing sugar.

The main steps of the recipe are also very easy

Heat milk. Meanwhile whisk eggs and sugar, add flour and combine. Gently pour in hot milk whisking constantly. Pour in a greased ceramic oven proof dish. add prunes and bake first at high temperature then lower the heat.

Far breton cake from Brittany with prunes
Far breton prune cake from Brittany with prunes
far breton with prunes, the easiest classic recipe from Brittany

Far Breton with Prunes

The real traditional far Breton recipe, a French dessert from Brittany a bit similar to clafoutis but with prunes. Slightly sweet, both dense and smooth, this cake is the perfect dessert of snack.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Course Cake or tart
Cuisine French
Servings 4


  • 50 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 gr flour
  • 500 ml milk
  • 15 prune approx 125 gr
  • 1 knob butter for the dish


  • Start by heating the milk and preheating the oven to 210°C / 410°F.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture whitens a bit.
  • Add the flour and combine well.
  • Stirring constantly, slowly pour in the hot milk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Grease with butter an ovenproof dish. Pour in the preparation, then add the prunes here and there.
  • Bake first for 10 minutes at 210°C/410°F, then for 45 minutes at 180°C/350°F.


Optional: Before serving, sprinkle with icing sugar. The recipe is without alcohol but you may add a bit of Cognac (or Brandy if you don’t have any)
Far Breton can be made up to three days in advance and refrigerated. Take it out of the fridge to come to room temperature before serving.
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Bon appétit !

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