Cake Salé (savory cake)

For many the holidays mean weeks worth of Christmas parties, eating more than you should at big family meals, and an endless stream of cakes and candies. So it’s no surprise that many people make their New Year’s Resolution to “go on a diet” or “cut out the sweets.” If you’re one of the many people trying to reduce their sugar intake in 2017, I’ve got just the thing for you: a cake salé.

A cake salé is a French savory cake (salé is French for savory). The recipe is similar to that of a quick bread, like a banana bread. The difference is that rather than being super moist with a tight crumb, a cake salé has more of a bready quality with a drier more open crumb structure inside.

The basic formula for a cake salé is flexible enough that you can change up the flavorful add-ins and the recipe will still work. I chose ham and Gruyère but chopped herbs, tomato and feta, smoked salmon and dill, pretty much any flavor combination would work instead. Just make sure that if you add any extra liquid to the dough with these ingredients that you reduce the milk by the same amount.

This recipe is sugar-free, so it’s perfect for a mid-day snack or paired with a green salad for a light lunch. A cake salé is also a great dish for a buffet.

Cake Salé (savory cake)

1 loaf


  • 1 3/4 cup (245g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
  • 6 oz (170 g) baked ham, cut into 1/4" (0.5 cm) dice
  • 6 oz (170 g) Gruyère, half shredded and half cut into 1/4" (0.5 cm) dice


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (160° C fan) with a rack in the center. Butter a loaf tin and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then mix in the milk and olive oil.
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones until just combined. Fold in the ham and cheese.
  5. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and flatten the top.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs.
  7. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove the loaf from the tin and wait 30 minutes before slicing.


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