• A rich cake, typically one containing layers of cream or fruit.

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Example Sentences

“I want a light vanilla sponge for the main wedding cake, and a smaller chocolate gâteau.”

“Will you pick up the gâteau from the bakery before the party?”

“This dessert is too decadent to be called cake — this is a gâteau.”

Word Origin

French, mid-19th century

Why this word?

From French, “gâteau” translates directly as “cake,” but when the loanword is used in English, it refers to a special kind of cake. “Gâteau” typically describes a decadent, rich cake, with tiers sandwiched between fruit, cream, or frosting, and it’s usually elaborately decorated. In the world of baking, a cake can be any number of things, but a gâteau is a very luxurious cake appropriate for special occasions.

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