A Provencal Christmas Dessert – Christmas pastry recipe

Here in Provence, we continue to honour the tradition of the 13 Desserts served at Christmas!

Discover one of Provence’s culinary specialities

Slightly less well-known than its cousin the “pompe à huile” – a sweet brioche made with olive oil -, the “gibassier” is also part of the 13 Desserts presented on the table at Christmas.

Generally perfumed with aniseed, this typical little sweet delicacy is made with olive oil, candied orange peel, orange flower water and generous amounts of sugar.

Its name is owed to its dome shape: “giba” means “hump” in Provencal dialect. Contrary to the “pompe à l’huile” or “fougasse”, the “gibassier” is a crunchy pastry, resembling shortbread. More of a biscuit than a brioche, it contains no eggs!

The “gibassier” is added to the other 12 desserts displayed on the prettily-decorated Christmas table.

Provencal “gibassier” recipe:


500 g flour

10  g yeast or baking powder

150  g powdered cane sugar

130 g olive oil

130 g warm white wine

1 pinch of salt

1 level tbs green aniseed

4  cl orange flower water

4  cl sweetened coffee (optional) or 1 /2 tbs cane sugar

  • Mix the yeast or baking powder in a small amount of warm water.
  • Place the 500 g flour in a bowl and make a well. Add the 130g olive oil, 150g sugar, pinch of salt and level tbs of green aniseed to the centre.
  • Mix in the yeast and orange flower water, then continue mixing until smooth.
  • Gradually add the warm white wine to obtain a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into two mounds.
  • Flatten each mound into a 1 cm oval biscuit shape. Place in the oven on greaseproof paper, make 5 cuts in a star shape using a roller or knife and leave overnight in the oven. The following day, pre-heat the oven to 180 °C , sprinkle the biscuits with cane sugar and cook for 25 to 30 mins.
  • When cooked, you can brush the “gibassier” biscuits with 4 cl of sweetened coffee to give them a golden finish.

(recipe courtesy of quatresaisonsaujardin.com)

Christmas is of course a great time to plan your next seaside camping holiday too! What’s more, it’s the best time to book your stay at our four-star campsite Les Jardins de La Pascalinette®, so you can sit back and look forward to a fabulous break in the Var, French Riviera-Côte d’Azur!

You might not get a chance to taste a “gibassier” during your summer holiday in Hyères as it is a seasonal speciality, but you will be able to savour our beautiful region’s many other culinary treats – aioli, bouillabaisse, tapenade and more – washed down with a delicious Provence Rosé wine of course!