Making my first Quatre-quarts

If there’s one cake I remember most about childhood in France it’s Quatre-quarts (Pound cake it seems over here). It’s so cheap to buy that most people have it for children’s birthdays, or I used to eat it a lot when I went to centres aérés (recreation centres) as a kid.

But even though I love that cake, I’ve never made it myself. I’ve imported it (by car and by suitcase) before, but never have I sat down and told myself: Lauranne, you’re gonna make that cake now.

That is, until Tuesday. As I wasn’t having a party at home, the need for cake was nil, but I thought well why not make one anyway, we can eat it for dessert all week long. I then proceeded to check in my numerous cook books and found I had cut out a recipe from a magazine years ago.

For 4 people:

250g butter
250g flour
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
2 packs of vanilla sugar (I haven’t found those here, I have to import them, but they usually contain between 7g and 10g)
1 spoonful of baking powder

Leave the butter out for a bit so it can soften up, or shove it in the microwave for 30sec. Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a mixing bowl, mix butter and the sugar and vanilla sugar using a hand mixer. Add eggs one by one. Add flour and baking powder last (I added the baking powder to the flour beforehand).

Butter and flour your cake tin (rectangle ones are best, and more traditional), then spoon in the mix. Put in the oven for 40min.

Unfortunately for me, our oven sucks and heat only comes from the top. So my cake burned from the outside, while the inside remained liquid. In the end it had to be in the oven for an hour with me checking every 5min, sticking in a knife to see where it was still liquid and scraping off burnt as I went along.


When it was finally done, I can honestly say it tasted very nice. Not like the cakes you buy in the shop though, so I will try another recipe next time. I’ve seen that others don’t use vanilla sugar, nor baking powder. They have only 3 eggs and add salt.

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