Make Ahead

Quatre Quart (French Pound Cake)

June 29, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by PieceOfLayerCake
  • Serves 4 - 6
Author Notes

This is one of the most simple cakes I've ever made...and I'm always in awe with how scarce it is over in the US. French for "four forths", its basically a simple British pound cake, with a couple tweaks. This may be a "recipe" per se, but the best part about this cake is, you don't need one. Simply weigh your eggs, in the shell, then continue with the process matching the weight flour, butter and sugar with that initial measurement. Don't let a recipe rule your ability to have freshly baked cake ever again!

Once you master the recipe, it can be adapted infinitely. Mix in any ingredient you can think of. Bake them into mini loaves, bundts, muffins, cupcakes, round/layer cakes, madeleine molds, etc. Adorn it with sliced almonds, buttercreams, light glazes, fruit, ganache, etc. Use it for trifles, ice cream sandwiches/sundaes, strawberry shortcake, Victoria sponge, grill it, griddle it, booze it, love it. This is a cake that is meant to be played with. Make. It. Your. Own. —PieceOfLayerCake

What You'll Need
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 200 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 200 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 200 grams unbleached, all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9 x 5" loaf and lightly coat with flour.
  2. Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a large bowl, then place the whites into the bowl of a stand mixer (If using a hand held mixer, just place them in another large mixing bowl). Add the salt to the egg whites, attach the whisk attachment, and start the mixer on low speed.
  3. Dump the sugar into the egg yolks and, using a wooden spoon, beat them together for a minute, until thick and pale yellow. Add in the melted butter, vanilla and zest and mix well, until smooth. Add in the flour and mix until a batter just forms.
  4. Crank the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until the egg whites reach a firm peak. Using the spoon or a spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter until just incorporated.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and give it a few firm raps on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rowena Low
    Rowena Low
  • Eric Boyle
    Eric Boyle

2 Reviews

Rowena L. November 19, 2023
Do you bake this in the lower third of the oven? Thank you.
Eric B. May 14, 2020
Turned out amazing! It also worked out here in high altitudes. Will for sure return to this recipe time and again.