This recipe is, in Asturias, the Spanish province where I came from, “the cake”. We always have on our coffee or tea break. It’s our favorite butter cake.

I can tell you that is the most traditional, easy and fast cake that you will find. The secret? If you use good quality butter the result will be incredibly delicious.

In some homes they “cook” the butter before baking this quitare quarts cake, also called “imperial cake”. This way they have a dense butter, similar to ghee, and they bake the cake with it. But it’s not necessary, depends on the family recipe.

It is also called “Avilés’s cake”, and it’s given as a present for godsons and goddaughters with different children decoration on Easter. 

If you travel to Asturias, in the North of Spain and you ask for a coffee and there is a small piece of butter cake with your coffee, this piece of cake will be for sure a Quatre Quarts “Imperial cake”. It’s said that the recipe came from the days where people emigrated overseas and needed food that lasted for days in perfect conditions. 

The recipe is really similar to the Quatre Quarts French cake using the same amount of butter, flour, eggs and sugar. To prepare it, years ago people used to weight the eggs and later weight the rest of the ingredients in the same quantity. Doing some research on typical recipes I found some families add baking powder to the recipe and other families not, but even if they add, the quantities are really small to bake a really buttery and moist cake, not fluffy, similar to pound cakes. 

Frosting is completely optional in this recipe. If you prefer not too sweet baking goods you won’t need the frosting. The typical frosting is made with confectioner’s sugar, water and some lemon juice drops or with egg whites. In this recipe I made a cream cheese frosting, is not the traditional recipe, but I love this frosting. You can choose the frosting you prefer.

Why is so succulent and delicious the quoter quarts cake?

Because it is sooo moist and has an intense buttery flavor, is the perfect tea cake if you like simple flavors coming from product quality.

Could I prepare my Quatre Quarts cake with Thermomix or Kitchen Aid? 

Of course you can, the same way we can mix by hand the butter and sugar first we can do it with Thermomix, and later add the rest of the ingredients.

How to preserve the “Imperial” or Quatre Quarts cake?

This cake is really moist and will be in perfect conditions for days. You can also freeze ir cut in portions without the frosting and enjoy a piece of cake on any moment.

Quatre Quarts Butter Cake

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Asturian, French, Spanish
Keyword Avilés, Butter cake, Imperial, Quatre Quarts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 people
Cost 4$


  • Oven


  • 4 unit Eggs L size
  • 1+1/2 teaspoon Baking powder As Royal
  • 1+1/3 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1+3/4 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Butter Room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon Butter Room temperature
  • 1 pinch Salt

Frosting (optional)

  • 1/4 cup Cream cheese
  • 1 cup Confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • Prepare your baking mold or cake pan with baking paper or greasing it. 
  • Preheat the oven 345º Fahrenheit (180º Celsius) 
  • Whisk the butter and sugar until you have a nice and soft texture. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time and keep mixing with the butter and sugar batter. 
  • Sift the flour and add the flour, salt and baking powder to the batter bit by bit and incorporate to the batter. 
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, if the last 10 minutes the top is too brown you can cover the cake with foil. 
  • Let the cake cool and add the frosting (optional).
  • To prepare the frosting add the confectioner’s sugar, the cream cheese and a milk tablespoon until you have the right texture for the frosting. 
  • Add the frosting and enjoy your butter cake!

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