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Catholic Recipe: Four-Egg Cake


  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 2 2/3 cups sifted flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, plus 1 teaspoon almond extract)


Prep Time: N/A

Difficulty:  N/A

Cost:  ★★☆☆

For Ages: n/a



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A flavorful but basic cake for so many family occasions, such as First Communion, Confirmation, Baptism parties, and also family birthdays, namedays and other celebrations, as suggested by Evelyn Vitz. This recipe makes three 9-inch layers, or an 8-by-12-inch sheet cake. Several delicious (and simple) icing recipes are below.


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease the baking pan or pans with butter or shortening. Sprinkle flour around in the pan, shake the pan from side to side, then discard excess flour.

Cream the butter, then add the sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat the egg yolks until lemon-colored, then stir them into the butter mixture, mixing thoroughly.

Resift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add a little of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix well, then add a little milk; mix thoroughly. Continue adding the flour and the milk alternately to the butter mixture, until all are thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold them gently but thoroughly into the batter. Pour into the pan or pans.

Bake for 30 minutes for the 9-inch pans, 40 minutes for the larger pan-or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack. Then loosen the sides of the cake with a spatula, and turn it out onto a wire cake rack. Frost when fully cool.

Recipe Source: Continual Feast, A by Evelyn Birge Vitz, Ignatius Press, San Francisco , 1985