Spring baking! Julia Busuttil Nishimura's simple butter cake with raspberries - a recipe

Julia Busuttil Nishimura simple butter cake with raspberries

This week we chatted with the delicious Julia Busuttil Nishimura. If you missed the interview, you can find it over on Stories. 

It’s Sunday, a traditionally slow day to potter - and these days, even moreso if you’re in lockdown. We’re all looking for comfort and ways to nurture ourselves and our families. Shared from Julia’s latest book ‘A Year of Simple Family Food’, we see following this recipe as almost meditative, with the results being nourishing for both body and soul (there’s nothing better than a buttery cake fresh from the oven) - not to mention the warmth and aromas to fill your home. Excitingly - you will most likely have most ingredients in your repertoire, so you can bake straight away if the mood strikes.

"This is my back-pocket recipe for a butter cake that can be adapted to suit the seasons. Most fruits are a lovely addition, gently pressed into the batter – just be mindful of the cooking time. Fruits like apple or quince are better when cooked prior to adding, whereas rhubarb, blueberries or blackberries can be used as the raspberries are here. This cake is based on a traditional French cake called the quatre quarts or ‘four quarters’ cake, as it uses just four ingredients – all the same weight – to form the basic batter."

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's 'A Year of Simple Family Food'

Simple butter cake with raspberries


3 eggs

200 g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

200 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

200 g (11⁄3 cups) self-raising flour

125 g raspberries

icing sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 21 cm square cake tin with butter and line with baking paper.

Beat the eggs with the sugar for 3–4 minutes, or until very pale and fluffy. This is best done in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the butter and mix until well combined. Sift in the flour and gently stir until well incorporated.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven and gently press the raspberries on top of the batter – adding them at this later stage stops all the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Cook for another 25–30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Lightly dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura in the Little Tienda Britta dress.


Love cooking? Little Tienda and Pan Macmillan are giving you the chance to win one of three copies of Julia’s latest book ‘A Year of Simple Family Food’ (RRP $39.99). A collection of simple and seasonal recipes.  Enter via our homepage