Homemade Cake Recipe

Homemade CakeBasic Homemade Cake with Mocha Frosting and Walnuts
(Source: Magazine Clipping, c. 1930s)

This basic homemade cake recipe is very easy to follow, and by applying simple variations to the one standard recipe, you can make up to one dozen different dessert cakes. It's so versatile! You will be proud to serve these delicious vintage cakes to your family and guests.

Basic Homemade Cake Recipe

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)


1/2 cupful butter
1 cupful sugar
2 cupfuls cake flour
3 level teaspoonfuls baking powder
2 eggs
2/3 cupful milk
1 teaspoonful flavoring

Note: All measurements are level.

First: Beat or work the butter with a slotted wooden spoon until it has a whitish appearance around the edges. Gradually add the sugar to the butter, beating the mixture, meanwhile.

Second: Sift the flour, measure, add baking powder and sift three times.

Third: Separate eggs. Beat yolks until light.

Fourth: Beat egg whites until very light and fluffy.

To the creamed butter and sugar add eggs yolks, then alternately the 2/3 cupful of milk and the flour with the baking powder. Beat thoroughly until smooth. Add flavoring. Then carefully fold in the egg whites.

Bake in 2 round layer greased pans (8 x 1-1/4 inches) or in a loaf pan (7 x 7 x 2 inches) in moderate oven (350°F to 375°F).

Spread Mocha Frosting (see below) between layers and top and sides of cake. Decorate with walnut meats.

Orange Cake

Orange Dessert CakeHomemade Orange Dessert Cake with White Mountain Cream
(Source: Magazine Clipping, c. 1930s)

Use basic homemade recipe. Bake in 2 layers or double the recipe and make 3 large layers.


1/2 cupful sugar
3 tablespoonfuls cake flour
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 teaspoonful butter
2 tablespoonfuls water
1/4 cupful orange juice
1 tablespoonful lemon juice
(Double ingredients for 3 layers)

Mix in order given. Cook in double-boiler until thick enough to spread. Spread filling between layers. Cover top of cake with White Mountain Cream Frosting (see below) with orange flavoring added, and 1/4 teaspoonful salt. Spread on top of cake and decorate with thin half slices of orange.

Silver Cake

Silver CakeHomemade Silver Cake with Butter Cream Frosting
(Source: Magazine Clipping, c. 1930s)

Basic homemade cake recipe. Fold in stiffly beaten whites of 3 eggs instead of 2 whole eggs. Bake in small loaf pan. Cover with Butter Cream Frosting (see below) and decorate with candied cherries cut in halves.

Variety Cake

Bake basic homemade cake recipe in 2 layers. Spread jelly, White Mountain Cream Frosting (see below) or custard filling between layers. Cover with sweetened whipped cream.

Fruit Layer Cake

Bake basic homemade recipe in 2 layers. Use 1/2 cupful nuts, 1/2 cupful raisins or dates, and 1/2 cupful figs, all put through a food chopper and mixed with boiled icing as filling. Ice with plain icing.

Marble Cake

Divide basic mixture into 2 parts. Add 4 tablespoonfuls cocoa powder to one part. Drop by spoonfuls into pan — alternating light and dark.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate CakeHomemade Chocolate Layer Cake with Halved Pecans
(Source: Magazine Clipping, c. 1930s)

Basic homemade cake recipe. Take out 4 tablespoonfuls flour and add 6 tablespoonfuls cocoa. Bake in 2 layers or loaf. Cover with Butter Cream Frosting (see below). Decorate with halves of pecan meats.

Spice Loaf Cake

Spice Loaf CakeHomemade Spice Loaf Cake with Sea Foam Icing
(Source: Magazine Clipping, c. 1930s)

Basic homemade cake recipe. Add the following:

1/2 teaspoonful cloves
1/2 teaspoonful nutmeg
1/4 teaspoonful allspice
1 teaspoonful cinnamon

Bake in long loaf and cover with Sea Foam Icing (see below).

Snowball Cake

Bake Silver Cake in layers. Make a boiled icing. Mix 2/3 cupful of coconut with 1/3 cupful frosting. Put between layers. Cover cake with white icing of choice. Sprinkle generously with coconut.

Dark Fruit Cake

Basic homemade cake recipe. Add the following:

1/4 teaspoonful cloves
1/4 teaspoonful allspice
1 teaspoonful cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonful nutmeg
1/4 cupful chopped walnuts
1/4 cupful raisins
1/4 cupful currants
Few strips of citron

Bake in loaf — slow oven (325°F).

White Fruit Cake

White Fruit CakeHomemade White Fruit Cake with Almond Flowers
(Source: Magazine Clipping, c. 1930s)

Make Silver Cake, adding 3 tablespoonfuls coconut, 1/3 cupful chopped nuts, and 1/3 cupful chopped citron. Bake in stem tin. Cover with White Mountain Cream Frosting (see below) flavored with almond or vanilla. Decorate with almond flowers.

Diamond Gold Cake

Basic homemade cake recipe — using 3 egg yolks instead of 2 whole eggs. Bake in stem pan. Cover with White Mountain Cream Frosting (see below) flavored with almond or vanilla. Decorate with candied fruits or nuts.

Frosting Recipes for Cakes

White Mountain Cream Frosting

1 cupful sugar
6 tablespoonfuls water

Boil until it spins a thread. Pour hot syrup on a stiffly beaten egg white. Beat until of spreading consistency.

Butter Cream Frosting

4 tablespoonfuls butter
6 tablespoonfuls milk
1 teaspoonful vanilla
Powdered sugar enough to make a frosting that will spread evenly.

Sea Foam Icing

1 cupful brown sugar
6 tablespoonfuls cold water.

Cook until it spins a thread. Pour hot syrup on a stiffly beaten egg white. Add 1/2 teaspoonful cinnamon. Beat until cool and creamy to spread.

Mocha Frosting

6 tablespoonfuls melted butter
6 tablespoonfuls cold cooked coffee
4 tablespoonfuls cocoa
Confectioners' sugar enough to stiffen to easy spreading consistency.

Spread frosting between layers and top and sides of cake. Decorate with walnut meats.

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