Thanks to Grandma's old fashioned layer cake recipes, you can bake beautiful celebration cakes that will delight your family and friends. They make a delicious change from modern cakes, especially the predictable store-bought kind that all taste similar. You cannot beat the baked-in goodness and flavor of a homemade cake.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
Now here's an old fashioned layer cake recipe for those times when you really want to impress.
3 cup sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter or shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture, alternately with milk, as small amount at a time. Beat after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla; fold in egg whites.
Bake in three greased 9-inch layer pans in slow oven (325°F) 15 minutes; then increase heat slightly to moderate (350°F) and bake 15 minutes longer. Remove cake from oven when done and allow to cool. Spread Moon Glow Lemon Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
Moon Glow Lemon Frosting:
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 egg yolks, unbeaten
4-1/2 cups (about) confectioners sugar
Add lemon rind and juice to egg yolks. Stir in sugar until of right consistency to spread. Makes enough frosting to cover tops and sides of three 9-inch layers. All measurements are level.
One and one-quarter cups sifted flour, 1 scant cup sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sift all three times.
To 1/3 cup melted butter, add 1 egg, and fill cup with milk. Add dry ingredients and beat vigorously. Bake in two layers in moderate oven (375°F) till done.
Floradora Cake Filling:
One cup milk, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 egg yolks, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple.
Scald milk and butter. Beat egg yolks, add flour and sugar and then add milk. Cook in double boiler till thick and smooth. Remove from fire and add coconut and pineapple.
When cool put filling between the cake layers and on the top. Then cover the whole cake with a meringue made of two egg whites beaten stiff, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder.
Sprinkle shredded coconut over the top and carefully brown coconut in the oven before serving.
3 cups sifted flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs unbeaten, milk as needed, 10 tablespoons melted butter or other shortening.
Sift the flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, and sugar, and sift together three times. Break eggs into cup and fill cup with milk. Add another cup of milk; then melted butter.
Put all ingredients into mixing bowl and beat vigorously 3 minutes. Bake in 3 greased 9-inch layer pans in moderate oven (375°F) for 25 minutes. Spread Hungarian Chocolate Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
Hungarian Chocolate Frosting Recipe:
4 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate cut in pieces, 2 tablespoons hot water, 2 eggs well beaten, 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup butter.
Melt chocolate in double boiler, add hot water, and blend. Add eggs and sugar. Remove from heat, but allow mixture to stand over hot water, stirring constantly until it is slightly thickened (about 3 minutes).
Cool quickly to lukewarm. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring and blending after each addition. Makes enough icing to cover tops and sides of three 9-inch layers.
This chocolate frosting may be kept in the refrigerator until needed for other vintage cake recipes. It can then be spread on cake layers that are nearly cold. This will soften the frosting so that it will spread easily.
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup shortening, 1-2/3 cups milk, 2 cups white sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon lemon, 1 teaspoon salt.
Divide batter in half and color one half pink. Line two 9-inch greased layer cake tins. Swirl batters in pans for marble effect. Bake 25 minutes or until done at 350-375°F. Very good.
For Making 1/2 Recipe:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 egg, 1/3 cup shortening, 3/4 cup milk, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon lemon, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Whites of six eggs, one cupful of sweet (whole) milk, two cupfuls of sugar, four cupfuls of sifted flour, two-thirds of a cup of butter, flavoring, and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder.
Stir the sugar and butter to a cream, then add the milk and flavoring, part of the flour, the beaten whites of eggs, then the rest of the flour.
Bake carefully in two tins lined with buttered white paper in a moderate (375°F) oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with wire for doneness.
Spread white frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Keep this old fashioned layer cake recipe handy for when company is coming.
Dr. Chase's Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book (1891)
Here's a delicious layer cake you will enjoy serving on any occasion.
Granulated sugar, 3 cups; butter, 1 cup; 5 eggs; sweet milk, 1 cup; flour, 3 cups; cream of tartar, 2 teaspoonfuls; baking soda, 1 teaspoonful; salt, 1 pinch.
Beat the butter, sugar, and yolks of the eggs to a cream; mix soda in the milk and the cream of tartar in the flour; add the whites just before the flour. Bake in jelly cake tins, browning a little.
In Place of Jelly:
Take the whites of 2 eggs, a little water, and the proper amount of powdered sugar to make thick for icing, beat together and with a knife spread over the top of each cake. Grate a fresh coconut and mix it with more sugar, and sprinkle it over the cakes; then layer them up, finishing the top the same.
Remarks. — This old time layer cake recipe is especially applicable for use upon occasions when ice cream is to be served.
Submitted by Darlene R.
29 graham crackers, rolled fine
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Makes 2 layers. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
That's it — that's all there is to this homemade layer cake recipe! Hope it turns out okay for you.
The Perry Home Cook Book (1920)
One-half cup of butter, two cups of sugar, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, two-thirds of a cup of sweet milk, three cups of sifted flour, the whites of eight eggs, beaten stiff.
To make this Delmonico's Restaurant-style cake, cream the butter and sugar; add the milk; then the flour; beat thoroughly; then add the eggs; and flour, with vanilla. Bake in two layers till done.
Vanilla Cake Filling:
Two cups of maple or brown sugar, one cup of milk, a lump of butter the size of a walnut, a tablespoonful of vanilla, or any flavor. Boil till it gets like candy; beat to a cream. —Mrs. M. S. Leonard
Get Grandma's favorite old fashioned chocolate layer cake recipes and bake delicious dessert cakes that are certain to delight your family.