Forgotten Cake Recipes

You will enjoy these forgotten cake recipes that I found in Grandma's recipe collection. These old fashioned cakes are rarely seen today, and it's a mystery why since they are so tasty.

These delicious homemade cakes were commonly found in farm kitchens a century ago, and the cakes make wonderful desserts for serving to your family today.

Amazing Forgotten Cake Recipes

Ryzon Baking Book (1917)

Sliced Caraway Seed CakeEnjoy Homemade Caraway Seed Cake Slices with Butter
(Source: ©jabiru/

Caraway Seed Cake

This forgotten cake recipe is easy to make. Slice and serve with melted butter for a delicious homemade treat.

1/2 cupful (4 ounces) butter
1/2 cupful (4 ounces) sugar
3 eggs
4 tablespoonfuls milk
1 teaspoonful orange extract
2-1/2 level teaspoonfuls caraway seeds
2 level teaspoonfuls Ryzon baking powder
1-1/2 level cupfuls (6 ounces) flour

Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs well beaten, milk, orange extract, seeds, and flour sifted with Ryzon (baking powder).

Mix and pour into a small, square (or oblong) buttered and floured cake tin, and bake in a moderate oven (375°F) for forty minutes.

The caraway seeds may be crushed if liked. Sufficient for one small cake.

Old Fashioned Molasses Cake

Ryzon Baking Powder BoxRyzon — The Perfect Baking Powder
(Source: Ryzon Baking Book, 1917)

1/2 cupful (4 ounces) sugar
1/2 cupful (4 ounces) shortening
1 egg
1/2 cupful (1 gill) sour milk
1/2 cupful (1 gill) molasses
1 level teaspoonful ginger
1 level teaspoonful cinnamon
3 level cupfuls (3/4 pound) flour
1/2 level teaspoonful soda
2 level teaspoonfuls Ryzon baking powder

Cream sugar and shortening. Add well-beaten egg, cinnamon, ginger, molasses and milk — soda dissolved in one tablespoonful hot water. Then add flour and Ryzon (baking powder), which have been sifted together.

Turn into well-greased tin. Bake in moderate oven (375°F) about thirty minutes. —Mrs. Ella Smith, Brooklyn, New York

Canadian Wartime Cake

Canadian War Cake IllustrationDelicious Canadian Wartime Cake
(Source: Ryzon Baking Book, 1917)

This forgotten cake recipe was first published in 1917, during World War One (1914-1918).

It's a pleasure to publish this wholesome, economical, delicious, wartime cake recipe, which will appeal to the housewife of today. —Mrs. Gertrude Haig, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

2 level cupfuls (1/2 pound) brown sugar
2 cupfuls (1 pint) hot water
1 level teaspoonful salt
1 level teaspoonful ginger
1 level teaspoonful cinnamon
1 level teaspoonful allspice
1 package (1 pound) seedless raisins
1 level teaspoonful Ryzon baking powder
3 level cupfuls (3/4 pound) flour

Boil sugar, spices, water and raisins together for five minutes, after it begins to bubble. When cold add flour and Ryzon (baking powder) which have been sifted together, turn into well-greased tin and bake forty-five minutes in moderate (375°F) oven.

This cake is not only delicious, but most inexpensive, and well suited to wartime conditions. It will keep moist and good as long as any of it is left, which may not be long if there are children in the family.

Hasty Cake

1/4 cupful (2 ounces) butter
1 level cupful (1/2 pound) sugar
1/2 cupful (1 gill) milk
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoonful orange or almond extract
2 level teaspoonfuls Ryzon baking powder
1-1/2 level cupfuls (6 ounces) flour
Pinch salt

To make this forgotten cake recipe, cream butter and sugar together, add milk, whites of eggs, extract, and flour sifted with Ryzon (baking powder) and salt.

Beat for five minutes, then turn into a buttered and floured tin and bake (375°F) for thirty-five minutes, or until done. Turn out and cool.

Chocolate Frosting:

2 squares chocolate
1/4 cupful (6 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoonfuls milk
1/2 teaspoonful almond extract
2 egg yolks

Melt chocolate in pan of a double boiler, add sugar and milk, and cook until smooth; add egg yolks and extract and cook for one minute. Spread on cake. Sufficient for one small cake.

Old Fashioned Forgotten Cake Recipes

Choice Recipes (1913)

Wellesley Chocolate Loaf Cake

Wellesley College Campus 1881Etching of Wellesley College Campus c.1881
(PD Source: King's Handbook of Boston, 1881)

Wellesley College in Massachusetts is a private women's liberal arts college dating from 1870.

Its founders Henry and Pauline Durant are credited with saying, "Pies, lies, and doughnuts should never have a place in Wellesley College." Imagine!

Although plain eating was encouraged, students nevertheless secretly satisfied their sweet-tooth by secretly baking decadent dessert cakes topped with a layer of rich chocolate fudge frosting.

This forgotten cake recipe is Fannie Farmer's version of the famous Wellesley Chocolate Loaf Cake.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Yolks 2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1-1/4 cups flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Whites 2 eggs
2 squares chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Wellesley frosting (recipe below)
2 squares chocolate (for topping)

Cream butter and add sugar gradually, while beating constantly; then add yolks of eggs beaten until thick, milk, and flour mixed and sifted with baking powder.

Add whites of eggs, beaten until stiff, two squares chocolate (melted over hot water) and vanilla.

Turn into a buttered and floured shallow cake pan, and bake in a moderate oven (375°F) from thirty-five to forty minutes.

Remove from pan, cover top with Wellesley Frosting and when frosting is set pour over, a little at a time, two squares chocolate (which has been melted over hot water) and spread evenly, using the back of a spoon. —Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer

Wellesley Frosting

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
Whites 2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put sugar and water in saucepan, stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to boiling point and let boil vigorously, without stirring, until syrup will thread when dropped from top of spoon.

Put whites of eggs in saucepan and beat until stiff. Pour on the syrup gradually, while beating constantly, and continue the beating, until mixture is nearly stiff enough to spread.

Place saucepan containing mixture in a larger saucepan, containing a small quantity of boiling water, place on range and cook, stirring constantly (scraping from bottom and sides of pan) until mixture becomes granular around sides of pan.

Remove from saucepan of hot water, and beat until mixture will hold its shape; then add vanilla. Pour on cake and spread evenly, using a knife.

This is one of the varieties of thick, soft frostings which has recently met with so much favor. —Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer

Miss Farmer's Chocolate Nougat Cake

This forgotten cake recipe was invented by none other than Miss Fannie Farmer, the Martha Stewart of the 1800s. Miss Farmer's cakes were known to be delicious and easy to make.

1/4 cup of butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 cups bread flour
3 teaspoonfuls baking powder
1/2 teaspoonful vanilla
2 squares chocolate, melted
1/3 cup powdered sugar
White Mountain Cream frosting (recipe below)
2/3 cup almonds, blanched and shredded

Cream the butter, add gradually one and one-half cups of sugar, and egg unbeaten; when well mixed, add two-thirds milk, flour mixed and sifted with baking powder, and vanilla.

To melted chocolate add one-third a cup of powdered sugar, place on range, add gradually remaining milk, and cook until smooth. Cool slightly and add to cake mixture.

Bake fifteen to twenty minutes (moderate 375°F oven) in round layer-cake pans.

Put between layers and on top of cake White Mountain Cream Frosting that's sprinkled with almonds. —Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer

White Mountain Cream Frosting

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
White 1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice)

Put sugar and water in saucepan, and stir to prevent sugar from adhering to saucepan; heat gradually to boiling point, and boil without stirring until syrup will thread when dropped from tip of spoon or tines of silver fork.

Pour syrup gradually on beaten white of egg, beating mixture constantly, and continue beating until of right consistency to spread; then add flavoring and pour over cake, spreading evenly with back of spoon. Crease as soon as firm.

If not beaten long enough, frosting will run; if beaten too long, it will not be smooth. Frosting beaten too long may be improved by adding a few drops of lemon juice or boiling water.

A second egg white can be added, if desired, making the frosting easier to spread.

This frosting is soft inside and has a glossy surface. If frosting is to be ornamented with nuts for candied cherries, place them on frosting as soon as spread. —Miss Fannie Merritt Farmer

Forgotten Cake Recipe

Royal Baker Pastry Book (1887)

The Election Cake

Election Day cakes became popular in New England in the 1700s, when the election of Colonial Governors took on a holiday atmosphere.

They gradually dwindled in popularity after the American Revolution (1775) and were almost forgotten by the late 1800s, around the time when this forgotten cake recipe was first published.

Sometimes, these hearty fruitcake-like cakes tended to be quite large, weighing up to 10 pounds, and they were perfect for raising people's spirits while awaiting the election results.

They were also perfect for absorbing the significant quantities of cider and ale consumed by the celebrants.

1-1/2 cupfuls butter, 2 cupfuls sugar, 1-1/2 pints (3 cups) flour, 3 eggs, 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls Royal Baking Powder, 2 cupfuls raisins, stoned, 1 cupful currants, washed and picked, 1/2 cupful chopped citron, 1/2 lemon peel chopped, 1/2 cupful almonds, blanched and cut in shreds, 20 drops each Royal Extract of Bitter almonds and Vanilla, 1 cupful milk.

Rub the butter and sugar to a white, light cream; add the eggs, beating a while longer, the flour sifted with the baking powder, raisins, citron, currants, lemon peel, almonds, extracts, and milk; mix into a consistent batter; put in a paper lined cake tin, and bake in a moderate oven (375°F) 1-1/2 hours.

Old South Forgotten Cake Recipes

Southern Recipes (1910)

Graham Cracker Cake

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, separated
1 medium sized box Graham Crackers
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream sugar, butter, and add egg yolks. Roll and sift crackers, add baking powder alternately with milk, pecans, then vanilla.

Bake in slow oven (325°F) in layer pans (using a wire cake tester to test when done). —Mrs. Curtis Nordau


3 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons strong coffee
2 tablespoons butter
1 box confectioners' sugar

Mix above ingredients and add enough cream to spread icing easily.

Southern Chop Suey Cake

Caramel or coffee icing may be used to decorate this delicious cake. This is a forgotten cake recipe from the Old South that's worth trying.

1/2 cup Crisco® shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups sour milk
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup nutmeats
2 cups White Lily flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix shortening and sugar. Add spices and cocoa, then sour milk, baking soda, flour, salt, raisins, and nuts. Bake in a medium (375°F) oven using a square cake pan. —Maxwell Field

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