Old fashioned cream cake recipes were prized in the Victorian Era. They were commonly called ice cream cakes though there's NO ice cream in them.
Some chefs say this luscious 5-layer cake's name came about because its creamy soft sponge texture and thick, creamy filling made it taste similar to ice cream. Others say it earned its name because it became popular to serve with ice cream.
Whatever the case, this richly moist homemade cake makes a wonderful treat for any occasion. In truth, it makes the occasion! These Victorian-style sponges taste every bit as good as they look!
Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping (1877)
Two cups sugar, one of butter, three and a fourth cups flour, one-fourth cup sweet milk or cream (some take two cups flour, one cup cornstarch, and one of sweet milk), two teaspoons baking powder, whites of eight eggs, flavor and bake (375°) in jelly tins.
Boiled Icing Recipe:
Boil two and a half cups powdered sugar in a half teacup water, stirring constantly; when thick and clear, pour boiling hot over the well-whipped whites of three eggs, beat till nearly cold, flavor and spread on cakes. —Mrs. Dr. D. H. Moore, Wesleyan College, Cincinnati
Make good sponge cake (as above), bake half an inch thick in jelly pans, and let them get perfectly cold.
Take a pint of the thickest sweet cream, beat until it looks like ice cream, make very sweet, and flavor with vanilla; blanch and chop a pound of almonds, stir into cream, and put very thickly between each layer.
This is the "Queen of All Cakes." —Miss Mattie Fullington
Aunt Babette's Cook Book (1889)
Take one cup of butter and two cups of pulverized sugar rubbed to a cream. Then add gradually one cup of milk or cream, and three cups of sifted flour, with two teaspoonfuls of baking powder sifted into the flour and last the stiff-beaten whites of eight eggs. Bake (375°F) in thin layers.
Use the following cake filling:
Four cups of powdered sugar, one small cup of boiling water. Boil until clear and thick like syrup and then pour on the beaten whites of four eggs, beating as you pour in the syrup, and stir until cold. Then add one teaspoonful of citric acid (pulverized, of course).
Flavor with vanilla and spread between layers and on top. This quantity will make about five layers.
My Pet Recipes Tried and True (1900)
One cup butter rubbed with two cups white sugar to a cream, one cup cream, three and one-half cups flour, three level teaspoons baking powder, and whites of eight eggs.
Bake in jelly tins (375°F), and put together with boiled icing flavored with orange. —Mrs. C. H.
Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings (1913)
Ingredients: 1-1/2 cupfuls of sugar, 2-1/2 cupfuls of flour, 1/4 cupful of butter, 1 cupful of water, 2 rounding teaspoonfuls of baking powder, whites of five eggs.
Method: Cream the butter, adding slowly the sugar. Sift the flour with the baking powder. Add the water and flour alternately to the sugar mixture, and beat well. Fold in the well-beaten whites, and bake in three layers (375°F).
Put together with a soft icing made from the whites of two eggs. Or use the special cream cake frosting recipe given below.
The White House Cook Book (1913)
Three cups of sugar, one of water; boil to a thick, clear syrup, or until it begins to be brittle; pour this, boiling hot, over the well-beaten whites of three eggs; stir the mixture very briskly, and pour the sugar in slowly; beat it, when all in, until cool. Flavor with lemon or vanilla extract.
This, spread between any white cake layers, answers for a simple Cream Cake.
Traditional cream cakes are known for their thin, light layers of sponge thickly spread with creamy white icing, though there were variations. They contained NO ice cream despite being called ice cream cakes by some chefs.
To make them, simply follow the old fashioned cream cake recipe and quickly bake the thin layers in jelly roll pans or in regular cake pans that are only partially filled with about 1 inch of batter.
These moist dessert cakes are simple to make, but they are finicky regarding cooking time and oven temperature, so keep a very close eye on them while they bake. DO NOT OVER BAKE.
And, since the cake's lightness comes from the air trapped within the batter, DO NOT skimp on the time spent in beating.
Also, since the luscious, creamy filling and the multi layers of moist white cake are what really set this cake apart, DO NOT skimp on the filling. Double the filling recipe should you need to. Be very generous!
One cookbook author goes so far as to call it the Queen of All Cakes! You'll want to try this classic dessert cake. It's truly extra special!
This is the perfect cake for serving at birthdays and parties, as it always proves popular with cake lovers. Who doesn't like creamy fillings?
Whether you want to make a special cake for a friend, or a lavishly decorated five-layer classic for a party, these old fashioned Victoria sponge cakes will serve you well.