Grandma's vintage picnic cake recipes are so easy to make and perfect for times when you need a mouth-watering cake for picnics or a backyard family party.
Enjoy serving these homemade cakes with or without icing or simply dust them with powered sugar — they taste that good!
One Hundred Picnic Suggestions (1915)
Sift 2 cups of flour with 5 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 cup of sugar, 2 beaten egg yolks beaten again with 1/3 cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
Beat well and add 1 tablespoon of vanilla, 2 cups of blueberries, well dredged in flour, the egg whites beaten stiff, and turn into a shallow pan well greased. Bake 1/2 hour in a slow oven (325°F).
When cool wrap the pan in a paper and put it in the picnic basket. This cake requires no frosting and should be eaten while quite fresh. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top, if desired.
Mix 1/2 cup each melted butter, molasses, and sugar, add 1 beaten egg, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup of very strong coffee. Beat and add 2 cups of flour.
Bake in one of the square, shallow tin boxes that are sold filled with crackers or wafers. Peel off the outside paper, grease the inside and dust lightly with flour. Bake in moderate oven (375°F) and cover with thick boiled frosting.
When cold put on the cover. Or bake cake in a shallow pan and stick wooden toothpicks through the frosting into the cake and cover with waxed paper.
Cream 1/2 cup of butter, add 1 cup of sultana raisins dredged with flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 2 beaten yolks. Add, alternately, 2 cups of flour sifted with 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 3/4 cup of milk.
Season with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each, of salt and nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Fold in the beaten egg whites and bake in a tin wafer box (375°F) 30 minutes.
While quite warm spread with creamed butter, dust with granulated sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle with minced nuts, and return to oven until a crust is formed.
When cool put on cover of the box. There will be too much dough for the box, but the remainder may be used for drop cakes.
For this old fashioned picnic cake recipe, cream 1 cup of butter, add 1-1/2 cups of flour. Beat 1 cup of eggs with 1-1/2 cups of sugar until very light and lemon color.
Add this to the butter and flour mixture and beat 20 minutes, flavor with 1 tablespoon of brandy, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 2 drops of the oil of nutmeg.
Bake in a bread tin about 1 hour (375°F). Citron or fruit may be added if liked. This cake will keep fresh a long time.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1-2/3 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup milk
2 level teaspoons baking powder
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pink food coloring
Cream shortening, add sugar gradually. Then add sifted dry ingredients with milk and flavoring. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
Color one-half mixture with pink coloring and fill into a loaf pan alternating the two batters, in order to have a marble appearance.
Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for 35 to 40 minutes. Cover with white frosting and decorate with flags. —Selected Recipes and Menus
1/2 cupful butter
3/4 cupful sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten light
Second 3/4 cupful sugar
3 cupfuls cake flour
4 teaspoonfuls baking powder
1/4 teaspoonful salt
1 cupful milk
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Cream the butter with 3/4 cupful sugar. Beat the egg yolks until light, and add the second sugar, beating well. Add the egg and sugar mixture to that of the butter and sugar, mixing well. Sift the flour, measure, add the baking powder and salt, and sift three times.
Add this flour mixture and the milk alternately to the first mixture. Then add the vanilla extract. Fold in the egg whites, and bake in two layer-cake pans in a moderate oven (350°F).
Put the layers together and cover cake with a favorite caramel frosting to decorate.
Dr. Chase's Receipt Book (1891)
Butter, 1 cup; sugar, 2 cups; 2 eggs; sour or sweet milk, 1 cup; flour, 4 to 4-1/2 cups; baking soda, 1 teaspoonful, scant; cream of tarter, 2 teaspoonfuls; vanilla extract, 1 teaspoonful.
Cream the sugar and butter, and add one-half the milk, in which the vanilla has been put; then one-half the flour, then the beaten eggs; then the other half of the flour into which the cream of tartar has been mixed by sifting together; lastly the other half of the milk in which the soda has been dissolved.
Make in small cakes and bake quickly in hot (400°F) oven.
Remarks: — Jumbles are always to be sprinkled with sugar, or rolled in sugar. For me, the more sugar the better is the jumble.