You will love these vintage cake recipes. These cakes are easy to make, and they will always turn out amazingly delicious. Choose one of the fancy layer cakes, the classic loaf cake, or try the scrumptious chocolate roll. They are always a joy to serve.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
20 whole graham crackers
2 cups cold milk
1 package (6-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling
1-3/4 cups thawed non-dairy whipped topping
2 21-ounce cans cherry pie filling (42 ounces total)
To begin this vintage cake recipe, line a 13x9-inch pan with some of the graham crackers, breaking crackers if necessary near the edges to evenly cover the pan's bottom.
Pour cold milk into bowl. Add pudding mix. With mixer at low speed, beat until well blended (1 to 2 minutes). Let mixture stand 5 minutes, then carefully blend in whipped topping.
Spread half of the pudding mixture over crackers in pan. Add a second layer of crackers. Top with remaining pudding mixture, then the remaining crackers. Spread cherry pie filling over crackers. Chill about 3 hours in refrigerator before serving. —Diane Switzer
Cream 1/3 cup shortening; add 1 cup sugar slowly, beating well; add 1 beaten egg. Sift together 1-3/4 cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons baking powder and add alternately with 1 cup milk, a little at a time. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and bake in 2 greased layer cake tins in moderate oven (375°F) about 15 to 20 minutes.
Filling and Topping:
Spread 1 cup sweetened flavored whipped cream thickly between layers. Cover top with orange frosting made with 1 cup confectioner's sugar added slowly to 1 tablespoon cream. Add pulp and grated rind of 1 orange, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, and 1 teaspoon melted butter.
For this vintage cake recipe, cream 1/3 cup shortening with 1 cup light brown sugar; add 2 egg yolks; mix well and add 3/4 cup milk; sift together 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and two teaspoons baking powder and add; mix in one cup finely chopped nuts — preferably pecans — and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Bake in greased loaf pan in moderate oven (375°F) about 35 minutes.
Cover top and sides with maple icing as follows: add 1/2 teaspoon butter to 2 tablespoons hot milk; add 1-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar to make smooth paste; add 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring and spread. Sprinkle with nuts while icing is still soft.
Beat 2 egg yolks; add 1 cup sugar slowly and 4 tablespoons cold water. Sift 1 cup flour with 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and add alternately with 2 beaten egg whites. Spread very "thinly" on long greased pan.
Bake in moderate oven (375°F) about 15 minutes. Turn out on damp cloth sprinkled with powdered sugar — trim hard edges; spread with filling and roll in cloth while still warm. When cool remove to plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
For Chocolate Filling:
Scald 1/4 cup milk with 1-1/2 squares melted unsweetened chocolate. Thicken with 1/4 cup flour mixed with 1/4 cup cold milk; add 1 tablespoon butter. Beat 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together and add.
Cook over hot water until smooth and thick. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and spread.
The classic Presidents Cake is a luscious fruitcake meant for special occasions, but this vintage cake recipe may also be made for everyday family use without the Fancy Icing.
However, for those occasions when you need something really special, the Fancy Icing recipe is given below.
To Steam Cakes: Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil, then place a shallow pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven below the cakes during baking. Remove the pan of water during the last hour to prevent the cake from becoming too moist.
To make the Presidents cake, cut into small pieces and blend together 1/2 pound crystallized cherries, 1/2 pound crystallized pineapple, 1/8 pound orange paste, or Turkish paste, 2-1/2 pounds raisins, and 1/2 pound citron, and soak overnight in 1/2 cup grape juice.
Cream 1 cup shortening and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat yolks of 6 eggs very light with 1/2 cup sugar — combine the two; add 1/2 glass grape jelly, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon allspice.
Sift 1 teaspoon baking powder with 1-1/2 cups flour and add alternately with stiffly beaten whites of 6 eggs; then 2 teaspoons melted chocolate.
Sift 1 cup flour over fruit and add to beater; put in last 1/2 pound blanched and ground almonds, and 1/2 pound pecans.
Place in 3 loaf cake pans 5 inches by 9 inches (the sides and bottom of which are lined with fitted greased heavy brown paper). Steam slowly for six hours in slow oven (250°F) and allow to dry out for an hour.
The ingredients for this vintage cake recipe may be doubled exactly if a larger cake is desired.
This boiled icing recipe meant for Presidents Cake could also be useful when decorating other kinds of dessert cakes made from vintage cake recipes.
Cook 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water until it forms a fairly thick drop from tip of spoon (222°F).
Beat 4 egg whites with wire whisk. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat in 1/3 of the cooked syrup. Continue to cook the syrup until it threads very fine (230°F).
Add another third of the syrup to the egg whites and beat in very thoroughly.
Cook the remaining third of syrup until two drops fall at once from the spoon (250°F). Beat it into egg whites. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Cook over hot water, folding it over, but not beating, until thick enough to pile high without spreading and sinking.
Cool. When ready to use on cake, fold it over carefully until smooth and creamy. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts icing.
For this classic vintage cake recipe, cream 1/3 cup shortening with 1 cup sugar, beating well; add 1 beaten egg, 1 cup milk slowly, and mix well. Add 1-3/4 cups flour sifted with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 4 teaspoons baking powder; mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla and bake in 3 greased layer cake tins in moderate oven (375°F) about 15 to 20 minutes.
Put layers together with chocolate cake filling and icing made with 3 cups confectioner's sugar to which is added slowly sufficient boiling water to make smooth paste; add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 ounces unsweetened melted chocolate, and 1/2 teaspoonful grated orange peel.
This vintage cake recipe requires mixing 3 separate batters that are then combined into a single cake pan.
Whites of five eggs, half teacup of butter, two cups white sugar, two cups flour, one cup sweet milk, two teaspoonfuls baking powder, lemon flavoring.
Yolks of five eggs, half cup butter, one cup sweet milk, two teaspoonfuls baking powder, flavor as you do light part.
One cup brown sugar, quarter cup butter, half cup sweet milk, half cup molasses, two cups flour, one egg, half teaspoonful soda, all kinds of spices to taste.
Put into a greased pan by the spoonful. The different colors will give it a spotted leopard-like effect when baked (375°F). —Kindness of J.M.B.
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons chopped orange peel
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
Stir sugar into shortening until creamy smooth, add egg yolks, orange marmalade, grated and chopped peel, and nuts.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together and add alternately with the liquid. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and pour batter into loaf pan.
Bake in moderate oven (375°F) for 55 minutes, or until cake is well browned on top and shrinks slightly from sides of loaf pan.
2 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
Bring to a boil while stirring constantly the peanut butter, butter, oil, and water. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, flour, milk, eggs, soda, and vanilla. Pour into cake pan and bake in 350°F oven for 20 minutes, or until done. Top with your favorite icing.
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups flour, sifted
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 eggs, unbeaten
Sift all dry ingredients onto shortening in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla to milk, then add 2/3 liquid (milk) to bowl. Beat 1 minute. Add remaining liquid and eggs. Beat 2 minutes.
Turn batter into two deep greased and floured 8-inch cake pans. Bake in moderate oven (350°F) about 25 minutes or until done.
Ice top and sides with green-colored butter icing. To decorate for Easter or springtime, cut flower petals from large marshmallows and cut gumdrops for the centers.
Melt a little butter and mix with icing sugar to make whatever quantity of icing you need. Flavor with vanilla and color as desired.
Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping (1877)
One cup sugar, two eggs, two tablespoons softened butter and four of milk; beat all well together, add a cup of flour in which has been mixed teaspoon cream of tartar and half teaspoon soda. Bake (350°F - 375°F) in rather small square pan.
When cake is cool have ready a half pint sweet cream whipped to a stiff froth, sweeten and flavor to taste, spread over cake and serve while fresh. The cream will froth easier to be made cold by setting on ice before whipping. —Mrs. Wm. Brown, Massillon, Ohio
Mary at The Farm and Book of Recipes (1915)
Yolks of 8 eggs; 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup of butter, 3/4 cup water, 2-1/2 cups of Swansdown cake flour, 2 heaping teaspoonfuls of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoonful lemon extract.
Sift flour once, then measure. Add baking powder and sift three times. Cream butter and sugar thoroughly; beat yolks to a stiff froth; add this to creamed butter and sugar, and stir thoroughly through.
Add flavor, add water, then flour. Stir very hard.
Place in a slow oven at once (325°F). Will bake in from 30 to 40 minutes. Invert pan immediately it is taken from oven.
This batter may also be baked in layers with any kind of cake filling desired.
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