I don't usually have much luck making layer cakes. My pans are slightly different sizes which makes stacking problematic, the batter usually rises in the middle making the construction even more precarious, I'm not patient enough to let the cakes cool so I can't get them out of the pan in one piece, the frosting usually melts (see character quality of impatience, above), etc., etc.
This cake, however, a white cake with a hint of lemon, topped with buttery cocoa-coffee frosting, turned out perfect.
What can I say?
The recipe is from 1916. It's one of the stash I inherited from my great-great-grandma Hattie.
If you zoom in on the picture, you'll see in the upper right hand corner the date, 6/17/16. How cool is that? A recipe that's almost 100 years old.
You'll also see it is actually another Mrs. Borwell recipe (see Mrs. Borwell's Fingers here
). I figured if Mrs. Borwell could do the fingers, I could probably trust her to do a good cake, too.
You might also note there are no directions on this recipe, just a list of ingredients.
C'mon, Mrs. B., give a girl a little help, will ya?
I turned to one of my trusty regular cookbooks for advice on what exactly to do with all these ingredients.
I also made the executive decision to double the frosting quantities listed on the original card. It was a good call.
After all that effort, I've decided I have earned the right to re-dub this recipe: It is now Great-great-grandma Hattie's Cake.
Great-great-grandma Hattie's Slightly Lemony White Cake with Cocoa-Coffee Frosting
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. lemon extract
4 egg whites (I'm not sure why you couldn't substitute 2 eggs for this; anyone know?)
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. milk
In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer for a couple of minutes, until blended. Add vanilla and lemon extracts and egg whites; beat until blended. In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry mixture to batter alternately with milk, a little of one then a little of the other, until all dry ingredients and milk have been used and mixture is well blended.
Grease and flour two 8 x 8-inch pans. Pour half of batter in each pan, and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
1/2 c. butter
3 c. powdered sugar
4 t. cocoa
4 T. coffee (I used decaf as I was serving in the evening)
2 t. vanilla
Using electric mixer, cream butter. Add about half the powdered sugar, blending well. Beat in cocoa, coffee, and vanilla. Gradually blend in rest of powdered sugar.
For best results, let cakes cool before taking them out of the pan and frosting.
An added side note: this plate is one that Hattie herself painted. Her initials are on the back, along with the date of 1893.
Anyone else have an Heirloom in Autumn post you want to share?