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About cake
cake symbolism
cake mixes
high altitude cake mix
icing and frosting
cake decorations
cake shapes
baking papers
Pillsbury Bake Off
shortening

1234 cake
angel food
apple sauce cakes
baba & savarin
banana bread
beet cake
birthday cake
bishop's cake
Black Forest cake
Blackout cake

buche de Noel
bundt cake
cake pops
caramel cake
carrot cake
checkerboard cake
cheesecake
chiffon cake
chocolate cake
chocolate molten lava cake
chop suey cake
coffee cake
cola cakes
cranberry bread
crazy cake
cupcakes
danish
devil's food
diet bread
dirt cake
dump cake
earthquake cake
Eccles cake
Eggless, milkless, butterless
election cake
fruitcake
galette
gateau
genoise
German chocolate cake
Gooey butter cake
groom's cake
Harvey Wallbanger cake
Hostess cup cakes
hummingbird cake
ice box cake
ice cream cake
Italian cream cake
Japanese fruit cake
King cake
kolache
kuchen
Lady Baltimore Cake
ladyfingers
Lamingtons
Lane cake
Lord Baltimore Cake
madeleines
marble cake
Mary Ann cakes
mayonnaise cake
mud cake
opera cake
Pavlova
pineapple upside-down cake
poundcake
pumpkin bread
red devil's food
red velvet cake
Smith Island cake
Snackin Cake
sponge cakes & biscuits
Stained glass cake
torten: Linzer, Dobos & Sacher
Texas sheet cake
Tipsy parson
tomato soup cake
Tunnel of Fudge
Twelfth Night cakes
Twinkies
Victoria sandwich cakes
wacky cake
Washington cakes
Watergate cake
wedding cake
zucchini bread

About cake
The history of cake dates back to ancient times. The first cakes were very different from what we eat today. They were more bread-like and sweetened with honey. Nuts and dried fruits were often added. According to the food historians, the ancient Egyptians were the first culture to show evidence of advanced baking skills. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the English word cake back to the 13th century. It is a derivation of 'kaka', an Old Norse word. Medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes and gingerbread. These foods could last for many months.

According to the food historians, the precursors of modern cakes (round ones with icing) were first baked in Europe sometime in the mid-17th century. This is due to primarily to advances in technology (more reliable ovens, manufacture/availability of food molds) and ingredient availability (refined sugar). At that time cake hoops--round molds for shaping cakes that were placed on flat baking trays--were popular. They could be made of metal, wood or paper. Some were adjustable. Cake pans were sometimes used. The first icing were usually a boiled composition of the finest available sugar, egg whites and [sometimes] flavorings. This icing was poured on the cake. The cake was then returned to the oven for a while. When removed the icing cooled quickly to form a hard, glossy [ice-like] covering. Many cakes made at this time still contained dried fruits (raisins, currants, citrons).

It was not until the middle of the 19th century that cake as we know it today (made with extra refined white flour and baking powder instead of yeast) arrived on the scene. A brief history of baking powder. The Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book [London, 1894] contains a recipe for layer cake, American (p. 1031). Butter-cream frostings (using butter, cream, confectioners [powdered] sugar and flavorings) began replacing traditional boiled icings in first few decades 20th century. In France, Antonin Careme [1784-1833] is considered THE premier historic chef of the modern pastry/cake world. You will find references to him in French culinary history books.

Cake recipes, Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cook Book [1918]

What is the difference between cake, gateau and torte?
Gateaux is a French word for cake. It generally denotes items made with delicate ingredients which are best consumed soon after the confection is made (gateaux des roi). Cakes can last much longer, some even improving with age (fruit cake).
Torte is the German word for cake, with similar properties. When tortes are multilayerd and fancifully decorated they are closer to gateaux EXCEPT for the fact they can last quite nicely for several days.

Cake & gateau: definitions & examples

"Cakes and gateaux. Although both terms can be used for savoury preparations (meat cakes or vegetable gateaux) their main use is for sweet baked goods. Cakes can be large or small, plain of fancy, light or rich. Gateau is generally used for fancy, but light or rich, often with fresh decoration, such as fresh fruit or whipped cream. Whereas a cake may remain fresh for several days after baking or even improve with keeping, a gateau usually includes fresh decoration or ingredients that do not keep well, such as fresh fruit or whipped cream. In France, the word 'gateau' designates various patisserie items based on puff pastry, shortcrust pastry (basic pie dough), sweet pastry, pate saglee, choux pastry, Genoese and whisked sponges and meringue...The word 'gateau' is derived from the Old French wastel, meaning 'food'. The first gateau were simply flat round cakes made with flour and water, but over the centuries these were enriched with honey, eggs, spices, butter, cream and milk. From the very earliest items, a large number of French provinces have produced cakes for which they are noted. Thus Artois had gateau razis, and Bournonnais the ancient tartes de fromage broye, de creme et de moyeau d'oeulz. Hearth cakes are still made in Normandy, Picardy, Poitou and in some provinces in the south of France. They are variously called fouaces, fouaches, fouees or fouyasses, according to the district...Among the many pastries which were in high favor from the 12th to the 15th centuries in Paris and other cities were: echaudes, of which two variants, the falgeols and the gobets, were especially prized by the people of Paris; and darioles, small tartlets covered with narrow strips of pastry...Casse-museau is a hard dry pastry still made today'...petits choux and gateaux feuilletes are mentioned in a charter by Robert, Bishop of Amiens in 1311."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 198-199)

"Cake. The original dividing line between cake and bread was fairly thin: Roman times eggs and butter were often added to basic bread dough to give a consistency we would recognize as cakelike, and this was frequently sweetened with honey. Terminologically, too, the earliest English cakes were virtually bread, their main distinguishing characteristics being their shape--round and flat--and the fact that they were hard on both sides from being turned over during baking...in England the shape and contents of cakes were graudally converging toward our present understanding of the term. In medieval and Elizabethan times they were usually quite small...Cake is a Viking contribution to the English language; it was borrowed from Old Norse kaka, which is related to a range of Germanic words, including modern English cook." ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 52)

"Gateau. English borrowed gateau from French in the mid-nineteenth century, and at first used it fairly indiscriminately for any sort of cake, pudding, or cake-like pie...Since the Second World War, however, usage of the term has honed in on an elaborate 'cream cake': the cake element, generally a fairly unremarkable sponge, is in most cases simply an excuse for lavish layers of cream, and baroque cream and fruit ornamentation...The word gateau is the modern French descendant of Old French guastel, 'fine bread'; which is probably of Germanic origin. In its northeastern Old French dialect from wasel it as borrowed into English in the thirteenth century, where it survived until the seventeenth century." ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 138)

"The word 'gateau' crossed the Channel to England in the early 19th century...In Victorian England cookery writers used 'gateau' initially to denote puddings such as rice baked in a mould, and moulded baked dishes of fish or meat; during the second part of the century it was also applied to highly decorated layer cakes. Judging by the amount of space given to directions for making these in bakers' manuals of the time, they were tremendously popular...Most were probably rather sickly, made from cheap sponge filled with 'buttercream'...and coated with fondant icing. Elaborate piped decoration was added. Many fanciful shapes were made...The primary meaning of the word 'gateau' is now a rich and elaborate cake filled with whipped cream and fruit, nuts, or chocolate. French gateau are richer than the products of British bakers. They involve thin layers of sponge, usually genoise, or meringue; some are based on choux pastry. Fruit or flavoured creams are used as fillings. The later are rarely dairy cream; instead creme patissiere (confectioner's custard--milk, sugar, egg yolks, and a little flour) or creme au buerre (a rich concoction of egg yolks creamed with sugar syrup and softened butter) are used. Gateau has wider applications in French, just as 'cake' does in English...it can mean a savoury cake, a sweet or savoury tart, or a thin pancake." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 332)

Related foods? Choux/ puff paste, sponge, French cremes, Gateau St. Honore, Gateau des roi

Why are cakes round?
Excellent question! Food historians offer several theories. Each depends upon period, culture and cuisine. Generally, the round cakes we know today descended from ancient bread. Ancient breads and cakes were made by hand. They were typically fashioned into round balls and baked on hearthstones, griddles, or in low, shallow pans. These products naturally relaxed into rounded shapes. By the 17th century, cake hoops (fashioned from metal or wood) were placed on flat pans to effect the shape. As time progressed, baking pans in various shapes and sizes, became readily available to the general public. Moulded cakes (and fancy ices) reached their zenith in Victorian times.

"For the cakes of the seventeenth century onwards tin or iron hoops were increasingly used and are mentioned with great frequency in the cookery books. These hoops were similar to our modern flan rings but much deeper...The hoop was placed on an iron or tin sheet, and a layer or two of paper, floured, was put at the bottom. The sides of the hoop were buttered, These or similar directions offer over and over again in E. Smith's The Compleat Housewife, first published in 1727, which gives recipes for forty cakes, the large ones nearly all being yeast-leavened. In her preface this author says that her book was the fruit of upwards of thirty years' experience, so her recipes and methods must often date well back into the previous century, for quite often the reader is directed to bake the cake in a 'paper hoop'--and paper was a feature of the kitchens of those days. Wooden hoops were also fairly common. Some cooks, the seventeenth-century Sir Kenelm Digby among others, evidently preferred them to tin, perhaps because they didn't rust, and so were easier to store. Probably they would have been rather like the frames of our present-day drum sieves. Writing a century after Digby, Elizabeth Raffald calls them 'garths' and advises her readers that for large cakes they are better than 'pot or tin', in which the cakes, so Mrs. Raffald found, were liable to burn more easily. Alternatively, spice cakes were baked like bread, without moulds."
---English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David, American edition with notes from Karen Hess [Penguin:Middlesex] 1979 (p. 212)

What do cakes mean?
Ancient breads and cakes were sometimes used in religious ceremonies. These were purposely fashioned into specific shapes, according to the observance.
Round & circle shapes generally symbolize the cyclical nature of life. Most specifically, the sun and moon. Cakes baked in molds could be shaped and decorated to look like animals (Easter lambs), castles & crowns (Bundt & Turk's head) or fancy jewels. Enriched yeast breads share the same place at holiday tables. Think: Kulich (Russia, Easter), Colomba (Italy, Easter) and Twelfth Night Cake (England & France, Christmas--Mardi Gras)

On the human level? Cakes are served at special occasions (birthdays, weddings, holidays, funerals) because they represent our best culinary offering honoring our most loved people. In "olden times" when refined sugar, spices, nuts, and dried fruit were expensive, it was an honor to be honored with cake. Today cake isn't super expensive and we have many choices (store bought, box mix, scratch, bakery special order) but the message remains constant. Cake says: you're important and we love you.

"People have consumed cakes of all kinds throughout history and at all sorts of ceremonial occasions. In today's world, people traditionally serve cakes at holidays, birthdays, weddings, funerals, and baptisms--in short, at all significant times in the cycle of life. The tradition of eating cake on ceremonial occaisions has its basis in ancient ritual. Cakes, in the ancient world, had ties with the annual cycle, and people used them as offerings to the gods and spirits who exercised their powers at particular times of the year...The Chinese made cakes at harvest time to honor their moon goddess, Heng O. They recognized that the moon played a crucial role in the seasonal cycle, so they made round cakes shaped like the moon to reward the lunar goddess, with an image of the illustrious Heng O stamped on top... "The Russians traditionally pay their respects in spring to a deity named Maslenitsa by making blini, thin pancakes they call sun cakes...The pagan Slavs were not the only people to make round cakes to celebrate the spring sun. The ancient Celts, who celebrated Beltane on the first day of spring, baked and ate Beltane cakes as a important part of their celebration...At the Beltane festival, the ancient Celts also rolled the cakes down a hill to imitate solar movement. Rolling the cakes, they hoped, would ensure the continued motion of the sun. This activity also served as a form of divination: If the cake broke when it reached the bottom of the hill, the Celts believed that whoever rolled it would die within a year's time; but if the cake remained intact, they believed that person would reap a year's good fortune...Agricultural peoples around the globe made offerings of cakes prepared from the grains and fruits that arose from the soil. The types of ingredients used to make these cakes contributed to their symbolism...The cake's size and shape were equally symbolic of its ritual purpose...round cakes symbolized the sun or the moon...All of these cakes had definative links to the myths the people embraced."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 52-54)

Ring-shaped cakes, such as Twelfth Night cakes (aka King Cakes), are also full of history and symbolism.

Recommended reading

Cake mixes
Dry baking mixes of all sorts were a product of the Industrial Revolution. They were promoted by companies as convenience foods. The first dry mixes (custard powders) were produced in England in the 1840s. Packaged mixes for gelatin (Jell-O, Royal, Knox) were introduced in the late 19th century. Pancake mixes (Aunt Jemima) were available in the 1890s. Our sources indicate packaged mixes for cake were introduced in 1920's. Packaged mixes for biscuits (Bisquick/General Mills) were introduced in the 1930s. Betty Crocker/General Mills made them famous in the late 1940s. Now we have mixes for Tiramasu, Pineapple-Upside-Down-Cake and even more complicated items.

  • Consumer reaction [1944-1953]
  • Market data & demographics [1956]
  • High altitude cake mixes
  • Angel cake mix
  • Snackin Cake
  • Soapy cake mixes?
  • Baking "from scratch"
  • Betty Crocker
    "General Mills, firmly rooted in grain products--Gold Medal Flour, Bisquick, Softasilk, Wheaties, and Cheerios--embraced cake mixes, but Betty was a late arrival to the party. O. Duff and Sons, a molasses company, pioneered the "quick mix" filled by marketing the first boxed cake mix in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Continental Mills, the Hills Brothers Company under the Dromedary label, Pillsbury, Occident, Ward Baking Company, and the Doughnut Corporation all produced versions of cake mixes before World War II. But problems of spoilage and packaging abounded, keeping mixes from widespread consumption and acceptance. In November 1947, after four years of cake mix research and development, General Mills' test markets were exposed to the "Just Add Water and Mix!" campaign for Betty Crocker's Ginger Cake. After a final assurance from the corporate chemists that the boxed ingredients would indeed perform as advertised, the mix was made available for limited distribution on the West Coast. Within a year it made a national debut that excluded the South (presumably, product testing there proved futile). While Ginger Cake required a nine-inch-square pan, designers projected that the PartyCake line, already in development, would offer home bakers a choice of using either two square pans or one 9-inch-by-13-inch rectangular pan, a size and shape that were becoming popular. As layer cakes are a uniquely American creation, they seemed a fitting choice for PartyCake, the next wave of Betty Crocker mixes. The layered butter PartyCake mixes--in Spice, Yellow, and White cake varieties--and Devils Food Cake Mix were priced at $.35 to $.37 per red-and-white box. "High impact" colors were essential to entice "the ladies who trundle their little shopping wagons among the shelves and tables" of the supermarket...The postwar quest for cake mix supremacy unfolded much like the flour wars of the 1920s. In 1948 Pillsbury was the first to introduce a chocolate cake mix. Duncan Hines stormed the market in 1951 with "Three Star Surprise Mix," a three-flavor wonder in that in three weeks captured a 48 percent share."
    ---Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food, Susan Marks [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2005 (p. 166-8)
    [NOTE: more information on
    Duncan Hines brand mix.]

    "Betty Crocker had always stood for quality in the minds of consumers, but during the first half of the twentieth century, convenience foods were not associated with good eating. All that changed in 1947, when the first Betty Crocker cake mixes hit America's shelves. The debut mix was labled Ginger Cake but would soon evolved into Gingerbread Cake and Cookie Mix. Devil's Food Layer Cake and Party Layer Cake Mix-products that offered an alternative to the time-consuming process of baking a cake from scratch-soon followed. The early mixes bearing the Betty Crocker label eventually yielded more than 130 cooking and baking products."
    ---Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Janice Jorgensen, editor, [St. James Press:Detroit MI] 1994, Volume 1: Consumable Brands "Betty Crocker" (p. 53-56)
    [NOTE: The Betty Crocker trade name is owned by General Mills]

    Duff brand
    The earliest print evidence we find for a Duff brand baking mix is from 1932:
    "Duff's Ginger Bread Mix, delicious, ready to bake, 14 oz tin....21 cents."
    Los Angeles Times, April 20, 1932 (p. A2).

    The oldest print reference we find for a commercially prepared item titled "cake mix" is this Dromedary ad published the same year :
    "Dromedary Brand Dixie Mix, Southern Fruit Cake Mixture, 35 cents/pkg"
    ---New York Times, December 21, 1932 (p. 12)

    Who invented Duncan Hines brand cake mixes?
    Mr. Arlee Andre, food chemist, 1952. Notes here:

    "Arlee Andre, creator of the original Duncan Hines cake mixes, died Monday. He was 89 years old...Mr. Andre was a cereal chemist testing flour for Nebraska Consolidated Mills in Omaha in 1952 when he decided to develop a cake mix with better flavor and uniformity than the two mixes then available. He researched the best ways to make yellow cake, white cake, chocolate cake and angel food cake. When the mixes were ready to be marketed, Nebraska Consolidated Mills paid Duncan Hines, the food and drink connoisseur, a penny a box to use his name. The mixes quickly became popular and were sold to the Proctor & Gamble Company in 1956. Mr. Andre also moved to Procter & Gamble and retired in the mid 1960s."
    ---"Arlee Andre, 89, Dies; Creator of Cake Mixes," New York Times, September 9, 1989 (p. 9)

    "A few weeks ago local newspapers carried full page color ads announcing that Duncan Hines cake-mixes were being introduced to the Chicago market. Simultaneously, on tables in restaurants throughout the city, there appeared small placards which read, "Welcome to Chicago, Mr. Hines." Dunring the week, the gentleman himself, known to American travelers as the author of "Adventures in Good Eating," appeared on 13 radio and TV broadcasts here, and one evening he entertained 400 retailers at supper in the plush Mayfair room of the Hotel Blackstone. Members of the flour-milling industry might well cock an eye at such ballyhoo and goings-on. Per capita flour consumption in the U.S. is 133 pounds, and has hovered at that low point for the past three years. In view of such statistics, many a miller would give his eye teeth to hit on a success formula like the one now setting sales records for Nebraska Consolidated Milling Co....Sixteen months ago, this Omaha milling company was just another of the many medium-sized companies in the industry, struggling to maintain sales. At the end of its fiscal year in June, 1951, the company had sales of $26 million. My the next fiscal-year-end, June 1952, it had chalked up sales of $20 million, of which over $3 million were in cake-mixes alone. Currently, it's selling about $9.5 million a har in cake-mixes. Furthermore, it's nipping at the heels of the "big three" in the cake mix field, Pillsbury, General Mills and General Foods, which combined do almost 90% of the business. Consolidated now ranks fourth, doing most of the remaining 10%, although it sells in only 30 states. J. Allan Mactier, Consolidated's 30-year-old vice-president...explains the management's success formula thus: 'Make sure you have a good product, pick a sure-fire brand name, and pour on the merchandising.' Consolidated chose the Duncan Hines label which is uses through a a franchise with Hines Park Foods, Inc. of Ithaca N.Y. because it felt it would be a sure-fire' seller. Mr. Hines himself makes his headquarters in Bowling Green, Ky. The company believed Mr. Hines' already established reputation as a connoisseur of good food would do the trick... What usually results is a flood of publicity which supplements the company's own concentrated advertising in the local market...Consolidated literally blitzes a town when it moves in. Color ads, so necesary in food promotion, are splashed on billboards and in local papers. Many radio and TV spots are used, as well as redemption coupons. Consolidated uses its quality claim as part of its selling technique. Unlike many cake mixes which contain powdered eggs in this mix, Duncan Hines mixes call for the additon of two fresh eggs. Mr. Hines insisted on this, stating it would make a better cake and would pay off in the long run. Duncan Hines brand mixes sell at competitive prices with other mixes, and the firm tries to turn the added expense of two fresh eggs to a selling advantage by telling the housewife 'this will make a better cake,' because Mr. Hines, the food authority, says so... The company is shooting for national distribution sometime next year."
    ---"Adventures in Good Selling--or Ballyhoo Blitz for a Cake-Mix," Felicia Anthenelli, Wall Street Journal, December 17, 1952 (p. 1)

    "The Duncan Hines line of prepared mixes includes a variety of cake mixes, a pancake mix, a muffin mix, brownie mix and several other mix products. They are among the sales leaders in the 30 midwestern and Pacific Coast states where they are now sold...Mr. Hines, who edits the guidebooks bearing his nane and has concerned himnself primarily with quality standards of the licensed products, will continue in his present capacity."
    ---"Proctor-Gamble To Market Mix Products Soon," Newark Advocate [Newark OH], August 23, 1956 (p. 22)

    Who was Duncan Hines?
    Salesman, connosieur, entrepreneur, author, critic, philanthropist, culinary personna extroadinare! He did not, however, invent the
    cake mixes that bear his name. What did Mr. Hines look like?

    "Two or three times a week during the tourist season, travelers pull up in front of a neat, Colonial house on the edge of [Bowling Green, Kentucky] and inquire. 'How soon will dinner be ready?' They're attracted by a sign on the lawn: 'Home Office, Duncan Hines.' Mr. Hines who has built a nationwide reputation by telling people where to dine, doesn't serve any meals at his combination office and home here. But he concedes it is flattering that people think of him when they are hungry. 'Every day in this country, more than 70 million people eat out,' he explains. Helping them decide which restaurants to choose is the foundation for a prospering enterprise that first started in 1936. In that year, Mr. Hines compiled his first directory of recommended restaurants throughout the U.S., 'Adventures in Good Eating.' Since then the book has become a sort of Baedeker of American Cuisine. Through the years Mr. Hines has added three other guides--'Lodging for a Night," "Adventures in Good Cooking," and 'Vacation Guide.'...Much of his time is spent in updating the guides to eliminate establishments that have fallen below his standards. He adds new discoveries when he runs across them. To help him keep track of the 2,500 eateries...on his recommended list, he enlists a corps of 600 friends scattered across the country. When a place changes hands, they report whether it still qualifies for a Hines approval. So far, Mr. Hines hasn't found any eating place in his native Bowling Green that he can recommend. He hasn't endeared himself to fellow Kentuckians by his comment that much of the locality is cursed with 'greese cooking.'...A public eating place, to get on the Hines list, must pass a rigorous inspection. He admires well-polished silver and white table cloths in the dining room. Often he insists on visitng the kitchen to inspect garbage disposal and dishwashing. Mr. Hines got to know the good and bad of roadside hashing when he was a salesman of printing and advertising for Rogers & Co., of Chicago. Friends began asking him for recommendations. Mr. Hines mailed out a printed list of his favorites as a gift before he realized the project might have commercial possibilities. Books are only a part of the present-day enterprise. Perhaps the biggest moneymaker is a line of 150 foods which bear his name. Hines-Park Food, Inc., of Ithaca, N.Y., packages the victuals. Mr. Hines receives a royalty on each package sold. He's looking for sales of around 24 million packages of Duncan Hines cake mix this year and will collect one-half cent royalty on each. Under a separate agreement, some 94 firms make Duncan Hines ice cream. Mr. Hines maintains a testing laboratory at Bowling Green to keep it up to specification...The money from all his books goes into the Duncan Hines Foundation which provides scholarships for seniors taking courses in restaurant and hotel management at Cornell University and Michigan State College. The National Sanitation Foundation also shares in book profits."
    ---"Duncan Hines' Love of Good Food Becomes Publishing, Cake Mix, Ice Cream Business," James Garst, Wall Street Journal, November 5, 1952 (p. 7)
    [NOTES: (1)"Baedeker" was a popular hotel/travel rating guide. (2) FoodTimeline library owns a copy of Adventures in Good Cooking.]

    In Mr. Hines' own words:
    "My interest in Wayside inns is not the expression of a gourmand's appetite for fine foods but the result of a recreational impulse to do something 'different,' to play a new game that would intrigue my wife and give me her companionship in my hours of relaxation from a strenuous and exacting business. Upon purchasing our first car, we decided to see as much of America as possible, to test its outstanding food, to met interesting people along the way and bring home with us from each trip a lot of pleasant memories that we could keep stored away in our minds to feast on in later years. The idea appealed to Mrs. Hines for she apparently liked to 'go places' with her husband better than anything else...My first discovery was that the highways were crowded with gasoline pilgrims whose main interest seemed to be the relative merits of inns. They fairly oozed informatino about the places we ought not to miss. Of course, I took careful notes on this information--that being a part of the game we were playing for our own amusement. Most of these tourists produced private lists of 'best places' and nearly all of them remarked that there ought to be a reliable directory of the most desirable inns available to discriminating motorist. This idea intrigued me. After years of travel over the highways I found I had the names of several hundred inns, scattered over the country, the desirablility of which was enthusiastically vouched for by those who had patronized them. So we set out to visit as many as possible to check up on reports given us, for you know there is not accounting for tastes in food any more than there is in clothing, printing or marriage."
    ---Adventures in Good Eating, A Duncan Hines Book [Adventures in Good Eating Inc.:Bowling Green KY] 1939 (p. vii)

    Did Duncan Hines and his wife also cook?
    Yes! Several of their recipes appear in Adventures in Good Cooking and the Art of Carving in the Home: Tested Recipes of Unusual Dishes from America's Favorite Eating Places. Sample here:

    520. Fudge Squares.
    Ingredients
    1/2 cup butter
    2 oz. bitter chocolate
    or
    1/3 cup cocoa plus
    1 tablespoon butter...Melt Butter and chocolate

    1/2 cup cake flour
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt...Sift twice and add to above

    3 eggs--beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)...Stir into mixture and bake in 350 F. to 375 F. oven for 25 minutes.
    ---Duncan Hines, Bowling Green Kentucky, Adventures in Good Cooking and the Art of Carving in the Home, Duncan Hines, recipes from the original 1933 edition edited by Louis Hatchett [Mercer University Press:Macon, GA] 2002 (unpaginated).

    The Food Timeline library owns these books authored by Duncan Hines. Happy to share recipes; let us know what you need.

    Py-O-My brand baking mixes
    According to the records of the
    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Py-OMy brand baking mixes were introduced to the American public by Kitchen Art Foods [Chicago,IL], December 9, 1936. Record here:

    Word Mark PY-O-MY Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: BAKING MIXES FOR MAKING [ PIE CRUST, HOT ROLLS, ] COFFEE CAKE, [ COOKIES, TARTS, TURNOVERS, COBBLERS, MEAT PIES, CHEESE STRAWS ] AND CAKES. FIRST USE: 19361209. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19361209 Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM Design Search Code Serial Number 71532463 Filing Date August 26, 1947 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED Registration Number 0558182 Registration Date April 29, 1952 Owner (REGISTRANT) KITCHEN ART FOODS, INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 2320 NORTH DAMEN AVENUE CHICAGO ILLINOIS (LAST LISTED OWNER) GILSTER-MARY LEE CORPORATION CORPORATION ASSIGNEE OF MISSOURI 1037 STATE STREET CHESTER ILLINOIS 62233 Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Attorney of Record SIMOR L. MOSKOWITZ Prior Registrations 0351946 Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL-2(F) Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECTION 8(10-YR) 20010922. Renewal 3RD RENEWAL 20010922 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation is still in business. They still sell PY-O-My coffee cake mix (only)

    Our survey of ads placed in major US papers identifies these Py-O-My brand products:
    Cake Mixes (white, yellow, Devil's food)
    Ice Box Pie Mix (lemon chiffon, lemon, chocolate, strawberry & butterscotch)
    Pie Crust Mix
    Puddin' Cake Mix (vanilla, chocolate, caramel pecan & lemon)
    Rice Feast (Spanish Rice Dinner)
    Apple Thins
    Brownie Mix
    Blueberry Muffin Mix (promoted by large company ads, mostly in the 1950s)
    Pineapple Upside Down Cake Mix
    Coffee Cake Mix
    Pudding Mix (vanilla, chocolate & caramel)
    Frosting Mixes (chocolate & white)
    Instant Potato Mix
    Pancake Mix

    Selected snippets from company ads & articles:
    "Blueberry Muffins! Bake'Em Quick! Py-O-My Bluebery Muffin Mix includes a can of blueberries and a set of paper baking cups and a sealed bag of muffin mix. Makes about 10 large delicious muffins--up to 16 small ones. ..So simple and economical to make...just ad water, one egg, then bake! Nothing adds mroe to a meal, a snack, or dessert--than mouth-watering blueberry muffins. The can of blueberries, right in the package, has plenty of berries...New Py-O-My Pineapple Upside Down Cake Mix includes a can of perfectly blended pineapple, brown sugar and cherries."
    ---Display ad, Los Angeles Times, March 11, 1951 (p. G4)

    "My Magic Fornula for making best-you-ever-had Blueberry Muffins is simple...I just use Py-O-My Blueberry Muffin Mix. It takes only 3 1/2 minutes from package to oven, too...for each package contains a can of juicy blueberries, a bag of specially blended mix and a set of handy baking cups! And they taste simply heavenly...thanks to a treasured old New England recipe 'charmed' with the tempting, tangy-sweet flavor of choice northern berries. That's why these luscious muffins are wonderful for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner...and why Py-O-My Blueberry Muffin Mix also makes delicious loaf cake, pancakes, scones and the like. Try it...soon!"
    ---"Buy-Lines," Nancy Sasser, Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1953 (p. B3)

    "A new dessert-mix called Py-O-My pudding is being introduced by Kitchen Arts Foods of Chicago in chain stores here, including Bohacks, King Kullen and Peter Reeves. Requiring no more than thirty minutes for preparation, including cooking time, the packaged product comes in three flavors, vanilla, chocolate and caramel. Such convenience, of course, means some sacrifice in quality. The pudding is a bit too coarse-grained to meet the standards of really fine cookery. But the flavor is pleasing, especially in the caramel and chocolate puddings. Topped with whipped cream, the dessert is exceedingly appetizing. And the preparation is easy. Contents of the larger of two paper bags are emptied into a bowl. A third of a cup of milk is added, the mixture is beaten for one minute and poured into a casserole or other baking dish. After sprinkling the dry 'sauce' of the smaller bag over the batter, one and one-quarter cups of water are poured over the mixture. No further stirring is necessary; the dish goes immediately into a 450-degree oven. Directions on the package suggest baking for twenty minutes, but in The New York Times' test kitchen we got better results by allowing another five minutes of cooking."
    ---"News of Food: dessert mix is offered," New York Times, April 27, 1954 (p. 34)

    "Meet the family of Py-O-My mixes. You'll enjoy all five as much as those you've tried...Blueberry Muffin Mix makes naturally sweet blueberry muffins. A can of blueberries and paper baking cups right in the package! 'Round-the-clock favorite...Coffee Cake Mix makes so many things. Makes two 9-inch rings! Makes pecan rolls and raised doughnuts. Also cinnamon rolls, stollen and kuchen...Ice Box Pie Mix makes a complete chiffon ice box pie without baking! Graham cracker crust and chiffon filling in the package. Four popular year 'round flavors: lemon, chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch...Puddin'Cake Mix brings you this new dessert idea. Cake with sauce--baked together! Four favorite flavors...vanilla, chocolate, caramel pecan and lemon. Kids love 'em!... Brownie Mix comes in the handy aluminum baking pan! They're tops with youngsters to make and eat--anytime!"
    ---Display ad (large, with pictures of the products), Los Angeles Times, October 7, 1956 (p. N49)

    "Another excellent label is the Py-O-My lemon chiffon ice-box pie. On the front side, the one you face as it stands on the market shelf is the information that it contains two bags--in one is the graham cracker crust mix and in the other the filling mix-'no baking is required, just mix and chill. Add only milk or water.' A glance at the label answers your questions about what it is and how to use it. Clear, concise directions for preparing the pie are printed on the back. Further evidence of the integrity of the label is the important hint printed below the label, 'mix contains fresh milk so be sure to refrigerate leftovers.'"
    ---"Read the Label: It Tells You What You're Getting for Your Money," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1957 (p. A8)

    "This Message Made a Million Friends! Dear Friend, May we ask you a big favor? If you enjoy this quality product as much as we believe you will, won't you tell 3 of your friends about it and where you bought it? After all, there's nothing better than an enthusiastic customer's recommendation to her friends. We will appreciate this favor. Cordially yours, Py-O-My. Printed on the bag inside every package of Py-O-My Baking Mixes is the message above. Many Py-O-My users write they have shared their discovery with 3 friends--and more! Share their discovery too! Please try Py-O-My Baking Mixes including these. Blueberry Muffin Mix. Package contains can of juicy wild blueberries, mix, and paper baking cups. So many uses, including Sunday breakfast! Apple Thins Mix. Includes can of juicy, spiced apples, crunchy crust, and tempting butter crumb topping. So easy to fix-you don't even mix!"
    ---Display ad, Los Angeles Times, September 28, 1958 (p. K36)

    Consumer reaction
    According to the food historians, early baking mixes were not readily accepted. Why? Two reasons: (1) They were not reliable and they produced inconsistent results. (2) Home cooks had a difficult time reconciling modern convenience with traditional expectations. When food companies make things too simple their products are summarily rejected. Even in today's culture of ultra-convenience, this holds true. The
    "Snack'n Cake" lesson.

    What Pillsbury/Betty Crocker hoped to achieve after World War II initally backfired because home cooks felt compelled/obligated to return to the way things were. Like mom used to cook. They say good salesmen don't take "no" for an answer. America's largest food concerns obviously hired these men. Despite the fact that early mixes often produced less than satisfactory results and invoke a complicated set of psycho-social baggage, they prevailed. Eventually mixes were accepted. Today? Most people who make cakes for people they love regularly employ mixes (universally perceived as home-made, as in "made in the home") instead of buying a premade "cake in the box." The real "scratch cake" is very nearly lost.

    "The very marketable premise behind cake mixes was, and still is, the ability to have a fresh, "home-made" cake with very little time and effort. Though Betty Crocker--like her competitors--promised that cake mixes offered freshness, ease, and flavor in a box, the market was slow to mature. Puzzled, marketers reiterated the message that homemakers need only drop this scientific marvel into a bowl, add water, mix, and bake. But that was still a little too good to be true for Mrs. Comsumer America. Certainly, cake mixes sold, but--compared with the early performance of Bisquick or Aunt Jemima pancake mix--not up to industry expecations. The "quick mix"...industry, eager to correct the shortfall, conducted research even as the development of new mixes continued. General Mills considered the market research of the business psychologists Dr. Burleigh Gardner and Dr. Ernest Dichter to explain the mediocre sales of cake mixes. The problem, according to the psychologists, was eggs. Dichter, in particular, believed that powdered eggs, often used in cake mixes, should be left out, so women could add a few fresh eggs into the batter, giving them a sense of creative contribution. He believed...that baking a cake was an act of love on the woman's part; a cake mix that only needed water cheapened that love. Whether the psychologists were right, or whether cakes made with fresh eggs simply taste better than cakes made with dried eggs, General Mills decided to play up the fact that Betty Crocker's cake mixes did not contain...dried eggs of any kind...Before long, cake mix started to gain some acceptance and notoriety; even Mamie Eisenhower instructed her cooking staff to use this novel invention at the White House."
    ---Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food, Susan Marks [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2005 (p. 168, 170)

    What did Consumer Reports think of these early mixes?
    [1944]
    "Three types of cake mixes were found by CU's shoppers: two brands of devil's food, two lemon-flavored yellow cakes and a spice cake. All four included vegetable shortening, sugar, powdered egg, powdered skim milk, salt, baking powder (or soda and phosphate) and flavoring in their ingredients. The devil's food types added cocoa, and the spice cake, various spices and cocoa. Helen's Red-E Devil Food Mix, which received the highest rating, was made with enriched wheat flour and oat flour. The Spiced Cake Mix of the same brand, considered fairly good, contained some soya flour. The cake mixes were tested for rising quality, color of crust and crumb, grain, texture, flavor and aroma. The last three, considered together as a palatability, were the chief factors in the ratings."

    Cake Mixes Acceptable (In estimated order of quality)
    Helen's Red-E Devil Food Mix (Gann Prod. Co.). 30 cents for 16 oz. (30 cents). Enriched wheat flour and oat flour. Excellent flavor. Available in California, Oregon and Nevada.
    X-Pert Devil's Food Mix (Modern Foods, Inc.). 18 cents for 14 1/4 oz. (19.9 cents). Excellent flavor. Grain rather coarse, but probably normal for this type of cake. Available East of the Mississippi.
    Helen's Red-E Yellow Cake Mix (Gann Prod. Co.). 30 cents for 1 lb. (30 cents). Wheat, cottonseed and oat flour. Excellent flavor, slightly lemon. Available in California, Oregon and Nevada.
    Joy Golden Layer Cake (Cramer Products Co., NYC). 20 cents for 14 oz. (33.1 cents). Very good flavor, slightly lemon. Available nationally.
    Helen's Red-E Spiced Cake Mix (Gann Prod. C.). 30 cents for 1 lb. (30 cents). Wheat flour and soya flour. Good flavor, nutmeg mace. Available in California, Oregon and Nevada."
    ---"Baking Mixes," Consumer Reports, July 1944 (p. 179-180)

    [1948]
    "Delectable-looking cakes, biscuits, muffins, rolls, pies and other baked goods peer forth these days, not only from the baker's showcase, but from the paper labels on the grocer's shelves. They are "come on's" for the prepared flour mixes now appearing in ever greater numbers and variety. When CU's shoppers throughout the nation had bought all of the types and brands of mixes containing flour (except pancake mixes) which they found on the market, they had 76--more than three times as many as were available in 1944 when CU last tested these products. How good are they? The value of any mix to a housewife is based on the quality of the finished product--how good it is to eat--plus ease and convenience of preparation, and cost. CU consultants subjected all products to actual baking tests, following the directions given on the packages. The scores for cake, gingerbread, biscuit, muffin and hot roll mixes were based on flavor, volume or the amount of rise, texture, or tenderness of crumb to feel and taste, aroma while warm from baking, grain or physical structure of the crumb and color of crust and crumb...CU found some mixes that were good, many that were satisfactory, and only two that were "Not Acceptable." Many brands were neither consistently good nor consistently poor...The preparation of mostt of these mixes calls for the addition only of water or milk, and they can be stirred up so simply that, if directions are followed, there is little danger of their being spoiled. The time required is negligable compared to that for mixing a cake from the basic ingredients. They are particularly useful for emergencies, for youngsters just trying their culinary wings, or for the gang of teen-agers who what to take over the kitchen for an evening. Cost varied considerably among different brands of the same type of mix, and while in some cases it was greater than the comparable homemade product, in many cases, it was not more, or even less.
    ---"Flour Mixes: Almost all are "Acceptable," but some taste better and cost less than others," Consumer Reports, August 1948 (p. 355-7)

    [1951]
    "CU's consultants tested 20 bands of prepared cake mix--gingerbread, white cake, and devil's food. In the opinion of the home economists who sampled them for taste and other qualities, none were as good as "mother used to bake." However, the best of the mixes made cakes nearly as good as those obtained with standard recipes. While they fall short of the best products of the baker's art, ready mixes do have a number of advantages which may decide you to keep them on your pantry shelf. They are time savers. In CU's tests the time saved by making a cake from prepared mix rather than a recipe, was about 15 minutes. Counting wash-up and put-away time of utensils, the mixes have an even greater edge. They are work savers. Use of a prepared mix eliminates many of the steps necesary with standard recipes, such as the sifting of flour and the measuring of ingredients. Only one bowl is required. However, too little or too much mixing, or incorrect oven temperature, may still result in an unsuccessful cake. They are economical. The average cost of a two-layer devil's food cake (eight-inch layers) made from a ready mix was 38c, including the cost of milk and eggs when their addition was required. This was appreciably less than the cost of a standard recipe devil's food cake, which was 47c at the time of the tests in late January 1951. On the white cake and ginger cake, however, the saving was less--only 2c in each case, on the average. Convenience, more than price, favors the use of the prepared mix. With ready mixes, you are saved the necessity of storing ingredients used only occasionally...or remembering to buy ingredients not normally used...In many cakes, you do not even have to have milk or eggs on hand to bake a cake. Ten of the 20 mixes tested--all of the ginger cakes and several of the others--required the addition of water only. Occident Devils Food Cake Mix required the addition of one egg; Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix and white cake, each required the addition of two eggs...Mixing directions are given for both hand beating and for the use of an electric mixer in most cases. A few brands even carry directions for use in high altitude regions. Swans Down, and some others, provide a "special formula" mix for high altitude baking. Packaging also carry instructions for making cookies, cup cakes, or glamorized versions of the basic cake for which the mix was intended. It is apparent that there are good reasons for the growing popularity of the mixes. However, if you have the skill to bake a really fine cake, and your taste or the occasion demands the best, you should follow your own prized recipe."
    ---"Cake Mixes: CU Tested 20 Brands of Prepared Cake Mixes and Foundy Many Good Ones," Consumer Reports, June 1951(p. 261-2)

    [1953]
    "Not so very long ago, the housewife who went to the bakery store to get her family's dessert, instead of producing it from her own oven, was looked at askance by her more industrious neighbors. Today there seems to be at least a fair prospect that the situation will be reversed. For the grocery store shelves are replete with ready-mix-cake packages in great variety, and the description of their preparation sounds so simple as to make a trip to the bakery store, by comparison, a major chore. In an attempt to answer the question of whether or not the ready-mix cakes are indeed as easy to prepare as package instructions indicate, and whether the end products are of such quality as to justify their use, CU surved the field of prepared mixes for white cake, yellow cake, devil's food cake, and gingergread. Eight brands of devil's food mix, seven brands of white and of yellow cake mix, and three brands of gingerbread were tested. Four samples of each mix were stirred up and baked, two operators preparing two samples of each. These were submitted, without band identification, independently to each of three judges, along with a piece of cake of similar character made from home-mixed batter. Judgement was passed on each piece about two hours after its removal from the oven, and again (to determine keeping qualities) a day later. The judges, who are trained home economists, used a score system to rate flavor, texture, appearance, grain, color, and shape of the cakes; in addition, they expressed an overall opinion of each cake's quality. There was suprisingly little disagreement, among the individual judges, as to the visible characteristics of the various products, but in flavor preference they often did not agree, which is hardly surprising. However, in the extremes of taste-- cakes rated either oudstandingly good or very poor--there was little dispute among them. In terms of general quality, many of the the cakes made from the packaged mixes competed successfully against the home-made cakes, which were carefully prepared from well- tested recipes. (The recipes were for cakes of average richness in the selected types. This is not to say that your own favorite recipe won't produce a cake finer than any mix on the market!). Most of the ready-mix cakes were a pleasing in shape, volume, and general appearance as the home-made cakes, and mnay had very good texture and fine grain-structure, too. It was in flavor that the home-made cakes outranked most--but not all--of the mixes. As for the preparation of the mix-made cakes, it's almost as simple as the advertisiments claim. For most of the mixes, the housewife need only add a measured amount (usually a cupful, more or less) of milk or water to the solid ingredients in the box, stir the two together, pour the mixture into greased pans, and bake in a preheated oven. For a few, an egg or two, or some flavoring, is required in addition. Only one brand, Betty Crocker, received a Good rating in all four of the varieties tested...None of the others were consistently superior, though there were individual cake types of other brands which were at least equal of Betty Crocker."
    ---"Cake Mixes: CU's consultants tasted and examined ready-mix cakes to find which brands were best," Consumer Reports, September 1953 (p. 385-7)

    Cake mix market & demographics [1956]
    "Cake mix makers are finding that a popualr new product, a helping of fast-rising sales and a quick stir do not always make a recipe for sweet profits. When cake mixes were introduced after World War II, they caught on immediately and fit right into the parade toward ever-greater consumer convenience--along with frozen foods, automatic washers, automatic car shcifts and power lawn mowers. Sales soard twelvefold in the past eight years, turing the easy mixes into a $225 million a year business. But this success story has taken a rather unhappy turn for the cake mix makers. New mixes, and new manufacturers rushed into the suddenly expanding field. The result: Feverish competition, marked by price cutting and big promotion outlays,--and sharly pared profit margins. 'I don't see how any of them are making any money,' says the president of a concern that dropped out of cake mix competition. 'They are just hoping for future profits.' National Biscuit Co.'s Dromedary Mix division advertising director...agrees, and calls the mix business generally 'now a loss operation.' Pillsbury Mills., Inc., with one-third of the cake mix business, concedes profits declined last year because of price wars and the cost of 'extraordinary heavy advertising and promotional programs.' Nebraska Consolidated Millls Co. which had the Duncan Hines brand of mixes and an estimated 11% of cake mix sales, recently sold out its mix line after five years because...other milling activities were more profitable. Two other mix makers, General Foods Corp., with the Swans Down brand and giant General Mills, Inc., with about one-third of the market, refuse to discuss the finances of their cake mix lines. ...Zooming sales leave little doubt the housewife has made cake mxies a permanent addition to her kitchen shelf. Sales totaled about 568 million packages in the year ended last June 1, compared with only 50 million packages in the 1947-1948 year. Mix executives figure 80% of all homes now use at least one mix cake each year. Slightly over half of all cakes baked, they reckon, use the mixes, and General Mills statistician...predicts the toal eventually will reach 66%, possibly even 70% or 75%. 'When an elderly woman dies,' comments one mix executive, 'the flour and shortening business loses a customer. When a young girl marries, the mix business gains a customer.'...New flavors are almonst constantly being tested or brough out by cake mix makers. In addition to the common white, yellow, and chocoalte mixes, such delights as orange, caramel, spice, burnt sugar marble, confetti angel food, butterscotch, apple chip and sponge cake mixes are available...Cake sizes are bing tailored nowadays to suit individual needs. Smaller type cakes have been designed for the two or three-person family. Called an 'Answer Cake' by General Mills (because it 'answered letter demands for a smaller cake') and the 'Kit Cake' by Pillsbury,t ehse mixes include regular mix, frosting mix and a foil pan all in one carton. Chelsea Milling Co. of Chelsea, Mich., puts out an almost pocket sized box of mix selling for 10 cents that makes a small one-layer cake...Historically, mixes aren't new. The granddaddy proabaly is the pancake mix, developed in the early 1920's and produced shortly after then by Quaker Oats with its Aunt Jemima brand. Next development was the biscuit mix, brought out in the ealry 1930's by General Mills with its 'Bisquick' mix. Shortly before World War II broke out, the gingerbread mix was introduced. But it wasn't until after the war that cake mixes made theri entrance. Housewives who insist on baking home made cakes get little consolation when comparing costs with a ready mix cake. A General Mills statistician calculates that a common white, yellow or devils food cake costs from 47 to 51 cents using ordinary flour, six cents more using special cake flour (not a mix) and dix cents more if butter shortening is used."
    ---"Cake Mix Fix: Sales Rise Fast But Competition Batters Producers' Profits," Jerry M. Flint, Wall Street Journal, October 26, 1956 (p. 1)

    Snackin Cake
    Snackin'Cake was an all-in-one box kit, including an aluminum pan for baking the product. This product took cake mix convenience to the next level, because the cake was mixed in the pan and that pan could be discarded. No messy bowl or cake pan to clean.

    According to the records of the US Patent & Trademark Office, Snackin' Cake brand mix was introduced by General Mills (think: Betty Crocker) January 5, 1971:
    "Word Mark SNACKIN' CAKE Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: CAKES MIXES. FIRST USE: 19710105. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19710105 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Serial Number 72394440 Filing Date June 10, 1971 Current Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Registration Number 0940014 Registration Date August 1, 1972 Owner (REGISTRANT) GENERAL MILLS, INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE NUMBER ONE GENERAL MILLS BOULEVARD MINNEAPOLIS MINNESOTA 55426 Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20020405. Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 20020405 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE"

    "Cake mixes have reached the ultimate in convenience with new Snackin' Cake from Betty Crocker. You add water and vinegar [it makes the cake rise] and mix the batter right in the pan. We tried banaana walnut and found it moist, rich, and good. The other two varieties are coconut pecan and chocolate almond. These cakes [49 cents each] are ideal for lunch boxes, but not between-meal snacking as the company suggests."
    ---"New Products on the Shelves," Fran Zell, Chicago Tribune, May 4, 1972 (p. N-A20)

    Soapy cake mixes?

    "Use of soap in baking cake has been developed by the Proctor & Gamble Company of Cincinnati, it has revealed in a patent (No. 2,123,880)...Soap added to the baking mix, the inventors say, will prevent the cake from falling or turning out flat. The final product is described as fluffier and lighter than other cake. Addition of the soap also permits the use of more sugar in the mix, so that the cake may have more sugar than flour. As little as twenty-five one-thousandths of 1 per cent of soap is added to the mixture, This small quantity does not adversley affect the flavor of the cake, it is asserted. The soap is mixed in with the batter. Any soap may be used."
    ---"New Baking Recipe Puts Soap in Cake," New York Times, July 24, 1938 (p. 28)

    When did oil become a standard ingredient?
    Excellent question with no exact answer. The ealiest print reference we find suggesting oil be used in cake mixes is this:

    "In quick-mix cakes, vegetable shortening was recommended, and in using oil in cakes, it was strongly suggested that one employ a recipe worked out with oil in mind and not try to adapt a standard formula. Commerical cake mixes must be used stricly in accordance with package directions. It would be better, panel authorities felt, to standardize labels to eliminate such confusions as "white cake mix" and "silver cake mix," which are the same type."
    ---"News of Food: U.S. Housewife Baffles Cookery Experts Except for Two Things: Flavor, Desserts," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, November 8, 1952 (p. 14)

    Twenty years later, this advertisement suggests the practice is still considered "novel":

    "Try These Delicious Easy Recipe Ideas made with Duncan Hines Cake Mixes...'Lemon Pound Cake (makes 12 to 16 servings). 1 package Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Deluxe Cake Mix, 1 package lemon instant pudding mix (4 serving size), 1/2 cup Crisco Oil, 1 cup water, 4 eggs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.. Blend all ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Bake in a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until center springs back when touched lightly. Cool right side up for about 25 minutes, then remove from pan. Glaze: Blend 1 cup confectioners sugar with either 2 tablespoons milk or 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Drizzle over cake...Be sure to use Crisco Oil as some other oils may cause the cake to fall."
    ---Display ad, Duncan Hines, New York Times, June 29, 1972 (p. 45)
    [NOTE: recipes for oil-ingredient Double Upside Down Cake and Neapolitan Refrigerator Sheet Cake, Double Chocolate Nugget, Peanut Butter Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies are also included in this ad.]

    High Altitude Cake Mixes
    Long before commercial cake mixes, mountain cooks adjusted traditional recipes for high altitudes. Caroline Trask Norton's Rocky Mountain Cook Book [1903] is considered one of the first texts specifically addressing high altitude cookery. Our survey of historic newspapers confirms Pillsbury conducted high altitude testing in 1949, using a WWII era high altitude simulator. Betty Crocker appears to be the first major commercial brand to feature high altitude directions on mix packages. Both brands are owned by General Mills.

    [1949]
    This article appeared in several newspapers in 1949. It provides additional details regarding Pillsbury's pioneering efforts to create fail-proof high altitude baking mixes. Would love to see a picture of this kitchen!!!

    "It's getting so a housewife won't have a single alibi left if her cake turns out a flop. The experts are using aviation science to wipe out one excuse that a lot of tough-luck bakers maybe even thought of. That's atmospheric pressure. It seems there's a lot of difference between baking a cake in Herkimer, N.Y. and whipping one up in Denver, Colo. This is particularly true with the packaged cake mixes now so popular with grandma, bride and the professional baker. Adjustments must be made in baking recipes to allow for the low air pressure of high places and accompanying variations in moisture content. A recipe providing a perfect light cake in Herkimer might result in something as flat as a cold omelet in high altitude Denver. One of the nation's big millers (Pillsbury) worked out the problem through aviation science. Cakes were baked in a 'flying kitchen' that went up to 7,000 feet without leaving the ground. The aerial kitchen in a pressure chamber used by the U.S. army air force at Rochester, Minn., to conduct altitude tests on humans during the last war. The company formerly spent considerable time and money sending food researchers to high altitude cities to determine variations needed in cake mix formulas. When the pressure chamber idea jelled, all that had to be done was check the elevation of a city. Then a couple of girls from the company's research and development department 'took off' with their mixing bowls to turn out a test cake. 'Captain' of the cake mix flight missions was Miss Mary Kimball. Her crew consisted of one inside helper on each 'flight.' The pressure chamber, which still has man of its air force fittings--earphones, microphones, oxygen masks and gauges--is equipped with a small electric stove, large enough to bake one cake. The chamber, a large steel tank anchored horizontally on a solid foundation, is divided into two compartments separated by an air lock. A vault-like door seals the chamber during an experiment. before the girls took off for an experiment they baked a control cake on the ground. The ascent was made at the rate of 1,000 feet a minute. When they reached a previously determined altitude the cake mix was turned on and the weighing, measuring and baking started. They were up about four hours on each flight. While the testers were in the air, technicians outside the chamber watched gauges to maintain proper pressure. Other home economists peered through glassed portholes to observe the flying bakers. When the test cake came out of the oven, Miss Kimball seized a microphone to announce the baking mission completed and the oven ready to land. Miss Kimball and her crew members have baked about 200 cakes in 64 'logged flights.' The aerial cakes are measured and judged against known standards first as they come out of the oven and later in Minneapolis laboratories. So if you want to bake a cake on top of a 29,000 foot Mt. Everest, don't guess at the recipe. Try it in a pressure chamber first."
    ---"If Your Cake Turns Out Flat It Might Be Because You Live in High Country, 'Airplane' Tests Indicate," Independent Record [Helena, MT], April 7, 1949 (p. 2)

    "High Altitude Cooking. The prepared mix which a Manhattan housewife makes a perfect cake would yield one as flat as a pancake if it were cooked in a city 10,000 feet above sea level. The effect of altitude on baking has posed a problem for manufacturers who distribute such mixes on a nation-wide scale. They've had to change the formulas for the products they sell in areas of high elevation. One of the most interesting procedures for testing these recipes is that employed by Pillsbury Mills. Pillsbury's home economists do their experimental work on the various formulas in a 'flying kitchen' This laboratory never actually leaves the ground, for it is a low-pressure chamber, once used by the Army Air Force to conduct high altitude tests. In this way the research can be done right at the plant in Rochester, Minn.--a less expensive undertaking than sending workers and equipment out in the field to cities of different elevations. At 'flight' time the home economists enter the chamber which they've fixed into a tiny kitchen. They give a signal and the door of their kitchen is locked, A technician at the controls outside regulates the pressure so that the kitchen 'climbs' at the rate of about a thousand feet per minute...Chewing gum and sipping water to relive the pressure on their ears, the home economists begin their tests. The higher the altitude, the lower the temperature inside the cake while it is baking. This weakens the structural strength derived from the flour and eggs in the batter. To counteract this, it's necessary to use less leavening and more liquid. But when the housewife buys a package of cake mix at the corner grocery, whether it be in this city or in mile-high Denver, Col., she's not likely to be aware of all this. The home economists at Pillsbury's have worked out a special formula for the mixes sold in cities with an elevation of more than 3,000 feet. Directions on the packages for areas with an altitude up to 3,000 feet call for more liquid than those sold in sea-level cities. But all three types of mixes come in the same sort of containers with only slight variations in the wording on the labels. The company gives to the distributors and the grocers the responsibility for seeing that a housewife gets the kind of mix designed for 'baking at the altitude at which she lives."
    ---"News of Food," New York Times, November 17, 1949 (p. 39)

    High altitude cake mix [1949]
    Manufacturers offered special formulations to homemakers living in high altitudes. This article does not reference a particular company or brand.

    "High Altitude Mix. A special package in which the mix has been adjusted for successful high-altitude baking will be on sale in areas where the altitude is 3500 feet and higher. This package will be identified easily by a prominent label. Make two light-as-down layers, white or yellow, or a spicy square from a package of the new instant cake mix..."
    ---"Bakers' Miracle: New Magic Mix Makes Many Different Cakes," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1949 (p. B4) Betty Crocker

    [1948]
    "Betty Crocker's Ginger Cake...special instructions for high altitude baking on recipe insert in every package."
    ---display ad, Ogden Standard-Examiner [UT], October 15, 1948 (p. 20)

    [1950]
    "High Altitude No Problem With Betty Crocker Cake Mixes! Larger, lighter, more luscious cakes when you follow easy high altitude directions on package. Glowing reports of success are pouring in from women in high altitudes, telling of cakes high as mountains, light as clouds, made from these sensational new mixes. And there's a reason! Betty Crocker developed special high altitude baking directions to go on every one of her cake mix packages, so that success would be sure for the homemakers whofollowed them."
    ---Display ad, Reno Evening Gazette [NV], March 2, 1950 (p. 18)
    [NOTE: three cake mixes are featured in this ad, Party Cake (White, Spice or Yellow), Devils Food and Ginger Cake and Cooky Mix.]

    About cooking "from scratch"
    According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the word "scratch" has several meanings. The phrase "from scratch" is derived from this:

    5b. "The starting-point in a handicap of a competitor who recieves no odds; sometimes colloq. used ellipt. for such a competitor. From scratch, from a position of no advantage, knowledge, influence, etc., from nothing."

    As this applies to food, it means the item was made without the aid of prepared items; all primary ingredients.

    Who coined this phrase and when?
    Good question. The OED does not offer a first print use for this term as it applies to food. Our phrase books sometimes list these words but only define them. Our food history books do not include the term. The oldest references we find for this phrase (New York Times historic database) date to the 1940s. These articles are promoting making cakes from mixes rather than "from scratch."

    Angel food

    The classic story behind the name "angel food cake" is that this dessert is so white, light, and fluffy it must be fit for angels. Who thought up this name? No one knows. We do know [from the study of old cookbooks] that cake recipes with the name "angel food" began showing up in American cookbooks sometime in the late nineteenth century, about the same time as mass-produced bakeware hit the popular market. Devils Food, dense chocolately rich and "sinful," answered Angel Food decades later in the 20th century.

    Some food historians speculate the Pennsylvania Dutch were probably the original makers and namers of angel food, though this connection has not been fully documented. In support of the theory, one of many culinary traditions introduced to America by the Pennsyvania Dutch was the cake mold, a special metal pan for creating festive cakes in unusual shapes. A recipe for "Amanda's Angel Food Cake" is included in the Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Time Old Recipes, Culinary Arts Press [1936] (p. 39) but not listed in Pennsylvania Dutch Cookery, J. George Frederick [1935]. Angel food cake mixes debuted in 1942.

    "Angel-food cake...Also "angel cake." A very light, puffy cake, perhaps of Pennsylvania-Dutch heritage, without yeast and with several beaten egg whites. The egg whites give it a texture so airy that the confection supposedly has the sublimity of angels. Angel-food cake was known by the 1870s in America (the word appeared in print in the 1880s) and served as a sensible usage of leftover egg whites."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 6)

    "...angel (or angel food) cakes, which some believe evolved as the result of numerous egg whites left over after the making of noodles, may or may not be the brainchild of thrifty Pennsylvania cooks who considered it sinful to waste anything."
    ---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones [Vintage Books:New York] 1981, 2nd ed. (p. 93)

    "Angel Food Cake...Name given to a variety of very light spongy cakes originating from America. This type of confection was first introduced to England in 1934. There were many failures in its manufacture in the earlier days, det to the fact that a special soft flour was required to ensure lightness and soft eating qualities."
    ---Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith {Philospohical Library:New York] 1952 (p. 8)

    A survey of late 19th century cookbooks attests to the introduction of a cake named "angel food" sometime in the 1880s. This is a typical recipe from a popular cookbook:

    [1884]
    "Angel Cake

    One cup of flour, measured after one sifting, and then mixed with one teaspoonful of cream of tartar and sifted four times. Beat the whites of eleven eggs, with a wire beater or perforated spoon, until stiff and flaky. Add one cup and a half of the fine granulated sugar, and beat again; add one teaspoonful of vanilla or almond, then mix in the flour quickly and lightly. Line the bottom and funnel of a cake pan with paper not greased, pour in the mixture, and bake about forty minutes. When done, loosen the cake around the edge, and turn out at once. Some persons have been more successful with this cake by mixing the sugar with the flour and cream of tartar, and adding all at aonce to the beaten egg."
    ---The Boston Cooking School Cookbook, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln [1884] (p. 374)

    [1940s]
    Eleanor Roosevelt's Angel Food Cake

    Recipes for cakes similar to angel food [calling only for egg whites] were known by different names:

    [1871]
    "Snow-drift cake

    Three cupsful of flour, two cupsful of sugar, one-half a cupful of butter, one cupful of sweet milk, the whites of five eggs beaten to a stiff froth, one teaspoonful of cream of tartar, one-half a teaspoonful of soda; sift the flour, and do not pack it when measuring it."
    ---Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book, Mrs. M. E. Porter [1871] (p. 223)
    [NOTE: the lack of baking instructions!]

    [1881]
    "Silver cake

    The whites of one dozen eggs beaten very light, one pound of butter, one pound of powdered sugar; rub the butter and sugar together until creamed very light, then add the beaten whites of the eggs, and beat all together until very light; two teaspoonfuls of the best yeast powder sifted with one pound of flour, then add the flour to the eggs, sugar and butter, also add one-half teacupful of sweet milk; mix quickly, and beat till very light; flavor with two teaspoonfuls of the extract of almond or peach, put in when you beat the cake the last time. Put to bake in any shape pan you like, but grease the pan well before you put the cake batter in it. Have the stove moderately hot, so as the cake will bake gradually, and arrange the damper of stove so as send heat to the bottom of the cake first. This instruction of baking applies to all cakes except tea cakes."
    ---What Mrs. Fisher Knows about Old Southern Cooking, [1881] (p. 28-9)

    Angel food cake mix
    The earliest print evidence we find for commercial angel food cake mix in the USA is 1942. The company? Blair Inc., Atchison Kansas. The brand? EZY Angel Cake Mix [Jefferson City Post-Tribune, Missouri, December 16, 1942 (p. 2)]. No price provided. In 1949 a full-page ad promoting this product was published in the Atchison Daily Globe [Kansas], October 13, 1949 (p. 11). The following year this mix penetrated the southern California market. Advertisements worked hard to convince home cooks this product was an acceptable substitute for home made. The last ad we have for EZY Angel mix was published in the Biddeford Journal [Maine], February 28, 1959 (p. 11). The 8-egg, 10-oz. mix cost 29 cents.

    "Angel food cake, always a favorite in every home, but forever a headache to the homemaker, finally has caught up with the crowd. It's become as simple to prepare as mashed potatoes. After years of experimentation, a company in Atchison, Kan. comes up with an ingenious angel food cake mix that produces a cake pure white in color, fluffy and delicious as a home-baked cake. All you have to do is add water...For ease in preparation, the ingredients have been divided into two separate plastic bags. One contains the mix of egg whites, flavoring slice, salt and sugar; the other contains the special flour mixture. Contents of the first bag, with the addition of water, are beaten to the proper stiffness and the contents of the second bag are then folded into the mixture. The batter is poured into a tube pan and baked in a hot oven. It's just that simple!...Results have proven to be uniform in all cases, enabling anyone to make an angel food cake of such airy, snowy goodness that it delights the most particular tastes. The mix comes in two sizes--a large 14-egg package and a medium-sized 8-egg package. Once you have tried it, you won't want to be without it. Your family will love it..."
    ---"Problems Solved: Simple Angel Food Cake Mix Invented," Mary Ellen Wickes, Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1950 (p. B3)

    "Angel food cake is the summertime favorite...Recently, an excellent packaged angel food cake mix was introduced in local stores. It has won wide approval of Los Angeles homemakers. Everyone who tries it is surprised by the cake's delicate flavor and good texture...There's a 14-egg package and a medium 8-egg one. The egg whites and all essential ingredients are scientifically measured and proportions into two little transparent paper bags contained in each box. The dry ingredients are beaten several minutes with a cupful of cold water and the other batter is read! many inquiries have come to this department about the product. We tested several samples for its quality, ease of preparation and cost. Our verdict is favorable on all counts...Unfortunately, the mix is not yet available in all food markets, but city-wide distribution is under way, and we recommend that you ask for it at your store when next you shop. Most grocers appreciate requests for new products from customers."
    ---"Angel Cake Makes Heavenly Desserts," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1950 (p. B2)

    "Ezy Angel Mix. Delicious Prizewinner. Every Angel Food Cake you make with EZY ANGEL MIX, Anybody can do it! 2 sizes: 14-Egg and 8-Egg...A complete 8-egg Angel Food Cake Mix, just add water, 9-oz Pkg....42 cents."
    ---display ad, Los Angeles Times, August 31, 1950 (p. 6)

    Chocolate cake
    In the beginning,
    chocolate was a precious substance used for religions ceremonies. When chocolate was introduced to Europe, other possibilities were explored. Confections, icings, puddings and baked goods embraced chocolate flavor.

    What is chocolate cake? Excellent question with no simple answer. In the first half of the 19th century the typical chocolate cake was a yellow or spice cake meant to accompany a chocolate beverage. In the second quarter of the 19th century the typical chocolate cake was either a white or yellow cake with chocolate icing. It is not until the middle of the 19th century we begin to see chocolate as an ingredient in baked goods (cookies, cakes). Progress was slow. By the beginning of the 20th century chocolate cakes, as we know them today, proliferate. Why? Consumer economics, product availability and serious corporate marketing.

    The oldest print reference we find for baked goods with chocolate ingredient is 1779. In this letter sent from prison, the notorious Marquis De Sade complains bitterly to his wife about the "care" package she sent him.

    Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade, primarily known for 'other activities,' nevertheless, mentioned chocolate in a series of letters written form prison addressed to his wife. In a most interesting letter dated May 16, 1779, he tersely complained of the quality of a food package she previously sent to him and enumerated his complaints. 'This sponge cake is not at all what I asked for: 1) I wanted it iced everywhere, both on top and underneath, with the same icing used on the little cookies; 2) I wanted it to be chocolate inside, of which it contains not the slightest hint; they have colored it with some sort of dark herb, but there is not what one could call the slightest suspicion of chocolate. The next time you send me a package, please have it made for me, and try to have some trustworthy person there to see for themselves that some chocolate is put inside. The cookies must smell of chocolate, as if one were biting into a chocolate bar.' This specific de Sade letter reveals several important pieces of information. First, the letter hints that the so-called chocolate cookies were prepared from adulterated chocolate...Second, the concluding sentence suggests that bars of chocolate for eating pleasure were available in Paris nearly 50 years before Van Houten's invention of the cocoa press, an invention that some have interpreted as a necessary 'tipping-point' required before the development of confectionary chocolate. In 18th century Europe and elsewhere, consumers did not 'bite into' standard chocolate tablets. These tablets whether circular, rectangular, or appearing as 'globs' were not eaten like 20th and 21st century candy bars; these tablets were grated and used to prepare chocolate beverages. Thus, the phrase 'biting into' reveals the probability that bars of confectionary chocolate circulated in France by this early date."
    ---Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage, edited by Louis Evan Grivetti [John Wiley & Sons:Hoboken NJ] 2009 (p. 746)
    [NOTES: (1) Source for De Sade quote: de Sade, A.F. (Marquis de Sade). Letters from Prison. Translated by R. Seaver. New York:Arcade Publishing, 1999. Letter to his wife, dated May 16, 1779. (2) The chocolate tablets not have been "eating chocolate," as we know it today.]

    The earliest baked good recipe we find (so far)with chocolate as ingredient is from 1847. While it confirms the use of chocolate in this capacity, it by no means indicates this was a common practice in the day.

    [1847]
    Chocolate Puffs
    ---Ladies Receipt Book, Eliza Leslie [Philadelphia]

    Devil's food
    Recipes for rich, chocolate cakes similar to devil's food were fairly common in late 19th century cookbooks, but they were not named such. They were typically listed under the generic name "chocolate cake." Recipes titled
    devil's food proliferated, sometimes with interesting and creative twists) in the first decades of the 20th century. Red Devil appears in the 1930s.

    "Devil's food. A cake, muffin, or cookie made with dark chocolate, so called because it is supposedly so rich and delicious that it must be somewhat sinful, although the association is clearly made with humor. Its dark color contrasted with the snowy white of angel-food cake, an earlier confection. The first devil's food recipe appeared in 1900, after which recipes and references became frequent in cookbooks. The "red devil's food cake," given a reddish-brown color by the mixture of cocoa and baking soda, is post-World War II version of the standard devil's food cake."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 111)

    Angel food belongs to the nineteenth century but devil's food to the twentieth. How this chocolate cake came to be called devil's food no one knows although it may have been a play on opposites: it was as dark and rich as angel food was light an airy...In the early 1900s there were a number of bizarre variations on Devils Food Cake. Once called for mashed potatoes and a number for ground cinnamon and cloves in addition to chocolate..."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 452-3)

    Some food historians believe this might be the first mention of Devil's food. It appears in a memoir written by Caroline King's of her childhood in 1880s Chicago. Ms. King was a popular food writer in the 1920s-1930s.

    "Devil's Food, though a new cake in our household, had made its dashing appearance in Chicago in the middle eighties, and by the time it reached our quiet little community, was quite the rage. Maud's receipt was the original one, and made a large, dark, rich cake. Here it is:

    Devil's Food
    1/2 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    5 eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 scant teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    3 squares unsweetened chocolate
    1 teaspoon vanilla.

    Anna melted the chocolate over hot water while Maude creamed the butter and added the sugar gradually; then she whipped in the slightly beaten yolks of the eggs and the melted chocolate and vanilla. I was permitted to sift and measure the flour and then sift it again with the baking powder and soda. When this was done, Maude alternately added the flour mixture and the sour cream to the egg-sugar-butter-chocolate combination. Last of all, she folded in the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs and turned the delicious-smelling brown batter into three layer-cake pans which Anna had buttered and floured. The baking, in a very moderate oven, was carefully watched. According to a time-honored custom in our family, the cakes were tested with a clean broomstraw and when finished were turned, beautifully brown and entrancingly fragrant, from the pans onto a clean towel. Now came the next important part, the icing and filling. The Watermans' receipt called for a thick boiled icing made pleasantly piquant with a few drops of citric acid. But citric acid sounded dangerous to Maud, and besides, as Anna explained, we had no such article in our supply closet. Even Emily's stock of special flavorings refused to yield it, so Maud used lemon juice, sparingly and judiciously, and the result was perfect. Altogether it was a noble cake, nobly made."
    ---Victorian Cakes: A Reminiscence With Recipes, Caroline B. King, with an introduction by Jill Gardner [Aris/Berkeley:1986] (p. 35-6)

    There is no recipe for Devil's food in Favorite Dishes: A Columbian Autograph Souvenir Cookery Book, a collection of recipes contributed by prominent Chicago women in 1893. This book, originally compiled by Carrie V. Shuman, was recently reissued by the University Press, Chicago [2001].

    What is the difference between chocolate cake and devil's food?
    This simple question has many answers, depending upon the period and cookbook. As noted above, the first 19th century American chocolate cake recipes were white/yellow cakes with chocolate icing. The addition of chocolate to the batter increased as the price of this ingredient declined, thus creating "chocolate cake" as we know it today. 20th century cookbooks often list chocolate cake and devils food on the same page. The most predominant difference between the two? Devil's food usually contains a greater proportion of chocolate. Fannie Farmer [1923] doubles the amount of chocolate required for her devil's food (4 ounces compared to 2 ounces for "regular" chocolate cake.). Irma S. Rombauer confirms: "When the larger amount of chocolate is used, it is a black, rich Devil's Food." (Joy of Cooking, 1931 p. 236)

    Compare this chocolate cake recipe [1894] with Mrs. Rorer's [1902] & Good Housekeeping's [1903] devil's food recipes (below):

    Chocolate Cake, No. 3
    One and a half cups of sugar, half cup of butter, three-quarters cup of milk, three eggs and yolk of another, two cups of flour, two teaspoons baking powder, one full cup of Baker's chocolate. Break up the chocolate and put in a cup over the tea kettle until it melts. This will make four layers, and use the following recipe for boiled icing between the layers.

    Boiled icing
    One cup of sugar (granulated), quarter cup of water (cold), one egg (only white, beaten stiff). Put water on sugar in a saucepan and let it boil until it threads. Then remove from fire and pour over the stiff white, beaten until it thickens. Put on the cake at once."
    ---The Oracle: Receipts Rare, Rich and Reliable, The Woman's Parish Aid Society of Christ Church, [Tarrytown:New York] 1894 (p. 88)

    The earliest recipe we have for Devil's Food printed in an American cookbook is dated 1902:

    "Devil's Food
    1/2 cup of milk
    4 ounces of chocolate
    1/2 cup butter
    3 cups pastry flour
    1 1/2 cups of sugar
    4 eggs
    2 teaspoonfuls of baking powder
    Put in a double boiler four ounces of chocolate and a half pint of milk; cook until smooth and thick, and stand aside to cool. Beat a half cup of butter to a cream; add gradually one and a half cups of sugar and the yolks of four eggs; beat until light and smooth. Then add the cool chocolate mixture and three cups of pastry flour, with which you have sifted two teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Beat thoroughly for at least five minutes; then stir in the well beaten whites of the eggs. Bake in three or four layers. Put the layers together with soft icing, to which you have added a cup of chopped nuts. The success of this cake depends upon the flour used."
    ---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Philadelphia: 1902] (p. 619)
    [NOTE: Mrs. Rorer's chocolate loaf cake recipe (p. 615) calls for 2 ounces of chocolate]

    Devil's Food Cake
    Two and a half cups of sifted flour, two cups of sugar, one-half cup of butter, one-half cup of sour milk, one-half cup of hot water, two eggs, one-half or one-fourth cake of chocolate, one teaspoon of vanilla, one teaspoon of soda. Grate chocolate and dissolved with the soda in hot water. Use white icing."
    ---Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book, Isabel Gordon Curtis, [Phelps Publishing:New York] 1903 (p. 50); recipe attributed to Mrs. Nelson Ruggles.
    [NOTE: This book's recipe for chocolate cake (p. 50) is white cake with chocolate filling]

    By 1913, devils food and devils cake were all the rage. How do we know? Anna Clair Vangalder's Modern Women of America Cookbook [Modern Woodman Press:Rock Island] lists no less than 23 recipes! Some are simple, others are complicated. Sour milk and brown sugar seem to be the standard ingredients, though some recipes specified white sugar and sweet milk cut with boiling water. Melted/grated unsweetened chocolate (cake, bakers) was the norm, though some recipes used cocoa. Some cakes were layered, others were baked in simple loaf pans. About half of the early devils cakes were iced.

    Recipes for devil's food cake have changed over the years. Duncan Hines Dessert Book [New York:1955] lists three recipes for Devil's Food Cake, and one each for Cocoa Devil's Food Cake, Party Devil's Food Cake, and Sour Cream Devil's Food Cake (p. 37-41). Jean Anderson's American Century Cookbook (p. 452-3) does a good job outlining the evolution of this particular cake.

    Red Devil's Food
    What makes this cake red? Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen tells us this chemical reaction occurs when combining alkaline (baking soda/powder) with acid (cocoa, buttermilk, vinegar). "Chemical leavenings have...effects on both flavor and color...Colors are...affected conditions: browning reactions are enhanced, chocolate turns reddish, and blueberries turn green." (p. 534).
    Red cakes can be achieved several ways.

    Recipes for Red Devil's Cake begin to appear in North American newspapers and cookbooks during the 1930s. Some are specifically called "red devil," others are simply called devil and are undistinguishable unless the cook examined the ingredients.

    [1929]
    "This afternoon at 2:00. An interesting lecture ad practical demonstration on the preparation and cooking of foods suitable for use in every household under the direction of Mrs. Maabel (Chef) Wyman, whose enus and recipes appear as a daily feature in the Los Angles Times. Nothing to buy and no fees of any kind. Comfortable chairs for all... Ask for free copies of all recipes demonstrated. Friday, December 13, 1929...Red Devil's Food Cake..."
    ---display ad, Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1929 (p. A3)

    [1930]
    "There is one cake to which most men are susceptible--devil's food. Whenn women are left to choose, they usually seect the lighter colored varieties. Today we are giving a recipe for red devil's food a dark cake that will appeal to all...The cause of the desirable red color in some devil's food is a question with food chemists. Housewives have believed for a long time that only those cakes that contain soda arae red. ome chemists, however, do not agree with this theory. Whaatever the cause may be we do know that it usually results when sour milk and soda are used. Our recipe includes both. The usual buttermilk sold by the dairymen or your grocery man is sufficently uniform in acidity to produce good results.
    "Red Devil's Food Cake
    2 cups pastry flour
    1/2 cup cocoa
    3/4 cup fat [half butter]
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup sour milk
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    12 cup boiling water
    Sift four, then measure. Resift with cocoa twice. Cream fat until plastic. The add sugar gradually, creaming thoroughly. Add well beated eggs and beat hard one minute. Ad flour-cocoa mixture alternately with the sour milk in which soda has been dissolved, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add vanilla and beat vigorously one-half minute. Add boiling water [water must be boiling to make cake red]. Stir until batter is smooth. Turn into layer or loaf pans that have been oiled and lined with paraffin paper. Bake in a moderate oven [350 degrees Fahrenheit] about 35 minutes. Yield: One loaf or 2 layers. One serving: Total 249 calories; Protent, 16 calories; fat, 103 calories; carbohydrate, 130 calories."
    ---"Three Meals a Day: From the Tribune Cook Book," Meta Given, Chicago Daily Tribune, June 12, 1930 (p. 32)

    [1936]
    "Devil's Food Cake (Red)

    1/2 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 cup sour milk 1 heaping teaspoon soda
    2 1/2 cups sifted flour
    2/3 cup Watkins Cocoa dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla
    Cream butter, slowly add sugar, cream thoroughly. Add well-beaten eggs and soda dissloved in little hot water, also Watkins Cocoa mixed with little hot water. Alternately add sour milk and flour. Mix to smooth batter, add Watkins Vanilla, bake in moderate oven 35 to 40 minutes."
    ---Watkins Cook Book [J.R. Watkins Company:Winona MN] 1936 (p. 98)

    [1938]
    "Red Devil's Food

    Cook one cup brown sugar, two-thirds cup cocoa, two-thirds cup buttermilk and one egg yolk five minutes, stirring constantly. Beat and cool. Cream one-half cup vegetable shortening and one cup granulated usgar, add cooked custard alternately with two and one-fourth cups flour which have been sifted with one teaspoon each soda and baking powder and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Beat two eggs and add with one-half cup water and one teaspoon vanilla. Pour in two layer-cake pans which have been lined with waxed paper. Bake twenty-five minutes in 375 deg. F. oven. Cool and frost."
    ---"Devil's Food Cake Wins Plaudits," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, June 13, 1938 (p. A6)

    [1946]
    "Red Devil's Food

    Generally popular--but not with me, which is not to be taken as a criterion.
    Measure:
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour
    Resift with:
    1 1/2 teaspoon tartrate phosphate baking powder or 1 teaspoon combination type
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon soda
    Cream until light and fluffy:
    4 tablespoons butter
    1 cup sugar
    Add one at a time and beat well:
    2 eggs
    Melt: 2 ounces chocolate in 1/2 cup boiling water
    Cool slightly, then stir these ingredients into the egg mixture. Add the dry ingredients in about three parts alternately with:
    1/2 cup sour milk
    Add: 1 teaspoon vanilla
    Stir the batter after each addition until it is well blended. Bake it in two greased 9 inch layer pans in a moderate oven 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Spread the cake with Seven Minute Morocco Icing."
    ---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs-Merrill:Indianapolis] 1946 (p. 542)

    [1951]
    "Red Velvet Devil's Food

    Mix well
    1/2 cup cocoa
    2 teaspoons bking soda
    1/2 cup very hot water
    Set this mixture aside until the rest of the cake is mixed
    1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs, beaten separately
    1/4 cup shortening
    2 1/2 cups flour (sifted 2 times)
    1/2 cup sour milk
    1/4 teaspon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Cream shortening until light. Add sugar. Continue to cream until well blended. Add well-beaten egg yellows. Beat a few strokes to blend. Add alternately sour milk and flour with salt beating after each addition. Add cocoa mixture and blend well by beating. Add vanilla and well-beaten egg whites, folding carefuly to prevent breaking down whites. Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes in greased, flowered cake tube pan. Turn out on cooling rack. Ice with:
    Caramel icing
    2 cups brown sugar
    Scant 1/2 cup butter
    3 tablespoons cream
    Heat until above mixture boils up to heavy froth. Take from fire. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. If too thin for spreading, add powdered sugar. If too thick, add a bit of cream."
    ---"Prize-Winning Recipe," San Antonio Light [TX], March 23, 1951 (p. 4B)
    [NOTE: This recipe is not the same as
    Red Velvet Cake.]

    [1956]
    "Real Red Devils Food Cake

    A rich, moist cake...made with cocoa. Developed by Lorraine Kilgren of our staff...

    Grease and flour: 2 8" or 9" layer pans or 13 X 9" oblong pan
    Sift together into bowl: 1 3/4 cups Softasilk flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/4 tsp. soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup cocoa
    Add: 1/2 cup soft shortening, 2/3 cup milk
    Beat 2 min.
    Add: another 1/3 cup milk, 2 eggs (1/3 to 1/2 cup), 1 tsp. vanilla
    Beat 2 more min.
    Pour into prepared pans. Bake until cake tests done. Cool. Finish with White Mountain or Satiny Beige Frosting or with Chocolate Butter Icing. Temperature: 350 degrees F (mod. oven).
    Time: Bake 8" layers 35 to 40 min., 9" layers 30 to 35 min., oblong 45 to 50 min."
    ---Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, Revised and Enlarged, second edition [McGraw-Hill:New York] 1956 (p. 151)
    [NOTE: We can supply the icing recipe of your choice.]

    Related cakes? Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Beet Cake & Tomato Soup (aka Mystery) Cake.]


    Apple sauce cakes
    Culinary evidence places apple sauce cake (cookies, muffins, breads) in the twentieth century. Why? They are cakes of convenience rather than tradition. Presumably, applesauce cake is a direct descendant of light (baking soda) 19th century spiced fruit cakes made with fresh or dried apples. These cakes, in turn, descended from traditional Medieval European fruitcake recipes.
    Apple sauce dates to the Middle Ages. Cake is ancient. Where & when did these two collide? Modern times. World War I era apple sauce cakes were promoted as patriotic (less butter, sugar, eggs). Primary evidence confims this recipe's economy. A leftover cookbook circa 1911 gives the home cook permission to use chicken or rendered beef fat in lieu of butter. These early recipes employed applesauce for flavor and texture. Apple sauce cookies happened during WWII. A logical convenient iteration of grandma's cake.

    Post-war homemakers viewed applesauce cakes as reminders of hard times and grandma's kitchen. They moved on. Family cook book pages, splattered with ingredients, stuck together. Recipes closed? Not exactly. In the late 20th century, applesauce cakes were repurposed as healthy (less cholesterol, low-fat) alternatives to traditional cakes. Like an old friend, apple sauce cake tolerates new ideas and quirky innovations. Oatmeal, dried fruits, nuts, refined sugar substitutes and chocolate (cocoa, chips) are common variations celebrating a central theme.

    "Nineteenth-century cookbooks brim with fruitcakes. There's the occasional apple cake, too, usually made with dried apples but sometimes with chopped fresh apples...In my battered copy of Larkin Housewives' Cook Book (1915), there are two applesauce cakes: Apple Sauce Birthday Cake, which is loaded with chopped citron, candied lemon, and orange rind as well as applesauce, and Eggless Apple Sauce Cake, which contains cocoa in addition to cinnamon and cloves. During World War I, applesauce cakes became the patriotic way to cut down on eggs, sugar, and butter...Applesauce cakes grew in popularity throughout the '20s and '30s, took something of a hiatus, then returned full force in the 60s. In the health-conscious 1990s, Mott's discovered that applesauce could be substituted for shortening in certain sturdy butter cakes without mishap, gave "applesauce cake" whole new meaning...the applesauce cake most of us know and love is the spicy loaf strewn with raisins and nuts--no stinting on shortening, eggs, or sugar."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 436)

    American apple sauce cake sampler

    [1911]
    "Apple-Sauce Cake

    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 cup apple sauce
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoonful soda
    1 3/4 cups bread flour
    1/2 teaspoonful each mace, clove, and cinnamon
    Put sugar and shortening in mixing bowl, add apple sauce, then dry ingredients already mixed and sifted. Beat well, turn into deep pan, and bake in moderate oven about one hour. If liked, one cup of floured raisins may be added with dry ingredients. Butter alone may be used for shortening, or part chicken or rendered beef fat."
    ---The Cook Book of Left-Overs, Helen Carroll Clarke and Phoebe Deyo Rulon [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1911(p. 198-199)

    [1913]
    "Apple Sauce Cake.

    Cream together one cupful sugar, one-half cupful shortening, add one teaspoonful cinnamon, one-half teaspoonful cloves (use ground spices), pinch of salt, a little grated nutmeg, and a cupful of raisins. Dissolve one teaspoonful soda in a bit of warm water. Stir into cupful of unsweetened apple sauce, letting it foam over the ingredients in bowl. Beat altogether thoroughly. Add one and three-fourths cupfuls four. Bake in a loaf pan in a slow oven."
    ---Modern Women of America Cook Book, Anna Claire Vangalder [Modern Woodman Press:Rock Island IL] 1913 (p. 34)
    [NOTE: This book contains seven recipes for apple sauce cake. This is the only one that decribes the foaming/bubbling action you described. None of these use cocoa; one suggests chocolate frosting.]

    [1915]
    "Apple Sauce Birthday Cake

    Put through the food-chopper (using coarse knife), one-fourth pound each of citron, candied lemon and orange peel, also one pound raisins. Sift together, four cups flour, two teaspoons each nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, and one teaspoon each of soda and salt. Cream together, one cup butter and two cups brown sugar. Add all ingredients with two and one-half cups unsweetened apple sauce. Line cake-pan with waxed paper and bake in slow oven for one and one-quarter hours. Will keep fresh six weeks or more if tightly covered."

    "Eggless Apple Sauce Cake
    Cream one-half cup butter or other shortening, add one cup brown sugar. Sift one and one-half cups flour with one teaspoon each of soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and cocoa. Mix with one cup unsweetened apple sauce; bake in moderate oven forty-five minutes. One cup of raisins may be added to this."
    ---Larkin Housewives Cook Book [Larkin Co. Chicago] 1915 (p. 77)

    [1924]
    "Apple-Sauce Cake--No. 1

    2 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon cloves
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 cup melted butter or butter substitute
    2 tablespoons grated chocolate
    1/2 cup chopped nuts
    1 cup chopped raisins.
    Sift the flour, sugar, soda and spices together. Mix the apple sauce, melted butter or butter substitute and melted chocolate and add to dry ingredients; then add the nuts and raisins, slightly floured. Put the mixture into a loaf pan and bake in a slow oven for about one and one-half hour."
    ---The New Butterick Cook Book, Flora Rose, Revised and Enlarged [Butterick Publishing Company:New York] 1924 (p. 490)
    [NOTE: Earliest reference we find for adding chocolate to applesauce cake.]

    [1931]
    "Apple Sauce Cake.

    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg beaten until light
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup currants or nuts
    1 3/4 cups cake flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon cloves
    1 cup thick sweet apple sauce.
    Four the nuts and raisins with part of the flour. Cream the butter and the sugar, add the egg and the nuts and the raisins. Sift the flour with the soda and spices and add them to the first mixture. Last add the apple sauce, which has been heated. Bake the cake in a tube pan lined with paper in a moderate oven 350 degrees F. For about 1 hour."
    ---The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, facsimile 1931 edition published by Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis IN [Scribner:New York] 1998 (p. 238)
    [NOTE: This calls for heated applesauce.]

    [1935]
    "Apple Sauce Cake

    by Mrs. Inez Smith
    Apple and cake? Truly a regal dish, and one that is even more so when combined to make that old favorite, Applesauce cake. This recipe as prepared by Mrs. Inez Smith of Rochester, is not only good, but practical as well, in that it requires no eggs and serves as an excellent substitute for fruit cake.
    2 cups granulated sugar
    2/3 cups shortening
    2 cups cold applesauce
    1 teaspoon soda
    4 cups flour
    1 cup seedless raisins
    1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
    2-3 cup walnut meats
    1 teaspoon cloves
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Cream shortening and sugar: add applesauce mixed with soda. Mix flour, raisins, walnuts, spices and baking powder and add to first mixture. Bake in slow oven 1 1/2 hours. This cake may be iced or not, as desired. Mrs. Smith uses a caramel frosting when she ices this cake."
    --"Home Tested Recipes," Logansport Press [IN], November 2, 1935 (p. 3)
    [NOTE: According to My Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, 5th edition, 1930, a "slow" oven is 250-325 degrees F.]

    [1936]
    "Applesauce Cake

    One-third cup shortening, three-fourths cup honey, one cup applesauce, one-fourth teaspoon cloves, one-half teaspoon nutmeg, one-half teaspoon cinnamon, one-fourth teaspoon salt, two cups flour, one cup raisins (seeded), one-fourth cup walnuts, one teaspoon soda dissolved in one tablespoon hot water. Cream shortening and honey well, add applesauce, then flour, spices and salt sifted together. Raisins can be added now before flour is mixed in thereby flouring them. Add walnuts, and finally the soda dissolved in hot water. Beat well and bake one hour in moderately hot oven."
    ---"Apples Are Used in These Pastry Recipes," Hammond Times [IN], December 7, 1936 (p. 10)
    [NOTE: According to My Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, 5th edition, 1930, a "moderately hot" oven is 375-400 degrees F.]

    [1946]
    "Applesauce Cake.

    Sift: 1 cup sugar (white or closely packed brown)
    Beat until soft: 1/2 cup butter.
    Add the sugar gradually. Blend these ingredients until they are very light and creamy. Beat in:
    1 egg.
    Sift before measuring: 1 3/4 cups cake flour.
    Sift a little of the flour over: 1 cup raisins, 1 cup nut meats or currants
    Resift the remainder with: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves.
    Stir the sifted ingredients gradually into the butter mixture until the butter is smooth. Add the raisins and nut meats. Heat: 1 cup thick lightly sweetened applesauce.
    Beat into the batter. Bake the cake in a greased 9 inch tube pan in a moderate oven 350 degrees F. For about 40 minutes.
    Spread it with: Caramel icing.
    The flavoring may be varied by adding: 2 tablespoons cocoa.
    In that case deduct the same amount of flour."
    ---The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs-Merrill:Indianapolis] 1946 (p. 546)

    What about applesauce cookies?
    Our survey of American cookbooks indicates these first surfaced the early 1940s. Descriptions in early recipes indicate they were an offshoot from applesauce cake. Ingredients confirm:

    [1942]
    "Applesauce Cookies.

    1/2 c. Shortening
    1 c. Sugar
    1 c. Applesauce
    2 1/4 c. Flour
    1 tsp. Soda
    2 tsp. Baking powder
    1/4 tsp. Salt
    1/4 tsp. Cloves
    1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
    Make as Butter Cake...Drop on greased tins."
    ---Granddaughter's Inglenook Cookbook [Brethern Publishing House:Elgin IL] 1942 (p. 49)
    [NOTE: No temperature or time is provided in this recipe. "Butter Cake" recipe on page 38 also has apple spice variation.]

    [1942]
    "Applesauce Cookies

    Flour, 2 cups
    Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
    Nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon
    Cloves, 1/2 teaspoon
    Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
    Raisins, chopped, 1 cup
    Nuts, chopped, 1 cup
    Shortening, 1/2 cup
    Sugar, 1 cup
    Applesauce, 1 cup
    Soda, 1 teaspoon
    Egg, well beaten, 1
    Sift flour; measure; add salt and spices; sift again. Add chopped nuts and raisins. Cream shortening; add sugar gradually and continue to beat until light. Stir the soda into the applesauce. Add well-beaten egg; combine with the creamed mixture. Add the dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 or 3 inches apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees F.) 15 to 20 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies."
    ---Woman's Home Companion Cook Book, Willa Roberts [P.F. Collier & Son:New York] 1942 (p. 807)


    Baba
    Baba (aka babka) is not one recipe, but several. According to the food historians baba doughs range from simple yeast-based mixtures to complicated alcohol-drenched pastry. The origin of this item (while sketchy) is generally attributed to Slavic peoples. Plenty of legends surround the introduction/invention of "Baba au Rhum." Not so for basic baba. Notes here:

    "Babas, cakes, and pastries were adopted by the Russians only in the eighteenth century, although yeast had been used in Russia since ancient times. German and Polish influences are particularly strong in this type of baking. It is perhaps not surprising that Americans are unfamiliar with the variety of babas and kuliches that were well known to Molokhovets [Russian cookbook author, 1861]--Russian cookbooks for Americans rarely contain more than a single recipe for each kind of yeast cake. But Russian cooks also are in danger of losing this aspect of their culianry heritage, which now appears mostly in specialized books on baking. In part, the nomenclature has changed (pirogi has broadened in meaning), but mostly altered tastes and circumstances have diminished the interest in baking."
    ---Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives, translated and introduced by Joyce Toomre [Indiana University Press:Bloomington] 1992 (p. 398)
    [NOTE: This book contains several recipes for mid-19th century babas. Your librarian can help you obtain a copy.]

    "Baba. A sweetened bread or cake made from a rich dough, baked in tall, cylindrical moulds. The shape is Slavic in origin, and of great antiquity. The 12th-century Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus describes a Baltic pagan harvest-festival bread as a 'cake, prepared with mead, round in form and standing nearly as high as a person'. The word means 'old woman' or 'grandmother' and refers to the vertical form, and anthopomorphic usage similar to the derivation of pretzel and bracelli, because the twist of dough resembles folded arms...If the shape is Slavic in origin, the same may not be true of the actual recipe--it has been suggested by Lesley Chamberlain...that this came from Italy: "The recipe for it probably came to Poland from Italy in the sixteenth century via Queen Bona, as a transplant of the Milanese panettone. Since then much ritual has surrounded the baking of this fragile masterpiece. Precious pastrycooks declared it needed to rest on an eiderdown before it went in the oven, after which baking took place in an atmosphere of maternity. Men were forbidden to center the kitchen and no one was allowed to speak above a whisper."...there are rival claims from the Ukraine. Savella Stechishin...says that baba or babka is one of the most distinctive of all Ukranian breads, traditionally served at Easter. The name 'baba' is the colloquial Ukranian word for woman or grandma, while 'babka' is a diminutive of the same word. (The name 'babka' is more commonly used, as the modern loaves are smaller and the name sounds dantier.)...Stechishin speculates that the baba-bread may have originated in prehistoric times when a matriarchal system existed in the Ukraine...the baba's homeland is generally regarded as being W. Russia and Poland. It is related to other Russian festive breads of cakes, such as Easter kulich...or the krendal which is baked in a figure-of-eight shape to celebrate name days. They, however, are fortified with dried fruits and nuts, while the baba was originaly plain. Polish and Ukranian recipes commonly include other flavors (from ingredients such as saffron, almond, cheese, raisins). Other additions, noticeable in the Baba au rhum and other versions which are now part of the international repertoire, consist in adding dried fruits and...soaking the cake in an alcoholic syrup...after it has been made. These changes seem to have been made in France after the baba emigrated westwards to Alsace and Lorraine. This had happened in 1767 (when the term first appears as a French word) and the baba eventaully became a well-known French confection...To make a baba, yeast is mixed to a liquid batter with flour, eggs, and milk; this is allowed to rise, and then melted butter is beaten in. As for other yeast-risen cakes, much beating is necessary to impart air to the mixture. More eggs are used than in a brioche dough...and the recipe delays the addition of butter until after the first rise to enable the yeast to work to its full effect."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 46-7)

    "A baba is an open-textured, yeast-leavened cake, sometimes including raisins, and moistened with rum and sugar syrup. The first reference to it in English is by L.E. Ude, in French Cook (1828). Its origins, which are Polish, have been richly embroidered. It is said to have been invented by King Stanislas Leczinski, whose favorite reading was the Thousand and One Nights, and who consequently named his creation after the character Ali Baba. Less apocryphal, perhaps, is the story that it was introduced into Western Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the Parisian pastrycook Sthorer, who encountered it amongst members of the Polish court then visiting France. However that may be, the word itself represents Polish baba, literally 'old woman'..."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 14)

    "Baba au Rhum (Romovaya baba). Although the romovaya baba has been adopted into the classical French cuisine, its roots are Slavic, as it was created at the court of the deposed Polish king Stanislaw Leszczynski. The word baba is a pejorative term for "old lady" (the original shape of the cake was said to resemble an old woman in skirts), but the dessert's whimsical moniker belies its true elegance."
    ---A Taste of Russia: Traditional Recipes from Russia, Darra Goldstein [Robert Hale:London] 1985 (p. 93)

    [1828] Ude's recipe
    "Baba.

    Dilute this paste the same as the brioche. Take eight grains of saffron, which infuse in a little water, and then pour out this water into the paste; add two glasses of Madeira, some currants, raisins, and a little sugar; then make the cakes as you do the brioches. You must butter the mould when you put them in; the oven must be moderately hot, as the babas must remain a long time in; after one hour you must look at them, and preserve the colour by putting some paper over them."
    ---The French Cook, Louis Eustache Ude, photoreprint of the 1828 ed. published by Carey, Lea and Carey, Philadelphia, [Arco Publishing:New York] 1978 (p. 406)

    What is the relationship between baba and savarin?
    "Savarin...is essentially an enriched yeast dough baked in a ring mould. A syrup with kirsch or rum is used to soak it whe cool, and the central hole may be filled with fruit or cream. There is also a solid, holeless form, mazarin, which is split and filled with cream. The savarin derived from the E. European baba, as naturalized in Alsace in the 18th century. What happened was that in the mid-or late 1840s one of the brothers Julien, Parisian patissiers, experimented with the baba in a slightly different form. He used the same dough, but removed the dried fruits and soaked the savarin in his own 'secret' syrup. He named his new confection in honour of the famous gastronomic writer Brillat-Savarin, although the name for it does not seem to have been recorded until the 1860s."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 697)

    Who was http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/b/brillat/savarin/b85p/part1.html"> Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and what did he write?

    [1869]
    "Savarin.

    Put 1 lb of sifted flour in basin;
    Make a hole in the middle, and put in 1/2 oz. of German yeast, and 1/4 gill of warm milk; mix it with the flour immediately surrounding it, about one quarter of the whole quantity, to make the sponge, and stand the basin in a warm place;
    When the sponge has risen to twice its original size, add 1 gill of warm milk and 2 eggs; work the contents of the basin with a spoon, and mix in another egg; then add 3/4 lb. of worked butter, 14 oz. salt, 1/2 oz. of sugar, and 1/2 gill more warm milk; continue working with a spoon, and adding one egg at a time, until 5 eggs have been used;
    Cut 2 oz. of candied orange peel in very small dice, and mix it in the paste;
    Butter a fluted cylinder-mould; strew a tablespoonful of chopped almonds on the butter, and half fill the mould with the paste; let it stand, and when it has risen to the top of the mould, put the savarin to bake in a moderate oven;
    When done, turn it out of the mould; let it cool for twenty minutes; pour over it some syrup, flavoured with Anisette; and serve."
    ---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated from the French and Adapted for English by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson, Low, Son, and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 503-4)

    [1874]
    "Savarin Cake.

    Put one pound of dried and sifted flour into a pan, and make a hollow in the centre. Dissolve half an ounce of German yeast in a small quantitiy of warm milk, and set the sponge by pouring this into the hollow, and beating into it with the fingers about a quarter of the flour. Sprinkle four over the batter thus made, put the basin in a warm place, and let the sponge rise slowly to twice its size. Work into it with a spoon or with the right hand a quarter of a pint of warm milk and two eggs, and add gradually three-quarters of a pound of butter beaten to a cream, half an ounce of salt dissolved in a little warm water, two ounces of powdered sugar, the eighth of a pint additional milk, and three more eggs. Lastly, add two ounces of candied peel cut small. The additions should be made very gradually, the eggs being put in one at a time, and the preparation being beaten well until it leaves the sides of the bowl easily. Butter the inside of a fluted mould rather thickly, and sprinkle a table-spoonful of blanched and chopped almonds on the butter. Beat the paste up again, and half fill the mould with it; let it stand in a warm place till it has risen level with the top of the mould. Tie a broad band of buttered paper round the top of the mould, to keep the paste from running over the sides, and bake the cake in a moderate oven. When done enough, turn it out carefully, run a skewer into several parts of it, and our over and into it a thick syrup flavoured with curacoa or any other suitable liquer. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the surface, and send to the table warm. Time to bake, one hour or more. Probable cost, 3s., exclusive of the liqueur. Sufficient for five or six persons."
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin:London] 1874 (p. 837)

    [1919]
    French Coffee Cake (Savarin)

    Related items? Bundt cake & gugelhopf, kulich, brioche & Sally Lunn.


    Banana bread
    Bananas have been around since the beginning of time. Sweet nut breads and cakes were eaten by the ancient Roman and Greeks. Who decided to combine these two foods? According to the food historians banana bread, as we know it today, is a relatively is a recent USA phenomenon.

    American banana recipes date to the late 19th century. These generally included salads, pies, fritters, and gelatin combinations. Recipes proliferate in the 20th century, a direct result of product availability. The earliest recipe we find titled "Banana bread" is dated 1849. It describes a product of West Indian culinary tradition. Early 20th century "banana cakes" were composed with sliced banana as either decoration or filling.

    Banana recipes began showing up in popular American Cookbooks in the 1880s. It is apparent that trendy Americans cooks were eager to include this new fruit in their meals. Most of the banana concoctions were simple adaptions of existing recipes. Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [1902] contains instructions for fried bananas, baked bananas, sliced bananas, banana pudding and banana cake in a special section titled "Hawaiian Recipes." Other cookbooks contain recipes for banana ice cream, bananas en surprise (mashed bananas with strawberries), fruit salads with bananas and, of course, Jell-O molds with bananas inside. The banana split was invented in 1904.

    Banana nut bread eventually became a mainstream staple item [ie included in many popular American cookbooks] by the 1920s. This coincided somewhat with the mass marketing of baking powder/soda, ingredients used to create "quick breads" [breads that did not require yeast]. Food companies deluged American consumers recipes to promote the use of their flour and baking soda products. Eventually these companies manufactured boxed mixes [Baking mixes were introduced in the late 1940s] for banana nut bread/muffins.

    Modern banana bread recipes, featuring mashed bananas, first surfaced in the 1930s. They assumed traditional forms (layer cakes, muffins, loaves) and were classified as quick bread, tea cake, or dessert. Some food historians theorize this recipe was "invented" by thrifty housewives who didn't want to throw out over-ripe bananas. Our evidence suggests the recipe was probably developed in corporate kitchens to promote the star ingredient. In the 1950s banana bread was actively promoted in nationally syndicated television cooking shows. 1960s health food activist Carlton Fredericks included banana-bran muffins in his ground-breaking cookbook. one full decade later this quick bread was actively promoted to the American public as health food. Think: Carrot cake and Zucchini bread.

    [1849]
    Banana Bread
    --is made of the fruit of the banana tree. This fruit is about four or five inches long, of the shape of a cucumber, and of a highly grateful flavour. They grow in bunches that weigh twelve pounds and upwards. The pulp of the banana tree is softer than that of the plantain tree, and of a more luscious taste. When ripe it is a very pleasant food, either undressed, or fried in slices like fritters. All classes of people in the West Indies are very fond of it. When preparing for a voyage, they take the ripe fruit and squeeze it through a sieve; then form the mass into loaves, which are dried in the sun, or baked on hot ashes, having been previously wrapped up in leaves."
    ---Complete Confectioner, Eleanor Parkinson

    [1902]
    "Banana Cake

    Beat to a cream a quarter of a cup of butter, add a half cup of sugar and one egg; when very light, stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough; roll into a thin sheet and line a square, shallow baking pan. Peel five good, ripe bananas, and chop them very fine; put them over the crust in a pan, sprinkle over a half cup of sugar, the pulp of five tamarinds soaked in a quarter of a cup of warm water; squeeze over the juice of two Japanese oranges, put over a tablespoonful of butter cut into pieces, a saltspoonful of mace, and two tablespoonfuls of thick cream. Grate over the top two small crackers, bake in a moderate oven a half hour, and cut into narrow strips to serve."
    ---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sara Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Phildadelphia] 1902 (p. 697)

    [1930]
    "Banana-Nut Bread

    1/4 cup shortening
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 beaten egg
    1 cup bran
    2 tablespoons water
    1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
    1 1/2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup chopped nut meats
    Cream shortening and sugar until smooth; add egg, then bran, and mix [sic] thoroly. Mix water with banana and add alternately with flour which has been sifted with baking powder, salt, and soda. Mix thoroly and add vanilla and nut meats. Place in greased 1-pound loaf pan and let stand 30 minutes. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) about 1 hour. This is delicious sliced thin and served with soft cream cheese."
    ---My New Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book [Meredith Publishing:Des Moines IA] 5th edition, 1930 (p. 10)

    [1931]
    "Banana Cake

    1/2 cup shortening
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup sour milk
    1 cup mashed bananas (2 or 3 bananas)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup cream, whipped and sweetened
    2 bananas sliced
    Cream shortening and add sugar gradually. Stir in the well-beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together, and add alternately wtih the sour milk and bananas, which have been mashed through a sieve. Flavor, pour into greased and floured layer cake pans, and bake thirty minutes in a moderate oven, 375 degrees F. When layers are cold, put together with whipped cream and sliced bananas, and spread whipped cream over top of cake. Garnish with slices of banana. Banana frosting may be used instead of the whipped cream."
    ---The New Banana, United Fruit Company [Fruit Dispatch Co.:New York] 1931 (p. 15)
    [NOTE: This booklet also offers recipes for Banana Tea Cake, Banana Muffins and Banana Bran Muffins. None of these use mashed bananas.]

    [1933]
    Banana nut bread

    Recipe makes 1 large loaf, 8X4X2
    Temperature: 350 degrees F.; Time: about 1 1/4 hours
    2 cups Pillsbury's Best flour
    1/2 teaspoon soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 cup chopped nutmeats
    1/2 cup Pillsbury's Wheat Bran
    1/4 cup shortening
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons thick sour cream
    1 1/2 cup mashed bananas
    1. Sift flour, soda, salt and baking powder together; stir in nut meats and wheat bran.
    2. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
    3. Combine mashed bananas and sour cream; add alternately with flour to first mixture.
    4. Bake in a greased loaf pan lines with waxed paper, in a moderate oven."
    ---Balanced Recipes, Pillsbury Flour Mills Company, Minneapolis, MN [1933] (breads, recipe #3)

    [1942]
    Banana tea bread

    1 3/4 cups sifted flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup shortening
    2/3 cups sugar
    2 eggs, well beaten
    1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 bananas)
    Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Beat shortening until creamy in mixing bowl. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with bananas, a small about at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Turn into a well-greased bread pan (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3 inches) and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) About 1 hour 10 minutes or until bread is done. Makes 1 loaf.
    ---Bananas...how to serve them, Home Economics Dept. Fruits Dispatch Company United Fruit Company, Distributors of United Fruit Company Bananas, Pier 3, North River, New York [1942] (Recipe 11, p. 14)

    "Banana Bran Nut Bread
    1 egg, well beaten
    1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (4-5 bananas)
    1/4 cup melted shortening
    1 cup bran
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup broken nuts
    Use fully ripe or all-yellow bananas
    Comnbine egg, bananas, shortening and bran. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar. Add nut meats and mix well. Add to banana mixture, mixing only enough to dampen all flour. Turn into a well-greased bread pan (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3 inches) and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about 1 hour 10 minutes or until bread is done. Makes 1 loaf."
    ---ibid (Recipe 12, p. 14)
    [NOTES: (1)This corporate cooking booklet also offers recipes for Banana Raisin Tea Bread, Banana Nut Tea Bread, Banana Date Tea Bread, Banana Dutch Coffee Cake, Banana Tea Muffins, Banana Bran Muffins, Banana Spice Layer Cake, Banana Shortcake, Banana Nut Cake, Banana Cup Cakes, Banana Doughnuts, banana Drop Cookies, Banana Oatmeal Cookies, & Banana Upside-Down Cake. (2) Most of these recipes were reprinted in this booklet: Chiquita Banana's Recipe Book, Home Economics Department, United Fruit Company [United Fruit Company:New York] 1950(p. 22).]

    [1944]
    "Banana Tea Bread

    1 3/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
    2 teasp. baking powder
    1/4 teasp. baking soda
    1/2 teasp. salt
    1/3 c. shortening
    2/3 c. granulated sugar
    2 eggs, well-beaten
    1 c. mashed, ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
    Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt. Work shortening with a spoon until fluffy and creamy, then add sugar gradually while continuing to work with a spoon, until light. Add eggs and beat well with a spoon. Add flour mixture alternately with the bananas, a small amount at a time, beating smooth with a spoon, after each addition. Turn into a greased or oiled loaf pan about 9" X 5" X 3". Bake in a moderate oven of 350 degrees F. for 1 hour 10 min., or until done. 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, or 1 c. chopped dates may be added."
    ---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, completely revised edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1942, 1944 (p. 482)

    [1957]
    "Holiday Banana Bread

    1 3/4 cups flour
    2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup shortening
    2/3 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    3 or 4 ripe bananas
    1/2 cup chopped nuts
    1/4 cup seedless raisins
    1 cup mixed candied fruit
    Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat shortening until creamy. Add sugar and eggs to shortening and beat for 1 minute at medium speed. Add 3 or 4 ripe bananas to the egg mixture and mix until blended. Add chopped nuts, raisins and mixed candied fruit. Now add the flour mixture and blend at a low speed for 30 seconds. Do not overbeat. Place in a well-greased loaf pan and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until bread is done."
    ---Cooking at Home, television show hosted by Nancyann Graham and Chef Phillip, NBC-TV [Dell Publishing:New York] 1957 (p. 109)

    [1960]
    "Banana-Bran Muffins

    1 cup sifted whole-wheat, unbleached, or enriched flour
    2 tablespoons skim-milk solids
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup whole bran
    1 egg, beaten
    3 tablespoons dark molasses
    2 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
    1/4 cup milk
    1 cup mashed ripe banana
    2 tablespoons oil or melted shortening
    Sift together the flour, baking powder, milk solids, and salt. Stir in bran and distribute well. Combine egg, molasses, milk, banana, and shortening, add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir briskly to blend. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 to 15."
    ---The Carlton Fredericks Cook Book For Good Nutrition, Carlton Fredericks, PH.D. [J.B. Lippincott Company:Philadelphia] 1960 (p. 203-204)

    [1971]
    "Banana Tea Bread

    1 3/4 whole-wheat pastry flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder (any kind that does not contain aluminum)
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup oil or butter
    2 tablespoons yogurt
    2/3 cup honey
    1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (approximately 3)
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix dry ingredients. Cream oil, yogurt, and hone together. Add dry ingredients to the oil-honey mixture alternately with mashed bananas. Beat after each addition until smooth. Pour into oiled bread pan. Bake 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan. Cool 30 minutes on wire rack. Slice and serve. Yield: 1 loaf."
    ---The Peter Max New Age Organic Vegetarian Cook Book, Peter Max and Ronwen Vathsala Proust [Pyramid Books:New York] 1971 (p. 86)

    [1973]
    "Banana Bread

    a 5" X 9" loaf of 12 slices
    1 slice=approx. 4 grams of usable protein
    9% to 11% of average daily protein need
    This is a rich loaf, and delicious served warm. Cut it carefully and spread with ricotta or cream cheese. And if there's any let over, toast it for breakfast.
    1/4 cup butter
    2/3 cup honey
    *3 eggs, beaten
    1 cup mashed banana pulp (from about 3 small bananas)
    1/3 cup water
    1 tsp vanilla
    *1/4 cup milk powder (1/3 cup instant)
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    *2 cups whole wheat flour
    (walnuts and raisins-optional)
    (1) Cream the butter and honey (with an electric mixer, if possible) until light; beat in the eggs, banana pulp, water, and vanilla.
    (2) Stir together the dry ingredients; stir them into the first mixture, blending with as few strokes as possible.
    (3) Stir in 1 cup walnuts and 1/2 to 1 cup raisins, if desired.
    (4) Turn the batter into an oiled loaf lan; bake at 325 degrees F. for about 1 hour, until well browned and a tester comes out clean.
    ---Recipes for a Small Planet, Ellen Buchman Ewald [Ballantine Books:New York] 1973(p. 253-254)

    [1975]
    "Banana Nut Bread

    Another extremely popular baking-soda fruit bread, rich in flavor and rather tight in texture, this is more banana-y than the one that follows. It is extraordinarily good for small sandwiches or as a breakfast or luncheon bread, and it makes excellent toast. The top may crack during baking, but that is of no great consequence.
    [1 large loaf]
    1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup honey
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (3 heavy ones should do it)
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup sliced nuts, almonds or your choice
    Cream the butter with a wooden spoon. Add the sugar and honey and beat till creamy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, then thoroughly mix in the bananas. Sift together the flour, soda, and salt and blend thoroughly into the mixture. Finally fold in the nuts. Butter a 12 X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2-inch loaf tin and pour in the batter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven 1 hour, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean."
    ---Beard on Bread, James Beard [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1975 (p. 170)
    [NOTE: Banana Bread recipe on p. 171 is, according the headnote, "lighter and perhaps more flavorful..."]

    Related foods? Cranberry bread, Pumpkin bread, Zucchini bread & Carrot cake.


    Beet cake (aka Chocolate beet cake)
    A few weeks ago we published our notes on
    Red Devils Food Cake (what makes it red) and a reader responded "the beets!" Our survey of recipes published in historic newspapers and cookbooks confirms WWII-era cake recipes sometimes substituted beet sugar for rationed white granules. The earliest print recipe we find combining beets and chocolate cake is from 1965. We find no evidence in our Russian/Ukrainian/Central European cookbooks supporting this recipe originated in those cuisines. It seems to be a purely American invention. Print evidence suggests it originated in the Midwest area, in the heart of beet growing region. Makes perfect sense, yes? Below please find selected recipes through time. If you have an older recipe, please let us know!.
    [1965]
    A Chocolate Beet Cake

    1 1/2 cups beets, cooked and mash-ed and put through sieve and measured
    3 eggs
    1 cup salad oil
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 3/4 cups flour
    2 squares melted chocolate
    1 1/2 teaspoons soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 tablespoon vanilla
    Sift dry Ingredients together. Add all other Ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bake In layers or loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. (Note: This is a very moist cake and actually tastes better the second day.) "
    ---"Magic Valley Favorites," Mrs. G. L. Schroeder, Twins Falls Times News [Twins Falls ID], May 5, 1965 (p. 10)

    [1971]
    "DEAR NAN: Here is my "Red Beet Chocolate Cake" for the lady who wanted one that didn't call for food coloring. This one is a pretty red and so moist. Cream 1 1/2 cups sugar with 3 eggs. Add 1 cup salad oil, 3/4 cups sieved beets and 2 squares of chocolate, melted. (I blend beets with oil for easier mixing.) Sift together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teasp. soda and 1/2 teasp. salt. Add that, then 1 teasp. vanilla. Bake in two layers in a 350 oven for 20-25 minutes.-Mrs. Lloyd B. Carlyle."
    ---"Unusual Red Beet Cake a Surprise," Nan Wiley, Ogden Standard-Examiner [UT], July 11, 1971 (p. 15C)

    [1978]
    Red Beet Chocolate Cake

    Makes 16 servings
    Ingredients:
    1 3/4 cups flour (try using half wholewheat
    flour and half white flour!)
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup canola oil
    2 cups beets, mashed or puréed
    6 Tablespoons powdered cocoa
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Confectioner's sugar (optional)

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Oil or spray a 13- x 9-inch baking pan (or whatever size is available).
    3. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cocoa, and salt.
    4. In another mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and oil. Beat until smooth.
    5. Add beets and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
    6. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating well after each addition.
    7. Pour into oiled or sprayed baking pan.
    8. Bake for 25 minutes (until a knife inserted comes out clean)
    9. Cool in pan.
    10. Optional: Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar."
    Source: Farm Journal's Choice Chocolate Recipes, Elise W. Manning, Farm Journal, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, 1978

    [1979]
    "Unknown to me, although I try to keep up with cooking trends, chocolate cake recipes calling for beets--yes, beets--have been making the rounds. My first encounter with such a recipe was about a month ago in a book just off the press,'Farm Journal's Choice Chocolate Recipes,' Edited by Farm Journal's Food Editor, Elise Manning, and published by Doubleday. A few weeks later I came across a chocolate beet cake recipe again, this time a prize-winner in a collection of favorite recipes submitted by newspaper readers. Curious about the origin of the idea, I phoned my friend Elise in Philadelphia to ask her what she know about it. Her's what she told me: 'In 1978 we ran a request in Farm Journal for our readers' favorite chocolate recipes. The response for such a special subject was great--between 18,000 and 20,000 entries. In the cake category, at least 15 of the recipes were for chocolate beet cakes. When I tested the best recipes for our chocolate book, I found a Red Beet Chocolate Cake form a Missouri woman deserved to be included.' The idea of a cake with beets in it sounded like fun to me, a mystery cake to serve to friends and ask them to guess its secret ingredient. So I worked out a version without chocolate--a beet spice cake.

    'Beet Spice Cake
    1 3/4 cup fork-stirred all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup corn oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 large eggs
    1 cup lightly packed shredded canned whole beets, Note follows
    1/2 cup currants
    1/2 cup chopped (medium-fine) walnuts
    Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and allspice. Beat together sugar, oil and vanilla until blended; beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in flour mixture, in several additions, until smooth each time.Stir in beets, currants and walnuts. Turn into an oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 -inch loaf pan; bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean--1 hour. Loosen edges and turn out on a rack. Cake will have a crack on top and crust will be crisp. To soften crust, place in a plastic bag; secure tightly; let stand overnight at room temperature."
    ---"Beets Turn Up in Mystery Spice Cake, Cecily V. Brownstone, Associated Press Food Editor, Los Angeles Times, April 12, 1979 (p. I44)

    [1983--Harvard Beet Cake]
    "Chocolate cake made with Harvard beets? May sound unusual, but this recipe turns out a moist, delicious cake that retains its freshness. For a striking note, bake the cake in layers and fill with canned cherry pie filling, then finish with snowy cream cheese.

    Harvard Beet Cake
    2/3 cup butter
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup water
    2/3 cup canned Harvard beets, drained
    1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
    Cream sugar and butter. Beat eggs and vanilla and add to creamed mixture. Fine chop the beets and stir into batter. Pour into two eight-inch layer pans or one 9X13 pan, lightly greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. As a layer cake, fill with cherry pie filling and frost top and sides with cream cheese frosting. Chill before serving.
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
    1/2 stick butter
    1 box powdered sugar
    Cream cheese and butter. Add sugar, gradually, beating until creamy."
    ---"Neat Feat: Beet Treat," Philadelphia Tribune, May 3, 1983 (p. 19)

    [1996]
    "The name of this recipe should be "quizzical cake ." That's the look most people give after finding out that the main ingredient in Vicky Schmitz's chocolate cake is pureed beets . Beets lend moisture and sweetness to Schmitz's dense chocolate cake with hints of cinnamon and clove. Schmitz first baked the cake nine years ago for her birthday. "The recipe sounded so unusual, but it's the best thing I've ever baked, and it's foolproof," she said. Schmitz, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (a nonprofit group that builds and renovates low-income housing), recently served her spiced chocolate - beet cake dripping with bittersweet chocolate sauce to a volunteer construction crew on the West Side. Most of the volunteers were surprised to learn about the cake 's secret ingredient. And Schmitz went home with an empty plate. Irene Bogdan also likes to see the surprised expressions on her guests' faces when she serves her chocolate - beet cake . "I usually wait until someone asks for seconds before I tell them they are eating beets ," Bogdan said. Published in Who's Cooking What in Illinois (1978), Bogdan's recipe calls for fresh beets , but canned can be substituted when fresh aren't available. E.B., who requested a recipe for chocolate cake made with beets , should be pleased with either version....

    Spiced chocolate beet cake
    MAKES 14 SERVINGS
    4 (16-ounce) cans beets , drained
    3 1/2 cups flour
    4 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    6 eggs
    2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
    5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate , melted and cooled
    1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Chocolate glaze:
    6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Dash of salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1. To prepare cake : Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and set aside. Finely puree beets in a food processor or blender; set aside.
    2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon; set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until pale and frothy, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar, brown sugar and oil.
    4. Stir pureed beets into the egg mixture. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until thoroughly combined. Fold in melted chocolate and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
    5. Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 350-degree oven until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.
    6. Turn cake upside down onto a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours.
    7. Make the glaze: Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir in butter and corn syrup. Gradually stir in cream. Continue stirring over simmering water until well-blended, about 1 minute. Add vanilla, salt and cinnamon.
    8. Turn cake right side up and loosen from pan with a knife. Turn upside down and release. Return cake , right side up, to the wire rack. Slide wax paper under the rack and pour glaze over cake . Chill cake until glaze is set, about 30 minutes. Vicky Schmitz, Brookfield

    Chocolate - beet cake
    Makes 12 servings
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups pureed cooked beets
    2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
    1 3/4 cups flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Confectioners' sugar or icing
    1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add oil, pureed beets and melted chocolate; mix until combined.
    2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Stir in vanilla and mix until combined.
    3. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.
    4. Let cake cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar or frost with your favorite icing. Irene Bogdan, Libertyville."
    ---"Very up beet - Rich chocolate cake holds a sweet surprise," Lezli Bitterman, Chicago Sun-Times, August 28, 1996

    Related cakes? Red Devil, Tomato Soup (aka Mystery), Red Velvet & Armadillo (grooms cake).


    Birthday cake
    Cakes were eaten to celebrate birthdays long before they were called "birthday cakes." Food historians confirm ancient bakers made cakes (and specially shaped breads) to mark births, weddings, funerals, harvest celebrations, religious observances, and other significant events. Recipes varied according to era, culture, and cuisine. Cakes were usually saved for special occasions because they were made with finest, most expensive ingredients available to the cook. The wealthier one was, the more likely one might consume cake on a more frequent basis.

    The birthday cakes we enjoy today are inventions of the 19th century. These were enjoyed by middle and upper classes. People with less money and poorly stocked larders also made birthday cakes. Their were not quite the light, fluffy iced concoctions served by their wealthier contemporaries. In all places and times, cooks blessed with creativity and "make do" spirit generated some pretty fine foods in the name of love. This was also true in War time.

    The practice of eating cake on a regular basis by "average people" became possible in the 19th century. Why? The Industrial Revolution made many baking ingredients more affordable (mass-production) and readily available (railroads). It also introduced modern leavening agents, (baking soda, baking powder), a variety of cheaper substitutions (corn syrup for sugar; margarine for butter), and more reliable ovens.

    Cake history expert Simon R. Charlsey makes this observation:

    "Birthday cakes might still in the nineteenth century be of the same kind [as wedding cakes], but as their use spread, their composition became typically simpler. For preference of the child or other person celebrating, or of the cook, or whatever the confectioner had used for a decorated shop cake."
    ---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:London] 1992 (p. 61)

    "The dominant English culture in America shaped birthday patterns for some time. Colonial birthdays were enjoyed by privileged adults, who feasted well, or at the very least, shared a glass of wine and a small slice of fruitcake with friends. Children's parties echoed the adult formats...In the new age of democracy, birthdays did not remain class-limited. As the nineteenth century progressed, a number of factors reshaped the events. The growth of industry, elevated urban material standards, and emering middle class culture amde more elaborate birthday celebrations increasingly attractive. Changing notions of the nature of childhood stimulated a new style of young people's parties...Ice cream and cake became defining elements, whether after a meal or as the centerpiece of a party...Although fruitcakes and rich, yeasted cakes were the traditional English festive cakes, the modern form of birthday cake originated in American kitchens in the mid-nineteenth century. In contrast to their European counterparts, American women were active home bakers, largely because of the abundance of oven fuel in the New World and the sparsity of professional bakers. By the late 1800s, home bakers were spurred further by several innovations. The cast-iron kitchen stove, complete with its own quickly heated oven, became standard equipment in urban middle-class homes. Women in towns had more discretionary time, compared to farm-women, and they had an expanding social life that required formal and informal hospitality. Sugar, butter, spice, and flour costs were dropping. Improved chemical leavening agents, baking powder among them, enabled simpler and faster baking and produced a cake of entirely different flavor and texture. A cake constructed in layers, filled and frosted, became the image of the standard birthday cake. One observer of the early 1900s compared bubbly soap lather to "the fluffiness of a birthday cake" and snowy, frost covered hills to iced birthday cakes...Writing on birthday cakes began with professional bakers and caterers, who were proliferating in growing cities. The cakes of the late 1800s were decorated with inscriptions like "Many Happy Returns of the Day" and the celebrant's name, a tradition that continues into the twenty-first century. Sometimes the cake was home-baked but then decorated by a specialist...The phrase "Happy Birthday" did not appear on birthday cake messages until the popularization of the now-ubiquitous song "Happy Birthday to You" (1910). Cookbook authors began to recommend decorating with birth dates and names and offered instruction on how to make colored frostings...By 1958, A.H. Vogel had begun to manufacture preformed cake decorations. Inexpensive letters, numbers, and pictorial images, such as flowers or bow, with matching candleholders were standard supermarket offerings."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 99-100)

    "Small, colored candles became an integral part of the American birthday cake. An American style guide of 1889 directed, "At birthday parties, the birthday cake, with as many tiny colored candles set about its edge as the child is years old, is, of course, of special importance." The modern use of candles on a special cake may be connected to the German tradition of Kinderfest, dating from the fifteenth century, a time when people believed that on birthdays children were particularly susceptible to evil spirits. Friends and family gathered around protectively, keeping the cake's candles lit all day until after the evening meal, when the cake was served. The candles were thought to carry one's wished up to God. This German observance was brought to colonial Pennsylvania and was later reinforced by the influence of British-German fashions from Queen Victoria's court."
    ---ibid (p. 99)

    American cookbooks bear this out. In the last quarter of the 19th century, we find a veritable explosion of simple cake recipes. Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book [1871] contains several of these items. Many have inventive names. Curiously? None of them are called "birthday cake." The recipes provided by Mrs. Porter that are most like today's birthday cakes are: "Silver cake," "Gold cake," and "Little Folks' Joys."

    [1871]
    "Little Folks' Joys

    One cupful of white sugar, one cupful of rich sour cream, one egg, two cupsful of flour, half a teaspoonful of soda, and flavor to taste; bake about half an hour; nicest eaten fresh and warm."
    ---Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book, Mrs. M.E. Porter, 1871 , [Promentory Press:New York] 1974 (p. 242)
    [1878]
    "Birthday Cakes

    Into a pound of dried flour, put four oucnes of butter, flour ounces of sugar, one egg, a tea-spoonful of baking powder, and sufficient milk to wet to a paste. Put in currants, and cut in cakes. Sprinkle colored caraway seeds on top, and bake them a light brown."
    ---Jennie June's American Cookery Book, Mrs. J. C. Croly [Aemrican New Company:New York] 1878 (p. 203)

    [1906]
    "Birthday Cakes for Children.

    One and one-half cups of sugar, a half-cup of butter or clarified drippings, two eggs, one cup of milk, two cups flour, one teaspoon baking powder, one-half teaspoonful of vanilla. Beat together the butter and sugar, add the eggs, then the flour, baking-powder and nutmeg sifted together. Place in small well-greased tins and just before putting into the oven drop a few seeded raisins on top of each cake. Spread on the top a few drops of boiled icing and on top of these some colored candies or cinnamon drops, as they are favorites with the little folks. Aunt Mary."
    ---The Blue Ribbon Cook Book, Annie R. Gregory [Monarch Book Company:Chicago] 1906 (p. 258)

    [1911]
    Fannie Merritt Farmer's Catering for Special Occasions devotes an entire chapter to "Birthday feasting." Adult menus do not include cake. Child menus do. Ms. Farmer suggests children's parties include Angel Birthday Cake and Sunshine Birthday Cake. Both are simple, iced angel cakes. The difference? Sunshine cake is a little richer. This recipe includes yolks and almond extract. Recipes here:

    Angel cake
    Whites 5 eggs
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/2 cup bread flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Beat whites of eggs until stiff and dry and add gradually, while beating constantly, sugar (fine granulated) mixed and sifted with cream of tartar. Sift flour into mixture, add vanilla, and cut and fold until blended. Turn into a buttered and floured angel-cake pan and bake in a moderate oven. Remove from pan, cover with White Mountain Frosting, and ornament with small candles placed in flower cases. The little cases may be bought of first-class city grocers or dealers in confectioners' supplies."
    ---Catering for Special Occasions, Fannie Merritt Farmer [David McKay:Philadelphia] 1911 (p. 222)
    [NOTE: Ms. Farmer's the candle decoration notes suggest this practice was primarily enjoyed by wealthy people in 1911. Many middle/laboring-class families and isolated farm cooks could not afford to purchase goods from first-class city grocers or specialty suppliers.]

    Sunshine Birthday Cake
    Whites 5 eggs
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Yolks 3 eggs
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    1/2 cup pastry flour

    Add salt to whites of eggs and beat until light. Sift in cream of tartar and beat until stiff. Beat yolks of eggs until thick and lemon colored and add two heaping beaten whites. To remaining whites add gradually sugar measured after five siftings. Add almond extract and combine mixtures. Cut and fold in flour measured after five siftings. Bake in angel-cake pan, first dipped in cold water, in a slow oven one hour. Have a pan of hot water in oven during the baking, Remove from pan, frost and decorate, same as Angel Birthday Cake."
    ---Catering for Special Occasions, (p. 228-9)

    White Mountain Frosting
    1 cup sugar
    1/3 cup boiling water
    1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
    Whites 2 eggs
    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 dripped 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. This frosting is soft inside and has a glossy surface."
    ---Catering for Special Occasions, (p. 222)

    Contrast the above recipes with this pioneer-era birthday cake [Texas 1851]

    "Pioneer Birthday Cake
    This recipe was used to make a birthday cake for a small girl eighty-five years ago. There was no flour to be had, and corn was ground on a handmill. The meal was carefully emptied from one sack to another, and fine meal dust clinging to the sack was carefully shaken out on paper; the sack was again emptied and shaken, and the process was repeated labouriously time after time until two cupsful of meal dust was obtained. The rest of the ingredients were as follows: 1/2 cup of wild honey, 1 wild turkey egg, 1 teaspoonful of homemade soda, 1 scant cupful of sour milk and a very small amount of butter, to all of which was added the meal dust. The batter was poured into a skillet with a lid, and placed over the open fire in the yard, the skillet lid being heaped with coals. To a little girl's childish taste the cake was very fine, but looking back through the years, the nonoree said relfectively, "It was none too sweet."
    ---Cooking Recipes of the Pioneer, Bandera Library Association [Frontier Times:Bandera TX] 1936 (p. 23)


    Pound cake
    Food historians generally agree that pound cake is a Northern European recipe named for the equal weight of its ingredients. Recipes printed in contemporary American cookbooks follow the same general proportions. The "pound" connection is not obvious today because we now measure with cups, not weight. American cookbooks printed in the early decades of the 20th century helped cooks bridge the gap by including both sets of measurements.

    Historic evidence confirms recipes for pound cake first surface in 18th century English and American cookbooks. Then, as now, there were variations on the recipe. Early recipes sometimes included alcohol and currants. Many are flavored with a hint lemon. Then, as now, proportions varied. Many recipes for pound cake call for more or less than a pound! Cup cakes & 1234 cake are related.

    "Pound-cake. A rich cake so called as originally containing a pound (or equal weight) of each of the principal ingredients, flour, butter, sugar, fruit, etc."
    ---Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. Volume XII (p. 247)

    "Pound cake. A Plain white-cake loaf whose name derives from the traditional weight of the ingredients--one pound of flour, one pound of butter, one pound of sugar, and one pound of eggs--although these measurements are generally not followed in most modern recipes. Its first printed mention was in 1740 according to Webster's Ninth, and it has remained a popular and simple cake to make to this day."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 254)

    "Pound cake a cake of creamed type, is so named because the recipe calls for an equal weight of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs; in old recipes, a pound of each, making a large, rich cake...Pound cake has been favoured in both Britain and the USA for over two centuries. Recipes for it were already current early in the 19th century...The German Sandtorte is similar to pound cake; and a French cake, quatre quarts (four quarters), uses the same principles..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 631)

    [1747]
    "To make a Pound Cake

    Take a Pound of Butter, beat it in an earthen Pan, with your Hand one Way, till it is like a fine thick Cream; then have ready twelve Eggs, but half the Whites, beat them well, and beat them up with the Butter, a Pound of Flour beat in it, and a Pound of Sugar, and a few Carraways; beat it all well together for an Hour with your Hand, or a great wooden Spoon. Butter a Pan, and put it in and bake it an Hour in a quick Oven. For Change, you may put in a Pound of Currants cleaned wash'd and pick'd."
    ---The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 London reprint [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 ( p. 139)
    [NOTE: this book has been reprinted in recent years. If you want to study other cake recipes from this time period ask your librarian to help you find a copy of this and colonial American cook books. You might also want to compare this recipe with modern ones]

    [1803]
    Pound Cake, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter

    [1817]
    "A Pound cake, plain.

    Beat a pound of butter in an earthen pan till it is like a thick cream, then beat in nine whole eggs till it is quite light. Put in a glass of brandy, a little lemon-peel shred fine; then pork in a pound and a quarter of flour. Put it into your hoop or pan, and bake it for one hour."
    ---The Female Instructor or Young Woman's Guide to Domestic Happiness, [Thomas Kelly:London] 1817 (p. 462)

    [1824]
    "Pound cake.

    Wash the salt from a pound of butter and rub it till it is soft as cream, have ready a pound of flour sifted, one pound of powdered sugar, and twelve eggs well beaten; put alternately into the butter, sugar, flour, and the froth from the eggs; continuing to beat them together till all the ingredients are in, and the cake quite light; add some grated lemon peel, a nutmeg, and a gill of brandy; butter the pans and bake them. This cake makes an excellent pudding if baked in a large mould, and eaten with sugar and wine. It is also excellent when boiled, and served up with melted butter, sugar, and wine."
    ---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 161)

    [1845]
    "Plain Pound or Currant Cake.

    Or rich Brawn Brack, or Borrow Brack.
    Mix, as directed in the foregoing receipt, ten eggs (some cooks take a pound in weight of these), one pound of sugar, one of flour, and as much of butter. For a plum-cake, let the butter be worked to a cream; add the sugar to it first, then the yolks of the eggs, next stir lightly in the whites, after which, add one pound of currants and the candied peel, and, last of all, the flour by degrees, and a glass of brandy when it is liked. Nearly or quite two hours'baking will be required for this, and one hour for half the quantity. To convert the above inot the popular speckled bread,' or Brawn Brack of the richer kind, add to it three ounces of carraway-seeds: these are sometimes used in combination with the currants, but more commonly without. To ice a cake see the reciept for Sugar Glazings at the commencement of this Chapter, page 449. A roase-tint may be given to the icing with a little prepared cochineal, as we have said there."
    ---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton [1845], with an Introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993 (p. 451)

    [1857]
    Pound cake, Great Western Cook Book, Anna Maria Collins

    [1861]
    Pound cake, Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton (recipe 1770)

    [1884]
    Pound cake, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln

    [1896]
    Pound cake, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Farmer

    [1908]
    "Pound Cake.

    The old rule--and there is none better--calls for one pound each of butter, sugar and flour, ten eggs and a half wine glass of wine and brandy. Beat the butter to a cream and add gradually a pound of sugar, stirring all the while. Beat ten eggs without separating until they become light and foamy. Add gradually to the butter and sugar and beat hard. Sift in one pound sifted flour and add the wine and brandy. Line the cake pans with buttered paper and pour in the well beaten mixture. Bake in a moderate oven. This recipe may be varied by the addition of raisins, seeded and cut in halves, small pieces of citron or almonds blanched and pounded in rose water. Some old fashioned housekeepers always add a fourth of a teaspoon of mace. The mixture may be baked in patty tins or small round loaves, if preferred, putting currants into some, almonds or raisins in the rest. Pound acake is apt to be lighter baked in this way. The cakes may be plain or frosted, and they will grow richer with the keeping in placed in stone jars."
    ---The New York Evening Telegram Cook Book, Emma Paddock Telford [Cupples & Leon:New York] 1908 (p. 126)

    [1926]
    "Pound Cake

    3/4 lb butter
    3/4 lb sugar (sifted three times)
    3/4 lb flour (sifted three times
    1 tablespoon whisky
    9 eggs
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Pinch salt
    Cream together butter and sugar very light and creamy. Stir in whisky. Add well-beaten egg yolks. Add salt and vanilla. Add alternately flour and stiffly-beaten egg whites. Add baking powder to last flour. Begin the baking in slow oven, increase heat as baking progresses, one to one and a quarter hours."
    ---Every Woman's Cook Book, Mrs. Chas. F. Moritz [Cupples & Leon:New York] 1926 (p. 415-6)

    [1936]
    "Old-Fashioned Pound Cake

    1 pound cake flour (4 1/2 cups)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons nutmeg
    1 pound butter (2 cups), scant
    1 pound sugar (2 1/4 cups)
    1/4 cup lemon juice of 2 tablespoons brandy
    1 pound eggs (10), separated
    Mix flour, baking powder and nutmeg, and sift three times. Cream butter until soft and smooth; add sugar gradually, creaming until very fluffy; add lemon juice and well-beaten egg yolks, beating very thoroughly. Fold in thoroughly the stiffly beaten egg whites, then flour. Turn into greased, paper-lined, loaf pans and bake in slow oven (300-325 F.) For 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Yield: 2 loaves."
    ---America's Cook Book, The Home Institute of the New York Herald Tribune [Charles Scribner's Sons:New York] 1937 (p. 547)

    [1944]
    "Pound Cake (8 eggs)

    3 3/4 c. sifted cake flour
    1 1/2 teasp. baking powder
    1 teasp. grated lemon rind
    1 teasp. nutmeg
    1 3/4 c. butter
    2 1/4 c. granulated sugar
    8 eggs, separated
    Sift together flour and baking powder 3 times. Add lemon rind and nutmeg to butter, and work with a spoon until fluffy and creamy. Gradually add 1 3/4 c. of the sugar while continuing to beat with a spoon until light. Beat egg yolks very thoroughly with a hand or electric beater until light-colored and thick enough to fall from beater in a heavy continuous stream. Add to butter mixture and beat thoroughly with a spoon. Beat egg whites with a hand or electric beater until stiff enough to stand up in peaks, but not dry. Add remaining 1/2 c. Sugar, 2 tablesp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is just blended. Stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then 1/2 of the egg whites, repeating until all are used, beating very thoroghly with a spoon after each addition. Turn into 2 9" X 5" X 3" loaf pans which have been greased, lined with heavy paper, and greased again. Bake in a moderate oven of 325 F. For 1 hr. 20 min., or until done. Needs no frosting."
    ---The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Completely revised edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1944 (p. 702-3)

    Pumpkin bread
    Pumpkin bread (pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, etc.), as we Americans know it today, descends from a long line of classically spiced baked goods incorporating vegetables/fruits & spices. Obviously, the same basic culinary evolution as
    carrot cake, banana bread & zucchini bread. Or is it?

    Food historians confirm squash (pumpkins &c.) perched patiently in the pantry of "New World" foods easily incorporated into "Old World" recipes. Cultural culinary synergy was inevitable. Pumpkin recipes are classic examples. Think: Pumpkin pie. On closer examination? Pumpkin bread is not one but several recipes depending upon place, people & period. This particular dish sets a unique table spread with rudimentary cakes, thickened porridge, savory pone, potato-type yeast breads, European inspired spice cake & quick (chemically leavened) loaves composed with canned product. In sum: the perfect study of culinary evolution.

    Native American pumpkin bread

    "Baked Pumpkin...The dried pumpkin is pounded, sifted, then soaked in cold water for an hour to an hour and a half. It is then sweetened and grease added. A pan is greased, the pumpkin placed in it, marked with a knife into cakes, and baked in the oven." ... "Cornmeal and Pumpkin: The pumpkin is sliced, boiled, sugar is added, also Indian corn meal to make a pudding. This is eaten with sutgar and milk."
    ---Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation. F. W. Waugh, orginally published in 1916 [University Press of the Pacific:Honolulu HI] 2003 (p. 116)

    The earliest references we find for pumpkin bread/cake in USA cookbooks were yeast-based goods based on traditional potato bread. Note: "Indian meal" was a non-endearing term for corn [maize] meal. This ingredient was generally considered inferior to wheat flour. It was used only as a last resort.

    [1844]
    "Pumpkin Bread.

    Stew and strain some pumpkin, stiffen it with Indian meal, add salt and yeast, and it makes a most excellent kind of bread."
    --- Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book, Catharine Esther Beecher

    [1857]
    "Pumpkin Bread.
    Take two quarts of sweet pumpkin, stewed dry; two quarts of fine Indian meal, two tea-spoonsful of salt, a table-spoon heaping full of lard, and mix them up with sufficient hot water to make it of the consistence of common corn-meal dough. Set it in a warm place, two hours, to rise, and bake it in a pan, in a moderate oven. It will take an hour and a half to bake."
    ---Great Western Cook Book, Anna Collins

    [1913]
    "Pumpkin Bread: (Pioneer.) Sift a pint of meal, add salt to season fully, then rub through a large cupful of stewed pumpkin, made very smooth. Add half a cup melted lard, then mix with sweet milk to a fairly stiff dough, make pones, and bake crisp. Mashed sweet potato can be used instead of pumpkin, and cracklings, rubbed very fine in place of lard."
    --- Dishes & Beverages of the Old South, Martha MCCullough-Williams

    [1937]
    "Pumpkin Cakes with Bacon

    Used canned or cooked pumpkin; for directions for cooking pumpkin, see Boiled Winter Squash...To 2 cups mashed pumpkin, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, dash of paprika, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon ketchup, 1/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons melted butter; shape into patties. Fry 6 to 12 strips of bacon...drain on unglazed paper and keep hot; pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in pan. Saute patties in bacon fat and serve with crisp bacon. Approximate yield: 6 portions or 12 small patties."
    ---America's Cook Book, compiled by the Home Institute of The New York Herald Tribune [Charles Scribner's Sons:New York] 1937 (p. 479)

    [1939]
    "Pumpkin Pone

    10 quarts raw pumkin
    2 large sifters corn meal
    1/2 gallon water
    1 large sifter flour
    Cook the pumpkin and water until pumpkin is soft and tender. Mash with potato masher and bring to a boil. Combine corn meal and flour and scald with the boiling pumpkin. Set aside for ten yours.
    1 pound grated sugar
    2 tablespoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon soda dissolved in 1/2 cup water
    Add sugar, salt and soda to pumpkin mixture. Stir throughly. Place in a greased black iron kettle that will hold ten to twelve quarts. Cook over a slow fire without a lid for two days."
    ---New York World's Fair Cook Book, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday, Doran & Company:New York] 1939 (p. 188)
    [NOTES: (1) Although not technically a "bread" or "cake," we include this recipe because it appears to be a crossover between old and new concepts in pumpkin cooker. (2) This recipe is offered as Delaware food, "Millsville Pumpkin Pone."]

    The oldest references we find to modern pumpkin bread are from the early 1940s.

    [1942]
    "Pumpkin Cake

    Cake flour, 2 1/4 cups
    Baking powder, 2 teaspoons
    Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon
    Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
    Cloves, 1/4 teaspoon
    Allspice, 1/2 teaspoon
    Shortening, 1/2 cup
    Sugar, 1 1/2 cups
    Eggs, 2
    Vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon
    Pumpkin, home-cooked or canned, 1/2 cup
    Buttermilk or sour milk, 1/2 cup
    Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, soda and spices; sift again. Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; cream together until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten eggs (unbeaten if electric mixer is used); beat thoroughly; add vanilla and pumpkin; beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk or sour milk, stirring only enough after each addition to blend thoroughly. Pour into 2 greased 8-inch layer pans 1/14 inches deep. Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees F.) 25 to 30 minutes. When cool put layers together with filling or frosting. Frost top and sides with molasses whipped cream, cream-cheese frosting, mocha butter or orange butter frosting."
    ---Woman's Home Companion Cook Book [P.F. Collier & Son:New York] 1942(p. 715)

    [1958]
    "Spicy Pumpkin Cake

    [Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.]
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup milk
    1 cup cooked pumpkin
    1/2 cup bran
    1 3/4 cups flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/2 teasoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon cloves
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Btter 2 10-inch cake tins. Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup granulated sugar. When light, add 2 unbeaten eggs and mix well. Combine 1/4 cup milk with 1 cup cooked pumpkin and stir into egg-and-sugar mixture. Then add 1/2 cup bran and mix well. Place 1 3/4 cups flour in a sifter; add 4 teaspooons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon cloves; and sift it gradually into the first mixture, beating well after each addition. Flavor with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour micutre in buttered tins and bake until it tests done, about 25-30 minutes. Turn out onto cake plates, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and serve while still hot, accompanied by plenty of whipped ream; or thurn out onto cake rack and, when cool, ice with twice-cooked vanilla frosting."
    ---June Platt Cook Book, June Platt [Alfred A Knopf:New York] 1958 (p. 448)

    [1963]
    "Pumpkin Muffins

    (Makes 30 muffins)
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 cups white flour
    2 cups yellow cornmeal
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 cup light molasses
    1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
    2 well-beaten eggs
    1/2 cup melted butter (1/4 pound)
    2 cups buttermilk
    Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking sod, baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs well. Add the pumpkin, honey molasses and buttermilk, and mix thoroughly. Add the sifted dry ingredients and beat with a spoon until well mixed; last of all stir in the melted butter. Fill well-greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 425 to 450 degrees F. until nice and brown, or for about 18 to 20 minutes. Sere hot with lots of butter."
    ---Margaret Rudkin Pepperidge Farm Cookbook [Grosset & Dunlap:New York] 1963 (p. 342)
    [NOTE:Ms. Rudkin also supplies this translated recipe from Delights of the Country, a French cookbook published in 1661. In some ways this is not suprising, given the fact that the French are credied for giving us pumpkin pie!]

    "Pumpkin Bread.
    To make pumpkin bread, it is necessary to parboil the pumpkin as you would to fricassee and pass it through a heavy towel to take out the little nerves which are therein, adding the water in which the pumpkin was cooked as much as is necessary to knead in the ordinary way--and governing your dough for two raisings, and thus, as I say, before you will make a good bread which will be a little fat when cooked and yellow which is excellent for those who have need of refreshment and to have a free stomach."

    [1966]
    "Pilgrim Pumpkin Cake

    1 package Betty Crocker Honey Spice Cake Mix
    1 can (1 pound) solid pack pumpkin (2 cups)
    2 teaspoons soda
    2 eggs 1/3 cup water
    Penuche Cream Topping
    Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixer bowl combine all ingredients except Penuche Cream Topping. Beat 30 seconds low spped on mixer; beat 4 minutes medium speed. Pour batter into greased and floured oblong pan, 13X9X2 inches. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm with Penuche Cream Topping. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, if desired."
    ---Betty Crocker's Cake and Frosting Mix Cookbook [Golden Press:New York] 1966 (p. 36) [NOTE: This book also offers notes for creating Pumpkin-Nut Cake (Fold 1/2 cul chopped walnuts or pecans into batter before pouring into pan) & Pumpkin-Raisin Cake (Fold 1/2 cup rasiins into batter before pouring into pan).]

    [1968]
    "Mrs. Raymond Schenk's Pumpkin Cake

    2 cups sugar
    1 1/4 cups vegetable (salad) oil
    1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, home-made or canned
    4 eggs
    3 cups flour
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup seedless raisins
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Place the sugar, oil and pumpkin puree in a large mixer bowl and beat well on medium speed.
    3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt and fold into the cake batter. Stir in the raisins and nuts.
    5. Pour into a greased 10-inch tube pan. Bake one and one-quarter hours or until done. Do not open the oven door under one hour. Let cool slightly in a pan before turning onto a rack. Yield: 12 servings."
    ---"The Pumpkin Eaters," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, September 29, 1968 (p. SM106)

    Pumpkin Nut Bread
    Oven 350 degrees F.
    In mixing bowl, blend 3/4 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup water, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground mace. Add one 1-pound 1-ounce package nut quick bread mix; stir till moistened. Turn into greased 9X5X3-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes or till dine. Remove from pan; cool. If desired, frost with confectioners' Icing."
    ---Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book [Meredith Corporation:New York] 1968 (p. 49)

    Related foods? Cranberry bread, Carrot cake, Banana bread & Zucchini bread.

    Cranberry bread
    Cranberry cookery in America predates European settlement. Most of the cranberry recipes we enjoy today, descend from European culinary traditions. People cook what they know. Cranberry bread is a 20th century twist on the enriched fruited bread theme.

    James Beard prefaced his recipe for "Quick Cranberry Bread" thusly: "This is an unusally good version of an old American favorite..." (Beard on Bread, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1975, p. 176). On the following page he lists variations, including "Cranberry Orange Bread," adding 1/2 cup orange juice and 3 tablespoons grated orange rind to the mixture. His words make us wonder...exactly how old is this recipe? When and why were oranges added?

    American cranberry production is concentrated in East Massachusetts, South New Jersey and North Wisconsin. Orange/citrus production is California/Florida based. None of our 19th century American cookbooks contain for cranberry breads (quick or yeast). Pre-20th century cranberry recipes concentrate on sauce (mostly boiled), conserves, jellies, puddings, and pie fillings. Citrus fruit infiltrates cranberry recipes slowly, but surely, in the dawning 20th century decades. No reason is profferd in primary documents. Perhaps it was a perfect storm of industry collusion and contemporary taste.

    Jean Anderson's American Century Cookbook [1997] states "This quick-and-easy [Cranberry-Nut] bread has been popular from the mid-twentieth century on. With only 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) shortening, with orange juice the liquid ingredient instead of milk, it is also lower in fat than many fruit-nut breads." (p. 328). Our survey of historic American cook books and newspapers confirms the existance of cranberrry baked goods (muffins, breads, etc.) from 1903 forward. Oranges (juice/diced sections/grated rind) were included in selected recipes from the late 1930s forward.

    Corporate connections
    Both Ocean Spray [cranberries] and Sunkist [oranges & lemons] actively promoted their crops to American cooks. An undated [probably 1910s-1920s] Ocean Spray advertising booklet promoting canned cranberry sauce shows a picture of cranberry muffins. Annotation reads "Cut our sauce into small cubes and mix in your favorite batter. Delicious in Bran or dark muffins." A 1941 booklet ["Cape Cod's Famous Cranberry Recipes] contains two muffin recipes, both featuring their canned jellied product; neither with orange. Their Cranberry-Orange Relish recipe is subtitled without comment: "The National Favorite." Sunkist Recipes: Oranges-Lemons [c. 1916] offers recipes for yeast-based Orange Bread and Orange Peel Bread. No reference to cranberries anywhere. What makes this booklet notable is the complier, Alice Bradley, principal of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery. Sunkist was actively promoting their citrus fruits as healthy foods, easily included in traditional recipes. We have to believe Boston-based Miss Bradley was familiar with cranberries. The 1896 edition of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book does not combine cranberries and oranges. The 1923 edition (p. 710) offers a recipe for Cranberry Conserve using 1 orange (cut into small pieces, no rind), English walnut meats and seeded raisins. The Bradley factor? Our survey of historic cookbooks confirm the cranberry-orange-nut combinations grew in popularity. The New Butterick Cook Book [c. 1924] adds 1 cup of orange juice to its Cranberry Conserve recipe (p. 702). An alternate version uses rind and juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons, no nutmeats. Suzanne Cary Gruver's Cape Cod Cook Book [c. 1930] contains a chapter on cranberry cookery. for this purpose is her recipe for Cranberry Conserve--"Jelly Kitchen" similar to the ones reference above. We find similar recipes (titled conserves or relish) in the Good Housekeeping Cook Book [c. 1933] and other popular culinary texts.

    Cranberry bread & muffins
    The earliest reference we find for cranberry baked goods [muffins] was published in the Mansfield News [OH], January 28, 1903 (p. 5). It was listed as a menu selection; no recipe provided. The oldest cranberry muffin recipe we have on file is from 1911. The earliest bread recipe we find combining cranberries and oranges [grated rinds] was published in a Massachusetts newspaper, 1938. Orange juice enters in the 1950s.

    [1911]
    "Cranberry Muffins.

    Beat one-third of a cupful of butter to a cream. Gradually beat in one-fourth of a cupful of sugar, then one egg, beaten light; three-fourths of a cupful of milk and two cups of sifted flour, sifted again with two rounding teaspoonfuls of baking powder and half a teaspoonful of salt. When well mixed beat in one cup of cranberries, cut in halves. Bake about twenty-five minutes in a well battered muffin pan."
    ---Logansport Pharos [IN], February 22, 1911 (p. 6)

    [1916]
    "Cranberry Muffins.

    1/4 cupful butter.
    1/4 cupful sugar.
    1 egg.
    2 2/3 cupfuls sifted flour
    1/2 teaspoonful salt,
    4 tablespoonfuls baking power.
    1 cupful cranberries, sprinkled with 2 tablespoons sugar.
    Cream butter, add water, well-beaten egg, milk and then the flour mixed and sifted with the salt and baking powder. Add berries, drop into greased muffin tins and bake."
    ---"Here are recipes for cranberries many ways," Bakersfield Californian, November 24, 1916 (p. 8)

    [1931]
    "Cranberry Muffins.

    1 egg.
    3/4 cup milk.
    2 cups sifted flour. 4 teaspoons baking powder.
    1/4 cup sugar.
    1/2 teaspoon salt.
    4 tablespoons melted butter or other fat.
    1 cup cranberries.
    Beat the egg slightly and add the milk. To the liquid mixture, add the sifted dry ingredients. Roll the berries in two or more tablespoons of sugar, and fold into the batter with the melted fat. Do not stir the mixture any more than necessary. Pour into greased muffin pans and bake in a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F.) for about 30 minutes, or until brown. Serve hot."
    ---Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes Revised, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Home Economics, [Government Printing Office:Washington DC] 1931 (p. 79)

    [1937]
    "Cranberry Muffins.
    In one recipe Tea Muffins omit 2 tablespoons milk and add 3/4 cup raw cranberries to sifted dry ingredients."
    ---My New Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book [Meredith Publishing:Des Moines IA] 1937 (p. 12)
    [NOTE: this book also contains a recipe for Orange-Nut Bread (p. 10).]

    [1938]
    "Cranberry Nut Bread [One loaf]

    One cup cranberries, one cup sugar, three cups flour, four teaspoons baking powder, one teaspoon salt, one-half cup coarsely chopped walnuts, grated rind one orange, one egg, one cup milk, two tablespons melted butter. Put cranberries through food chopper and mix with one-fourth cup of sugar. Sift remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together and add nuts and orange rind. Beat egg slightly, combine with milk and melted butter and add to first mixture. Fold in cranberries. Bake in buttered bread pan in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about one hour."
    ---"Healthful Breads Go Nutty in Fall Months," Lowell Sun [MA], October 1, 1938 (p. 6)

    [1950]
    "Cranberry Nut Bread

    2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 cup sugar
    Juice and grated rind of 1orange
    2 tablespoons shortening
    1 egg
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup cooked jellied cranberry sauce
    Sift dry ingredients together. To the juice and rind of orange add boiling water to make 3/4 cup liquid. Add melted shortening and beaten egg. Mix with dry ingredients until just blended. Add sifted dry ingredients. Add chopped nuts. Carefully fold in cubes of cranberry sauce. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 325 degrees F. for about one hour or until done."
    ---"Fruit Breads Give Sparkle to Daily Meals," Oakland Tribune [CA], June 26. 1950 (p.15)

    [1960]
    "Cranberry-Nut Bread

    2 cups sifted flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 cup (one-half stick) butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon grated orange rind
    1/2 cup chopped nuts
    1/4 cup chopped citron
    1/2 cup fresh orange juice
    1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
    3. Add the soda to the butter and mix well. Gradually blend in the sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the orange rind, nuts and citron. Add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice.
    4. Put the cranberries through a food chopper, using the coarse blade. Stir into the dough.
    5. Turn into a well-greased, lightly floured 9X5X3-inch loaf pan and bake one hour and twenty minutes. Cool. Yield: one loaf."
    ---"Cranberries to the fore," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, November 13, 1960 (p. SM108)

    Related foods? Banana bread & Carrot cake.

    Cupcakes
    Individually portioned confections have a long and venerable history. Diminutive iterations of popular traditional baked goods are particularly enjoyed when portability and ease of service is appreciated. Cookies, tea cakes, petits fours and cupcakes all spring from the basic same idea. Commerically packaged "personal size" cupcakes appeared after World War I. Think:
    Hostess cup cakes & mini cupcakes. Commercial cupcake paper baking cups & liners surface after WWI.

    There seem to be two theories about the origin of recipes titled "cupcake:"

    1. The name comes from the amount of ingredients used to make the cake (a cupful of flour, a cupful of butter, cupful of sugar etc.).
    ---This is very similar to how pound cake was named. In fact, the recipes for cup cakes and pound cakes include pretty much the same ingredients and would have produced similar results.

    2. These cakes were originally baked in cups.
    ---Old cookbooks also sometimes mention baking cakes in small cups. These cups may very well have been earthenware tea cups or other small clay baking pans. These would easily accomodated baking level oven heat and produce individual-sized cakes. This is not the same thing as contemporary metal cupcake pans, enabling cooks to bake a dozen small cakes in one fell culinary swoop.

    Which is true? Both! We have historical evidence (old cookbooks) that support both theories. This food historian agrees:

    "Cupcake
    The name given in Britain and generally in the USA to any small cake baked in a cup-shaped mould or in a paper baking cup. In the USA the term may have originally have been related to the American measuring system, based upon the cup."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson (p. 234)

    Small pound cakes baked in individual-portion pans were quite popular in the 18th century. "Queen Cakes" are a good example of these. Food historians tell us this recipe evolved from lighter fruitcakes baked in England.

    "Queen cake. A small rich cake made from a creamed mixture with currants, lemon zest, and sometimes chopped almonds, baked as individual cakes. They have been popular since at least the 18th century. Now usually baked in paper cases, traditionally little fluted moulds in fancy shapes were used; Eliza Acton (1845) said that heart-shaped moulds were usual for this mixture."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 644)

    20th century cupcake variations are endless. They range from simple to sublime. Baking papers come in designer prints. Individual portions and easy clean-up make cupcakes perennial favorites for classroom birthdays and bake sales. A survey of American cookbooks reveals the interest in cupcakes, as food in their own right, has grown over the years.

    Historic cupcake recipes:

    [1796]
    "A light Cake to bake in small cups.
    Half a pound sugar, half a pound butter, rubbed into two pounds flour, one glass wine, one do. [glass] Rosewater, two do.[glass] Emptins, a nutmeg, cinnamon and currants."
    ---American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, 2nd edition (p. 48)

    [1828]
    "Cup cake.
    5 eggs.
    Two large tea-cups full of molasses.
    The same of brown sugar, rolled fine.
    The same of fresh butter.
    One cup of rich milk.
    Five cups of flour, sifted.
    Half a cup of powdered allspice and cloves.
    Half a cup of ginger.

    Cut up the butter in the milk, and warm them slightly. Warm also the molasses, and stir it into the milk and butter: then stir in, gradually, the sugar, and set it away to get cool. Beat the eggs very light, and stir them into the mixture alternately with the flour. Add the ginger and other spice, and stir the whole very hard. Butter small tins, nearly fill them with the mixture, and bake the cakes in a moderate oven."
    ---Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats, By a Lady of Philadelphia [Eliza Leslie](p. 61)

    [1833]
    "Cup cake.
    Cup cake is about as good as pound cake, and is cheaper. One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs, well beat together, and baked in pans or cups. Bake twenty minutes, and no more."
    ---American Frugal Housewife, Mrs. Child, 1832 facsimile edition [Applewood Books:Beford MA] (p. 71)

    [1847]
    "Common Cup Cake.
    One tea cup of butter, two of sugar, four of flour, four well-beaten eggs, one cup of sour milk, one teaspoonful of saleratus, dissolved in a little water, one teaspoonful of lemon extract, or a wineglass of brandy, and half a nutmeg, grated; beat up the mixture well,butter two two-quart basins, line them with white paper, and divide the mixture between them; bake in a quick oven three quarters of an hour."
    ---The American System of Cookery, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 298)
    [NOTE: This book also offers a recipe for Cocoanut Cup Cakes which are cut in diamonds or squares (p. 299-300).]

    [1871]
    "Cup cake.
    Half a cupful butter and four cupsful of sugar creamed together, five well-beaten eggs, one teaspoonful of [baking] soda dissolved in one cupful of cream (or milk), six cupsful of flour, nutmeg, one teaspoonful of dry cream of tartar."
    ---Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book, Mrs. M.E. Porter (p. 255)

    Compare with Queen Cakes:

    [1798]
    American Cookery, Amelia Simmons

    [1803]
    Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter.---click "next" for the rest of the recipe

    [1845]
    "Queen cakes.
    To make these, proceed exactly as for the pound currant-cake of page 451, but make the mixture in small well-buttered tin pans (heart-shaped ones are usual), in a somewhat brisk oven, for about twenty minutes."
    ---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton , with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993 (p. 460)

    Cupcakes in a "nutshell," courtesy of Scientific American, September 2009 (p. 98):

    "The yummy baked good is one of America's first and finest contributions to world cuisine Like many acts of pure genius, the invention of the cupcake is lost in the creamy fillings of history. According to food historian Andrew Smith, the first known recipe using the term "cupcake" appeared in an American cookbook in 1826. The "cup" referred not to the shape of the cake but to the quantity of ingredients; it was simply a downsized English pound cake. Lynne Olver, who maintains a Web site called the Food Timeline, has tracked down a recipe for cakes baked in cups from 1796. But we will probably never know the name of the first cook to take the innovative leap or whether it had anything to do with a six-year-old's birthday party. "Just like other popular foods--the brownie comes to mind--it's impossible to pinpoint a date of origin for the cupcake," says culinary historian Andrea Broomfield. That cook almost certainly lived on the left bank of the Atlantic. Broomfield says that the earliest known cupcake recipes in England date to the 1850s and that their popularization was slow. One writer in 1894 had evidently never heard of cupcakes: "In Miss [Mary E.] Wilkins's delightful New England Stories, and in other tales relating to this corner of the United States, I have frequently found mention of cup-cake, a dainty unknown, I think, in this country. Will some friendly reader … on the other side of the Atlantic kindly answer this query, and initiate an English lover of New England folks and ways into the mysteries of cup-cake?" Even to this day true cupcakes--as opposed to muffins or cakes cut up into cup-size portions--are sadly uncommon in Europe. In recent years the U.S. has had something of a great cupcake awakening, as blogs and bakeries have devoted themselves to its pleasures. Some attribute this renewed popularity to the cupcake-indulging characters of HBO's Sex and the City, and food historian Susan Purdy also credits dietary awareness: you can have your low-calorie cake and eat it, too. But true connoisseurs needed no moment of rediscovery. They never forgot what it was like to be six." By George Musser"

    Hostess cup cakes: one of America's most popular edible icons
    According to the records of the
    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Hostess brand cake products were introduced to the American Public January 3, 1919. Record here:

    "Word Mark HOSTESS Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: BREAD, BISCUITS, AND CAKES. FIRST USE: 19190103. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19190103 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Serial Number 71115132 Filing Date January 11, 1919 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Registration Number 0126368 Registration Date August 19, 1919 Owner (REGISTRANT) WARD, WILLIAM B. INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES BELT LINE, NEAR GENESEE STREET BUFFALO NEW YORK .(LAST LISTED OWNER) INTERSTATE BAKERIES CORPORATION CORPORATION DELAWARE 12 E. ARMOUR BLVD. KANSAS CITY MISSOURI" 64111

    "In 1919, World War I ended, prohibition was about to begin and women were ready to vote. It was also the year that Hostess introduced its first snack cake -- the cupcake. The Hostess Cupcake, which celebrates it 70th birthday Wednesday, has come a long way since its inception. It always has been made of devil's food cake, but the first cupcake lacked the creme filling and the white loop-de-loop icing on top. During the 1920s, cupcakes were hand-iced in either chocolate or vanilla. For a while in the 1940s, they were available with malted milk icing. Orange cupcakes with orange icing, which are still available, also were introduced in the 1940s. But it wasn't until 1947 that the cupcakes began to develop into the cupcake of today after D.R. ''Doc'' Rice was given the task of redesigning it. Rice was hired by the company in September 1923 at the age of 17 as a cake dumper. A cake dumper did just that -- dumped baked cakes onto a table, he said. ''I wanted to go to business college,'' Rice said Tuesday. ''The hours at the bakery worked with my schedule. I usually started around midnight and worked for nine hours, six days a week.'' By the time he enlisted in the Army, Rice had been regional supervisor of five bakeries. When he returned after the war, he went to work in the production department of Continental Baking Co. at its headquarters in New York. ''I began working in the experimental bakery,'' Rice said. ''More ingredients were available, and the dough was improved. The icing was also improved by using pure chocolate to make it. ''Just when we were ready to go to the plants with the cupcake, a machine which would automatically put the creme filling into Twinkies, which had been introduced in 1930, was perfected,'' he said. Before a machine was designed, the filling was pumped into the Twinkies by hand. ''We weren't sure we were going to fill cupcakes. But since the machine was ready, the cupcakes were also filled,'' he said. The new cupcakes had an improved cake mix, purer chocolate icing, creme filling and a straight white line of icing. They were introduced in Detroit, the home of the creme-filled cupcake. ''The white line was received well, but didn't do the new cupcakes justice,'' he said. ''It needed something that would catch the eye and let the buyer know it was quality.'' After a couple of weeks, the white loop-de-loop icing began appearing on the cupcakes. Rice noted that the perfect cupcake should have exactly seven loops.''We began selling 25 percent more new cupcakes than the regular ones,'' he said. ''Eventually the regular cupcakes were discontinued.'' Since the cupcakes were going to have creme filling, the prices had to be increased, Rice said. ''The wholesale price jumped from 8 cents to 10 cents and the retail prices went from 10 cents to 12 cents.'' Although he retired in 1972, Rice continues to work as a consultant for many companies, even outside the country."
    ---"And By The Way ...Hostess Cupcake celebrates 70th birthday," C.E. EVANS,United Press International, May 10, 1989,

    "The man responsible for the curlycue in Hostess cupcakes tells of a brand turnaround. Doc Rice didn't get his nickname because he had a Ph.D. On the contrary, he never graduated from college. His initials, D.R., legally make up his first name, and co-workers at the Continental Baking Companies nicknamed him Doc long before any of them realized Rice would become the "Doctor of Dessert." Rice is considered the father of modern Hostess Cupcakes and has been getting a lot of publicity since the popular mouthful turned 70 this year. At 83, Rice seems a throwback to simpler days in corporate America--days when companies weren't strangled by their own management layers, and when R&D was the function of any employee with good hunches and the necessary amount of luck. He also symbolizes another almost antiquated figure in this era of merger and acquisition-induced redundancies and cutbacks: the career employee. "Today people change jobs a lot," he says. "Back in my days, if you came to me looking for work and had had more than two jobs, I wouldn't hire you because I figured you wouldn't stay with me either. Today it's different." Rice's road to baking's hall of fame started in his native Texas in 1923 when, at 17, he got a job in CBC's Dallas bakery as a "cake dumper" putting baked cakes out on racks to cool. The pay was $ 15 a week. The hours were midnight to 8 or 9 a.m. "I had just gotten out of high school and was married. And I wanted to keep going to school," he said. However, he admits another reason he didn't mind the night shift was it left him time to pursue his passion: baseball. "I was half made up in my mind whether I should play baseball, or do something else," he said. Rice opted for the "something else" of CBC. He relished in a relief shift that opened all facets of bakery production up to him. "At midnight I relieved the mixer, then the oven man, then the icing maker. I learned to do all of those key jobs," he said. This experience soon showed dividends. In 1928 he became the youngest bakery superintendant ever at CBC, taking that post in Cincinnati at the age of 22. By the time he was 29, five plants were under his supervision. In 1939 he got a job as general manager in charge of the CBC's Buffalo bakery. "When I got there it was a depressed town. Our business was based on the steel mills and they were closed. Our one competitor left town. Then, with the war, the work came and Buffalo became a boomtown," Rice says. The cake route averages in Buffalo went from the bottom of the baking tin at CBC to the very top. In 1942, Rice took a hiatus from CBC by enlisting in the Army as a second lieutenant. He remained Stateside, appropriately enough in charge of baking at a training camp. He left the service as a captain and returned to CBC in 1948 as director of production for the cake division. Soon he was to make the major product innovation for which he is remembered. Though Hostess Cupcakes were on the market since 1919, they lacked their characteristic icing and filling. Rice said he was presented with the problem of improving the quality of Hostess Cupcakes, which because of World War Two-induced shortages had suffered. The company was also looking for a way to add value to the cakes so it could sell them at a higher price. Rice decided to put a modified version of the Hostess Twinkies filling into Hostess Cupcakes. Next came a white stripe across the top of the cupcake. "After two weeks we said, Hell, that stripe doesn't look good.' So we decided to do the curlycue thing," he said. The result was the signature seven loops that adorn every Hostess cupcake. Was seven some sort of lucky number? "I wasn't aware of it at the time. That's the number that fit and looked right," says Rice. The price of the cupcakes increased from 8 cents to 10 cents . Product flew off the shelves. Eventually the striped cupcakes were phased out. Rice's looped cupcakes continue to sell today. In 1988 over 400 million Hostess Cupcakes were sold domestically. How much market research and consumer testing was done before the new format was approved? "We didn't go through all of these consumer surveys. We were just lucky. Me and my boss made up our minds on something and we did it," says Rice. The cupcake isn't the only CBC brand Rice had a hand in. In attempting to find uses for equipment that the bakeries had sitting idle, Rice and his cohorts developed both Twinkies and Suzy Qs.... Rice says Suzy Q was named after the daughter of one of his bosses. A Different World Although he was eventually named vice president and made head of new product development, Rice feels his best work was done on the line. "I had done most of the good things before I got the title, when I was head of production. I always thought it was our job to develop new products," he said. After retiring in 1972, Rice acted as a bakery consultant, so he is aware of how things have changed since his days at CBC. Even CBC itself has changed. In 1968 it was acquired by International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. and subsequently bought by Ralston Purina in 1984. "It's a different world," says Rice. "I'm glad I'm sitting where I am. Today, you don't have two people running a company, you have committees." As with many involved in packaged goods, Rice feels that costs of bringing a brand to market have strangled new-product development and paralyzed many people charged with coming up with ideas. "We wasted good ability because people are afraid to do things because they fear getting into job trouble," he says. As he approaches 84, Rice still plays golf and consults. Last March he made his 43rd trip to the Society of Baking Engineers convention so he can "keep up." He keeps busy partly on the advice of a friend. "He said, When you retire, don't ever wake up in the morning unless you have something to do.' Now that's good advice."
    ---"Doctor dessert; D.R. Rice of Continental Baking Co.," Kevin McCormack, Food & Beverage Marketing, March 1990 (p. 16)

    Hostess ad circa 1928:
    "Greetings to the People of Ogden From the New Hostess Cake Kitchen. We are proud to announce to the people of Ogden that the first supply of Hostess Cup Cakes will be baked tomorrow morning. Ever since we stgarted to plan our new bakery we have worked to make it a real factor in the life of our city. We have looked forward to this day for months. And now Hostess Cakes are here-- here to stay. Now baking cake at home is needless. As in all other cities all over the country, these famous cakes will eliminate all that drudgery. The ultr-modern equipment we have gathered so carefuly insures consistent quality. Our ingredients are the best money can buy. Carefully selected eggs. Fresh, sweet shortening. Soft winter wheat flour. Pure refined sugar. And before being used, all of these materials are carefully tested, right in our own Hostess kitchen. Our ovens are modern in every detail. Every corner of our bakery is as immacualte as any kitchen. Our pastry cooks are masters of their profession. Se owe belive this day has more than ordinary importance to Ogden women. Therefore we urge you to try these new cup cakes at once. Serve them to your famly. Compare them with the finest you can bake yourself. Then, make your own fair and square decision. Your grocer will have them, starting tomorrow morning. Ask him for these Hostess Cup Cakes in their attractive, airtight package. They are five cents for two, thirty cents a package of twelve...Hostess Cakes, A Continental Product."
    ---Display ad, Ogden Standard-Examiner [UT], September 3, 1928 (p. 3)

    Hostess ad circa 1949:
    "Have you tried Les Petits Gateuax Hostess Hostess French Pastry cream-filled Cup Cakes. New! Super Rich! Super Delicious! You Cannot Beat This Cup Cake Treat! Because you cannot buy the secret blend of chocolate from the African Gold Coast and Brazil. And because you cannot imitate this whipped richness of this super smooth creamed-filling. You never go wrong serving the best money can buy. We believe you will agree Hostess French Pastry Cup Cakes are the best you can buy. In fact, we believe, you will agree that Hostess French Pastry Cup Cakes taste better than what you can make at home--even though you may pay up to twice as much for ingredients. Or--you get double your money back from your grocer! Super Rich. Hostess French Pastry Cup Cakes are super rich! More shortening; more milk flavor than ever before. Plus a rich creamed-filling that's whipped lighter than a cloud and smoother than ice cream. You cannot imitate this filling because you cannot make it at home. And you cannot possibly duplicate the famous chocolate flavor of the devil's food or icing of thrilling new Hostess French Pastry Cup Cakes. Because you cannot buy the secret blend of chocolate we use. Exclusive Chocolate Flavor. Here is the palm-shaded treasure of the Gold Coast--the luscious Almonado with the flavor that is as rich as old wine. Here is the prize of Brazil's blue-green jungles--and smooth Forestero with the colors so vivid red-brown. Both combined by hands long skilled in the art of the chocolate trade, into a secret blend with a flavor both grownups and children adore. Save Time, Money. Making cup cakes at home takes about 81 minutes of kitchen mess and bother. And you know what cup cakes cost to make--with prices what they are. Yet Hostess French Pastry Cup Cakes cost only 10 cents for 2. You'll rave about them. Your guests will rave about them. Get new Hostess French Pastry Cup Cakes in cellophane at your grocer now. Baked fresh! Sold Fresh! Just 10 cents for this dessert for two."
    ---Display ad, Waterloo Daily Courier [IA], February 21, 1949 (p. 7)

    If you need more details ask your librarian how to access magazine and newspaper databases. These will help you identify key events in Hostess Cupcake history (plant strikes, product modifications, pricing and market strategy). You will also find some "human interest" stories, such as specially wrapped Hostess cupcakes used to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yankee Stadium ("Yanks' First 50 Years Really a 'Piece of Cake', New York Times, April 14, 1973, p. 26) and Hostess cupcakes as pop art ("Pop-Art Food: Taste is No Object," Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, September 29, 1977, p. 70), and a giant replica of an Egyptian step pyramid composed from 45,000 Hostess Cupcakes ("Edible Art," Jim Buck, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 29, 1997, p. D10)

    Related snack cake? Twinkies.

    Mini cupcakes
    Are mini-cupcakes are recent invention? Apparently not:

    "Assorted Baby-Size Cup Cakes. Desposit the desired quantity of batter in small-size cup cake pans, using the White, Yellow, Fudge and Devil's Food Batters. Approximately 12 oz. of batter is required for each dozen. If fruit batters are employed, a greater amount is necessary. Ice with assorted icings. The Fluffy Icing and Fudge Icing are particularly well-suited for this type of product. The photo shows box and method for getting delicate cup cakes into the hands of the consumer without crushing. Thsi is a specially constructied box with two bottoms with oepnings in th second bottom for the cakes to set in so as to keep them from tipping over. This is essential when soft, fluffy, delicate icings are used, particularly as these icings remain sticky. The softness of the icing makes these baby-size cup cakes very attractive."
    ---A Treatise on Caked Making, The Fleischmann Division, Standard Brands Incorporated [Standard Brands:New York] 1935 (p. 280)

    Baking cakes with paper liners and cups
    The modern practice of lining baking molds with paper first surfaces in mid-19th century cookbooks. They confirm paper (parchment, buttered, writing) used as liners in molded metal baking pans. Recipes for cakes, small cakes (cupcakes) and souffles are msot likely to recommend paper liners. Fluted paper cups were used to to serve candy and nuts. The term "paper cases" means different things in different times and places. A careful examination of the description and purpose reveals whether the item is a paper box meant to hold a cake or candy, a fancy party favor, or to be used in baking. Some cookbooks also suggest placing a piece of paper on top of the cake to prevent a hard crust.

    Modern decorative paper baking cups (cup cake papers) surface after WWI. These were suggested for serving, not baking. In the 1930s instructions for baking cup cakes baked in paper cases were promoted by popular home economists. Several US patents for paper baking cases of various sizes and designs were issued in this decade. We have not researched patents issued by other countries. Paper drinking cups were patented in they USA in the 1880s.

    [1875]
    "Vienna Cake (a german recipe):

    "Make four or five white paper plates by stretching the paper over any round utensil - a large dinner plate or soup plate will do - plait up an edge an inch deep, and tack it round with needle and thread to keep it upright. Butter these papers and lay them on baking tins. Spread over each a layer of 'sand tourte' mixture not thicker than a thin pancake. The 'sand tourte' mixture is made thus:- stir half pound of butter tto a cream, then add the yolks of 12 eggs and half a lemon peel grated. Add by degrees half a pound of sifted sugar, quarter of a pound of fine flour, and the same of potato flour. When these ingredients are well mixed, add the egg whites whipped to a snow. Bake the cakes in a moderate oven to a nice yellow; do not let them tinge brown. When cold cut away the paper round, turn the cakes over, and peel off the bottom paper without breaking them. Lay one cake over the other, with different coloured preserves and marmalades between till all are piled up. Dissolve powdered sugar with a little lemon juice, spread it thickly over the top and sides to make a glazing. Put into a cool oven to dry and when cold ornament the top with preserved fruit or marmalade."
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery With Numerous Illustgrations containing about Nine Thousand Recipes [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.: London] 1875 (p. 1091)

    "Souffles...A souffle can be cooked in a souffle-tin, which fits into a silver-plated ornamental dish, in which it can be sent to table. When this is not at hand, a plain round or oval cake-tin, or thin basin, or a deep pie-dish may be used, with a high band of buttered writing paper fastened inside the rim, to prevent the batter falling over the sides of the dish. A properly-filding case of frilled writing paper should be prepared, into which it may be quickly dropped when taken from the oven...Butter the tin, already lined with oiled writing-paper, and put it in the oven till very hot."
    ---ibid (p. 901)

    "Trifles, Savory...Make some paper cases by pressing a round of thick writing paper into a circular wooden box to take the shape. Lightly oil these cases inside and out, fill them with the savoury mince, and put them into a brick oven for a minute or two to make them hot."
    ---ibid (p. 991)

    [1877]
    "In making very large cakes that require three or four hours to bake, an eccellent way for lining the pan is the following: Fit three papers carefully, grease thoroughly, make a paste of equal parts of Graham and fine flour, wet with water just stiff enough to spread easily with a spoon, place the first paper int eh pan with the greased side down,and spread the paste evenly over the paper about as thick as pie-crust. In covering the sides of the pan, use a little paste to stick a portion of the paper to the top of the pan to keep it from slipping out of place, press the second paper carefully into its place, with the greased side up, and next put in the third paper as you would into any baking-pan, and pour in the cake...All except payer cakes should be covered with a paper cap, (or a sheet of brown paper, which the careful housewife will save form her grocers' packages), when first put into the oven. Take a square of brown paper large enough to cover well the cake pan, cut off the corners, and lay a plate on four sides, fastening each with a pin so as to fit nicely over the pan...Save the cap, as it can be used serveral times."
    ---Buckeye Cookery, Estelle Woods Wilcox, revised and enlarged edition [Buckeye Publishing:Minneapolis MN] 1877 (p. 62-63)

    [1884: lining cake pans with paper to prevent scorching]
    Boston Cooking School Cook Book/Mary Lincoln

    [1890: making paper forms for Charlotte Russe]
    "Whill you kindly tell me how the paper forms are made for Charlotte russe, such as you see in restaurants, and what kind of paper is used?...The paper forms used at restaurant can be purcahsed at any paper-box factory, very much chaper than they can be made at home. Of course, if you wish to try, purchase a soft card, cut out a circle the desired size for the bottom,w rap the standing part to fit, and glue. While these may be serviceable and convenient for hotel and restaurant use, I think they are exceedingly homely for a family table."
    ---Table Talk Volumbe 7, January-December 1890 [Table Talk Publishing:Philadelphia PA] 1890 (p. 303)

    "Please send price of paper cases for serving sweetbreads, lobster, ect....Paper cases are form fifty sencts per dozen to two dollars and a half."
    ---ibid (p. 468)

    [1920: serving cake in paper cups, not baking]
    "The little paper cups, the size of candy puddings, which come in different colors, may be used for salted almonds, a nice large candied prune, a handsome bonbon, or what you choose in the ways of comfits. A collection or variety may be served on a small plate. In the larger size, intermediate between the candy pudding and the ramekin size, may be served little cup cakes for the ice cream course, each one differently iced and perhaps initialed to arouse interest and pleasure, and so to save food for this or other reasons. One reason why this is economical is that the cake supply for a meal can be most precisely planned. If any guest chooses to leave his portion there it is in better condition far, for keeping, than a slice of cake. You do not need to urge him to eat more than he needs, as you might with a big cake before you from which you delighted to cut slices. Not a crumb is lost in the cutting and considerable is gained in flavor and digestibility."
    ---"Tribune Cook Book: Economical Small Portions," Jane Eddington, Chicago Daily Tribune, November 22, 1920 (p. 20)

    [1925: commercial baking cups promoted to Americans housewives] Liberty Baking Cups, advertised in American Cookery, October 1925. Other papers in this ad are pie collars, chop frills and skewers. 225 baking cups sold for one dollar (prepaid) by William W. Bevan Company, Everett MA.

    [1928: economical & efficient kitchen supplies]
    "Don't buy muffin pans. They are attractive, but the thing for the Kitchenette Cook is paper baking cups. There are enough for several months in one small container. They can be set, if necessary, on the oven grill." (p. 14)

    "Spice Cakes
    1 egg beaten, 2/3 c. molasses, 2/3 c. sugar, 2/3 c. melted shortening, 1 c. milk, 2 1/2 cs. flour, 3 tsps. baking-powder, 1 tbsp. mixed cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger,1 tbsp. vinegar. Mix in the order given and bake in paper cups." (p. 113-114)
    ---Man-Sized Meals from the Kitchenette, Margaret Pratt Allen & Ida Oram Hutton [Macy-Masius Vanguard Press:New York] 1928

    [1929: popular paper products for home use]
    "Paper napkins and tablecloths (plain and decorated), paper cups for hot and cold drinks, papers spoons and forks, paper plates, paper baking cups, paper towels, wax paper for sandwiches, toilet paper (white and tint)."
    ---display ad, Andrews Paper Company [Washington DC], Washington Post, February 28, 1929 (p. 10)

    [1931: baking cup cakes in fluted paper cups on flat cookie sheet or muffin tins]
    "Mrs. M. B. wants us to give some advice on the baking of cake in paper cups--the fluted kind that are especially designed and prepared for baking cup cakes. She is unable to get the cakes out of the cups when they are baked and she wants to know if they should be removed from the cups while warm or after they have cooled. I've never had any difficulty with paper cups except one time when I was trying a new recipe which proved a failure. There was too much sugar in proportion to the other ingredients. The cakes fell during the baking, the texture was poor, and the crust was sugary. It was impossible to remove these cups unless the paper was picked off in tiny bits. I have baked all kinds of cakes, using, of course, the recipes with which I was familiar, and in each instance the cake baked in the cups perfectly and the cups always came out nicely from either hot or cold cakes. I prefer, however, to wait until cakes are cold. The shape is much better. Some precautions should be taken when baking in paper cups. Do not fill the cups more than 2/3 full of better. In fuller cups the cake is liable to rise enough to spill over the sides. It is also important that the cups be placed at least two inches apart on a baking tin. Use a baking sheet that is used for cookies or biscuit to set cups on. This much space around each cup allows the heat to circulate freely and brown the sides. If the cups are placed on the sheets touching each other the cakes are sure to be out of shape. The cups may also be dropped into muffin tins, which keep the shape and brown the sides and bottom of the cake equally well."
    ---"Three Meals a Day," Meta Given, Chicago Daily Tribune, February 16, 1931 (p. 25)

    [1935: accessorizing the table]
    "One of the simplest methods of carrying out a color scheme is to use colored dishes and containers for the food. But this practice doesn't necessarily mean a great outlay for different sets of china. Paper baking cups are being made in almost every color. Several harmonizing colors are packed together in rainbow packages."
    ---"Paper Baking Cups May Be Effectively Used on the Table," Chicago Daily Tribune, August 18, 1935 (p. C6)

    [1941: paper baking cups are easy]
    "Cupcakes are more simple to make than any other type of cake. They are as versatile in their service as they are simple to make, When you use paper baking cups a cookie sheet is a convenience in handling in and out of the oven and when frosting."
    ---"Marian Manners' Recipes," Los Angeles Times, January 26, 1941 (p. E13)

    1234 Cake
    Culinary evidence confirms the practice of naming cakes for their measurements dates (at least) to the 18th century. In the days when many people couldn't read, this simple convention made it simple to remember recipes.
    Pound cake and cupcakes are foods of this genre. In fact? They were composed of the same basic ingredients of your 1234 cake.

    There are several variations on the recipe for 1234 cake but "yr basic list" goes like this:

    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    3 cups flour
    4 eggs
    This combination, it its purest form, produces a chewey dense cookie-type treat reminiscent of medieval jumbals, or sugar cookies. The Internet confirms many cooks "fudge" (pardon the pun) this classic 1234 recipe by adding other ingredients in various proportions. Most common? Baking powder, milk, fruit juice, spices and nuts. These additions affect the taste and texture of the finished product.

    Canadian recipe, circa 1877

    1,2,3,4,CAKE.
    Augusta Simmers.
    One cup of butter, two of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs; add a little more flour, roll out very thin on sugar, cut any shape, and bake quickly."
    ---The Canadian Home Cook Book, Compiled by the Ladies of Toronto and Chief Cities and Towns in Canada [Hunter, Rose and Company:Toronto] 1877 (p. 307)

    American recipe, circa 1955

    1-2-3-4-Cake
    Ingredients:
    3 cups sifted flour 1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    4 egg yolks
    1 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 egg whites
    Directions: (Makes two 9-inch layers)
    Sift together opposite ingredients three times. Set aside. Cream butter; add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in vanilla. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold in carefully. Pour batter into two round 9-inch layer pans which have been lined on bottoms with paper. Bake in moderate oven 375 degrees F. About 25 minutes. This cake may also be baked in three 8-inch layer pans. Cool and frost with Orange Butter Cream Frosting and sprinkle with coconut."
    ---Duncan Hines Dessert Book, Duncan Hines Institute [Pocket Books:New York] 1955 (p. 23)

    We do not find any one person/place/company/cookbook claiming to have "invented" 1234 cake. There is no trademark on the name. In the world of food? This is pretty common.


    Black Forest Cake
    Black Forest Cake (gateau) descends from fancy Renaissance-era confections combining sponge cake and cream. Think:
    English Trifle. Recipes evolve according to local ingredients and taste. Rich cake-like confections featuring sour fruit, including cherries, and chocolate are traditionally associated with Germany, Austria and surrounding regions. About Black Forest cuisine.

    German national Karl Fredrich Von Rumohr mentioned combinations of chocolate cake and sour fruit in his Essence of Cookery [1822]: "In many German towns, pastry and cake 'factories' have risen from the ruins of the art of true housekeeping. I have seen cakes emerging from these places with layers of tart fruit, chocolate, vanilla, almond paste, sour preserves and insipid sweetness." (Barbara Yeomans translation [Prospect Books:London] 1993 (p. 131). He does not provide a recipe for these items.

    While the ingredients and general method of Black Forest Cake can be traced through hundreds of years, food historians generally agree this recipe belongs to the 20th century. We find no evidence of anything close to Black Forest Cake, as we know it today, in our small collection of 19th-20th century German-American cooking texts. The earliest recipes we find are dated 1960s.

    "Black Forest Gateau. Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte in German, a baroque confection of layers of chocolate cake, interspersed with whipped cream and stoned, cooked, sweetened sour cherries. The cake layers are often sprinkled with kirsch, and the whole is covered with whipped cream and decorated with chocolate curls. This confection is not one which has a long history. It has been suggested that is was created in the 1930s in Berlin, but firm evidence is elusive. What is certain is that in the last decade of the 20th century it made a triumphant entry into the dessert course of restaurants in Britain (and no doubt elsewhere) and reigned for a time as top favourite'."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 80)

    "Black Forest gateau. A chocolate cake Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, made in Bavaria during the summer. The fame of this rich gateau has risen since the early years' of the 20th century."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated, [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 120)
    [NOTE: there is no entry for this item in the 1961 edition of LG]

    USA introduction
    Our survey of historic American newspapers reveals references to Black Forest Cake (gateau, torte) first surfaced in the mid-1960s. This popular upscale confection was served in trendy urban restaurants. A Stern's department store announcement published in the New York Times (May 2, 1964 p. 7) advertised Klaus Limberg, pastry chef of Tavern on the Green, preparing 'Black Forest Cake' in the gourmet aisle, 5th floor.

    Selected recipes

    [1963]
    "Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte)

    This unusual blend of chocolate, cherries, kirsch-flavored whipped cream and shaved chocolate is a specialty throughout Swabia. There are almost endless variations on the theme and this version is one of the best. It comes from the Cafe Harzer in Herrenalb, where it is served with a small glass of iced kirsch.
    2 chocolate layers, as on pages 421-422
    kirsch
    1 recipe Butter Cream Filling, using chocolate, page 480
    2 cups stoned and halved black bing cherries, stewed or canned
    1 recipe gelatin-thickened whipped cream, flavored with kirsch, page 476
    Chocolate curls, page 476
    Bake two round layer cakes--from the above recipes or one of your own favorites. Or buy two unfrosted layers in a bakery. Moisten both layers liberally with kirsch. Prepare cream filling and spread all of it on top of one layer. Drain cherries well and place half of them on top of butter cream, gently pressing into it. Top with second layer. Prepare whipped cream and flavor well with kirsch. Arrange on top of top layer, heaping cream in swirls and mounds as you spread it on. Garnish with remaining cherries and shaved chocolate. This can be served a once or it can be chilled for an hour or so in refrigerator."
    ---The German Cookbook, Mimi Sheraton [Random House:New York] 1963 (p. 424-425)

    [1975]
    "The traditional Black Forest cake, with its kirsch-scented chocolate layers and its tantalizing blend of our and sweet cherries, is one of Germany's proudest contributions to the world cookery. The version here is that of Albert Kumin, a leading pastry chef at the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, N.Y.

    Black Forest cake
    1 10-inch chocolate spongecake
    1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
    1 cup water
    2 thick orange or lemon wedges
    1 small can dark sweet pitted cherries
    1 one-pound can sour cherries
    1/2 cup kirschwasser
    1 three-ounce (85-gram) bar of imported bittersweet chocolate
    3 cups heavy cream
    3 drops pure vanilla extract
    Scraped and/or grated chocolate for garnish.
    1. Prepare the spongecake and set aside.
    2. Combine half a cup of sugar and the water in a saucepan. Add the orange or lemon wedges and bring to the boil. Simmer about three minutes and let the syrup cool. Discard wedges.
    3. Drain both cans of cherries separately and set cherries aside.
    4. Combine the kirschwasser with two-thirds cup of the syrup. Set aside.
    5. Place the chocolate in a saucepan and let it melt gradually in a warm place. When it is melted, gradually add three tablespoons of the remaining syrup, stirring.
    6. Whip the cream and beat in the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the vanilla.
    7. Fold one and one-half cups of the whipped creaminto the choclate mixture. Set the remaining whipped cream aside.
    8. Place the cake on a flat surface and, holding a knife parallel to the bottom of the cake, slice the cake into thirds.
    9. Place the bottom slice on a serving plate and brush with sonmeof the syrup mixture. Add about half the chocolate mixture to the slice and smooth it over.
    10. Cover with the top slice but place it bottom side up. Brush the slice with syrup and add the remaining chocolate mixture, smoothing it over. Using a pastry tube, pipe three rings of whipped cream around the cake. Pile one ring in the center, another in the middle andthe other around the rim. Arrange sour cherries in the center and between the middle and outer rings.
    11. Top with the final slice of cake. Brush it with the remaining syrup. Add whipped cream to the top, but save enough cream to make 13 rosettes on top of the cake. Smooth the whipped cream around the top and sides of the cake. Use a No. 4 star pastry tube and pipe 12 rosettes, equally spaced, around the upper rim of the cake. Make one rosette in dead center. Garnish each rosette with one dark sweet pitted cherry. Garnish the top with scraped or grated chocolate. Hold in the referigerator. Yield: Twelve servings. Note: Fresh black bing cherries may be poached in syrup, pitted and used in this recipe."
    ---"Pride of the Forest," Craig Claibore with Pierre Franey, New York Times, February 9, 1975 (p. 228)
    [NOTE: Recipe for Chocolate spongecake included.]

    Black Forest culinary traditions
    Where is the Black Forest? Along the Danube River, in what is now known as Germany. Think: Hansel & Gretel.

    "The Black Forest region of Germany is a cradle of fairy tales and legends. The magnificent forests hide many mysteries and have been irresistible to poets, storytellers, and raconteurs since time immemorial...Small inns and hotels dot the countryside; enchanted moss-covered trails lead into the forests of dark-trunked and heavily limbed fir trees--from which the Black Forest gets its name...Out of the kitchens come veal, venison, wild boar, and green salads, along with other delicacies...The cooking of the Black Forest is substantial and plentiful. The Black Forest is also a haven for mushroom gatherers...The most prized are the 'Steinpiolz', or yellow buletus, which are eaten sauteed in butter, used as a flavoring for sauces, or dried on long strings for the winter months. The delicate 'Pfefferling', or chanterelles, add incomparable flavor to veal and fowl dishes and to sourcream sauces. Morels, or 'Speisemorchel', are marvelous sauteed in butter and added to omelettes and other egg dishes or to delicate veal and chicken creations. Some of these dishes can be traced to the times of the Nibelungen and the German knights. Pork is prepared with apples, cherries, plums, and a magnificent milk gravy. Sauerbraten is made with gingerbread snaps, and there are as many venison recipes as there are innkeepers and hausfraus...The Black Forest is famed for its smoked hams, for bacon, and for partridges cooked in white wine, served with wine-steeped sauerkraut. A wild boar pie is also one of the local delicacies. The succulent plums that ripen in orderly orchards are made into a smooth brandy and into compotes simmered in their own juices. But the crowning culinary achievement of the region is the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte--the famed Black Forest cake made, in many villages, with pumpernickel crumbs and fresh sour cherries."
    ---All Along the Danube, Marina Polvay, expanded edition [Hippocrene Books:New York] 2002 (p. 6-7)
    [NOTE: This book offers a recipe for Black Forest Cake, Country Style (with pumpernickel crumbs) p. 46-47.]

    History notes on primary ingredients: gateau, sponge cake, chocolate cake & cherries.


    Blackout cake
    Blackout Cake, a 3-4 layer butter cake frosted with chocolate icing, is fondly recalled by Brooklynites devoted to
    Ebinger's. Did this cake originate there & why the name? Excellent questions. Our survey of historic USA newspapers confirms the term "Black-Out Cake" dates to WWII. The place? Midwest USA. The cake? Yellow with chocolate icing. The chocolate-on-chocolate layer cake version iced with chocolate surfaces in Texas about the same time as German's Chocolate Cake. Newspaper ads confirm Blackout Cake was a popular bakery good in the 1960s. We can't confirm Ebingers invented this cake. No doubt about it: Ebinger's made it famous.

    Why the name?
    Popular theory cites government-imposed WWII-era blackouts, when citizens offed lights and shuttered inside for safety. We find no print evidence confirming this connection. Ebingerists attribute the cake's name to famous NYC blackouts: 1965, 1977, (& sometimes?) 2004. Chocolate on chocolate (black on black) lends well to this appelation.

    [1942]
    “Black-Out Cake, two delicious layers of yellow cake covered with dark chocolate icing!”
    ---display ad, M. Kautz Baking Co., Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune [IA], November 13, 1942 (p. 10)

    [1958]
    “All Butter Blackout Cake, Devil’s Food, 59 cents.”
    ---display ad, Henke and Pillot (division of Kroger’s supermarket), Galveston Daily News [TX}, September 11, 1958 (p. 17)

    [1963]
    “Blackout Cake, 6” size, 69 cents; 7” size, 79 cents. 4 layer chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, cream filling & frosting.”
    ---display ad, La Patisserie, Dunkirk Evening Observer[Dunkirk-Fredonia NY], May 9, 1963 (p. 12)

    [1964]
    “Blackout Cake, regularly $2.50, $2.19 “We use fresh, sweet butter exclusively.”---display ad, Pupi’s Pastries, Los Angeles Times, December 3, 1964 (p. WS-A15)

    “Blackout Cake, deep dark texture and color. A new king of chocolate cakes. Something different, $1.49.”
    ---display ad, Sweet Adeline Bake Shop, San Mateo Times [CA] , August 5, 1964 (p. 48)

    [1968]
    “Waldbaum’s Blackout Cake, 1 lb 2 oz pkg, 59 cents.”---display ad, Waldbaum’s supermarket, New York Times, December 4, 1968 (p. 43)

    Ebinger's Chocolate Blackout Cake [Brooklyn NY]
    Our survey of historic newspapers confirms Ebinger's was established in 1898. This greater New York City food establishment was legendary. Baking was done inhouse & in factories. The original establishment went bankrupt in 1972. The "new" Ebinger's reopened a decade later. We can confirm chocolate cakes were an Ebinger's specialty. The earliest print evidence we find for Chocolate Blackout Cake is from 1969.

    [1961]
    “Chocolate cakes…are one of Ebinger’s best sellers in stores patronized largely by Jewish people.”
    ---“Ebinger’s bakery Started in 1898, With German Pastry as a Specialty,” New York Times, November 10, 1961 (p. 30)

    [1969]
    "More than 200 varieties of baked goods are made in the course of a week, and a number of them are distinctively Ebinger's, such as the Othellos (no one can recall the origin of the name), egg-shaped sponge cakes filled with chocolate butter cream and enrobed in a special chocolate coating; the seven layer that many Brooklynites swear cannot be equaled and the famous dark chocolate black-out cake, which got its name during World War II."
    ---"Ebinger's: An Institution to Cake-Eating Families of Brooklyn," Jean Hewitt, New York Times, January 11, 1969 (p. 36)

    [1991]
    “…scores of Ebingerists undertook personal projects to resurrect their favorite cakes. Like scholars dissecting ancient holy texts, they scraped the minutiae of their taste memories and tried to render scriptures—recipes—true to the Ebinger’s spirit. Blackout cake—three layers of devil’s-food sandwiching a dark chocolate pudding, with chocolate frosting and sprinkled with chocolate cake crumbs—was the holiest quest. ‘Catholics have a pope…Ebingerists, it seems, had blackout cake and they wanted it back.’ Mr. Forman compiled what he knew to be true fo the cake and bedeviled food magazines and baking experts for advise. ‘No one xould help. They said it was a commercial recipe. ...’ The closest he came to an authentic Ebinger’s blackout cake…was by using ‘Betty Crocker’s brownie mix, the one with the little can of Hershey’s chocolate.’ ‘You replace the Hershey’s with Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup and decrease the eggs from two to one and you hit that point between brownie and blackout…’”
    ---“The Cake Box From Heaven (Brooklyn, of Course) I Back,” Molly O’Neill, New York Times, June 5, 1991 (p. C1)

    [1994]
    "Ebinger's large bakery did not, of course, make Blackout Cakes one at a time. At Ebinger's plant the bakers could concoct vats of batter, pudding filling, and frosting, and no doubt those thrifty Germans noticed that crumbs were going to waste when the layers of chocolate cake were sliced. It must have been a pleasing solution to use them up by sprinkling them over the cakes."
    ---The Brooklyn Cookbook, Lyn Stallworth and Rod Kennedy, Jr., [Alfred A Knopf:New York] 1994 (p. 383)
    [NOTE: This book contains a recipe for Blackout Cake]


    Bundt cake & kugelhopf
    Most foods are not invented. They evolve. The same holds true for bakeware. Food historians generally credit H. David Dalquist of Nordic Ware (Minneapolis MN) for creating the first aluminum pan called "bundt" in 1950. It was not a new invention. It was, rather, an economically produced aluminum version of a traditional European kugelhopf mold. Kugelhopf is similar in method and presentation to
    brioche, baba, Sally Lunn, and savarin, all popular from the 18th century forward. Bundt cakes gained national attention in 1966 when the Tunnel of Fudge took first prize at the Pillsbury Bake Off. The popular story of the American bundt pan

    "In 1950, a group of Minneapolis women, members of Hadassah, approached Nordic Products owner H. David Dalquist and asked him to make an aluminum version of the cast-iron kugelhupf pan common in Euorpe. Obligingly, he made a few for the members and a few extra for the public. Not many of these fluted tube pans sold until ten years later when the new Good Housekeeping Cookbook showed a pound cake that had been baked in one of them. Suddenly every woman wanted a pan just like it. What really put the Bundt pan on the culinary map of America, however, was the Tunnel of Fudge Cake, which made the finals of the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. Bundt, by the way, is now a registered trademark...By 1972 the grand prize winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest was a Bundt Streusel Spice Cake and eleven top winners also called for a Bundt pan; that same year Pillsbury sold $25 million worth of its new Bundt cake mixes. It's strange to think that fifty years ago there were no Bundt cakes because there were no Bundt cake pans. Today, more than forty million pans exist in America..."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 458)

    "Bundt historic? You betcha: The Smithsonian says the icon cake of '60s comfort food, its creator and the company he co-founded all deserve a place beside our greatest treasures," Tom Webb. Feb. 23--Ruby slippers, space capsules and dinosaur bones -- make some room. The Bundt pan, that made-in-Minnesota creation that became an American icon, is on its way to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Museum curators are in the Twin Cities this week, where they're gathering up one of the original aluminum Bundt cake pans, invented in 1950 by H. David Dalquist, co-founder of the cookware company Nordic Ware. Some 60 million Bundt pans later, all of America is familiar with O-shaped cakes, drizzled icings and gooey centers. "It's shaped, in some small way, American culture and how we entertain," said David Dalquist, son of the Bundt cake inventor and the current president and CEO of Nordic Ware. While the Smithsonian curators are big on the Bundt, what has really wowed them is the almost perfectly preserved record of an American business that made such an impact on consumer tastes, popular culture and everyday life. The Dalquist family has owned the St. Louis Park-based business for six decades. "At the (Smithsonian's) American History Museum, we collect objects and documents that represent a wide range of important themes in American history and American life," said Paula Johnson, a Smithsonian curator. "The Nordic Ware story really relates to so many of these themes: entrepreneurship, innovation and the changes in American foodways in the 20th century. "It's the whole story, it's the depth and breadth that we're after," Johnson added. "But the Bundt pan was the way in." This week, Smithsonian officials are packing up 30 cubic feet of old paperwork, engineering drawings, recipe books and early advertisements along with sand-cast molds of bunny cakes and Santa cakes, microwave-cooking devices and financial ledgers. "My dad hung on to everything -- he was one of these collectors -- so we literally have boxes of stuff from over the years," Dalquist said. The family basement has been "like an archeological dig for them," he added. The Smithsonian is charged with documenting the story of America, and "it's really hard to do American history without doing food," Johnson said. So museum officials travel the country to preserve pieces of that story a morsel at a time. To date, they've collected Julia Child's kitchen, chocolate molds from Hershey's, a Krispy Kreme doughnut-making machine, a 1928 bread slicer and more. Eventually, it all will wind up at the National Museum of American History, part of the constellation of museums that make up the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The Smithsonian houses many great national treasures, including the original Star-Spangled Banner, the Wright Brothers' airplane, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and the Apollo 11 space capsule. Currently, the American History museum is being renovated. But even when it reopens, Johnson said, visitors aren't immediately likely to find a Bundt pan next to such famed icons as Dorothy's ruby slippers or George Washington's military uniform. "We always collect things, for now and in the future," Johnson said. "We have to take the long view. Even though we may not be able to do a big food-related exhibit in the immediate future, that's always in the back of our minds. ... So we have to start collecting now. This is how we begin." Nordic Ware was founded in 1946 by H. David and Dorothy Dalquist. In its early years, the struggling company specialized in making Scandinavian cookie-making items. Then Dalquist "was approached by a group of local women from the local Hadassah society," said Dana Norsten, the company's spokeswoman. "They had an old-world, heavy, heavy ceramic pan with a hole in the middle, called a Kugelhopf." The women wondered if Dalquist would make a lighter-weight aluminum pan. He did, adding the signature folds and later giving it the distinctive name, Bundt. Yet for years, the Bundt pan wasn't a particularly big hit. Then in 1966, a Pillsbury Bake-off winner used the Bundt pan to create the "Tunnel of Fudge" cake -- and it rocketed the Bundt pan to fame. "It was just like a frenzy," David Dalquist said. In the 1970s, Pillsbury introduced a popular line of Bundt cake mixes. Nordic Ware long ago branched out into other kitchenware lines, including its Micro-Go-Round food rotator, which remains popular. The company still sells a lot of Bundt pans, too. But the kitchenware business has changed dramatically. "We are one of only very few people who are still manufacturing in this country," Dalquist said. "Most of them have moved overseas. It's almost all imported today." The elder Dalquist died in 2005, but his widow and Nordic Ware co-founder has been a rich source of material for the Smithsonian curators. And what would the inventor of the Bundt pan think of his life's work ending up in the Smithsonian? "My dad was kind of a publicity-shy kind of person," Dalquist said. "So I think he'd be amazed that there was so much interest in the company and his products."
    ---Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minnesota), February 23, 2007

    Bund cake?
    The earliest recips we find for "Bunt" or "Bund" cake in America were published in Jewish-American and German-American cookbooks in the late 19th century. These cakes were enriched yeast breads were baked in tube pans.

    [1889]
    "Plain Bund, or Napf Kuchen

    Take two cents' worth of compressed yeast, put it in a common kitchen cup, adding a pinch of salt, a tablespoonful of sugar and about two tablespoonfuls of lukewarm water. Stir the yeast until it is a smooth paste and set it in a warm place to rise. Now sift two cups and a half of flour (use the same size cup for measuring everthing you are going to use in your cake), make a cavity in the flour, stir in the yeast and a scant cupful of lukewarm milk, make a nice batter, and let it rise until you have prepared the following: Rub three-quarters of a cup of butter and three-quarters of a cup of powdered sugar to a cream, just as you would for cup cake, then add gradually one egg at a time, using from four to five altogether, and stirring all the time in one direction. Work in your risen batter, a couple of spoonfuls at a time, between each egg. Grate in the peel of a lemon or an orange. Butter the form well that the cake is to be baked in (do this always before you begin to work). Put in your dough, set it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour and a half or two hours. Bake in a moderate oven one full hour, covered at first."
    Aunt Babette's Cookbook (p. 326-327)

    [1909]
    "Bund-Kuchen

    1 lb of flour, 1/2 lb. of butter, 1/2 lb. of sugar,
    3 eggs, 1/2 lemon peel, 1 1/2 cents yeast,
    1 cup of milk
    Preparation: Cream the butter with sugar and eggs. The yeast is dissolved in 1 cup of lukewarm milk and mixed in, also the grated 1/2 lemon peel, then stir in the flour, beat the dough well for 10 minutes. Butter a cake pan with tube, fill in the dough to half full and let it rise to the top of the form. Then bake it 1 hour."
    ---The Art of German Cookign and Baking, Mrs. Lina Meier [Wetzel Bros. Printing Co.:Milwaukee WI] 1909 (p. 337)

    The Kugelhopf connection

    Kugelhopf is a yeast-based cake similar to French brioche. It is typically baked in a mold with a funnel-shaped center insert to achieve a tall, round, ring-shaped cake. "Kugel" means "round," in German.

    "A kugelhopf is a cake made from a yeast-based brioche-like dough in a characteristic shape, rather like an inverted flower pot with a hole down the middle; it usually contains raisins and currants and is dusted with icing sugar. As its name suggests, it originated in Germany and particuarly Austria (where it is usually called a gugelhupf), but it is now perhaps chiefly associated with Alsace. There are several no doubt equally apocryophal stories concerning its introduction to France from further east, one of which implicates Austrian-born Marie-Antoinette's partiality for such cakes."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 181)

    "Kugelhopf, a rich, light, delicate yeast cake, made from flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. It is related to Brioche, Baba, and Savarin...the identifying characteristic of kugelhopf is its tall ring shape. It is derived from the mould in which it is baked, round and deep, with a central funnel, and flouted with decorative swirls. After baking, the cake is turned out and dusted with icing sugar which catches in the pattern...Kugelhopf is one of the best-known C. European bakery products...It is made in a wide belt from Alsace...through parts of Germany...and Poland; and into Austria...The traditional pattern in C. Europe was for the kugelhopf to be baked for Sunday breakfast, when the village baker had his day off. It is also popular with Jewish communities who have settled in these areas."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford Unviersity Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 441)

    "It seems that in "The Bundt Pan Man, Letting Them Eat Cake" [Style, Jan. 11], Hank Stuever wants to have his cake and eat it too. How else could he have come up with the historically incorrect claim that the Bundt pan was "invented" in America (just the "t" in Bundt was invented here)? Stuever writes: "According to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times, the ladies of a Minnesota chapter of Hadassah, the Jewish volunteer organization, sensed the need 55 years ago and went to the Dalquists at Nordic Ware with a request: Please replicate this old ceramic dish that somebody's grandmother had kept for years and years to bake a dessert called kugelhopf." The meanings of "replicate" are "duplicate" or "repeat," a far cry from "invent." Actually, the pan had been invented and used in Europe much earlier. So what did H. David Dalquist really replicate back then? Webster's Third New International Dictionary gives an answer under the German names "gugelhupf," "kugelhopf" or "gugelhopf" : a semisweet cake usually of yeast-leavened dough containing raisins, citron and nuts and baked in a fluted tube pan. And the German Brockhaus Dictionary of 1935 defines the cake baked in a fluted and grooved pan as "gugelhupf," a term used primarily in southern Germany and Austria (and with some linguistic roots traced to Latin). In northern Germany it is called "bundkuchen." Contrary to Stuever's somewhat mystic translation effort in this context, the German word "bund" originated from bundling or wrapping the cake's dough around the pan's center hole. As for the pan's fluted and grooved design, it allows for more of the dough to get exposed to the pan's inner surface than a smooth design would, and provides for a more evenly and deeper heat distribution into the dough. This specific design feature, discovered and applied hundreds of years ago in Europe, apparently was successfully replicated and copied by Dalquist. I grew up in Germany in the 1930s, and my mother baked a gugelhupf about once a month. The gugelhupf and its pan have been ubiquitous in German households for centuries; Stuever's claim that Dalquist gave "the world" millions of Bundt pans is a bit of an exaggeration. Giving them to America would have sounded more plausible. And may H. David Dalquist rest in peace."
    --- "Who Brought the Bundt Cake?," The Washington Post, January 22, 2005, Editorial; A15

    Why call it "bundt?"

    "Bundt: The German word bundt relates to the word for band or bundle, and refers to the banded effect of the flutes (such as would be found in a wheat sheaf or straw wreath, tied at intervals with twine), and probably originated as a harvest celebration cake. Bundt Pan Progenitor. This well-known cast aluminum bundt pan, alternating 8 large scallops with 8 small pointed flutes, first made in 1949 as a "Nordic Ware" product by Northland Aluminum Products of Minneapolis, MN, has been reported over the years as a reproduction of a 19th C. European cast iron bundt pan, brought over- reportedly - by a European immigant to Minnesota. Northland has now registered "Bundt" for their own use. It is not known how long ago the first bundt pan was made, probably in ceramic...Ceramic Progenitor...In 1997, the June 11 issue [of the] Washington Post published an article by Mark Goldman in the food section about bundt pans. Goldman...relates the history of Northland, and the account of H. David Dalquist...[and] about some ladies from the Minneapolis Hadassah chapter who paid him a visit ant told him about a ceramic bake mold used to made Bundkuchens--"party or gathering cakes." They asked if his new company could make such a thing out of aluminum, and the rest is history."
    ---300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles, Linda Campbell Franklin, 5th edition [Krause Publications:Iola IA] 2003 (p. 187-8)

    About Nordic ware

    "...As Nordic Ware, the company that invented the beloved Bundt cake pans, marks its 60th anniversary this year, we asked readers to submit stories about the Bundt pans they’ve used for decades in their kitchens. Retired teacher Mildred H. Curtis, 85, of Altus said just reading about our search for Bundt cake memories motivated her to go into the kitchen and pull out her Bundt pan, stored in its original box, along with the recipe book that came with the pan. She quilts at her church each week, and when it’s her turn to provide lunch for the quilters, the menu usually includes a Bundt cake she makes with a German chocolate cake mix embellished with additional ingredients such as canned coconut pecan frosting. “I have given away many of my cooking pans because I do not cook like I used to, but the Bundt pan will be the last to go,” Curtis wrote...Oklahomans are definitely creative when it comes to using their Bundt cake pans, which may be why Nordic Ware has thrived for six decades. It’s not the only company making pans that turn out elaborate cakes, but it has been an industry leader since the Minnesota company began in 1946. In recent years, Nordic Ware has stepped up introduction of new and more elaborately detailed cake pans that now are common in gourmet shops. The Castle pan is one of the newest such designs, Nordic Ware spokeswoman Dana Norsten said...The family-run company started out by making ethnic cake pans like the Rosette Iron, Ebleskiver pan and the Krumkake Iron. That changed in 1950, when the Minneapolis chapter of the Hadassah Society asked company founder, the late H. David Dalquist, to make a “bund” pan similar to one a member had received from her German grandmother. “Bund,” the German word for gathering, was an appropriate name because the fluted cake was often served at a gathering or party. According to Nordic Ware, Dalquist made the pan from cast aluminum and decided to make a few extra “bund” pans to sell at department stores. When Nordic Ware filed for a trademark for the pan, the name was changed from “bund” to Bundt. The rest, as they say, is history. The pans really hit the big time in 1966, when Houston homemaker Ella Helfrich used a Bundt cake pan for her Tunnel of Fudge Cake recipe in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. She won second place in the contest, and Pillsbury fielded more than 200,000 requests for help in finding the Bundt pans. Nordic Ware stepped up production, working around the clock to meet consumer demand. Bundt cookbooks, with recipes created and tested by Dalquist’s wife, Dorothy, followed. When she and her staff baked cakes to test for the cookbooks, “Nordic Ware’s employee lunchrooms were always well supplied with Bundt cakes, and they were delivered to food shelters and churches, as well,” Norsten said. Dorothy Dalquist, 80, still helps promote the company that’s run by her son, David Dalquist. In 1971, Pillsbury rolled out a line of Bundt cake mixes licensed by Nordic Ware. Those mixes eventually disappeared from supermarket shelves in the 1980s. Nordic Ware has reintroduced the cake mixes in more upscale packaging. ... A few new Bundt pan designs are introduced each year. The formed aluminum pans in classic colors have made a comeback in recent years, too. For Bundt cake pan owners who feel motivated to dust it off and bake a cake soon, we share some recipes, from the popular Tunnel of Fudge Cake to a slimmed-down pound cake and even a cherished recipe from a reader."
    ---"Bundt pan fans; Fluted cakes popular for six decades, Sharon Dowell, The Oklahoman, May 17, 2006, FOOD; Pg. 1E

    US Patent & Trademark records state 1951 as the year the bundt pan was introduced to the American public:

    Word Mark BUNDT Goods and Services IC 021. US 013. G & S: CAKE PANS. FIRST USE: 19510000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19510000 Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM Design Search Code Serial Number 72241796 Filing Date March 24, 1966 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Registration Number 0826340 Registration Date March 28, 1967 Owner (REGISTRANT) NORTHLAND ALUMINUM PRODUCTS, INC. CORPORATION MINNESOTA 3245 RALEIGH AVE. MINNEAPOLIS MINNESOTA 55416 Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECT 15. Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19870328 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    Who was David Dalquist?

    "H. David Dalquist, whose fledgling Scandinavian cookware company developed its most famous product, the Nordic Ware Bundt pan, with Jewish immigrant cooks, died Sunday of heart failure at his home in Edina. He was 86. The Minneapolis native had worked as a metallurgical engineer for U.S. Steel in Duluth for two years after receiving a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in the early 1940s. He served in the Navy during World War II as a radar technician aboard a destroyer in the Pacific. After the war, he and his brother, Mark, started a company called Plastics for Industry, said his son, David of Minnetonka. Soon it evolved into Maid of Scandinavia, a specialty cookware company run by Mark, and Northland Aluminum Products, Dave's company, which manufactured Nordic Ware...Said his son, "My dad believed the common person could do great things if you give them a chance," and that included keeping his factory in the heart of a U.S. metropolitan area instead of moving it to a foreign country. Dalquist helped develop thermoset plastic molding technology to make products to use in microwave ovens. "He was very good at recognizing product niches, and what the consumer was looking for," said Gene Karlson, a company vice president."
    ---"Bundt pan inventor H. David Dalquist dies," Trudi Hahn, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MM), January 6, 2005, Pg. 6B

    Pillsbury Bake Off
    Pillsbury marked it's 80th birthday by hosting a national baking contest. The first contest was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City, December 12-13, 1949. Art Linkletter was the emcee. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the judges. 100 finalists, home cooks ages 27-74, participated in this televised event. The first grand prize winner was Mrs. Ralph E. Smafield [Detroit, MI] for her "Water Rising Twists." Ms. Smafield's recipe came from her mother. It was published in national newspapers in January 1950.

    FoodTimeline library owns several Pillsbury Bake Off recipe booklets, 1st-20th contests, incomplete. The first cover looks like this. If you want a vintage recipe let us know!

    What was Tunnel of Fudge cake?
    Arguably, the most famous of all Pillsbury Bake Off winning recipes, this cake is generally credited for putting the
    bundt cake on the American culinary map. 17th contest, 1966. The "secret ingredient" was Double Dutch Buttercream Frosting Mix. You can't recreate the original cake because that mix has been retired. Pillsbury's web offers current approximation with cocoa instead. Cake photo here.

    [1966]
    "Tunnel of Fudge Cake

    1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
    6 eggs
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 cups Pillsbury's Best All Purpose Flour
    1 package Pillsbury Two Layer Size Buttercream Double Dutch Frosting Mix
    2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
    Oven 350 degrees F. 10-inch tube cake
    Cream butter in large mixer bowl at high speed of mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually add sugar; continue creaming at high speed until light and fluffy. By hand, stir in flour, frosting mix, and walnuts until well-blended. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan or 10-inch Angel Food tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes. Cool 2 hours; remove from pan. Cool completely before serving. NOTE: Walnuts, Double Dutch Fudge Frosting Mix and butter are key to the success of this unusal recipe. Since cake has soft fudgy interior, test for doneness after 60 minutes by observing dry, shiny brownie-type crust.
    For use with Pillsbury's Best Self-Rising Flour, decrease batter to 1 cup. Cream butter in large mixer bowl at high speed of mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. At low speed, gradually add flour, then sugar, mixing until well blended. By hand, stir in frosting mix and walnuts; blend well. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan or 10-inch Angel Food tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes. Cool 2 hours; remove from pan. Cool completely before serving."
    ---"Frosting Inside? That's the $5,000 shortcut surprise," Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1966 (p. E4)
    [NOTE: If you want the original recipe printed in the Pillsbury Bake off booklet let us know. Happy to scan & share.]

    Double Dutch Frosting Mix
    "It isn't easy to keep track of all the wonderful mixes being brought out by the Pillsbury people nowadays. Two weeks ago we were telling you about their just-introduced Pink 'n Pretty Angel Food Cake Mix. Since then five more Pillsbury mixes have show up, two for cakes and three for frostings...The Double Dutch Fudge Frosting Mix yields a dark, creamy fudge icing with a pleasant suggestion of bittersweet chocolate, a perfect flavor match for a devil's food cake."
    ---"'Round the Food Sores: For a look at the latest ideas," Lois Baker, Chicago Tribune, May 17, 1963 (p. B3)


    Cake pops
    Food-on-a-stick is a perennial favorite with Americans. Portable, inexpensive, and personally portioned, they are ubiquitous fair fare. Our first reaction to cake pops was this surely must have been a Betty Crocker invention. We examined several 1960s (read: baby boomer era) children's party/cake books for clues. While we did not find cake pops, we did find lollipop cookies, which are generally the same idea. In 2002 cheesecake pops (or lollipops) became popular. Cake pops, as we know them today ala Starbucks, are generally credited to Angie Dudley, proprietress of Bakerella.com blog. Our research indicates she launched cake pops in 2007. The 'craze' was fanned by her cookbook (2010) and Starbucks menu addition (2011). Timing is everything. Consumers with deep purses and adventurous tastes are always ready for something new. And then? There is a point when small becomes too small. A cake pop is about the size of a petit fours. When was the last time you are one petit four & called it quits?

    [1963]
    "Lollipop Cookies

    Make Mary's Sugar Cookies (p. 18)--except cut 2 1/2 to 3" circles. Bake 7 to 8 min. 375 (quick mod) oven. Cool. To make lollipop: spread Easy Creamy icing (p. 150) on plain baked cooky. Place a flat wooden stick or colored plastic straw across the middle, letting one end extend beyond edge of cooky. Place another cooky on top; press down slightly. Decorate with faced of tinted icing. makes about 2 doz. lollipops."
    ---Betty Crocker's Cooky Book [General Mills:Minneapolis MN] 1963 (p. 59)

    [2002]
    "At Neiman Marcus, we're selling a lot of what we call Cheesecake Pops. They're literally cheesecake on a stick."
    ---USA Weekend, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2002 (p. 11)

    [2007]
    "Word Mark CHEESECAKE LOLLIPOP Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Cakes; Pastries. FIRST USE: 20060131. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20060131 Standard Characters Claimed Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK Serial Number 77063982 Filing Date December 14, 2006 Current Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1B Published for Opposition July 10, 2007 Registration Number 3441487 Registration Date June 3, 2008 Owner (REGISTRANT) Phil's Cake Box Bakeries, Inc. CORPORATION FLORIDA 2909 West Cypress Street Tampa FLORIDA 33609 Attorney of Record H. William Larson Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "CHEESECAKE" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Live/Dead Indicator LIVE" ---SOURCE:
    US Patent & Trademark Office

    [2010]
    "...make room for a new treat: cake pops. And with a few strategically placed sprinkles and chocolates, you can create animal-shaped cake pops...Cake pops, chocolate-coated cake balls on a stick, are the cupcakes of 2010. Several local companies...sell the trendy desert that is surprisingly easy to make at home. With a box of cake mix, a can of frosting, lollipop sticks, melting chocolate...and a helping hand form a creative young chef in the house, you can make cake balls on a stick...When cake ball shops started popping up around Austin last year, Kathy Phab tried them and thought they were good, but she didn't catch the cake-pop fever until she saw the cutesy cake balls on a stick that sites like Bakerella...have popularized...Phan...first made cake pops in the shape of the Twitter bird for a New Year's party in January...Phan started posting her creations...making cake pops in the shape of dogs, basketballs and fish...She's moving on to more complicated pops."
    ---"Easter Treats that Pop Hop on a new trend and make your own cake to stick to fill baskets," Addie Broyles, Austin American- Statesman, March 31, 2010 (p. D1)

    [2011]
    "Starbucks customers saw something new Tuesday when they sipped their coffee. The Seattle-based company rolled out its new words-free logo Tuesday on all its cups. Signs also changed at a handful of stores, and the new logo will show up on more storefronts in the future. The Associated Press first reported in January that Starbucks was updating its logo and would introduce it this month in conjunction with its 40-year anniversary. Starbucks on Tuesday also introduced a number of new coffee flavors and baked goods as part of the anniversary celebration. In addition, Starbucks said Tuesday it plans to roll out its Via instant coffee in China starting in April, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The new products include a cocoa cappuccino, a new coffee blend and a new line of small dessert treats called Starbucks Petites. They include mini cupcakes and "cake pops," small sweets on a stick."
    ---"Starbucks debuts new logo, products in stores; new products also debut for 40th anniversary," Associated Press Newswire, March 8, 2011

    "Modern society digests information in less than 200 characters. It was only a matter of time before cake went mobile. Cupcakes -- like clunky old cell phones -- are being downsized. Streamlined sweets known as cake pops are the confectionery equivalent of a tweet -- Small bites. Big impact. Many credit Angie Dudley with starting the trend. Her blog bakerella.com and bestselling books have inspired bakers around the globe. Even Starbucks recently started selling Petites -- cake pops in flavors such as rocky road and tiramisu."
    ---"Mixed Molded Dipped Stick-y sweet Local bakers catch onto cake pop trend to make mobile treats," Erin McCracken, Daily Record/Sunday News; York Daily Record, August 14, 2011

    [2012]
    "What's less than 2 inches wide, covered in candy and impossibly adorable? A cake pop, those irresistibly moist confections made by mixing crumbled cake and frosting. The blogger Bakerella first unleashed these miniature cakes on sticks back in 2007. Once they went viral, pastry chefs, home bakers, even Starbucks jumped on the trend, creating ambitious shapes and speckled surprises at about 200 calories a pop. As a result, a miniature movement is upon us. Inspired by the pops' portability, moderate calorie content and undeniable cute factor, pastry chefs are coming up with miniature versions of other desserts, from cookies and cupcakes to seasonal tarts, whoopie pies and eclairs no bigger than a cocktail wiener. There is much to love about these mini treats, says Paulina Tsagaris, whose Campbell, Calif.-based boutique catering company, Sweet Luna Desserts, specializes in miniature treats. "They're small, so you don't have to feel guilty," says Tsagaris. "And they're usually full of flavor, so you're left feeling satisfied in one or two bites." Each month, Tsagaris fills orders for thousands of customized cake pops. Her tangy lemon curd tarts are a hit at weddings. She serves banana cream custard in shot glasses small enough to make even an ogre feel dainty. The queen of candy-coated cake pops is Angie Dudley, better known as Bakerella, the Georgia-based blogging sensation. Her precious Easter basket pops — with sugar cones for baskets and green Sour Patch straws for handles — are so intricately designed, one look would make most novices retreat to their kitchens with a bag of Tollhouse Break and Bake. But Dudley swears that even detailed pops are not difficult. All it takes is box cake mix, ready-made frosting, an edible ink pen, tons of candy — and vision. "I don't look at candy as something to eat anymore," says Dudley, the author of "Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats" (Chronicle Books, 2010). A second book focused on winter holiday pops is due out this year. "I look at it as inspiration. I look at it proportionally. A Junior Mint is a hat. Coated sunflower seeds make great noses."
    ---"Tiny treats are hugely popular," Jessica Yadegaran, San Jose Mercury News, July 23, 2012

    Who is Angie Dudley?
    "Bakerella -- the food blogger formerly known as Angie Dudley -- used to bake only when she got a craving for something like chocolate chip cookies. It wasn't until she took a Whole Foods cake decorating class with Angie Mosier, founder of Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop in Palmetto, that she ventured beyond store-bought mixes. Mosier's lesson on basket-weave frosting rocked Dudley's world. The Suwanee graphic designer started spending weekends in the kitchen. In late 2007, she launched her blog and registered with Flickr to submit her creations to top-rated blog Cupcakes Take the Cake -- picking "Bakerella" for both online accounts simply so she wouldn't forget the usernames. She had made cake "balls" before, but only cupcakes would be considered by CTTC. So she figured out a way to turn the cake spheres into cupcakes using a flower-shaped cookie cutter -- and, for the first time, she put them on a stick, which developed into her specialty. Not only did CTTC love Dudley's confections, but The Martha Stewart Show invited her to appear during Cupcake Week. The blogosphere erupted, as did Dudley's imagination. Soon she was using candy corn for bunny ears and turkey feathers. Pretzels turned into deer antlers, and French burnt peanuts into curly red clown hair. National ads now scroll on her website, which won the 2010 Bloggie for best food blog. Her first book, the spiral-bound Cake Pops, was released last fall, immediately breaking into the top ten of the New York Times bestselling advice books. But Dudley, age thirty-eight, finds her newfound celebrity status "surreal." During a book tour stop in New York, Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively invited her over to bake -- proving they were kindred spirits by whipping out a can of edible silver luster spray to polish off a tin man."
    ---"Suwanee's Pop Star," Betsy Riley, Atlanta [magazine], February 2011 (p. 61)

    According to the records of the US Patent & Trademark database, Ms. Dudley launched Bakerella October 31, 2007. The original registration suggests baked goods were not the initial primary focus:
    "Word Mark BAKERELLA Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: clothing, namely, t-shirts, cooking aprons, dress shirts, sweatshirts, shirts, sweaters, jackets, tanktops, bathing suit tops, hats, caps, neckwear, scarves and bandanas. FIRST USE: 20080812. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20080812 IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: educational services, namely, providing classes and online instruction in the field of baking and baked goods. FIRST USE: 20071031. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20071031 Standard Characters Claimed Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK Serial Number 77708129 Filing Date April 7, 2009 Current Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Published for Opposition February 2, 2010 Registration Number 3776986 Registration Date April 20, 2010 Owner (REGISTRANT) Dudley, Angie INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 262 Dogwood View Lane Suwanee GEORGIA 30024 Attorney of Record James D. Withers Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK Register PRINCIPAL Live/Dead Indicator LIVE."


    Caramel cake
    18th century English and American cake recipes regularly employ sugar (in various forms: molasses, treacle, granulated), milk/cream, flour, eggs, rising agents, and spices. Some of these might have produced recipes similar to what we know today as caramel cake. None of these recipes go by that name. Recipes with the term "caramel" in the title (cake, candy, icing, sauce, custard, coloring etc.) surface in the 1870s. What is
    caramel?

    Southern USA tradition?
    Food writers generally agree caramel cake is a favorite in the American south. This may indicate a French culinary descent. The earliest recipes we find for caramel cake in a U.S. were printed the mid-1870s. These recipes were published in newspapers throughout the country; no special mention of Southern tradition. Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book [1871], considered by some to be the quintessential catalog of 19th century baked goods, does not include this item. M.C. Tyree's Housekeeping in Old Virginia [1879] offers a recipe for Caramel Pudding but not Caramel Cake.

    Early Caramel cakes were filled and iced but not multi-layered. Many included chocolate. Today's popular Seven Layer Caramel Cake appears to be a new twist on an old tradition.

    [1877]
    "Caramel Cake.

    One cup butter, two of sugar, a scant cup milk, one and a half cups flour, cup corn starch, whites of seven eggs, three tea-spoons baking-powder in the flour; bake in a long pan. Take half pound brown sugar, scant quarter pound chocolate, half cup milk, butter size of an egg, two tea-spoons vanilla; mix thoroughly and cook as syrup until stiff enough to spread; spread on cake and set in the oven to dry." --- Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping

    [1901]
    Gateau au Caramel

    1 Cup of Butter.
    2 Cups of Sugar.
    1 Cup of Milk.
    1 1/2 Cups of Flour, Sifted.
    Whites of 7 Eggs.
    2 Teaspoonfuls of Baking Powder.
    Cream the butter, add the sugar, and beat till very light. Then add the milk. Mix well. Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder together, heating biforously all the while. Then add the vanilla and the whites of the eggs, beaten to a stiff froth. Mix all quickly and lightly, turn into a long family pan, lined with a buttered paper, and bake for about half an hour in a moderate oven. Apply the broom wisk test. When done, take out of the oven and set to cool. When cool, take
    2 Cups of Brown Sugar
    1 Cup Sweet Cream
    2 Tablespoonfuls Vanilla
    1 Tablespoonful of Butter.
    Boil all together until it sugars, and spread over the top and sides. Or, if you wish something much nicer, make the following mixture:
    1/2 Pound Brown Sugar
    1/2 Pound Chocolate
    1/2 Cup Milk
    1 Tablespoonful Butter
    2 Tablespoonfuls of Vanilla.
    Grate the chocolate, and set all to boiling together until thick enough to spread over the top and sides of the cake. This is delicious."
    ---The Picayune Creole Cook Book, facsimile 2nd [1901] edition [Dover:New York] 1971 (p. 304)

    [1930]
    "Caramel cake.

    1/2 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    4 eggs
    1 cup milk
    3 cups pastry flour
    3 teaspoonfuls baking-powder
    Pinch of mace
    1 cup chopped walnuts.
    Cream the butter with half the sugar. With the rest of sugar, beat the eggs, and add to the sugar and butter. Mix the baking-powder, spice, and nuts with the flour, and alternately with the milk. Measure the baking-powder level. Bake in small two-layer round, using caramel icing.

    Caramel icing
    1 cups sugar
    1 cup cream
    2 heaping teaspoonfuls butter
    Boil together in a granite saucepan without stiffing, unitl a little dropped in cold water forms a waxy ball. Stir only from the bottom to avoid burning. When done set in cold water and spread while still soft."
    ---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride & Company:New York] 1930 (p. 108-9)

    Seven Layer Caramel Cake
    Artistic combinations of cakes/biscuits with custards/creams were first made in Renaissance Europe. Think:
    English Trifle. Fancy/milti-layered cakes are generally traced to the late 18th/early 19th century. Austria and France in particular. 19th century Viennese bakers were famous for creating exquisite cakes of many layers filled with creams, custards, jellies and other icings. Some of these also contained chocolate. Dobos torte was a popular multilayered chocolate cake originating in 19th century Hungary. Viennese bakers perfected multi-layered torts (sponge filled with chocolate and fruit fillings). Careme elevated French patisserie to an art, creating petits fours and other fancy layered confections.

    Why the number 7?
    The number 7 (as in the number of layers composing cake that is your specialty) has long been considered a good/lucky number in many cultures. It is probably no accident early bakers selected this particular number. Other layers (5, 12) are also popular.

    "Southern cake bakers are a breed apart. Maybe it's something in the water or maybe it's because dessert is considered one of the five basic food groups in the South, but an old-fashioned southern cake is a truly wondrous thing. Which is why South Carolina native Caroline Ragsdale Reutter's seven-layer caramel cake brought us to our knees. It is a huge, gorgeous, rich, incredibly sweet confection that seduces you with its buttery, brown-sugar aroma, velvety yellow cake layers and creamy caramel frosting. It's an old recipe, says Reutter, who now lives in Annapolis, "that's gone to the grave with a lot of people." Since she began selling the cakes commercially about five years ago, she's gotten accustomed to getting tearful phone calls and emotional e-mails from people telling her, "This was my grandmother's cake. Just tasting it brings back so many memories." The cake weighs five pounds and can serve a large number of guests, mainly because it is best enjoyed in thin slices, slightly chilled. Even better, it can be frozen and refrozen without harm to its flavor or texture. Reutter says her female customers, in particular, like to keep one in the freezer. "They tell me they cut a thin sliver to eat with a cup of black coffee in the morning and that's breakfast," she confides. Reutter grew up in Lake City, S.C., a farming town of 8,000 people in the heart of the tobacco belt. The cake is one she grew up eating. "It's an old southern recipe. Everyone made it, not just my family," she says. She first baked it for friends at her youngest son's christening luncheon 22 years ago. They loved it and soon began ordering the cakes and urging her to go into business. "But I had two young children and there just wasn't time," she says. Once her sons were grown and safely off to college, she began her cake business in earnest, adding a seven-layer chocolate cake with fudge icing as well. Although she started out as a one-woman operation, when a Palm Beach, Fla., company ordered 2,000 cakes five years ago, "that's when I knew it was no longer a hobby," she says. Last year, she sent out more than 10,000 cakes over the holidays. For the upcoming holidays, Caroline's Cakes and its 30 employees plan to move into a retail bakery space on Whitehall Road in Annapolis, (exit 30) off Route 50 by the end of the month."
    ---"Love is a Many-Layered Cake," Washington Post, November 5, 2003 (p. F7)


    Carrot cake
    According to the food historians, our modern carrot cake most likely descended from Medieval carrot puddings enjoyed by people in Europe. Historic evidence suggests Arab cooks of the
    Carrots are an old world food. imported to the Americas by European settlers. In the 20th century carrot cake was re-introduced as a "healthy alternative" to traditional desserts. The first time was due to necessity; the second time was spurred by the popular [though oftimes misguided] wave of health foods. Is today's carrot cake healthy? It can be. It all depends upon the ingredients.

    "In the Middle Ages in Europe, when sweeteners were scarce and expensive, carrots were used in sweet cakes and desserts. In Britain...carrot puddings...often appeared in recipe books in the 18th and 19th centuries. Such uses were revived in Britain during the second World War, when the Ministry of Food disseminated recipes for carrot Christmas pudding, carrot cake, and so on and survive in a small way to the present day. Indeed, carrot cakes have enjoyed a revival in Britain in the last quarter of the 20th century. They are perceived as 'healthy' cakes, a perception fortified by the use of brown sugar and wholemeal flour and the inclusion of chopped nuts, and only slightly compromised by the cream cheese and sugar icing which appears on some versions."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 141)

    "In her New York Cookbook (1992), Molly O'Neill says that George Washington was served a carrot tea cake at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan. The date: November 25, 1783. The occasion: British Evacuation Day. She offers an adaptation of that early recipe, which was printed in The Thirteen Colonies Cookbook (1975) by Mary Donovan, Amy Hatrack, and Frances Schull. It isn't so very different from the carrot cakes of today. Yet strangely, carrot cakes are noticeably absent from American cookbooks right through the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth. Before developing a new pudding-included carrot and spice cake mix, Pillsbury researched carrot cake in depth, even staged a nation-wide contest to locate America's first-published carrot cake recipe. Their finding: A carrot cake in The Twentieth Century Bride's Cookbook published in 1929 by a Wichita, Kansas, woman's club. Running a close second was a carrot cake printed in a 1930 Chicago Daily News Cookbook...Several carrot cake contestants also sent Pillsbury a complicated, two-day affair that Peg Bracken had included in one of her magazine columns sometime in the late '60s or early '70s...Whatever its origin, carrot cake didn't enter mainstream America until the second half of this century."
    ---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 435)

    A survey of carrot cake (& precessor recipes) confirms these items took many forms:

    Tracing the evolution of Carrot Cake through recipes:
    [10th century Arabian cookery]
    T'Khabis al-jazar (Carrots): (A carrot pudding)

    Choose fresh tender and sweet carrots. Peel them and thinly slice them crosswise. For each pound of honey use 3 pounds of these carrots. Boil the honey and remove its froth. Pound the carrot in a stone mortar. Set a clean copper cauldron with a rounded bottom on a trivet on the fire, and put in it the skimmed honey and carrots. Cook the mixture on medium fire until the carrots fall apart. Add walnut oil to the pot. For each pound of homey used add 2/3 cup of oil. Pistachio oil will be the best for it, but you can also use fresh oil of almond or sesame. Add the oil before the honey starts to thicken. However you do not need to stir the pot. You only scrape the bottom gently when mixture starts to thicken to prevent it from sticking to it. To check for doneness, use a stick or a spoon to see whether the pudding is thick enough or not yet. When pudding becomes thick, put the pot down, and spread the dessert on a copper platter. Set it aside to cool down before serving. It will be firm and delicious."
    Source:
    The Book of Cookery preparing Salubrious Foods and Delectable Dishes extracted from Medical Books and told by Proficient Cooks and the Wise/Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq

    [1699]
    "26. Pudding of Carrot.
    Pare off some of the Crust of Manchet-Bread, and grate of half as much of the rest as there is of the Root, which must also be grated: Then take half a Pint of fresh Cream or New Milk, half a Pound of fresh Butter, six new laid Eggs (taking out three of the Whites) mash and mingle them well with the Cream and Butter: Then put in the grated Bread and Carrot, with near half a Pound of Sugar; and a little Salt; some grated Nutmeg and beaten Spice; and pour all into a convenient Dish or Pan, butter'd, to keep the Ingredients from sticking and burning; set it in a quick Oven for about an Hour, and so have you a Composition for any Root-Pudding."
    ---Acetaria: Discourse of Sallets, John Evelyn

    [1747]
    "A Carrot Pudding

    Take a raw Carrot, scrape it very clean, then grate it, take half a Pound of the grated Carrot, and a Pound of grateed Bread, beat up eight Eggs, leave out half the Whites, mix the Eggs with half a Pint of Cream, then stir in the Bread and Carrot, and half a Pound of fresh Butter melted, half a Pint of Sack, and three Spoonfuls of Orange-flower Water, a Nutmeg grated, sweeten to your Palate. Mix all well together; and if it is not thin enough, stir in a little new Milk or Cream. Let it be of a moderate Thickness, lay a Puff-paste all over the Dish, and pour in the Ingredients. Bake it, it will take an Hour's baking, or you may boil it; but then you must melt Butter, and put in White Wine and Sugar."
    ---The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 London reprint [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995(p.107)

    [1803]
    Carrot Pudding, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter

    [1830]
    "Carrot Cake.

    Take a dozen large and very red carrots; scrape and bpoil them in water with a little salt; when done, drain them, take out the hearts, and rub them the rest through a bolting; put them in a stewpan, and dry them over the fire. Make a cream patissiere, with about half a pint of milk; and when done mix it with the carrots; add a pinch of minced orange-flowers pralinee, three quarters of a pound of powder-sugar, four whole eggs; put in, one at a time, the yolks of six more, and a quarter of a pound of melted butter; mix all these ingredients together well; whip up the six whites to a froth, and stir them in by degrees. Butter a mould, and put some crumb of bread in it, in a minute or two, turn out the bread, and three quarters of an hour before the cake is wanted, pour the preparation into the mould and bake it. Serve it hot."
    --- The Cook's Dictionary and Housekeeper's Directory, Richard Dolby [Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley:London] 1830 (p. 124)

    [1845]
    Carrot Pie
    , New England Economical Housekeeper, Esther Howland

    [1913]
    "Crocus Carrot Cake

    Rub four good sized cooked carrots through a sieve. Add two tablesoons ground almonds, three tablespoons sugar, the grated rind and strained juice of half a lemon, the well beaten yolks four eggs, three tablespoonfuls melted butter and the whites of the eggs beaten stiff with a pinch of salt. Pour into a small baking tin lined with pastry. Bake in a hot oven until ready and serve hot or cold, cut in square."
    ---"Woman's Page: How to Fight the High Cost of Living," Odgen Standard [Ogden UT], June 11, 1913 (p. 7)

    [1914]
    Carrot Cake
    , Neighborhood Cookbook, Council of Jewish Women

    [1925]
    "Carrot Cakes.

    I presume a carrot cake could be made by the recipe for apple sauce cake, but I have so many recipes for carrot cakes that I have never settled down to finding out what is what among them. A clipped recipe is for a crocus carrot cake, which title suggests its suitability for this season. The author of the recipe was the late Marion Harris Neal. It reads: 'Rub four good sized cooked carrots through a sieve, add two tablespoons of ground almonds, three tablespoons of sugar, the grated rind and strained juice of half a lemon, the well beaten yolks of four eggs, three tablespoons of melted butter, and the whites of the eggs beaten stiffly. Pour into a small baking tin that has been lined with pastry. Bake in a hot oven and serve hot or cold, cut in squares.' This is readily done like a pie than a cake, but baked in a small square tin lined with crust it will undoubtedly bear a resemblance to cheese cake, which we know is more of a compromise between bread and pie than like cake."
    ---"The Tribune Cook Book: Carrot Diversity," Jane Eddington, Chicago Daily Tribune, March 1, 1925 (p. B2)
    [NOTE: This article also offers recipes for carrot pudding, carrot salad, carrot marmalade, carrot candy (bioled and raw), glazed carrots, cream of carrot soup, escallped carrots, & mashed carrots.]

    [1926]
    "Carrot Cakes

    1 cup grated carrots
    1/3 cup milk
    1 tablespoon corn starch
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    Salt
    Soak carrots in cold water one hour to crisp, scrape, grate and measure. Add well-beaten egg, milk, and salt. Sift in corn starcch and baking powder. Fry by spoonfuls on heat greased griddle."
    ---Every Woman's Cook Book, Mrs. Chas. F. Moritz [Cupples & Leon:New York] 1926 (p. 192)

    [1930]
    "Carrot Cake

    Sugar 1 1/3 cups
    Seeded raisins 1 cup
    Carrots (grated) 1 1/2 cups
    Cloves 1 teaspoon
    Water (cold) 1 1/3 cups
    Butter 2 tablespoons
    Cinamon 1 teaspoon
    Nutmeg 1 teaspoon
    Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil very slowly for about 5 minutes. Remove from fire and allow mixture to become perfectly cold (never use while warm) and then add
    Walnut meats 1 cup
    Pinch of salt
    Flour 2 cups
    Baking soda 2 teaspoons
    Mix well and put in loaf oan and bake for 1 1/4 hours in oven 350 degrees.--Mrs. William Inman"
    ---Chicago Daily News Cook Book, Edith G. Shuck and Dr. Herman N. Bundesen [Chicago Daily News:Chicago IL] 1930 (p. 47)

    [1936]
    "Carrot Torte

    1 lb almonds
    1 lb carrots
    2 cups sugar
    8 eggs, separated
    Rind of one large orange
    1 tablespoon orange juice
    Cook the carrots, chill, and grate. Blanch the almonds and chop fine. Beat the egg yolks until light and thick. Add sugar gradually, then orange rind and juice, carrots, nuts, combining all ingredients well, lastly fold in the stiffly beaten whites. Bake in a greased torte pan in a moderately slow oven (325 degrees F.), 45 to 50 minutes. When cool cover with sweetened Whipped Cream...Place in ice-box for several hours and serve."
    ---The Settlement Cook Book, Mrs. Simon Kander, Twenty-first Edition Enlarged and Revised [Settlement Cook Book Co.:Milwaukee WI] 1936 (p. 459)

    [1939]
    "Ohio Pudding or Steamed Carrot Pudding

    1 cup sugar
    1 cup flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 cup finely grated, raw potato
    1 cup grated, raw carrot (3 small)
    1 cup currants of seedless raisins
    1 cup seeded raisins
    Mix and sift sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. Add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Steam...2 hours in small molds or 3 hours in large mold. Serve with Ohio Sauce."
    ---Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer [Little, Brown and Company:Boston] 1939 (p.550)
    [NOTE: Ohio sauce is made with cream, chopped nut meats, chopped dates and lemon extract (p.610).]

    [1939]
    "Carrot Cake

    Temperature 300F. Time 1 hour. Serving 1 loaf, 9 inches
    Part I
    2 2/3 cups hot water
    2 2/3 cups sugar
    2 cups ground carrots
    2 cups raisins
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    2 teaspoons cloves
    2 teaspoons nutmeg

    Part II
    3 3 tablespoons shortening
    4 cups sifted cake flour
    2 teaspoons soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspooon salt
    2 cups chopped nuts
    Method:
    1. Cook Part I together for 20 minutes.
    2. Remove from fire; add shortening, cool to lukewarm.
    3. Add flour, soda, baking powder, and salt sifted together.
    4. Add nuts.
    5. Bake in a well-greased loaf pan at 300 degrees for 1 hour."
    ---Prudence Penny's Cookbook, Prudence Penny [Prentice-Hall:New York] 1939 (p. 217)

    Additional carrot pudding recipes, courtesy of the Carrot Museum.

    Related recipes? Zucchini bread, Pumpkin pie & Sweet potato pie.

    When did the cream cheese icing appear?

    The earliest American print references we find to frosting carrot cake with cream cheese are from 1960's:

    [1963]
    "Cheese Frosting

    Another reader recommends a cream cheese frosting for carrot cakes: "Use 4 ounces cream cheese and mix with 1/4 stick margarine. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and half a box of confectioners' sugar. Mix into smooth frosting. Mrs F.F.E. Edgewood Arsenal, Md."
    ---"Reader Exchange: Carrot Cake Encore," Washington Post, Times Herald, September 10, 1964 (p. D4)

    [1968]
    "Carrot-Pineapple Cake

    Oven 350 degrees F
    Sift together into large mixing bowl 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 2/3 cup salad oil, 2 eggs, 1 cup finely shredded carrot, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (with syrup), and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix till moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed on electric mixer. Bake in greased and lightly floured 9 X 9 X 2-inch pan in moderate oven (350 degress F) about 35 minutes or till done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (see page 86)."
    ---The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book [Meredith Corporation:Dew Moines IA] 1968 (p. 69)

    "Cream Cheese Frosting
    1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
    1 tablespoon butter, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
    In small mixing bowl , combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat at low speed on electric mixer till light. Gradually add sugar, beating till fluffy. If necessary, add milk to make of spreading consistency. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired. Frosts one 8- or 9-inch square cake."
    ---ibid (p. 86)

    Related sweet: Cream cheese brownies.

    About carrots

    Carrots are an "Old World" vegetable. They adapted readily to "New World" soil. Notes here:

    "Carrot. A root vegetable of the Umbelliferae family--and thus related to parsley, dill, and celery...although originally native to Afghanistan, is now found all over the world in many shapes, sizes, and colors."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kennth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1746)

    "The wild carrot, which grows in much of W. Asia and Europe, has a tiny and acrid tasting root. However, when it is cultivated in favourable conditions the roots of successive generations enlarge quickly. So the evolution of cultivars with enlarged roots is easily explained; indeed, what is puzzling is that it seems to have taken a very long time for D. Carota var sativa , as the modern cultivated carrot is know, to appear. The puzzle is all the greater because archaeologists have found traces of carrot seed at prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland. Also, the plant is included in a list of vegetables grown in the royal garden of Babylon in the 8th century BC. Here there is a clue: the plant is not in the list of ordinary vegetables but in that or aromatic herbs. It was probably being grown for its leaves or seeds, both of which have a pleasant carrot fragrance. It seems likely that this had also been the purpose of carrot cultivation in classical times, for there is little or no evidence to suggest that the Greeks and Romans enjoyed eating the roots. Many writers state that the carrot in something like its modern form was brought westwards, at least as far as the Arab Afghanistan, where the very dark red, even purple, carrots of antiquity are still grown. The introduction is variously dated at the 8th or 10th century AD, ie the period of Arab expansion in to the Middle East and C. Asia. This fits well enough with the fact that the earliest surviving clear description of the carrot dates from the first half of the 12th century, and was by an Arab writer...The first sign of truly orange carrots is in Dutch paintings of the 17th century...Cultivated carrots of the European type were brought to the New World before 1565..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 140)

    "Adding to the confusion of early carrot history is the wold white carrot...that is native to Europe and was subsequently naturalized in America. Now popularly known as Queen Anne's lace, the most famous for its ornamental flower, the woody root has been used interchageably with its visually similar cousin, the parsnip...The late-fourth-century Roman cookery book of Apicius lists recipes suitable for either carrots (presumably wild and cultivated) or parsnips, advice repeated nearly fifteen hundred years later in Lettice Bryan's The Kentucky Housewife (1839) that "carrots may be cooked in every respect like parsnips." English carrots were the first to be introduced into the colonies, accompanying colonists to Jamestown in 1609 and early Pilgrims to Massachusetts no later than 1629, where they grew "biger and sweeter" than anything found in England. Dutch Menonnites brought orange and scarlet carrots with them into Pennsylvania, from whence they spread through the rest of the colonies."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 191)

    Carrot Ale?
    Why not!

    Carrot Ale
    Take the water of twelve gallons, carrots twenty-four pounds, treacle four pounds, bran two pounds, dried buck-bean four ounces and yeast a quarter of a pint. Cut the carrots into thin slices, boil them in the water for an hour (making up the waste in boiling by the addition of a little water), strain it, mash up the bran with the carrot water, stir it well to prevent its clotting, add the treacle, let it stand for half an hour, strain and boil the strained liquor for a quarter of an hour with the buck-bean. Finally strain it, and set it aside to cool; when of a sufficient temperature add the yeast, and tun as you would malt beer. This will be found an agreeable and cheap beverage. The cost the above quantity will be about 3s. 6d.---The New London Cookery (c. 1827)"
    ---English Wines and Cordials, Andrew L. Simon [Gramol Publications:London] 1946 (p. 130-131)

    About carrots/National Geographic
    The Carrot Museum (all sorts of interesting facts & trivia!)


    Chiffon cake
    Chiffon cake takes two meanings in the culinary world. The earlier one,
    descending from Chiffon Pie is mostly lost to history. Food historians generally credit Harry Baker, a Los Angeles insurance salesman, for the "invention" of the iconic 1940s confection that was promoted as "The first new cake in 100 years."

    As the story goes, Mr. Baker "invented" this cake by subsituting salad oil for butter in his angel food cake recipe. He sold the formula to General Mills in the late 1940s. The corporate version of this cake, promoting General Mill's products (flour & salad oil) debuted in 1947. Recipes proliferated. Was Mr. Baker's idea truly revolutionary? Possibly, probably. We find no print evidence of salad-oil angel cakes predating his 1920s claim. We think, based on primary evidence, his recipe was inspired by popular salad oil cakes actively promoted by savvy corporate marketers. Until evidenced to the contrary, the Harry Baker legend lives on.

    Our survey of cookbooks and magazine/newpaper articles confirms Chiffon cake was agressively promoted from the late 1940s to early 1960s. New recipes were introduced two or three times monthly in the New York Times Sunday Magazine section commencing February 1949. This survey also reveals other companies took advantage of the chiffon cake craze. An ad titled "Ever make a cake with Mazola?" published by Corn Products Refining Company (New York Times, March 27, 1947, SM p. 41) states "This is the new "Shadow cake. You'll love its rich chocolate flavor, its wonderful texture. Like the famous "Chiffon" cake, it is easy to make with Mazola, the pure golden oil that "make so many good things...better"." Unlike the General Mills/Betty Crocker ads, this one does not provide a recipe. It invites the reader to send away for a free recipe book. [NOTE: we do not own a copy of the 1947 book. We do have the recipe from the 1951 booklet.

    "Betty Crocker played a part in the notorious rise of one very expensive cake--Chiffon, heralded as "the first new cake in 100 years!" Before 1948, cakes were traditionally classified as either butter or sponge...But an aptly named cake baker, Harry Baker, from Hollywood, California, challenged conventional cake wisdom and started his own mini baking revolution. Baker, originally an insurance salesman and recreational cook, enjoyed all cakes, but dreamed of combining the richness of butter cake with the lightness of sponge cake...Baker's ambitious pursuit took years...in 1927, his efforts brought forth an upside-down cake that was described as light, tender, delicate, glamorous, and delicious, with sensational volume. Dessert lovers clamored for a taste, hoping to name Baker's reputed mystery ingredient. Baker doggedly guarded his secret...As word of Baker's miracle cake spread throughout Hollywood, orders soared beyond his capacity to fill them...Both MGM and RKO granted screen time to his creations, and chiffon cake as added to the menu at the Brown Derby restaurant...Almost twenty years passed before Baker went public with the recipe, timing the sale of his secret of the lifting of wartime restrictions. After reading the Fortune magazine citation of Betty Crocker as the second most popular woman in America, he decided to pay her a visit. Rumors of Baker's Hollywood mystery cake preceded him. Upon his arrival in Minneapolis, intrigued General Mills executives offered him free run of Betty's kitchens...Once samples of his cake had eared the Betty Crocker seal of approval, negotiations began. However, General Mills would not strike a deal until the secret ingredient was revealed. With that, baker exposed his cake for what it was: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, five egg yolks, a cup of egg whites, lemon rind, cream of tartar, and, instead of shortening, cooking oil. While Baker contemplated what he would do with the large (undisclosed) sum, Betty's staffers got to work. Behind closed doors, General Mills' food chemists and home economists fine tuned Baker's somewhat unstable recipe for eleven months. Finally, in 1948, the recipe for Betty Crocker's Orange Chiffon Cake debuted in Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, and McCall's. The Minneapolis Tribune and others broke the news under the headline Mystery Cake--Secred Ingredient X Revealed for Baking Mammoth Chiffon...General Mills conducted market research on the Chiffon Cake and concluded it a success."
    ---Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food, Susan Marks [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2005 (p. 158-162)

    "The first dessert the Brown Derby ever served was a cake made by a former bond salesman named Harry Baker. It was a fluffy, golden cake, neither angel food nor sponge, but infinately lighter and more delicious than either. For almost twenty years Baker baked these cakes for the Derby, refusing to divulge the secret of its recipe. In 1947 he took it to General Mills in Minneapolis, and they paid him handsomely for the recipe. Lauched as the first new cake idea in a hundred years," this is the famous Cake, which differs only slightly from the Brown Derby favorite."
    ---The Brown Derby Cookbook [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1949 (p. 6)
    [NOTE: The chiffon cake recipe from this book is included in these notes.]

    "Chiffon. A very light, sweet, fluffy filing for pie, cake or pudding. The word is from the French meaning "rag"...Chiffon pie is first mentioned in American print in 1929...The 1931 edition of Irma S. Rombauer's Joy of Cooking gave a recipe for lemon chiffon, and the Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cook Book (1975) says that "chiffon cake was invented by a professional baker and introduced in May 1948. Made with cooking oil instead of solid shortening and beaten--not creamed--this light cake was the first new cake to have been developed in one hundred years of baking." Other authorities, however, credit an amateur baker with creating the confection in 1927."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Freidman:New York] 1999 (p. 74)

    "Chiffon Cake. "The first really new cake in 100 years!" trumpeted Better Homes and Gardens which introduced the cake in its May 1948 issue. Neither a sponge cake nor a butter cake, chiffon cake used the newly popular salad oil and was beaten rather than creamed. The cake was invented by a California salesman named Harry Baker in 1927. Although he kept the recipe a secret for many years, the cake became famous in Hollywood where Mr. Baker made it for celebrity parties. He finally sold the recipe to General Mills in 1947--which posted gains of 20 percent on sales of cake flour after the recipe was published. Just about every flavor was popular in chiffon cakes, with lemon and orange leading the pack."
    ---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 154)

    "In the late 20s, word trickled out of California of a high-rising new cake that melted in your mouth. It's creator, a Los Angeles insurance salesman and hobby cook named Harry Baker, was soon baking his "chiffon cake" for fancy Hollywood functions as well as for the Brown Derby restaurants. But he wouldn't divulge his recipe until General Mills paid him for it in 1947. The "secret ingredient," it turned out, was vegetable oil. General Mills home economists went to work fine-tuning Baker's chiffon cake recipe, experimenting with different flavors. The company printed the basic recipe...in a leaflet in 1948 and again in 1950 in Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, calling this the "first new cake in a hundered years" and describing it as "light as angel food, rich as butter cake."
    ---American Century Cookbook, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 451)

    Selected recipes

    Oil cake
    Baking cakes with salad oil? Confirmed. Following Crisco's lead (1913), Wesson and Mazola salad oils both promoted their their products as shortening substitutes in baked goods. None of the cakes in Wesson's 1930 booklet were titled "chiffon," but the plain cake differs only slightly from classic recipes. It possible Mr. Baker was intrigued (inspired?) by contemporary advertising when he incorporated cooking oil into his chiffon cakes. [1930]
    "Plain Cake.
    3/4 Cup Wesson Oil, 4 eggs, 1 1/2 Cups Sugar, 1 Teaspoon Vanilla, 3 Cups Flour, 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder, 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, 3/4 Cup Milk (or Water if Desired). Beat egg yolks until light, add milk and vanilla and then the sugar. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, and add to the first mixture. Pour in the Wesson Oil, fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and transfer to a loaf cake pan lightly rubbed with Wesson Oil. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for about forty minutes."
    ---Wesson Oil [New Orleans LA], "Everyday Recipes" [1930] (p. 27)

    [1933]
    "New Muffin Method" for making cake
    lets you have your cake and rest too. You don't have to have a birthday so you can have a cake! Forget to count the years if you can bear to forego the gleaming candles, but have cake whenever you like by the new quick-and-easy way known as the 'muffin method.' You almost throw it together. Here's what you do. Put all your liquid ingredients (including eggs) except shortening into a mixing bowl and beat for two minutes. Add shortening, beat for one minute. Bake, cool, frost and enjoy! Not every cake in the cook book may be made by this method but there are enough to keep the whole family happy... An excellent example of the 'muffin method' is given below...Quick Foundation Cake. 2 eggs, beaten; 2 cups milk; 1 teaspoon flavoring, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 cup mazola."
    ---Casa Grande Dispatch [AZ]. November 3, 1933 (p. 4) [NOTE: Presumably Mazola refers to the commercial cooking oil, competitor of Wesson.]

    CHIFFON CAKE/GELATINE-BASED

    Related only by name, these dainty Depression-era cakes descended from the popular gelatine-based Chiffon Pie of the 1920s. The "chiffon" in these cakes refers to the creamy gelatine mixture serving as topping or filling. Cakes were home-made and store-bought. Flavors: chocolate, lemon, strawberry, apricot, orange, blackberry, pineapple and peach.

    [1934]
    "Apricot Chiffon Cake.
    1 tablespoon granulated gelatine, 4 tablespoons cold water, 1/2 cup apricot juice, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 3 egg whites, beaten, 1/3 cup cooked apricots, 1/2 cup whipped cream. Soak gelatine and water five minutes. Beat yolks, add sugar, salt and flour. Add fruit juices. Cook in double boiler until thick and creamy. Stir constantly. Add gelatine mixture and stir until dissolved. Cool, fold in rest of ingredients and pour into glass mold. Chill until stiff, unmold and serve cut in slices. Garnish with apricots."
    ---"Apricot Chiffon Cake on Dinner Menu for Three," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, November 1, 1934 (p. A7) [NOTE: This exact recipe was published in The Register [Sandusky OH], October 30, 1934 (p. 7)

    [1935]
    "11th Annual Cooking School and Homemakers Institute...First Day's Menu, Tues., Feb. 19th...Lemon Chiffon Cake."
    ---display ad, Joplin Globe-News Herald [MO], February 17, 1935 (p. 15) [NOTE: no recipe or description.]

    [1936]
    "Saturday Cake Special: Two Layer Chiffon Cake
    , 29 cents, regular price 49 cents. A rich fresh lemon flavored two layer white cake filled with a lemon cream filling and topped with a delicious lemon cream icing--a real hot weather cake...Zephyr Bakery."
    ---display ad, Daily Journal-World [Lawrence KS], June 19, 1936 (p. 9)

    [1939]
    "Strawberry Chiffon Cake.

    One of our favorite variations of the fresh strawberry theme is fresh Strawberry Chiffon Cake. Did you ever make it this way? Bake sponge cake layer in spring form pan. Invert to cool. When cake is cold, pour on the following strawberry gelatine layer, leaving cake in pan: 1 envelope plain unflavored gelatine, 1/4 cup cold water, 1/2 cup hot water, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup strawberries, finely sliced before measuring, 1 tsp lemon juice, Dash of salt, 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup whipped cream. Mix berries and three-fourths cup of sugar; let stand five or ten minutes to draw out juice, stirring several times. Soften gelatine in cold water and dissolve in hot water. Add dissolved gelatine, lemon juice and salt to berries and stir well. Cool. When mixture begins to thicken fold in egg whites, beaten stiff, to which remaining one-fourth cup of sugar has been added, and whipped cream. Pour on the cake and cool. When gelatine layer is firm remove side of pan and frost cake with shipped cream. Run a knife around edge to free cake."
    ---Portsmouth Herald [NH], June 2, 1939 (p. 11)

    "Lemon Chiffon Cake. One envelope plain unflavored gelatin, 1/2 cup cold water, 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1 sponge cake layer baked in spring form pan. Soften gelatin in cold water. Beat egg yolks and add 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon juice and salt. Cook in top of double boiler until consistency of custard, stirring constantly. Add softened gelatin to hot custard and stir until dissolved. Add grated lemon rind and cool. When mixture begins to thicken, fold in egg whites beaten stiff to which remaining 1/2 cup sugar has been added. Pour on top cool sponge cake layer in spring form pan to form a second layer. Chill. Just before serving, run a thin knife around sides of pan to free cake. Remove side of pan and frost cake."
    ---Sheboygan Press [WI], July 27, 1939 (p. 18)

    [1947]
    "Peach Chiffon Cake.
    You can't beat freshly make homemade cake for a popular dessert for both family and guests. 'Peach Chiffon Cake,' as light as a feather and filled with a smooth creamy canned cling peach filling, is festive enough for even a holiday occasion. Peach Chiffon Cake. Sponge cake: 1 cup sifted cake flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, /12 cup cold water, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Filling: 3/4 cup sliced canned cling peaches, 2 teaspoons plain gelatin, 2 tablespoons cold water, 2 eggs, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1/4 cup canned cling peach syrup, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon brandy flavoring, Confectioners' sugar. Sponge cake: Sift together flour, baking powder and salt 3 times. Separate eggs. Combine water, lemon rind and yolks. Beat until mixture is light-colored and triple in volume. And 3-4 cup sugar gradually beating thoroughly after each addition. Fold in dry ingredients; mix just enough to blend. Whip egg whites until they stand in peaks. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice, beating thoroughly. Fold into batter. Bake in 28-inch ungreased layer cake pans in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 30 minutes. Invert pans on rack and cool before removing cake. Put layers together with peach filling. Sprinkle convectioners' sugar over top of cake. Filling: Drain peaches and chop fine. Soak gelatin in water 5 minutes. Separate eggs. Combine beaten yolks, 3 tablespoons sugar, lemon rind, peach syrup, lemon juice and salt. Cook over hot water, stirring continuously until thickened. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and chill until mixture begins to thicken. Whip egg whites stiff. Beat in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and flavoring. Add peaches; fold into custard mixture. Serves 8."
    ---"Recipes," Philadelphia Tribune, December 16, 1947 (p. 7)

    CHIFFON CAKE/OIL

    The "classic" one-in-a-hundred-year chiffon cake substituted oil for traditional shortening. The recipe was promoted as revolutionary. Our research indicates this was a new twist on a proven culinary theme. Cakes made with commercial salad oil were promoted in the early 1930s. The dates of General Mills introduction range from 1947-1948. Earliest recipes were published in ads placed in western USA newspapers featured Sperry Drifted Snow and homemaker Martha Meade. Both tradenames owned by General Mills. Our guess is that after GM successfully test marketed its new cake, the selected company icon Betty Crocker and Gold Medal/Softassilk for national promotion. Same company & recipes; different names.

    [1947-1948]
    "Velvet Chiffon Cake
    , A New Cake is in the picture! Sperry Drifted Snow 'Home Perfected' Enriched Flour! Your future favorite is here! Tantalizing in taste, tender in texture, tall as Angel Food...and when made with Sperry Drifted Snow 'Home Perfected' Enriched Flour and this Martha Meade recipe, success is guaranteed every time. The baking sensation of the century! A new cake, indeed, is this Velvet Chiffon Cake. The flavor is delicate and delectable, with the richness of butter cakes. The texture is moist and velvety, and stays that way longer. Surprise! Velvet Chiffon Cake uses five less eggs than Angel Food, yet rises as high! The cooking oil in this Martha Meade recipe is the ingredient added to help make Velvet Chiffon your future favorite cake. Bake one today...or let your husband bake one. They're that easy with Sperry Drifted Snow and this Martha Meade Recipe. Sift flour before measuring. 2 cups sifted Sperry Drifted Snow 'Home Perfected' Enriched Flour, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 3 teaspoons double-action baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add in order listed 1/2 cup cooking (salad) oil, 5 egg yolks, unbeaten, 3/4 cup cold water, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extract. Beat with a spoon until it forms a smooth batter. In a very large mixing bowl place 1 cup egg whites, unbeaten (7 or 8), 1/2 teaspoon cream or tartar. Whip (using hand whip, rotary beater, or electric mixer) until whites form very stiff peaks. Do not underbeat. (Whites should be much stiffer than for angel cake or meringue.) Then pour batter slowly and gradually over stiffly beaten egg whites, while gradually folding in with a rubber scraper or large spoon. Fold in until blended: do not stir, Pour immediately into the ungreased tube pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.When done, top surface of cake will spring back when lightly touched with the gingers, and the 'cracks' will look dry. Take from oven and immediately place pan upside down, placing the tube part over a funnel or bottle. Let hang, free of table, until thoroughly cold. Loosen cake from sides and tubes with spatula. Turn pan over and hit edge sharply on table to loosen. Frost or not as desired. 16 to 20 slices."
    ---Ogden Standard-Examiner [UT], April 28, 1948 (p. 8)
    [NOTES: (1) Sperry Drifted Snow brand flour [San Francisco CA], and "Martha Meade" trade marks/products were owned by General Mills.(2) Janet Clarkson (aka the Old Foodie) found this exact recipe published April 30, 1947, Nevada State Journal: http://www.theoldfoodie.com/2011/03/friday-fun-food.html]

    "Mystery Ingredient Develops New Cake. After months of secret development behind locked doors, announcement has been made of the first completely new-type cake in 100 years, employing a 'secret ingredient sold by virtually every grocer but never commonly used in cake baking. The new creation is known as 'Chiffon Cake.' The recipe combines the best qualities of the 'butter' cakes and the angel for sponge cakes, the two basic cake types now recognized. The 'mystery ingredient.' so termed because of the hushed experiments conducted in test kitchens for more than 11 months, turned out to be familiar salad or cooking oil. This liquid shortening when combined in just the right proportion with other ingredients and following a new method developed for it, results in a cake that is unique for high volume, richness and delicacy. Unique characteristics. The following features were listed by baking experts as typical of the Chiffon Cake's unique characteristic. 1. The cake is as light and delicate as the finest angel food plus a greater degree of tenderness. It has the velvetiness and 'melt-in-your-mouth' qualities of the finest 'butter' type cake, plus a more airy feathery quality. 2. It is a streamlined cake, quick and easy to make. Total mixing time is about 10 minutes compared with 25 minutes for angel food cake. 3. It takes only seven eggs, compared with thirteen for angel food recipes, yet gives a larger cake. it can be made in a variety of pan sizes and shapes. 4. The cake is so delicious that frosting it is not required. The cake is versatile, lends itself to a wide variety of frostings, fillings, and toppings. 5. It has outstanding keeping qualities. A cake stored for one week in the test kitchen was still moist. The Chiffon Cake has more moist eating quality than most other cakes. A testing staff baked some 400 test cakes in the year-long experiments that ended with an easy-to-follow recipe. This recipe was then tested by several hundred typical homemakers in Tulsa, Cincinnati and Philadelphia and is now made available to the women of America."
    ---Wisconsin State Journal, March 4, 1948 (p. 20) [NOTE: recipe for Orange Chiffon Cake included.]

    [1948]
    "You can bake this new cake 4 ways

    "Have you tried the new cake? It's not a sponge cake, not a butter cake But a tender, airy combination of the two, called chiffon cake. We've been busy with both hand and beater and electric mixer in the Tasting-Test Kitchen--making this latest cook's wonder in new shapes and sizes, with new flavors, and with both enriched and cake flour. The method of mixing is so different, we will show you photographs from the time we pick up the flour sifter to the moment the cake comes out of the oven. Prop the pictures along side your mixing bowl and bake a Maple Crunch Cake, Pineapple Daisy Cake, or Golden Lemon Cake...Bake it big...Large recipe of new cake fills 9- by 12-inch pan. Trim with posies...Or cut Nut Bars: Dip in thin icing, then nuts. Ice Cream Cake: Cut 1/2 inch-slice as one on board. Toothpick in circle. Fill with ice cream; drizzle with chocolate sauce. Funny-Man Sundae: Cut cake with cooky cutter. Top with ice cream. Eyes are raisins; nose and mouth, cherry; hat, apricot and gumdrop... Bake it angel-size...Large recipe fills your 10-inch angel-cake pan. This is our favorite--Pineapple Daisy Cake. Pineapple juice is used for the liquid. The big cake looks like an angel, below, cuts like a butter cake. Frosting on cake, left, is Pineapple Butter Cream--bits if juicy pineapple in a creamy, rich confectioners' sugar frosting that goes on in soft swirls. Daisies decorate the top and the crystal plate...Bake it square...large recipe makes two 8- or 9-inch layers. Or if you want to make just one layer, we give you a small-size recipe...Baked, its the beginning for a spring shortcake or a Washington Pie. Strawberry Cream Cake, left: Top the cake square with whipped cream or ice cream. Fill the center with big, sugared strawberries...

    Golden Lemon Cake
    Bake in 8- or 9-inch square cake pan
    1 1/8 cups cake flour (1 cup plus two tablespoons)
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 cup salad oil
    2 unbeaten egg yolks
    3/8 cup cold water (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
    1/2 cup egg whites (4)
    1/4 teaspoon
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees F. 30 to 35 minutes. Or bake in 5-by 10- by 3-inch loaf pan in moderately slow oven (325) 45 to 55 minutes.

    Pineapple Daisy Cake
    Bake in 10-inch angel-cake or 9-by 13- by 2-inch pan
    2 1/4 cups cake flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 cup salad oil
    5 unbeaten egg yolks
    3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
    1 cup egg whites
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Bake in 10-inch tube pan in moderately slow oven (325) 55 minutes, then in moderate oven (350) 10 minutes. Or bake in 9- by 13- by 2 inch pan in moderate oven (350) 45 minutes. Frost cool cake with Pineapple Butter Cream Icing: Cream 1/2 cup butter or fortified margarine and 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar. Stir in 6 tablespoons well-drained crushed pineapple and 1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice. Beat thoroly.

    Maple Crunch Cake
    Bake in 5- by 10- by 3-inch loaf pan
    1 cup enriched flour
    3/8 cup granulated sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
    3/8 cup brown sugar (packed in cup)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 cup salad oil
    3 unbeaten egg yolks (medium
    3/8 cup cold water
    1 teaspoon maple flavoring
    1/2 cup egg whites (4)
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/2 cup very finely chopped pecans or California walnuts
    Bake in moderately slow oven (325) 50 to 55 minutes. Spread cool cake with Browned Butter Icing: Melt 1/4 cup butter; keep over low heat until golden brown. Blend in 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons cream, 1 teaspoon salad oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 tablespoon hot water. Stir until cool and consistency to spread."

    How to make the new cake, step by step
    1. Sift flour. Spoon lightly into measuring cup. Level with a straight knife. Set sifter over big bowl. Add measured flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, sift. Maple Crunch Cake: Mix brown sugar with dry ingredients after they are sifted.
    2. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Into the well in this order put the salad oil, egg yolks, liquid, vanilla or other flavoring, and grated peel.
    3. Beat with a spoon or electric mixer (use low to medium speed. Beat until satin smooth. Notice how smooth the batter looks in the photograph.
    4. Pick your largest mixing bowl. Measure in egg whites. Add cream of tartar. For beating, you can use a rotary beater, electric mixer, or wire whip.
    5. Beat the egg whites until they form very stiff peaks. They should be stiffer than for pie meringue or angel cake. Check the egg whites you've been whipping for those in photograph. Note how small peaks hold their shape."
    ---You can bake this new cake 4 ways," Tasting-Test Kitchen Staff, Better Homes and Gardens, May 1948 (p. 66+)

    [1949]
    "Velvet chiffon cake.
    Here is one version of the cake that has made recipe history. It combines the lightness of angel food with the richness of butter cake. This recipe was perfected in the test kitchens of Martha Mead, home economics director of a Western flour company."
    ---Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes, Emily Chase, editor [Lane Publishing:San Francisco ] 1949 (p. 282-283)
    [NOTE: recipe for this and Orange Chiffon Cake follow.]

    [1949]
    Here are the Chiffon Cakes, mentioned in Chapter 1, which were first introduced at the original Derby more than twenty years ago

    "Basic Chiffon Cake, Serves 16-20
    2 1/4 cups sifted Softasilk Cake Flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 tsp. Baking powder
    1 tsp. Salt
    1/2 cup Wesson or Mazola Oil
    5 medium-sized egg yolks, unbeaten
    3/4 cup cold water
    2 tsp. Vanilla
    Grated rind 1 lemon (optional)
    7 or 8 egg whites
    1/2 tsp. Cream of tartar
    Sift flour onto paper, then measure. Sift together into mixing bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of ingredients and add, one at a time, oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla, and lemon. Beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in large mixing bowl and whip until whites form very stiff peaks. Do not underbeat, as this must be much stiffer than for angel food or meringue. Pour egg-yolk mixture gradually over whipped egg whites, gently folding batter into whites with rubber scraper or heavy spoon until mixture is just blended. Do not stir. Pour into ungreased pan immediately. Bake in a 10-in. Tube, 4 in. deep, for 55 minutes at 325 degrees F. And then for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. If a 9 X 13 X 2-in. Oblong pan is used, bake in 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Cake is done when top springs back when lightly touched. Remove pan and immediately turn upside down, placing tube part over neck of funnel or bottle to cool. If loaf pans are used, turn upside down and rest edges on 2 other pans. Allow cake to hand, free of table, until cold. Loosen from sides of tube with spatula, turn pan over, and hit edge sharply on table to loosen."
    ---The Brown Derby Cookbook [Doubleday & Company:Garden City,NY] 1949 (p. 231)
    [NOTE: the other recipes in this book are for Orange, Chocolate and Walnut Chiffon cake.]

    [1949]
    "Fudge Chiffon Cake

    Make it light! Make it right with this Betty Crocker recipe and dainty Wesson Oil!
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix 3/4 cup boiling water with 1/2 cup cocoa. Cool.
    Step 1 Measure (level) and sift together 1 3/4 cups sifted Softasilk cake flour (spoon lightly, don't pack), 1 3/4 cups sugar, 3 tsp. Baking powder, 1 tsp. Salt
    Make a well and add in order: 1/2 cup Wesson Oil, 7 unbeaten egg yolks (medium) the cooled cocoa mixture, 1 tsp. Vanilla, 14 tsp. Red coloring (optional)
    Step 2 Whip to form very stiff peaks: 1 cup egg whites (7 or 8), 1/2 tsp. Cream of tartar. Do not underbeat.
    Step 3 Pour Wesson Oil mixture gradually over whipped egg whites, gently folding with rubber scraper just until blended. Do not stir. Pour immediately into ungreased 10-in. Tube pan, 4-in. Deep. Bake 55 min. At 325 degrees, then 10 to 15 min. At 350, or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube-part over neck of a bottle. Let hang, free of table, until cold. Loosen sides and tube with spatula. Turn pan over; hit edge sharply on table to loosen. 16 to 20 servings. Extra luscious with:
    Fudge Icing: Melt 3 tbsp. Vegetable shortening (such as Snowdrift) or butter, and 3 one-oz. Squares of unsweetened choclate over hot water. Stir 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar and 1/2 tsp. Salt into 5 tbsp. Hot milk. Add melted chocolate, beat well. Add 1 tsp. Vanilla. Add 1 more tbsp. Hot milk if needed."
    ---"Betty Crocker's Newest Chiffon!," New York Times, February 13, 1949 (p. SM 51)

    [1950?]
    Gold Medal Chiffon Cakes by Betty Crocker of General Mills offers "14 recipes, 12 icings, 9 easy guides." Flavors include peppermint chip, burnt sugar, fresh banana, lei, sunburst, cocoa fluff, bit o'chocolate, cherry nut, spicy, holiday fruit, and maple nut. 16 page booklet confirms chiffon can be baked in all different shapes & sizes in addition to the traditional round springform pan.

    [1951]
    "Chiffon Cake

    2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup Mazola Salad Oil
    5 egg yolks
    3/4 cup water
    1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 cup egg whites (7 to 8)
    Mix and sift first four ingredients. Make a well and add in order, Mazola Salad Oil, egg yolks, water, lemon rind and vanilla. Beat with spoon until smooth. Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat until egg whites form very stiff peaks. Gently fold first mixture into egg whites until well blended. Fold, do not stir. Turn batter into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in slow oven (325 degrees F.) 70 to 75 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lighty with finger. Immediately invert pan over funnel or bottle to cool. Let stand until cold. To remove from pan loosen sides with spatula. Frost with Berry or Orange icing. For 9-inch tube cake use 1/2 the above recipe; prepare as directed. Bake in slow oven (325 degrees F.) 1 hour, or until done."
    ---Mazola Menu Magic [Corn Products Refining Company:New York] 1951 (p. 17)

    [1956]
    "Chiffon Cake.

    Light as angel food, rich as butter cake. "It's the first thing I think of when planning a party," says Dorothy Quinn..."It's so easy to make, everyone likes it, and it can be served in so many glamorous ways."

    Set out but do not grease....10 X 13" tube pan or 13 X 9" oblong pan

    Sift together into bowl...1 1/4 cups sifted Softasilk or 2 cups Gold Medal flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 tsp. Baking powder, 1 tsp. Salt

    Make a "well" and add in order...1/2 cup cooking (salad) oil, 5 egg yolks, unbeaten (if you use Softasilk) or 7 egg yolks (if you use Gold Medal Flour), 3/4 cup cold water, 2 tsp. Vanilla, 2 tsp. Grated lemon rind

    Beat with spoon until smooth

    Then measure into large mixing bowl...1 cup egg whites (7 or 8), 1/2 tsp. Cream of tartar

    Beat until whites from very stiff peaks. Pour egg yolk mixture gradually over beaten whites, gently folding with rubber scraper just until blended. Pour into ungreased pan. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched. Invert on funnel. Let hang until cold.

    Temperature and Time:
    Make 10" tube at 325 degrees F. For 55 min., then at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 min. Bake oblong cake at 350 degrees F. For 50 to 55 mins."
    ---Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, Revised and Enlarged, 2nd edition [McGraw Hill:New York] 1956 (p. 162)
    [NOTE: This book also offers chiffon cake recipes for Maple pecan, Butterscotch, Orange, Chocolate chip, Spice, Bit O'Walnut, Holiday fruit, Mahogany (with chocolate), Peppermint, Cherry-Nut and Banana.]

    [1957]
    "Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon Cake

    1 3/4 sifted Softasilk [flour]
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3/4 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1/3 cooking (salad) oil
    1 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs, separated
    2 sq. Unsweetened chocolate (2 oz), melted
    Heat oven to 350 degrees F. (Mod.). Grease and flour two 8 or 9 X 1 1/2 layer pans or 13X9" oblong an. Sift into bowl flour, 1 cup sugar, soda, salt. Add oil, 1/2 cup buttermilk. Beat 1 min. Add rest of buttermilk, egg yolks, chocolate. Beat 1 min. Fold in very stiff meringue of egg whites and 1/2 cup sugar. Pour into pans. Bake 8" layers 30 to 35 min., 9" layers 25 to 30 min., oblong 40 to 45 min."
    ---Betty Crocker's Softasilk Special Occasion Cakes [General Mills:Minneapolis]1957 (p. 11)
    [NOTES: (1) This booklet also contains recipes for Mahogany and Yellow Chiffon cakes, iced with Brown Beauty, Cocoa Fluff or Peppermint Cream toppings. (2) General Mills also manufactured Wesson Oil]

    [1962]
    "Chocolate Chiffon Cake

    1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    2 cups sugar
    2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    7 egg yolks
    3/4 cup cold water
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup egg white (9-10)
    1 teaspoon salt
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Sift together the flour, baking soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, the sugar and cocoa into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and in it put the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly blended. Beat together the egg whites, salt and remaining cream of tartar until very stiff. Fold into the chocolate mixture carefully but thoroughly. Pour into a 10-inch tube pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Invert and let cool in the pan (upside down) for 2 hours. (If tube pan doesn't have legs to keep top of cake away from a rack, put the center part in a bottle. Air must circulate.) Run a spatula around the edges and center tube, then turn out."
    ---Cakes, Cookies, and Pastries, Myra Waldo [Galahad Books:New York] 1962 (p. 20)

    What about Chiffon Pie?


    Chocolate molten lava cake
    Decadently rich tream-filled cakes, cookies and pastries have been around for hundreds of years. They became very popular in the 19th century. Chocolate cake likewise debuted in this time period, although it did not make a regular appearance until the beginning of the 20th century. Pain au chocolate, possibly a progenitor of chocolate molten lava cake, was popular in the early 20th century.

    Our survey of articles published in USA newspapers and magazines confirm recipes with this moniker begin surfacing in the early 1990s. Print evidence confirms similar recipes existed in the early 1980s. Think: Maida Heatter. In the food world, this is not unusual.

    Articles reveal the first "molten cakes" were positioned as haute cuisine. They were served in trendy restaurants and featured in upscale publications (Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Ladies Home Journal). Although originally described as 'comfort food" and employing similar ingredients, it seems unlikely molten cakes originated as humble pudding cakes promoted by Mazola and Betty Crocker.

    Somehow, somewhere, someplace, traditional hot chocolate souffle rose through the culinary ranks, becoming Chocolate Souffle Cake which erupted triumphantly into Chocolate Molten Lava Cake. The evolution and attribution are unclear. Decadent chocolate desserts proliferated in the 1980s. This particular item was signature 1990s. A culinary culmination, of sorts. Upscale operations & chain restaurants celebrated together in this meltingly delicious chocolate glory. Disaster desserts continued to proliferate. Think: Volcano Cookies and Earthquake Cakes.

    Our survey of chocolate souffle cake recipes through time

    "Chocolate Souffle-Cake
    5 eggs, separated
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    5 squares bitter chocolate, melted
    1 cup toasted finely shredded almonds.
    Beat yolks until thick; add sugar gradually, beathing thoroughly. Add salt and vanilla; stir in melted chocolate and chopped almonds; quickly fold in stiffly beten egg whites. Turn into a greased baking dish, set in pan of hot water and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 35 minutes or until firm. Serve at once, garnished with whipped cream. Yield: 6 portions."
    ---"She Carries Her Kitchen Along," Grace Turner, Los Angeles Times, April 7, 1940 (p. J18)

    [1982]
    "One of the most talked-about chocolate cakes in New York City is the Chocolate Souffle Cake from Fay and Allen's Foodworks...I have heard raves about it. It was described as a soft, moist, rich, dark chocolate mixture with a crisp, brownie-like crust! In September 1980, my husband and I were on a tour to promote my chocolate book, and were in New York only for a few hectic days. As we were checking out of our hotel I suddenly remembered the Chocolate Souffle Cake...I spoke to Mr. Mark Allen, the man who bakes the cakes...He told me that he got the recipe when he attended the Culinary Institute of America. It is a flourless mixture similar to a rich chocolate mousse, baked in a large Bundt pan. During baking, a crisp crust forms on the outside; the inside stays moist. The recipe calls for long, slow baking...

    8 ounces semisweet chocolate
    8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons salad oil
    8 eggs (graded large), separated
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Optional: confectioners sugar

    Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. You will need a 10-inch Bundt pan or any other fancy-shaped tube pan with a 12-cup capacity...Butter the pan (even if it has a nonstick lining); the best way is to use room-temperature butter, and brush it on with a pastry brush. The sprinkle granulated sugar all over the pan; in order to get the sugar on the tube, sprinkle it on with your fingertips. Shake the pan to coat it all with sugar, and then invert it over a piece of paper and tap to shake excess. Set the pan aside. Break up or coarsley chop the chocolate and place it in the top of a large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Cut up the butter and add it, and the oil, to the chocolate. Cover and let cook until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the hot water. In a mixing bowl, stir the yolks a bit with a wire whisk just to mix. Them gradually, in a few additions, whisk about half of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks, and then, off the heat, add the yolks to the remaining hot chocolate mixture (the mixture will thicken a bit as the heat of the chocolate cooks the eggs). Add the sugar and vanilla and stir to mix. Set aside. In a large bowl of an electric mixer add the salt to the egg whites and beat until the whites hold a point when the beaters are raised but not until they are stiff or dry. Fold a few large spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate mixture. Then add the remaining whites and fold together gently only until incorporated. Gently turn the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 2 2/4 hours. During baking the cake will rise and then sink; it will sink more in the middle than on the edges. That is as it should be. It is O.K. Remove from the oven and let stand in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then cover the cake with an inverted serving plate. Hold the pan and the plate firmly together, and turn them over. The sugar coating in the pan forms a crust and the cake will slide out of the pan easily. Let stand until cool or serve while warm. If you wish, cover the top of the cake generously with confectioners sugar, sprinkling it on through a fine strainer held over the cake. Brush excess sugar off the plate."
    ---Maida Heatter's New Book of Great Desserts [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1982(p. 36-38)

    "A flourless French chocolate cake--really a type of souffle--first received wide welcome from cooks in the United States when Dione Lucas taught them how to make it. Lucas was a pioneer in introducing French recipes to Americans in her The Cordon Bleu Cookbook (first published in 1947) has been reprinted many times. Lucas' flourless French chocolate cake was made in a jellyroll-style pan so it could be baked, filled with whipped cream and rolled. now a similar recipes, named Chocolate Souffle Cake, has cropped up in regular round shape and may be cut in wedges...

    "Chocolate Souffle Cake
    4-oz package sweet cooking chocolate
    1/4 pound stick unsalted butter
    4 large eggs, separated
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Whipped cream (slightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla)
    Chocolate curls for garnish, if desired
    Butter bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan. Coat with sugar, shaking ot excess. In medium saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat. Whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, until blended. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla. In medium bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form when beater is slowly withdrawn. Fold in chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated 300-degree oven until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean--1 hour and 20 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. With small spatula, loosen edges andturn out on rack. Cool completely--cake will sink in center. Transfer to serving plate. At serving time, fill indented center with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls."
    ---"A New Form for Chocolate Cake Favorite," Cecily Brownstown, Los Angeles Times, April 3, 1986 (p. 29)
    [NOTE: Our 1947 copy of Ms. Lucas' Cordon Bleu Cook Book contains recipes titled: Roulage Leontine (Chocolate roll filled with whipped cream, possibly referenced above), Chocolate Cake (baked in deep cake tin, frosted), and Hot Chocolate Souffle (baked in souffle dish).]

    [1990]
    "Wolfgang's Individual Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles"

    ...Wolfgang is...one of the world's greatest chefs...A hot souffle is the most elegant and posh of all desserts, but it is surprisingly quick and easy to make. Although this must be served immediately when it is done, the preparation can be completed (in 10 to 15 minutes) up to about 2 hours before serving...It would take all of Hollywood's hyperbole to properly describe this. Itg has more chocolate than most souffles, with a lush, rich texture and a densley bittersweet and extgravagant flavor..."
    ---Maida Heatter's Best Dessert Book Ever, Maida Heatter [Random House:New York] 1990 (p. 307) [book offers recipe.]

    [1991]
    "New Yorkers are calling it the best dessert. Ever. Tiramisu has had it. Creme brulee, watch out. The confection in question is a small warm chocolate cake that, when cut, oozes with intensely rich molten chocolate. This year, some version of it is being served in more than a dozen restaurants. New ones are added to the list almost daily. 'Sirlo wanted me to put it on the menu,' said Jacques Torres, the pastry chef at Le Cirque, referring to Sirio Maccioni, the owner. 'A lot of people were asking for it.' A number of other chefs are preparing some version of this dessert...But Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the chef and co-owner of Jo Jo, exclaimed when asked about the runny little chocolate cakes, 'They're mine!' At Jo Jo's the dessert is called chocolate Valrhona cake with vanilla ice cream. 'Maybe there is a surprise factor,' said Lois Freedman, the manager of Jo Jo, 'The description on the menu doesn't prepare people for what to expect. But it's becoming like a cult thing, with people saying it's the best dessert they ever had...Miss Freedman said the phenomenon was especially curious because Mr. Vongerichten, who said he got the recipe from his mother, served the same dessert at Lafayette for two years before opening Jo Jo, yet it had much less impact there. Perhaps it's the element of comfort, the same mode that is driving people to want mashed potatoes in fancy restaurants. The innocent-looking cake--a classic fluted bundt shape in miniature with a dusting of confectioner's sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream--has an easy, unsophisticated look about it, just like the photograph on a box of cake mix. But the first bite reveals the rish, meltingly warm bittersweet chocolate inside--too good to be true...Mr. Vongerichten's recipe is elementary, calling for chocolate and butter to be melted together, then combined with eggs and egg yolks beaten with sugar. A little flour is sifted in, and the batter is poured into molds and baked for five minutes. 'It's simply underbaked, so it reminds you of when you were a kid and licked the batter bowl,' said Mr. Nish, of March, where a similar cake is made using a combination of Mexican chocolate, with its hint of cinnamon...Mr. Nish said his recipe originally came from Mr. Ducasses in Monte Carlo and he started making it two years ago when he as still at La Colombe d'Or. 'My sous-chef there, Mark May, had worked with Ducasse,"...For his part, Mr. Ducasse said he started making the cake some five years ago, but did not invent it. 'It reached a point where we were practically obliged to make it, but when it began showing up in every restaurant I took it off the menu."...Then there's Sarabeth Levine, the owner of Sarabeth's Kitchen, who said she was making little warm chocolate souffle cakes with deliciously moist centers years ago...Wolfgang Puck, the owner of Spago in Los Angeles, has been serving a similar dessert, chocolate suprise cake, for a couple of months...At Mesa Grille in New York, Bobby Flay makes a similar fallen souffle cake with a ganache center sharpened with a touch of ancho chili...Despite the variations and embellishments conceived by various chefs, the genesis might well be French home cooking as done by Mr. Vonerighten's mother...Mr. Payard of Le Bernadin said it's really not any chef's recipe at all, but something everyone's mother makes at home in France..."
    ---"The Cakes that Take New York Erupt with Molten Chocolate," Florence Fabricant, New York Times, November 27, 1991 (p. C3)

    [1991]
    "Chocolate Surprise Cake (adapted from Mary Bergin at Spago)

    Total time: 2 hours, including chilling

    9 ounces bittersweet chocolate
    11 tablespoons unsalted butter plus soft butter for greasing molds
    3 tablespoons heavy cream
    2 tablespoons Jack Daniel's whiskey or other bourbon
    3 large eggs
    3 egg yolks
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    Whipped cream or coffee ice cream

    1. Melt 4 ounces of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    2. Combine cream and whisky in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then pour over the melted chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is firm enough to handle, about an hour. Using a melon baller or a teaspoon, quickly form the chocolate mixture into eight truffle-sized balls. Place on a pan or plate lined with waxed paper and refrigerate.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a muffin tin or tins with 8 cups that are each 4 inches in diameter, preferable of 1 cup capacity.
    4. Melt the remaining 5 ounces of chocolate and 10 tablespoons butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water; stir and set aside.
    5. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture thickens, triples in volume and forms a ribbon. Fold in the melted chocolate. Sift the flour over the mixture and quickly fold it in.
    6. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups. Insert a chilled truffle in the center of each, place in the oven and bake 12 minutes, until the top springs back when touched lightly. Do not insert a cake tester. 7. Unmold the cakes: run a knife around the edges, then place a baking sheet over the the tin and, holding both together, invert, then carefully lift off the muffin tin. Serve at once with whipped cream or ice cream. Yield: 8 servings."
    ---"The Cakes that Take New York Erupt with Molten Chocolate," Florence Fabricant, New York Times, November 27, 1991 (p. C3)

    [1992]
    "Chocolate lava cakes

    Preparation time: 35 minutes Chilling time: Several hours Cooking time: 30 minutes
    Yield: 8 servings. These individual chocolate cakes have a soft center of chocolate fudge that erupts in a rich, dark puddle from the warm cakes. They're best served just out of the oven.

    Chocolate lava filling: 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 6 tablespoons whipping cream 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla Cakes: 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 1/4 cup hot coffee or water 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 3 large eggs, separated Cocoa powder for the tops Ice cream or custard sauce for serving.
    1. For the filling, line a plastic ice cube tray with a large piece of plastic wrap. With your fingers, gently poke the plastic down into eight of the cubes so they are fully lined with plastic.
    2. Melt the chocolate with the cream and corn syrup; whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla; set aside to cool until tepid. Fill the eight lined ice cubes with the chocolate; freeze at least 4 hours or cover and freeze up to a month.
    3. For the cakes, place rack in center of oven and heat to 425 degrees. Generously butter eight 4-ounce souffle dishes or ramekins. Place them on a jelly-roll pan.
    4. Melt the chocolate with the coffee. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes; stir in vanilla.
    5. Cream the butter with 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stop the mixer and stir in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour and salt with a spatula.
    6. Beat the egg whites with a clean mixer until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue beating until thick and glossy. Thoroughly mix one quarter of the beaten whites into chocolate batter; gently fold in the rest.
    7. Fill each prepared souffle dish about halfway full with the chocolate batter. Gently bury a frozen chocolate cube into the center of each; add remaining batter, filling cups almost to the top.
    8. Bake until cakes are puffy and set, 18 to 20 minutes. Gently loosen from the sides of the dishes and invert onto serving plates. Sift cocoa over the top and serve with ice cream or custard sauce as desired."
    ---"Easy to Prepare Turkey Breast Plus Chocolate Lava Cakes, Ring In Holiday Celebrations," Pat Dailey, Chicago Tribune, December 5, 1992 (Food Guide, p. 5)

    Chocolate Molten Volcano cookies?

    "Researchers at Nabisco Brands Inc. obtained a patent this week for a cookie that they say erupts like a volcano, spewing flavored filling out the tip and down the sides when it is heated in a microwave oven. Although goods baked in microwave ovens are now common, the new cookie appears to be the first to use the special properties of microwave energy to achieve an ornamental goal. The researchers said the product combined the convenience of a factory-baked cookie with the freshness and flavor of one just baked. Still experimental, the product is baked in a factory and features a hollow interior that is injected with a water-based filling. A consumer would heat the cookie in a microwave oven, causing the filing to expand and push upward through small openings in the cookie's top. The filling would then solidify as it trickled down the sides. Because microwave energy heats items form the center outward, the 'eruption' takes place without rebaking the cookie. Nabisco has not decided whether to commercialize the invention. Richard D. Fazzolare and Donald G. Boehm, Nabisco Researchers, obtained patent 4,948,602."
    ---"Patents: Cookie That Explodes," Edward L. Andrews, New York Times, August 18, 1990 (p. 34) [
    Patent here.]

    A response from Texas

    "Researchers at Nabisco Brands Inc. have come up with an idea they think is novel: A cookie that erupts like a volcano, spewing filling out the top and down the sides when heated in a microwave oven The filling solidifies as it trickles down the sides, as if it were lava hardening on the sides of a volcano. They have even obtained a patent for this exploding cookie. I hate to inform the Nabisco researchers that this isn't a new and novel idea at all. Many times this same thing has happened to me while baking cakes, cookies and other goodies. I've had lots of things explode in my oven, trickling down the sides and solidifying and, believe me, I never thought about getting a patent to market the item. In fact, I never thought it was a pretty sight. Not only have things in my oven exploded. I've had perfectly innocent looking cakes create earthquakes. Not long ago I removed a cake from the oven, let it cool, and carefully frosted it. As I stepped back to admire it, the thing started shaking. I thought we were having an earthquake, but nothing else in the kitchen was moving. As I looked on in horror, the top layer of my cake split right down the middle and broke apart. There was nothing I could do by watch as several aftershocks hit, and the top pieces started sliding off the bottom layer. In just a few seconds, that cake shook itself into shambles. I thought it was terrible, but now I'm not so sure. If those people can get a patent and make millions for an exploding cookie, why can't I get a patent for an earthquake cake and make a few bucks? Look for it soon in your grocery store."
    ---"Postscripts," Margaret Seeliger, Lockhart Post-Register [TX], August 23, 1990 (p. 2A)


    Chop Suey Cake
    Americans have been enamored with recipes titled "Chop Suey" from the early 20th century forwards. These "exotic" recipes presumably descend from Chinese culinary traditions. General notes on the origins of American-style
    Chop Suey.

    Is Chop Suey cake a Chinese-American recipe? Seriously not. Early 20th century American cooks ran with the name and applied to a variety of recipes (cakes, cookies, ice cream sundae toppings) featuring a variety of ingredients. The earliest print reference we find for Chop Suey Cake dates to 1912. General descriptions confirm it was a type of fruitcake, featuring traditional Anglo-American nuts and raisins. The earliest recipe we find for Chop Suey Cake from 1934. Curiously? It is a very simple cake devoid of nuts/raisins or anything identifiably exotic. In the late 1970s "modern" Chop Suey Cake first surfaces. Newspapers through out the country promoted one very different recipe: a cake with nuts and crushed pineapple with cream cheese frosting. We find no chef, company, or contest claiming to be the "inventor" of this particular Chop Suey cake.

    This moniker reminds of of Japanese Fruit Cake, epicentering in Appalachian America. No one offers an explanation for the "Japanese" part of the name. It is possible this moniker, like "Chop Suey" might indicate an exotic ingredient. In the case of Japanese Fruit Cake, this ingredient is coconut. In the case of (modern) Chop Suey Cake, this ingredient is pineapple.

    We surveyed historic newspapers (NewspaperArchives.com, local papers; ProQuest Historic, national papers), Illinois/midwest cookbooks and brand name recipe books (in case this originated in Dole or Kraft corporate kitchens). Below please find our results.

    [1912]
    "Chop Suey Cake. 10 cents Dozen. Here is an entirely new kind of small drop cake that be sold by the dozen."
    ---bakery ad, Marion Daily Star [OH], March 29, 1912 (p. 5)
    [NOTE: Description suggests this cake was actually cookies. No reference to ingredients provided.]

    [1925]
    "In our bakery dept. Chop Suey Cake. A special fruit cake. Each 19 cents."
    ---bakery ad, Oakland Tribune [CA], December 1, 1925 (p. 8)

    [1926]
    "Chop Suey Cake filled with nutmeats and raisins."
    ---bakery ad, Daily Courier [PA], November 26, 1926 (p. 3)

    [1934]
    "Chop Suey Cake

    6 eggs
    1/2 tsp. salt
    3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
    1 c. sugar
    1 c. flour
    1/2 tsp. lemon extract
    Beat egg whites and salt until partially stiff. Add cream of tartar. Continue beating. Gradually beat in sifted sugar. Fold in beaten egg yolks. Fold in flavor, which has been sifted four times. Add lemon extract. Bake in two layers for thirty minutes in a moderate oven 300 degrees F."
    ---"Make a Cake When You Bake," Salt Lake Tribune [UT]. April 15, 1934 (p. 58)

    [1978]
    "Chop Suey Cake

    2 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1-20 oz can crushed pineapple undrained
    Frosting:
    1-8 ounce package cream cheese
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 to 2 T. milk
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all these ingredients with a spoon. Pour into a greased 9X12 inch pan. Frost as soon as comes out of oven with following frosting. Frosting: Blend all in blender or mixer until well mixed. Pour over hot cake. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Will keep several weeks in refrigerator or in freezer several months.--Mary Tredinnick"
    ---"Recipes," Cedar Rapids Gazette [IA] November 23, 1978 (p. 4E)
    [NOTES: (1) This column features recipes submitted by local readers. It does not indicate the recipes were "invented" by these cooks. (2) This recipe was widely republished in newspapers throughout the country until the mid-1980s.]


    Coffee cake
    Coffee cake (also sometimes known as Kuchen or Gugelhupf) was not invented. It evolved...from ancient honey cakes to simple
    French galettes to medieval fruitcakes to sweet yeast rolls to Danish, cakes made with coffee to mass-produced pre-packaged treats.

    Food historians generally agree the concept of coffee cake [eating sweet cakes with coffee] most likely originated in Northern/Central Europe sometime in the 17th century. Why this place and time? These countries were already known for their traditional for sweet yeast breads. When coffee was introduced to Europe these cakes were a natural accompaniment. German, Dutch, and Scandinavian immigrants brought their coffee cake recipes with them to America.
    The first coffee cake-type foods were more like bread than cake. They were enriched breads composed of yeast, flour, eggs, sugar, nuts, dried fruit and sweet spices. Streusel and crumb toppings were not uncommon. Over time, coffee cake recipes changed. Sugared fruit, cheese, yogurt and other creamy fillings (think: Danish) are often used in today's American coffee cake recipes. 19th century American coffee cakes may surprise you. Coffee was an ingredient, not a serving suggestion. Some of these recipes were thrifty ways to use leftover coffee; others employed fresh brewed, or coffee extract.

    Early USA print references connecting coffee cake and coffee drinking are scant. One newspaper circa 1876 mentions dunking coffee cake in coffee. Cookbooks group the recipe in bread and/or cake sections, depending on the formula. An early Philadelphia source mentions shaping coffee cake as pretzels, perhaps confirming a connection with the Pennsylvania Dutch (German) heritage. World War I (aka The Great War) era cook books are the first to direct Americans to serve German Coffee Cake with coffee. By the 1920s "Coffee Cake" achieves distinct genre status, meriting seprate index headings and chapters. In 2013, The Library of Congress "coffee cake" subject heading lists 9 books on the topic, from 1967 forwards.

    Where did the habit come from?
    "Much of the American appetite for sweet rolls and cakes comes from these specific Germans as well as from the Holland settlements that had so much influence on early New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. All of those colonial cooks made fruity, buttery breakfast or coffee cakes from recipes that vary only slightly from methods used in the twentieth century. They also share some of the responsibility for the national zest for doughnuts..."
    ---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981 (p. 91)

    "...Scandinavians were perhaps more responsible than anyone else for making America as coffee-break-conscious as it is, and for perfecting the kind of food that goes well with coffee. German women had already brough the Kaffeeklatcsh to their frontier communities, but it was in the kitchens where there was always a pot brewing on the back of the stove that Scandinavian hospitality and coffee became synonymous...The term coffee klatch became part of the language, and its original meaning--a moment that combined gossip with coffee drinking--was changed to define the American version of England's tea, a midmorning or midafternoon gathering at which to imbibe and ingest....Like the cooks from Central Europe, most Scandinavian cooks have prided themselves on simple forms of pastry making that include so called coffee breads, coffee cakes, coffee rings, sweet rolls, and buns..."
    ---ibid (p. 163)

    According to the book Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner, it wasn't until 1879 that the term "coffee cake" became a common term. Historic American cook books and newspapers support this claim.

    [1875]
    "Coffee Cake.

    5 cups flour, dried and sifted.
    1 cup of butter.
    2 cups of sugar.
    1 cup of molasses.
    1 cup made black coffee--the very best quality.
    1/2 pound raisins, seeded and minced.
    1/2 pound currants, washed and dried.
    1/4 pound citron, chopped fine.
    3 eggs, beaten very light.
    1/2 teaspoonful cinnamon.
    1/2 teaspoonful mace. 1 taspoonful-a full one-of saleratus.
    Cream the butter and sugar, warm the molasses slightly, and berate these,w ith the spices hard, five minutes, until the mixture is very light. Next, put in the yolks, the coffee, and when these are well mixed, the flour, in turn with the whipped whites. Next, the saleratus, dissolved in hot water, and the fruit, all mixed together and dredged well with flour. Beat up very thoroughly, and bake in two loaves, or in small round tins. The flavor of this cake is peculiar, but to most palates very pleasant. Wrap in a thick cloth as soon as it is cold enough to put away without danger of 'sweating,' and shut within your cake box, as it soon loses the aroma of the coffee if exposed to the air." ---Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea, Marion Harland [Scribner, Armstrong & Co.: New York] 1875 (p. 332)

    [1876]
    "...[Coffee]...particuarly accompanied by a slice or two of German coffee cake. Sift 2 pounds of four into a large pan; make a hole in the center, into which break four eggs; add three cups of good potato sponge (set the night before) and a little new milk, warned. If it is cold weather, dip the eggs into hot water before breaking them. Make this into hard dough. Be careful and not put in too much milk, as you must use no more than 2 pounds of flour. Work it well; set it in a warm place to rise--not too lgiht. Then melt one-half or three-fourths pound of butter; one teacupful after it is melted is about enough, and work it into the dough with both hands. Keep at it until it is thorougly blended and very smooth. Work in one and one-half cups white suggar next; then as many raisins as you lie. (I use nearly one cupful). Use just a little flour to work it into a lump again, and set it to rise. When very light, turn the pan upside-down on the bread-board for the pupose of not disturbing the dough more than necessary in getting it out; then take a little piece at a time, enough when pulled out to half-inch thickness to sit into the baking tin. If the dough is not hard enoguh to roll, do not try to remedy it by adding flour, but take a piece from the dish to the pan and pat it down with your hand to the required thickness. When you have it all in tins, beat an egg, and with the pastry brush paint the cases all over; then dust sugar and cinnamon, mixed, over the top. Let it rise again very light, and bake in not a very hot oven fifteen minutes, or until they are a golden brown. Let tuem cook in the pans, then slice and dip into coffee before eating."
    ---"The Home: Coffee and Coffee-Cake," Mrs. M.E.M., Chicago Daily Tribune, September 2, 1876 (p. 11)

    "Coffee Cake. --One and a hlaf cups made coffee; aone and a half cups sugar; one-half cup molasses; one cup of chopped raisins; one of currants; nearly one cut butter; one tea-spoon soda; one nutmeg; a little citron, cinnamon, cloves, spices of any kind you have. First stir together sugar, molasses, spices, fruit and butter, and our on the coffee hot. Add flour to make stiff as fruit cake. It improves with age." ---"Parker House Rolls and Coffee Cake," Mr.s J.C.H., Chicago Daily Tribune, September 9, 1876 (p. 11)

    [1877]
    "Coffee Cake.

    Two cups brown sugar, one of butter, one of molasses, one of strong coffee as prepared for the table, four eggs, one tea-spoon saleratus, two of cinnamon, two of cloves, one of grated nutmeg, pound raisins, one of currants, four cups flour.--Mrs. Wm. Skinner, Battle Creek, Mich.

    "Coffee Cake. One cup brown sugar, cup molasses, half cup butter, cup strong coffee, one egg or yolks of two, four even cups flour, heaping tea-spoon soda in the flour, table-spoon cinnamon, tea-spoon cloves, two pounds raisins, fourth pound citron, Soften the butter, beat with the sugar, add the egg, spices, molasses and coffee, then the flour, and lastly the fruit dredged with a little flour. Bake one hour in moderate oven or make in two small loaves which will bake in a short time. --Mrs. D. Buxton."
    ---Buckeye Cookery, Estelle Woods Wilcox

    [1890]
    "Coffee Rolls.

    Scald a half pint of milk and our it oer a half pint of flour. Beat a moment, and add four ounces of butter, a teaspooful of salt, and one of sugar. When lukewarm add a half yeast cake dissoved in four tablespoonfuls of warm water, or half cup of yeast two eggs well beaten, and sufficient flour to make a soft dough. Knead lightly, and put the dough into a bowl; cover and put in a warm place until very light. Then roll out, fold it one half over the other, roll it out again; then cut off in strips, and with as little handling as possible, form into pretzel shaped cakes. Do not spoil the grain of the dough in the making out. Place them in greased pans, and when very light bake in a quick oven fifteen minutes. Beat together the white of one egg; a tablespoonful of sugar, and one of milk; and when the rolls are half done take them out, brush them over with this mixture, and put them back to brown."
    ---"Housekeepers Inquiries," Mrs. S.T. Rorer editor Table Talk, April 1890 (p. 135)

    [1898]
    "Coffee Cake

    Take two cupfuls of bread sponge, add one egg well beaten, a half cupful of sugar, a tablespoonful of butter, and a cupful of tepid water. Mix them well together, then add enough flour to make a thin dough. Let it rise until double in size. Turn it on a board, and roll it out an inch thick. Place it in a baking-tin, cutting it to fit the tin, and let it rise afain untiul light. Just before placing it in the oven, spread over the top an egg beaten with a teaspoonful of sugar. Sprinkle oer this some granulated sugar, and a few split blanched almonds. If preferred, the dough may be twisted and shaped into rings instead of being bake in sheets. This cake, which is a kind of bun, is, as well as bath buns, a good luncheon dish to serve in place of cake; or either of them, served with a cup of chocolate, makes a good light luncheon in itself."
    ---The Century Cook Book, Mary Arnold [The Century Co.:New York] 1898 (p. 358-359)

    [1902]
    "Coffee Cake

    1 pound of pastry flour
    1 tablespoon of sugar
    5 eggs (half pound) 4 tablespoonfuls (four ounces) of butter
    2 tablespoonfuls of milk
    1 compressed cake of yeast
    Dissolve the yeast cake in a quarter of a cup of warm water, and then stir in sufficient flour to make a dough. Knead this into a small biscuit, and with a sharp knife make a cross almost through, and drop it, cut side up, in a good-sized pitcher, nearly filled with warm water. The bisuit will drop directly to the bottom, but in a few minutes the warmth and moisture of the water will cause the yeast plants to row, filling the dough with carbon dioxid, which will make it sufficently light to float. While this is standing, sift the flour into a good-sized bowl, make a hole or well in the centre, into which put the butter, sugar, milk, and eggs well beaten. Lift the biscuit with a skimmer and drop it in the mas. Now with the two fingers and thumb work the ingredients to a paste, taking in gradually the flour. If the flour is of good quality, you will have a soft delicate dough, which can be manipulated lighly in the bowl. If it is sufficently dry to knead on the board, the cake will be coarse, and tasteless, and lack the delicacy necessary to this delightful cake. Cover the dough and stand in a warm place (75 degrees Fahr.) over night or from ten o'clock in the evening until seven o'clock in the morning. Dust the baking board very lightly with pastry flour; turn out the dough, cut from the mass about two tablespoonfuls, and roll it out under your hand, the thickness of your little vinger, and at least one and a half yards in length; make it a little thinner in the centre, fold the two ends together and roll the whole under your hand, thoroughly twisting it rope-like. Bring the two ends of this roll together, and place the twists in a greased pan, where they cannot touch each other in the baking. Cover and stand in a warm place until very light, about three quarters of an hour. Brush with the white of an egg and water beaten together, and bake in a quick oven (400 degrees Fahr.) for fifteen minutes. Take from the oven, and when they are slightly cold pour over each a little water icing, or melted sugar. Melted sugar is made by adding a tablepsoonful of hot water to a half pound of powdered sugar. Stand this over the fire until it is just moist and sufficently soft to pour."

    "Coffee Gems
    4 eggs
    1 cup of granulated sugar
    2 teaspoonfuls of coffee extract
    1 cup of pastry flour
    Beat the eggs in a suacepan; add the coffee extract and then the sugar; beat these rapidly over boiling water unti the mixture is slightly warm. Take form the fire, and whip continuously for fifteen minutes; then add slowly the sifted pastry flour. Have ready tiny gem pans brushed with oil or suet and dusted with granulated sugar; half fill them with the cake mixture. Bake in a quick oven (about 300 degrees Fahr.) for fifteen minutes, and they are ready to use. These cakes are usually served warm."
    ---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902 (p. 620-621)

    [1909]
    Coffee Cake.

    Enough for 2 Cakes.
    3 1/2-4 cups of flour, 1 pt. of milk, 1/4 lb of butter, 1/2 grated lemon rind, 1/4 lb of sugar, 3 eggs, 1 cent yeast.
    Preparation: The milk is made lukewarm and stirred to a smooth batter with 1 1/4 cups of flour, then the yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup of lukewarm milk is mixed in quickly and put in a warm place to rise. After the sponge has risen well, mix in the melted butter, sugar, grated lemon rind, the eggs and the rest of the flour, stir the dough a while with a spoon. Butter 2 tins and put in the dough about 1 inch thick, then set to rise, after this strew on sugar, cinnamon and put on small pieces of butter and some chopped almonds. Bake in medium hot oven to a nice color.

    Streusel coffee cake
    Preparation of the Streusel.
    A piece of butter the size of an egg, 1/2 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of ground almonds, yeast dough like No. 8 [above coffee cake].
    Preparation: The dough is prepared as given under No. 8, Coffee Cake. Instead of strewing on sugar, cinnamon and pieces of butter you make sugar crumbs as following: Melt the butter, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and almonds with it and rub to crumbs with the hands. Sprinkle over the cakes before baking."
    ---The Art of German Cooking and Baking, Mrs. Lina Meier [Wetzel Bros.:Milwaukee WI] 1909 (p. 335-6)

    [1913]
    "German Coffee Cake

    To a quart of lukewarm milk use one Fleischmann's yeast cake, flour enough to make stiff sponge (sifting flour twice before using), knead till batter shows large bubbles, mix in evening; next morning knead again; put batter about three-quarters high in tins, let raise till twice this size, glaze with melted butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar over top (or chopped almonds instead of cinnamon). Bake in medium hot oven. Serve with coffee."
    ---The American Home Cook Book, Grace E. Denison [Barse & Hopkins Publishers:New York] 1913 (p. 304)

    [1926]
    Every Woman's Cook Book, Mrs. Chas. F. Moritz (1926) offers
    24 recipes in the Coffee Cake chapter.

    Crumb cake & Streusel
    "Crumble is the name of a simple topping spread instead of pastry on fruit pies of the dish type with no bottom crust, such as are popular in Britain. Recipes for crumble do not appear in old books of English recipes, nor is it recorded until the 20th century. Crumble is much quicker and easier to make than pastry and it seems probable that it developed during the Second World War. It is like a sweet pastry made without water. The ingredients of a modern crumble are flour, butter, and sugar; a little spice is sometimes added...The butter is cut into the dry ingredients, and the mixture spooned onto the pie filling without further preparation...Crumble may have been inspired by a similar cinnamon-flovoured topping traditional in Australia and Central Europe for a rich tea bread or cake. The topping is called Streusel, and the cake Streuselkuchen (German streusen, to scatter). Streusel contains much less flour in proportion to sugar than British crumble, so that when baked it has a crisp and granular rather than crumbly texture, and remains firmly attached to the top of the cake. It is spread over a coating of melted butter on the raw cake, which helps it to adhere."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 230)

    "Streusel. A crumb topping of flour, butter, and spices that is sprinkled and baked on breads, cakes, and muffins (1925). The term is from the German, for "something strewn together," although these toppings are certainly of German origin, although they are sometimes referred to as "danish" or "Swedish."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 312)

    Sample recipe here.

    Galettes
    The history of bread and cake starts with Neolithic cooks and marches through time according to ingredient availability, advances in technology, economic conditions, socio-cultural influences, legal rights (Medieval guilds), and evolving taste. Where does galette fit in? This is how the food historians sum it up:

    "Galette. In Fance, galette is a general term for a 'round flat cake'. And not just any sweet cake, etiher (although one of the best known is the traditional puff-pastry galette des Rois, 'Kings' cake,' baked on Twelfth night), The word is also used for thin fried cakes made from potato, or for pancakes. It comes from Old French galet, 'pebble'."
    ---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 136)

    "Galette. A flat, round cake of variable size. The galette probably dates from the Neolithic era when thick cereal pastes were cooked by spreading them out on hot stones. In ancient times people made galettes from oats, wheat, rye and even barley, sweetened with honey. Then came the hearth cakes of the Middle Ages and all the regional varieties: the galette of Correze, made with walnuts or chestnuts; the galette of Roussillon, made with crystallized (candied) fruits; the marzipan galette of the Nivernais; the curd cheese galette of the Jura; the puff pastry galette of Normandy, filled with jam and fresh cream; the famous galette of Perugia, a delicate yeasted pastry, like brioche, flavoured with lemon rind (zest) and topped with butter and sugar; and, of course, the traditonal puff pastry Twelfth Night cake (galette des Rois or gateau des Rois). Galettes are not always sweet. In rural France galettes are traditionally made with potatoes (finely sliced or pureed) or with cereals (maize, millet, oats.)."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 540)

    "Galette. A flat, round cake; the word being derived from galet, a pebble weatherworn to the shape that is perfect for skipping. Buckwheat or maize crepes are also called galettes in some regions...As a cake, a galette is made of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs in infinite variations, or simply of puff pastry. The glowing galette des rois [in Britain known as twelfth night cake] found in Paris, Lyons, and generally north of the Loire is fashioned almost exclusively from the latter, the classic feuillatage. The kings' they honour are the three Wise Men come to pay homage to the newborn King of Kings in Bethlehem. The appear around the Feast of Epiphany."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 328-9)

    Related food? King cake.

    Danish pastries
    The history of cheese danish is most likely traced to ancient
    galettes (sweet yeast cakes) and mideastern baklava-type pastries. These foods were often filled with spiced fruits and soft cheese then topped with nuts. About cheesecake/cheese fillings.

    "Danish pastries are rich confections based on a yeast dough with milk and egg, into which butter...has been folded by a method similar to that employed for making croissants...Of the various fillings, the most correct' must be the traditional Danish one, remonce; this is a Danish...term which means butter creamed with sugar and often almonds or marzipan too. But confections called Danish pastries are made in vast numbers outside Denmark, and common alternative fillings include differently flavoured sugar and butter mixtures, almond or hazelnut mixtures, jam, creme patrissiere--alone or in any combination, often with dried fruit or candied peel...The Danish name for Danish pastries is Weinerbrod, 'Vienna bread' (the name by which these recipes are known throughout Scandinavia an N. Germany, where they are also popular). "
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 242)

    "The Danish pastry (for Danish, as it is often abbreviated in American English) is a comparatively recent introduction from continental patisserie; the first reference to it in English does not appear until 1934. And the connection of this rich confection of yeast dough with Denmark is fairly tenuous; it seems to have originated in Vienna, and the Austrians for some unexplained reason associated it with Scandinavia. The Danes, paradoxically, refer to it as Wienerbrod--'Viennese bread'."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 108)

    "Danish pastry...A term encompassing a variety of yeast-dough pastries rolled and filled with cheese, prune, almond paste, fruit preserves, nuts or other condiments. These pastries are a staple breakfast item, especially on the East Coast, where one orders a "Danish" prefixed by the filling desired. Although the pastries may have danish origins, these flaky buns and rolls are more often associated with New York Jewish delicatessens and bakeries. With this meaning the word first appeared in print in 1928. In California Danish pastries are sometimes called "snails," because of their snaillike appearance."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 109)

    "The Danes call the pastry Vienna bread because when the Danish bakers went on strike in the late nineteenth century, they were replaced by Viennese bakers who made a light, flaky pastry dough. When the Danish bakers returned to work, they adopted the dough, improving it by adding their own variations and fillings, and making it uniquely theirs." ---The International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections, Carole Bloom [Hearst:New York] 1995 (p. 97-8)

    ABOUT BEAR CLAWS
    "Bear Claws wasn't the easiest recipe we've tested, but the results were well worth the effort -- we loved them and so will you. Bear claws are made with a sweet yeast dough or Danish pastry dough. Danish pastry comes in a variety of shapes and fillings. The bear claws we made are filled with dates, raisins and nuts. Why are they called Bear Claws? Three or four small cuts are made in the pastry. Gently bending and spreading the pastry forms a bear claw."
    ---"BEAR CLAWS AREN'T EASY, BUT THEY ARE DELICIOUS," Arlene Burnett, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 29, 2001, Pg. F-2,

    "Bear claw. A large sweet pastry shaped like a bear's paw. 1942, San Francisco [Another variety of "snail" pastry], with raisin filling, is (from its shape) known as a "bear claw."
    ---Dictionary of American Regional English, Frederick G. Cassidy, chief editor [Belknap Press:Cambridge MA] 1985 , Volume I (p. 186)

    Then? There's this:

    "Isleta bread. A Pueblo Indian bread shaped like a bear's claw, hence the alternate names "bear claw" or "paw bread."

    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 168) Related foods? Kolache & Kuchen


    Lamingtons
    Lamington cakes are connected with Australia circa early 20th century. There are two popular theories regarding the origin:

    "Australia's most famous cake is said to have been named in honour of May, Baroness Lamington, wife of the Queensland governor from 1896 to 1901. There are two theories regarding its invention: one, that it originated in the Government House kitchens as a way of using up stale cake; or, the explanation favoured by the majority of commentators, that it was created by Brisbane cook Amy Schauer. Amy Schauer was born in Sydney in 1871 and trained at the Sydney Technical College before taking up appointment at Brisbane's Central Technical College in 1895, where she continued to teach until 1937. She wrote three cookbooks...In addition, she developed cookery courses for school and technical colleges throughout Queensland, delivered classes in war and invalid cookery...In particular, she was famous for her talent in the area of confectionery, cake decorating and cake baking. Miss Schauer was undoubtedly the most influential figure in Queensland cookery during the first half of the twentieth century...There are several variations on the lamington theme, this classic being small squares of butter cake covered in chocolate icing and coconut but strawberry icing, cream fillings and larger cakes are also well liked. Often they are made with sponge cake but really the lamington butter cake makes the most flavourful ones."
    ---How to Cook a Galah, Lauel Evelyn Dyson [Lothian:South Melbourne] 2002 (p. 197)

    "Lamingtons. In 1896, Charles, the 2nd Baron Lamington, arrived in Queensland to take up his appointment as Governor... Baron Lamington seemed to attract goodwill with his pleasant manner...The special little cakes, so prized by Australians in the early 1900s, are popular still, came on to the Queensland food scene first shortly after Baron Lamington and his wife left Australia in 1901... In the introductory pages of 'Mrs. MacLurcan's Cookery Book--A Collection of Practical Recipes Specially Suited for Australia by Hannah MacLurcan,' Lady Lamington wrote a letter of thanks. It is dated April 16, 1898, and written from the Government House, Brisbane. I have to thank you very much for sending me the copy of your most useful book of cookery, which I consider a particularly well arranged work, as the recipes are so clearly given, with not too many details to bewilder the reader, and I think my Household will be the better of having a copy. I wish the work all sucess...May Lamington.'
    ---A Look at Yesteryear: Early Australian Cookery, Valerie McKenzie & Joyce Allen [Centennial Publications:Sydney NSW] 1980 (p. 114)

    "Cakes which our women can lay claim to, even if based on borrowed principles, included lamingtons, Anzac biscuits and the pavlova. Lamingtons, the chocolate and coconut coated cubes of cake which appeared in recipe books about the First World War, would seem to be named after Baron Lamington, who was governor of Queensland from 1895 to 1901. A nice embellishment to the theory is that the word refers to a "lamina" of gold, apricot jam filling to provide moisture to left-over cake...Determining which cakes are uniquely Australian would be a major research project."
    ---One Continuous Picnic: A History of Eating in Australia, Michael Symons [Penguin:Ringwood Victoria] 1982 (p. 149)

    "Lamington, a small cake covered with chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. They are an Australian specialty...It cannot be proved that they were invented in the kitchens of Government House...the first known printed recipe for lamingtons appeared...in 1902 in the cookery section of the Queenslander, a weekly newspaper, credited simply to A Subscriber'."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 440)

    [1902]
    "Lamington Cake
    (From a Subscriber)
    The weight of 2 eggs in butter, sugar and flour; 2 eggs; 1/2 tsp. baking poweder. Beat the butter to a cream, add the sugar and yolks of eggs, one by one, then the whites beaten stiff, lastly add flour and baking powder, Bake in a moderate oven. When cold cut the cake like a sandwich and put the white mixture between, then cut into small pices and cover on all sides with the chocolate mixture. Dip the cakes into grated coconut and put in a cool place. The Mixture: 4 Tbs. butter, 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, beat to a cream, and divide equally in two basins. To one half add 1 1/2 tsp. cocoa dissolved in 3 tsp. boiling water. Beat well. (Queenslander, 4 January 1902)."
    ---A Good Plain Cook: Am Edible History of Queensland, Susan Addison and Judith McKay [Boolarong Publications:Brisbane Queensland] 1985 (p. 76)

    [1909]
    "Lamington Cake

    Beat together 1 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup of butter till white; add 5 eggs, beaten well with a whisk, to which 1/2 cup of milk has been added; beat well five minutes, then add 2 1/2 cups of flour, sifted with 1/2 teaspoonful of soda and 1 of cream of tartar; put into a greased tin and bke in a moderate oven for two hours; spread, when cold, with chocolate icing, and sprinkle with coocanut."
    ---The Schauer Cookery Book, By Misses A. and M. Schauer [Edwards, Dunlop & Co. Ltd.:Brisbane] 1909 (p. 321)

    [1928]
    "Lamington Cake and Icing

    1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of mik, 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon baking soad, 2 teaspoons cream tartar. Beat butter to a cream, then beat in eggs one at a time, dissolve sugar in the milk with the soda, add to the butter and eggs, then beat in the siftd flour and cream of tartar. Bake in a flat dish for 40 minutes. Icing: Place 1 lb. icing sugar in a basin with one tablespoon butter, and mix well. Dissolve 4 'teasooons of cocoa in 3 tablespoons of boiling water with teaspoon of vanilla, beat all well together. When cake is cold, cut it into squares, and cover with icing, then roll in desiccated cocoanut."
    ---The Schauer Cookery Book, Sixth edition [W.R. Smith & Paterson LTD.:Brisbane, Queensland] 1928 (p. 440)

    [1956]
    "Lamingtons

    Cream 4 oz. butter and 4 oz. sugar together. When white add 2 well-beaten eggs gradually, then small 1/2 cup milk and vanilla alst. Add 6 oz. self-raising flour sifted twice. Bake in a square shallow cake tin for about half an hour in a very moderate oven. Allow to get cold, then cut into uniform squares. Put a fork into each square. Cover with chocolate icing, toss in cocoanut, and decorate with a little piece of chopped nut or cherry. Icing.--Sift 1/2 lb. of icing sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water, flavour with vanilla. Add a little milk if necessary to bring to a consistency that will just coat."
    ---The Schauer Australian Cookery Book, Eleventh edition [W.R. Smith & Paterson PTY. Ltd.:Brisbane Queensland] 1956 (p. 485-486)


    Lane cake
    Lane cake is a traditional favorite of the 20th century American South. Method and product suggest this rich multi-layerd cake descends from 19th century White Mountain and Stack Cakes, also popular in the South and Southern Appalacian regions.

    What is Lane Cake?
    "Lane Cake. A layer cake with a fluffy frosting and containing coconut, chopped fruits and nuts in the filling. The cake was named after Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Alabama, who published the original recipe under the name "Prize Cake" in her cookbook Some Good Things to Eat (1898). But, according to Cecily Brownstone, author of the Associated Press Cookbook (1972) and friend of Mrs. Lane's granddaughter, the original recipe is very imprecise. In various forms it has become popular throughout the South."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 181)

    Ms. Brownstone's headnotes:
    "Here's where we set the record straight about one of the ost famous cakes in Americna culinary history. We're talking about Lane Cake, that glorious invention, four layers deep, stacked with spirited filling and covered with soft white frosting. This cake has been attributed to others than its rightful creator, and its formula has often been desecrated. Who really did invent Lane Cake and what is the oriignal recipe? Emma Rylander Lane who lived in Clayton, Alabamaa and who wrote a cookbook called 'A Few Good Tings to Eat,' published in 1898. The recipe for Lane Cake, which Mrs. Lane called her 'prize recipe,; was first published in her book. We can attest to this--and to the correctness of the following recipe--becuase we have a cophy of 'A Few Good Things to Eat' in front of us, loaned to use by Mrs. Lane's granddaughter--our friend, Emma Rylander Law. Emma Law has made her grandmother's cake at our house and, take it from us, it's worth eating. Note one iota has Granddaughter departed from Grandmother Lane's ingredients, but she has modernized the method of making."
    ---Cecily Brownstone's Associated Press Cook Book, Cecily Brownstone [Associated Press:New York] 1972 (p. 212)
    [NOTES: (1) Recipe
    here. (2) Original AP article was published December 26, 1967 "Here's the truth About Lane Cake," Morning Herald Uniontown PA, p. 24.]

    Alabama culinary heritage
    "The Lane cake, one of Alabama's more famous culinary specialties, was created by Emma Rylander Lane of Clayton, Barbour County. It is a type of white sponge cake made with egg whites and consists of four layers that are filled with a mixture of the egg yolks, butter, sugar, raisins, and whiskey. The cake is frosted with a boiled, fluffy white confection of water, sugar, and whipped egg whites. The cake is typically served in the South at birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and other special occasions. The recipe was first printed in Lane's cookbook Some Good Things to Eat, which she self-published in 1898. According to chef and culinary scholar Neil Ravenna, Lane first brought her cake recipe to public attention at a county fair in Columbus, Georgia, when she entered her cake in a baking competition there and took first prize. She originally named the cake the Prize cake, but an acquaintance convinced her to lend her own name to the dessert. Lane's recipe states that the cake should be baked in medium pie tins lined on the bottom with ungreased brown paper, rather than in cake pans. She specified "one wine-glass of good whiskey or brandy" for the filling and that the raisins be "seeded and finely clipped." She also insisted that the icing be tested with a clean spoon. In Lane's time, the cake would have been baked in a wood stove. Lane also suggested that the cake is best if made a day or so in advance of serving, presumably to allow the flavors to meld. Lane used the cake recipe as the basis for other cakes in her book, some frosted with orange or lemon cream. The Lane cake has been subjected to countless modifications and twists over the years. Coconut, dried fruit, and nuts are common additions to the filling described in the original recipe. Home bakers who wish to avoid the whiskey or brandy in the original recipe have substituted grape juice, especially for children's birthdays. Another common variation is to ice the entire cake with the filling mixture. The Lane cake is often confused with the Lady Baltimore cake, another fruit-filled, liquor-laced dessert with a different pedigree. In Alabama, and throughout the South, the presentation of an elegant, scratch-made, laborious Lane cake is a sign that a noteworthy life event is about to be celebrated. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Alabama native Harper Lee, character Maudie Atkinson bakes a Lane cake to welcome Aunt Alexandra when she comes to live with the Finch family. Noting the cake's alcoholic kick, the character Scout remarks, "Miss Maudie baked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight." Shinny is a slang term for liquor."
    ---Encyclopedia of Alabama

    Recipe evolution
    According to the Dictionary of American Regional English (p. 287), the oldest print reference to "Lane Cake" is from 1951:
    "Lane Cake. n. [Etym uncert, but see quot 1985] South, eps. AL, GA. A layer cake with a rich filling often including nuts, raisins, and brandy. 1951. Brown. Southern Cook Book 249, Mrs. Merrill's Lane Cake--Four layers--many Southerners claim this famous Lane Cake, which is similar to the "Rocky Mountain Cake," made extensively in the Carolinas. The difference is in the filling. The Lane Cake has a rich egg-yolk filling with coconut, raisins, and nuts, while the filling for the Rocky Mountain Cake is generally white. it is said that this cake originated in Eufaula, Alabama...1985: WI Alumnus Letters, [Quoting Chicago Tribune article c. 1960;] Who really did invent Lane Cake and what is the original recipe? Emma Rylander Lane who lived in Clayton, Ala. wrote a cookbook called "A Few Good Things to Eat," published in 1898, which included Mrs. Lane's "prize recipe,"...Lane cake was served at holiday teas when guests came visiting..."
    [NOTE: We do not (yet) have a copy of Mrs. Lane's cookbook. The earliest cook book recipe we have so far is from 1941. See below for recipe.]

    Our survey of historic American newspapers and mainstream cookbooks reveals recipes titled "Lane Cake" commanded national attention in the 1950s. Even then, recipes were few & far between. Why? Possibly because this cake contains an alcoholic kick. Similarity in ingrediets and method suggests Lane Cake descended from popular 19th century White Mountain cakes. Popular period cakes containing alcohol were Fruitcakes (white & dark, brandy & other beverages added to batter & baked in cake. A Christmas holiday favorite) and Tipsy Cakes/Puddings (alcohol added after baking, to be soaked up in cake). Perhaps Mrs. Lane "married" the White Mountain (sponge) and the Tipsy (cream custard & alcohol) to enjoy the best of both recipes? This might also explain why Mrs. Lane instructed cooks to make this cake a day or two ahead for the flavors to mature. We wonder if the judges knew about this recipe's alcoholic content before they awarded it first prize.

    Survey of historic recipes & notes

    [1877]
    White Mountain Cake, Buckeye Cookery/Willcox (similar ingredients & proportions, no specified filling or alcohol):

    [1887]
    White Mountain Cake
    , White House Cook Book/Gillette (mentions cocoanut, no alcohol)

    [1941]
    "Lane Cake

    3 egg whites
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup milk
    4 cups flour
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    Pinch salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Mix as any cake, and bake in three layers.
    Filling
    8 egg yolks
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup pecans
    1 wineglass of wine
    1 teaspoon of vanilla
    Beat yolks, add other ingredients, mixing well. Cook in double boiler until thick. Spread filling between layers. Cover the cake with white icing."
    ---Southern Cooking, Mrs. S.R. Dull [Grosset & Dunlap:New York] 1941(p. 247)

    [1952]
    "Have you ever heard of a "Lane Cake"? It is a favorite down South and has coconut, nuts, and raisins in the filling. I would love to find a recipe for it...This famous cake is claimed by a lot of Southern States...and is similar to the "Rocky Mountain Cake" made in the Carolinas...

    Lane Cake
    Batter:
    8 egg whites, stiffly beaten
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup sweet milk
    3 1/2 cups flour
    Pinch salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder (more if larger amount of flour is used)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together 4 or 5 times. The more the flour is sifted, the lighter the cake. Cream butter and sugar together until foamy. (If sugar is sifted, the cake is better.) Add to butter-sugar mixture the flour and milk alternately, using a little of each. Begin with flour and end using flour. Add vanilla and, lastly, fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in four 8-inch layer-cake pans or three larger pans which have greased brown paper fitted in the bottom. After pans have been greased and floured, bake in 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, depending on thickness of the layers. Allow cake to set in pans for few minutes, turn out, and fill with the following:

    Filling:
    8 egg yolks
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup raisins, seeded chopped
    1 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut
    1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
    Pinch salt
    1 cup brandy
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Beat the egg yolks until lemon colored. Add sugar, salt, and continue beating until mixture is light. Melt butter in top of double boiler and add egg-sugar mixture; stir constantly until thickens. Remove from heat; stir in the raisins, coconut, nuts, brandy, and vanilla. Let cool; spread between layers; then ice the whole cake with a white boiled vanilla icing."
    ---"Lots of Southern States Claim Recipe Rights To This Famous Cake," Ask Anne, Washington Post, February 13, 1952 (p. B6)

    "There are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with butter," the old lady of the mountains used to say. There are also more ways of making any one dish than this column could print in a month of Sundays. Recently, we ran a recipe for Lane Cake, one contributed to "The Southern Cook Book," (University of North Carolina Press) by a lady in Eufaula, Ala. It immediately brought forth this protest from--guess where?--Eufaula, Ala.! Dear Anne: I have just had a letter from my sister, Anne, who lives in Washington. She enclosed a clipping from your column about the famous Lane Cake from the South. She was distressed (and so was I) that the sender of the recipe didn't give the one we used down here in Eufaula, Ala., Barbour County. For generations, this recipe has been handbed down from mother to daughter. An old story goes that Mrs. Lane who lived in Clayton, Ala., made up the recipe. It is as "Christmassy" as the smilax and the holly wreath. Lane Cake is always served with the Christmas egg nog. Here is the recipe used in my famiily for generations. You'll find not cocoanut or brandy in it. Bourbon is what makes Lane Cake tick!

    Lane Cake
    Whites of 8 eggs, beaten stiff
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    4 cups sifted flour
    1 cup sweet milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
    Pinch salt
    Cream butter well, add sugar, then the liquid and sifted dry ingredients, alternately. Fold in egg whites. Bake in three layers.
    Filling: Beat yolks of 8 eggs light. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 stick of butter, softened, 1 cup raisins, and 1 cup shelled pecans. Stir all together and cook until thick in double boiler. Just before filling is done, add 3/4 cup bourbon whiskey. Spread between layers. Cover cake wtih white icing. C.S.G. "The Little Brown House," Eufaula, Ala."
    ---"Eufaula, Ala., Registers a Protest About recipes for its Famous Lane Cake," Ask Anne, Washington Post, March 2, 1952 (p. S4)

    [1955]
    "Lane Cake

    Ingredients
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    3 1/2 cups flour
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 cup milk
    8 egg whties-beaten
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    Directions (Makes two 10-inch layers or one tube cake)
    Cream butter and sugar together until very light. Sift dry ingredients together four times. Add milk to creamed mixture, alternately with the flour. Add vanilla to egg whites and fold into mixture. Bake in two 10-inch layer pans or one tube oan in 350F degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cake springs to touch. Test with straw.

    Lane Cake Filling
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    7 egg yolks-beaten
    1 cup raisins-chopped
    1 cup nut meats-chopped
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 wineglass brandy
    Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg yolks and cook in double boiler, stirring ingredients to mixture while it is still hot. Add brandy to mixture and spread over the cake."
    ---Duncan Hines Dessert Book [Pocket Books:New York] 1955 (p. 65)

    [1972]
    "Emma Rylander Law's Lane Cake

    3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/16 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    8 egg whites
    1 cup milk
    Lane Cake Filling
    Boiled White Frosting
    On wax paper sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a larg mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add egg whites, in four additions, beating thoroughly after each addition. Fold in flour mixture alternately with milk; begin and end with dry ingredients. Batter should be smooth but look slightly granular. Turn into 4 ungreased 9-inch round layer-cake pans lined on the bottom with waz paper. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until edges shrink slightly from sides of pans and tops spring back when gently pressed with finger, or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean--about 20 minutes. Place pans on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes. Turn out on wire racks; remove wax paper; turn right side up; cool completely. Put layers together (on a cake plate) with Lane Cake Filling, stacking carefully; do not spread filling over top. Cover top and sides with swirls of Boiled White Frosting. Cover with a tent of foil or a cake cover; or cover tightly in a large deep bolw in tin box. Store in a cool place; if refrigerated, allow to stand at room temperature for half a day before serving because cake texture is best when cake is not served chilled. As the originator of this cake said in her cookbook, 'It is much better to be made a day or two before using.'

    "Lane Cake Filling
    8 egg yolks
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
    1 cup seedless raisins, finely chopped
    1/3 cup bourbon or brandy
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    In a 2-quart saucepan, beat the egg yolks well; beat in sugar and butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until quite thick. Remove fro heat; stir in raisins, bourbon and vanilla. Cool slightly; use as directed in Lane Cake recipe.

    "Boiled White Frosting
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup white corn syrup
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons water
    2 egg whites
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    In a 1-quart saucepan put the sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Over moderately low heat, with rubber spatula, stir several times to dissolve sutara, scraping undissolved grains form sides of pan. Over moderate heat boil untl syrup spins a thread or to 242 degrees on a candy thermometor. Shortly before syrup is ready, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat about half the syrup into the beaten whites. (Place saucepan with remaining syrup in a skillet of hot water, off heat, to keep warm.) Continue beating egg white mixutre until thick and fluffy. Gradually beat in remaing warm syrup and vanilla; continue to beat, if necessary, until mixture holds stiff shiny peaks."
    ---Cecily Brownstone's Associated Press Cook Book, Cecily Brownstone [Associated Press:New York] 1972 (p. 212-213)

    Lane Cake reference in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
    Food historians trace the recipe for Lane Cake to 1898, although cakes with this actual name date in print only to 1951. Harper Lee, writing in 1959, would likely be familiar with this cake. So would most Americans at that time. While the recipe is period-correct in the 1930s, the name is not.


    Marble cake
    The first references we find to "marble cake" (light and dark cakes mixed to effect the marble pattern) are from the last quarter of the 19th century. There are several variations on this theme. Harlequin cakes (in checkerboard patterns) take this cake to the next level.

    "The cookbook evidence suggests that Victorian American women served cake in the same basic ways that their mothers and grandmothers had. For desserts, women generally baked cake in square pans or "in sheets" and served it in cut squares on cake plates or in pierced-silver cake baskets...Much grander party cakes were required for this new age, and they promptly materialized. First was the marble cake, a logical extension of the American fascination with cake color. When marble cake first appeared, its dark swirls were produced through the addition of molasses, spice, and, in some recipes, raisins or currants. The simpler recipes were prepared using a single whole-egg batter, half of it darkened, but more ambitious recipes produced a more dramatic effect by making use of separate silver and gold batters, the latter darkened. Other bicolored cakes soon entered the scene. Hard-money cake was made by swirling silver and gold batters."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 162)

    Recipes through time

    [1871]
    "Marble Cake.

    One pound each of sugar, flour and butter, the whites of sixteen eggs, quarter of a pound of bleached and split almonds, half of a citron sliced and sufficient cochineal (which should be procured at confectioner's, as that prepared by druggists is not so suitable); cream together the buttter and flour; beat together very light the egg-whites and sugar; put all together and beat thoroughly; color onte-third of the batter any shade you like; put well-greased tissue-paper around the mould, then put in half of the white batter, a layer of citron and almonds, the colored batter, another layer of citron and almonds, and the remainder of white batter; bake in a moderate oven."
    ---Mrs. Porters' New Southern Cookery Book, Mrs. M.E. Porter, c. 1871, introduction and suggested recipes by Louis Szathmary [Promontory Press:New York] 1974 (p. 219-220)

    [1877]
    "Marble Cake"
    Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Esther Woods Wilcox

    [1889]
    "Marble Cake.

    White part.--Whites of four eggs, one cup of white sugar, half a cup of butter, half a cup of sweet milk, two teaspoonfuls fo baking-powder, one teaspoonful of vanilla or lemon, and two and a half cups of sifted flour.
    Dark part.---Yolks of four eggs, one cup of brown sugar, half a cup of cooking molasses, half a cup of butter, half a cup of sour milk, one teaspoonful of ground cloves, one teaspoonful of cinnamon, one teaspoonful of mace, one nutmeg grated, one teaspoonful of soda, the soda to be dissolved in a little milk and added after a part of the flour is stirred in; one and a half cups of sifted flour.
    Drop a spoonful of each kind in a well-buttered cake-dish, first the light part then the dark, alternately. Try to drop it so that the cake shall be well-streaked through, so that it has the appearance of marble."
    ---White House Cook Book, Mrs. F.L. Gillette [J.A. Hill:New York] 1889 (p. 261-2)

    [1901]
    "Marble Cake.

    White Part.--Whites of 7 eggs, 3 cups white sugar, 1 of butter, 1 of sour milk, 4 of flour sifted and heaping, 1 teaspoon soda; flavor to taste.
    Dark Part.---Yolks of 7 eggs, 3 cups brown sugar, 1 of butter, 1 of sour milk, 4 of flour, sifted and heaping, 1 tablespoon each of cinnamon, allspice and cloves, 1 teaspoon soda; put in pans a spoonful of white part and then a spoonful of dark, and so on. Bake an hour and a quarter. The white and dark parts are alternated."
    ---The Woman's Exchange Cook Book, Mrs. Minnie Palmer [W.B. Conkey Company:Chicago] 1901 (p. 232)

    [1921]
    "Marble Cake

    3/4 cup of butter or shortening
    2 cups sugar. 1 cup milk.
    3 eggs. 3 cups flour.
    3 teaspoons baking powder.
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 1/4 cup cocoa.
    Cream the sugar and shortening together; add the well-beaten yolks of eggs and beat until very light; add the milk slowly to the mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add half, then half the whites of eggs, which have been beaten until dry, also the remainder of flour and hwites of eggs. Divide into two parts. To the one part you add the sifted cocoa and cinnamon; mix well. Brush pan with melted shortening and dust with flour and put in first a spoonful of the dark and then a spoonful of the light dough. As there is a difference in the flours, it may be necssary to add 1/2 cup of flour to the light mixture. Your mixture must be stiff before putting in pan. Bake in moderate oven 40 minutes. It can be iced if desired."
    ---
    Mrs. Scott's North American Seasonal Cook Book, Mrs. Anna B. Scott [John C. Winston Company:Philadelphia] 1921 (p. 45)

    [1941]
    "Straight to our kitchen from Mrs. Alcott's old home in New England came the receipt for Marble Cake, and it was tested faithfully and given a place in Mother's collection of cakes suitable for company, and extra nice for family fare. Mrs. Alcott herself made it on several occasions, with Emily as helper and the rest of us, more or less, hanging over the mixing bowls and spoons. Marble Cake was made in two parts, which was novel and interesting. One was light, the other dark, and the batters were arranged in the baking pan by large spoonfuls, light and dark alternating, and the cake was baked in a moderate oven about three quarters of an hour. Mrs. Alcott confessed it was the one and only cake she could make successfully, as dressmaking was her forte; but she was so neat-handed and skillful, and her Marble Cake was so delicious that we decided she was entirely too humble. But here is her receipt:

    Marble Cake
    Light Part
    1/2 cup butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup milk
    2 cups flour
    4 egg whites
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Dark Part
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup milk
    1 1/2 cups flour
    2 squares cooking chocolate
    4 egg yolks
    Dash of cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Each part of the cake was mixed separately, flour sifted with the leavening, butter and sugar creamed, and so on. The chocolate was melted in a small saucepan set in a larger one of hot water. When Mrs. Alcott became spooning the batters in the pan, first a spoonful or two of light, then one of dark, it was quite exciting, but it was even more exciting when she took her loaves from the oven, fragrant and delicious, and iced them. The operation went something like this: first a thick white coating of frosting was applied evenly all over the top and sides, and the cake was set aside to dry. Then she would drizzle melted chocolate all over it in streaks, in order further to carry out the marble effect. At times, if the white icing had not entirely set, the chocolate would blend into it in a very realistic way, which was greatly admired."
    ---Victorian Cakes, Caroline B. King [Caxton Printers:Caldwell, ID] 1941 (p. 120-1)

    Additional notes/Barry Popik.


    Pavlova
    Both Australia and New Zealand claim Pavlova as their own. Which is correct? That's still a topic of debate. Both sides agree that the cake was named after Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian ballerina. Notes here:

    "Pavlova, a type of meringue cake which has a soft marshmallow centre, achieved by the addition of a little cornflour and teaspoonful or so of vinegar and teaspoonful or lemon juice to the meringe mixture after the sugar is folded in...The pavlova has been described as Australia's national dish, but it is also claimed by New Zealand. According to the Australian claim, it was invented in 1935 by Herbert Sachse, an Australian chef, and named by Harry Narin of the Esplanade Hotel, Perth, after Anna Pavlova, the Russian ballerina who visited both countries in 1926. The built-up sides of the pavlova are said to suggest a tutu. The Australian author Symons concedes that the actual product had made a prior appearance in New Zealand, but suggests that its naming was an Australian act. On the New Zealand side, however, Helen Leach has marshalled evidence to show that:

    *The name pavlova was being used in New Zealand as early as 1927, and the OED [Oxford English Dictionary] points out, but that this use referred to a different dessert, whose connection with New Zealand is anyway uncertain;
    *the large soft-centered meringue cake which is the pavlova had been developed in New Zealand by 1934 (or possibly earlier), although it was not at first called pavlova; but
    *the name and the dish were put together in New Zealand at some time before 1935, thus antedating the Australian activity."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 585, 587)
    [NOTE: The Symons book referenced above is One Continuous Picnic, Michael Symons [Penguin:Victoria] 1982 (p. 147-152).]

    "It is a well-known fact, and source of heated nationalistic debate, that both Australia and New Zeland lay claim to the invention of the pavlova cake. For over half a century, the dish bearing this name has taken the form of a large, soft-centred meringue, usually topped with cream and fresh fruit. The West Australian chef, Herbert Sachse, claimed to have invented it in 1935, a statement whcih has been thoroughly researched by Michael Symons...New Zealand does not acknowledge a single creator, but was certainly using the name pavlova and making large soft-centred meringues before 1935. The New Zealand evidence is not straightforward, however, and in the interests of historical accuracy (if not trans-Tasman relations), Symons' conclusion as set out below, deserves some reconsideration:

    "We can concede that New Zealanders discovered the delights of the large meringue with the marshmallow centre', the heart of the pavlova. But is seems reasonable to assume that someone in Perth attached the name of the ballerina. As Bert Sachse implied, he distilled, or codified, a widespread New Zealand idea, to which was added a catchy name, and all of this was legitimate, common and like the crystallising of genius."
    ...Of course meringues are a European, not an Australasian invention...The New Larousse Gastronomique attributes them to a Swiss pastry-cook, Gasparini, who invented the small meringue in 1720 in the town of Mehrinyghen, but since the word meringue predates 1720 (OED), the origns of both word and food item clearly need further investigation. The larger meringue cake may have been a nineteenth-century development....It is now clear that New Zealand has won this particular contest, using the name pavlova by 1927, developing the large soft-centred meringue by at least 1934, and putting the name and dish together at about the same time, which was definately before 1935...The evolution of the modern pavlova from the 1920s meringue cake required several transformations: These changes occurred between 1927 and 1950. Simultaneously the name pavlova shifted in its references from a moulded gelatine dish, to small coffee and walnut meringues, to the large soft-centred meringue cake...A simplistic conclusion to this research would be to accuse the late Mr. Sachse of plagiarism. Since we now know that New Zealand cooks applied the name pavlova to the soft-centred meringue cake before 1935, and since Michael Symons established the fact from Sachse's wife that he read women's magazines which contained New Zealand recipe contributions, the case for his creative crystallising of genius' can be strongly challenged. In such a conclusion, all the ingredients are present to stir up national outrage yet again, with the added spice of gender exploitation, and of rivalry between professionals and amateurs...My preferred, more diplomatic conclusion is that we are dealing with a case of convergent cultural evolution."
    ---"The Pavlova Cake: the Evolution of a National Dish," Helen M. Leach, Food on the Move: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, Harlan Walker editor [Prospect Books:Devon] 1996 (p. 219-223)
    [NOTE: Ms. Leach also authored The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand's culinary history 2008. FT Library owns a copy of this book.]

    Pavlova origins [Australia]
    "The famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured Australia twice, the second time in 1929 including Perth in her itinerary. While there she stayed at the Esplanade Hotel, one of the leading establishments in the city. Six years late in 1935 Elizabeth Paxton, owner of the hotel, requested her chef create some delicacies to attract the ladies of Perth to the Esplanade for afternoon tea. So it was that Herbert Sachse, born on the goldfields of Western Australia, failed wheat farmer turned cook, came to invent the meringue cake which is now recognised as Australia's national dessert. When the cake was presented, the hotel manager Harry Nairn declared that it was as "light as Pavlova," and the name stuck."
    ---How to Cook a Galah, Laurel Evelyn Dyson [Lothian:Melbourne Australia] 2002 (p. 160)

    [1935]
    "AN ELABORATE CAKE. Pavlova Cake. - There are several different varieties of Pavlova cake. The most elaborate consists of alternate layers of meringue, marshmallow, whipped cream and fruit filling, piled high to make the most luxurious party dish. A simpler Pavlova is as follows: Take the whites of six eggs, 10 table spoons 1A sugar, two teaspoons vine- gar and one teaspoon of vanilla essence. Beat whites very stiff, add sugar gently, then vinegar and essence. Have ready two shallow sandwich tins lined with greased paper, and pour mixture into each, sprinkling the tops with a little fine sugar. Allow to remain for two minutes, then place in a moderate oven and bake lightly till just colored. Take them out and scoop out some of the undercentre of each. Place back in the oven on a greased sheet of paper, just to dry a little, but do not let them stay long enough to color any more. Then take the round which is to be the bottom of the cake, and when cool, spread it thickly with whipped cream, flavored with a few drops of vanilla. Now cover with a layer of fruit (finely chopped peaches, strawberries or lemon, marshmallow or passion fruit filling, as desired). Add another layer of whipped cream, and set the other round on the top of the fillings. Decorate as desired. Marshmallow Filling.--Layers of delicious marshmallow will make an excellent addition to "Pavlova." Take lb. of 1A sugar, 1½ cups of water, 1oz. of powdered gelatine, small half tea- spoonful of tartaric acid, 2 whites of eggs and essence of vanilla, to taste. Soak the gelatine in half a cup of water, boil the sugar and the rest of the water until a little tested in cold water forms a Soft ball. Add the gelatine and acid, boil for a few minutes. Take off and stand till quite cold and on the point of setting. Beat till thick and white, add stiffly-beaten whites of eggs and essence, and beat again. Pour on to a plate or sandwich tin to thickness required, and when set, transfer to the cake. Delicious sweets can be made by cutting the marshmallow into little squares and dusting them with icing sugar."
    ---Advocate, (Burnie, Tasmania), September 14, 1935 (p. 10)
    [ACCESSED VIA
    Trove; digitised newspapers, National Library of Australia.]


    Pineapple upside-down cake
    The history of pineapple upside-down cake is an educated guess for most food historians. Culinary evidence (cookbooks & magazines published in the United States) confirms
    pineapple was a readily available and very popular ingredient in the 1920s. This also happens to coincide with the popularity of the maraschino cherry. Details here:

    "Pineapple upside-down cake
    Food historians agree that pineapple upside-down cake belongs to the twentieth century but are not so certain about the decade. According to John Mariani's (The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, Revised Edition, 1994), "The first mention in print of such a cake was in 1930, and was so listed in the 1936 Sears Roebuck catalog, but the cake is somewhat older." In Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads (1995), Sylvia Lovegren traces pineapple upside-down cake to a 1924 Seattle fund-raising cookbook...While rooting around in old women's magazines I found a Gold Medal Flour ad with a full-page, four-color picture of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake--a round cake with six slices of pineapple, candied red cherries, and a brown sugar glaze. The date: November 1925."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson (p. 432)

    "Who invented Pineapple Upside-Down Cake? Suzanne Vadnais of Camarillo recently sent me some information from the Internet on this question. One of America's classic desserts has an interesting tale behind it, but the question is not totally answered yet. Some turn-of-the-century cookbooks have recipes for fruit upside-down cakes made with apples and cherries. Early recipes were made in skillets, probably cast iron, and cooked on top of the stove, since settlers did not have ovens. These were known as skillet cakes. Even the 1943 "Joy of Cooking" has a recipe for a skillet version of upside-down cake. In 1925, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (later Dole) ran an ad in several women's magazines for creative and original recipes using pineapple. An Upside-Down Cake from Mrs. Robert Davis of Norfolk, Va., was published in the cookbook of prize winners. But before we credit her with the original recipe, it turns out that 2,500 recipes for pineapple upside-down cake were submitted to the contest! Obviously the idea was not new, but the contest gave the recipe widespread publicity.

    Another version holds that James Dole made up a cake using his canned pineapple. That still leaves a gap in the story in my mind. How did 2,500 people get the recipe to submit it to the contest? Maybe food historians will continue to search for the missing link. James Dole certainly had a great influence with his pineapple canning business, for without canned pineapple we probably never would have had pineapple upside-down cake!"
    ---"Pineapple upside-down cakes: a brief history," Marilyn Godfrey, Ventura County Star (Ventura County, Ca.), March 4, 1998 (p.F2)

    We have a booklet published by the Dole Pineapple Company in 1927 entitled The Kingdom That Grew Out of a Little Boy's Garden, Marion Mason Hale. It contains many recipes but none for pineapple upside down cake. The closest looking recipe is called "Dutch Hawaiian Pineapple Cake" (p. 43) which features pineapple on the top of a cake, garnished with a cherry. The instructions tell the cook to put the pineapples on TOP of the cake just before cooking.

    A survey of early recipes:

    [1925]
    "'Upside-Down Cakes'. Many recipes for the cake inquired about by our correspondent in Query No. 4498 have been received, and gratefully acknowledged. We give another typical recipe and some important comments as follows:
    A heavy iron frying pan, from eight to ten inches in diameter, is recommended, and some of our friends make the cake in an earthen baking dish. Heat the pan quite hot, then add three tablespoonfuls of butter, and when melted tilt the pan to run the butter all over the sides. Add one cup of brown sugar, and cook until smooth and bubbling all over. Next add one small can of shredded pineapple, the juice drained off. Instead of pineapple you may use prunes, steamed and stoned, or half-and-half fruit and chopped nuts, or marshmallows; or you may use maraschino cherries, or any kind of preserved fruit. Now reduce the temperature, and pour over all a cake batter, made of two cups of flour, one-half a cup of butter, one cup of sugar, three eggs, beaten separately, one-half a teaspoonful of salt, with any flavoring you wish, and milk, water, or fruti juice--or all three mixed-- to make a thick batter. Bake forty-five minutes in a slow oven, let stand in pan for ten minutes after removing from oven, then run a knife round the edge, and turn out on a cake plate, when the cake should appear to be already frosted. Some of our friends use one-half a cup of butter, instead of three tablespoonfuls, to cook in pan with the brown sugar, and then pour over a sponge-cake mixture, or a cake made of two eggs, one cup of sugar, one cup and hone-half of flour, one teaspoonful of baking powder, one-half a teaspoonful of salt, and one-half a cup of hot milk. Some use maple syrup instead of brown sugar, and cook the syrup longer. Some eat the cake hot, some let it cool, and eat it with or without blanketing with whipped cream. This cake is variously named Pineapple Cake, Pineapple or Apricot Torte, Caramel Pudding, Frying Pan Cake, Skillet Cake, Griddle Cake, Pineapple Glace, Different Pudding, Chesterfield Pie; but Skillet or Upside-Down Cake are the commonest names. The recipe originally was given to the mother of one of our friends by a famous Belgian general. The danger points are in the first cooking of the sugar, which must not be overdone, or the frosting will be bitter; and in the baking of the cake, to keep the bottom from burning."
    ---"Queries & Answers," American Cookery, June/July 1925 (p. 56)

    “There seems to be no particular appropriateness in calling a sponge cake with slices of pineapple caramelized on the bottom of the it an ‘upside down cake,’ but that is one of the names given it. Another name, one given it by the teachers of commercial cookery, is Hawaiian pie, which she says is a little different from ordinary cake. A short-handed frying pan with its thick bottom is good for this variation of a sponge cake. As for the cake, any sponge cake recipe you have, and that you find successful, will do. If it is one calling for water you may use pineapple juice instead. First the cook in question makes a sirup for the utensil on which the cake is to be ‘baked’ of one cup of brown sugar and four tablespoons of water, cooking until they ‘look like a lot of medium-sized pearls in the pan,’ and then adding to them five slices of pineapple, and finally the cake batter, a three-egg batter baked for 35 minutes in a 400 degree oven. A vital point is that this cake should be turned out of the pan the instant it is taken out of the oven, otherwise the pineapple and the cake will separate. When the cake is cool, whipped cream may be spread or mounted on it, and then the eater gets a surprise when he cuts down and finds the pineapple. Different sorts of syrups are used in preparing the pan, and the pineapple is sometimes cut and fitted in fancifully.”
    ---“Daily Cook Book: Upside Dow Cake,” Jane Eddington, Washington Post, April 21, 1925 (p. 10)

    "Caramel fruit sponge is merely our old acquaintance, upside down cake, which is sometimes known by the unattractive name of skillet cake, under a new name. It is made by turning the batter, for which a sponge cake formula is usually used, over some sort of fruit and baking it in an iron frying pan or skillet. For this time of year I suggest fresh peaches, which are pared and sliced. A generous quantity of butter is melted in the frying pan, a cup of brown sugar added and when it is melted the fruit placed in it; I say placed because the fruit is to form the top of the cake when it is turned out of the pan, and therefore we must keep in mind the neceissty for an attractive appearance."
    ---"Table Talks, Dinner Menu," Alice Irwin, San Antonio [TX] Light, August 18, 1925 (p. 13)

    [1926]
    "Up Side Down Cake

    It isn't often that we find a cake that can be made in the same tin with its frosting in a frying pan. Take 1 1-2 cups brown sugar, melt in an iron or aluminum frying pan. When bubbling and smooth, cover the bottom of the skillet with slices of pineapple. Be careful not to allow the mixture of sugar and butter to carmelize too much as that would make the frosting bitter. Pour over the pineapple mixture the cake batter and bake in a rather hot over about 450 degrees for five minutes, then reduce the heat to about 350 degrees. Bake until done and a light brown crust has formed over the top about 30 minutes in all. The cake may be turned out of the pan right side up to show the nice brown crust or upside down to show the selfmade caramel pineapple icing, cut in squares or approximate circles to follow the line and serve with whipped cream or just plain. The cake batter is made as follows:
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1-2 cup pineapple juice
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoonful vanilla
    Separate the eggs, beat the yolk until a ligth yellow, add sugar and pineapple juice, flour mixed and sifted with the baking powder and salt vanilla and lastly the lightly beaten whites."
    ---"Has resigned," Commerce [TX] Journal, April 9, 1926 (p. 6)

    [1927]
    "Upside Down Cakes in General. These cakes have a short history. The first time I heard of them [1921] I thought the cake a sort of cobbler with a breadlike base. Since that date they have been called spider cakes, skillet cakes, etc., and many sorts of fruits have been used for them, including prunes. Soem people prefer halves of canned apricots, the open side up when the cake is finished, as having more flavor than canned pineapple, bu there is littel doubt the original cake had the pineapple, great rings of it, on the top of the cake when it was inverted. The first cakes were really sponge cakes with a pineapple garnish, and a correspondent told me they probably originated from the 'Gail Hamilton Pan Pie,' which I mean to hunt for some day. This correspondent used apricots, a sponge cake batter, and did the unusual thing of leaving it in the pan until ready to serve it, when she heated it over the flame to make it come out easily and then covered the cake with whipped cream. But other people, myself included, have though ti rather vital to turn the cake out the instant it was taken from the oven, for otherwise the fruit will separate from a sponge cake. I have not tried it with a butter cake batter, which many people seem to prefer. The first business consists of melting three or four tablepsoons of butter in a frying pan, and then of melting in this a half cup of sugar--if the pan is large enough. Frying pans vary so in size and flare, etc., that it is difficult to give an exact recipe. At any rate, a large one is needed for a three egg sponge cake when the expert puts it together, although this will have much less bulk if not expertly beaten. When a good cup cake--two egg cake--is given full expansion in the making it, too, will make enough for a large pan. Patterning the Pineapple Garnish. If slices of pineapple are cut in long, thin triangles and fitted around the bottom of a frying pan--a short handled one with a metal handle--and exceedingly pretty effect, or fruit fram for the broad low cake to be baked in, can be made, but it takes a little patience and an 'eye.' A stiff and awkward effect is not worth spending the time over. Better do what so many people do, put a can of crushed pineapple [drained] into the pan with the sugar and butter. Typical Upside Down Cake. American Cookery, two years ago, after gathering a great many recipes for thsi cake, wrote as follows: 'We give another typical recipe and some important comments as follows: A heavy iron frying pan, from eight to ten inches in diameter, is recommended, and some of our friends make the cake in an earthenware baking dish. Heat the pan quite hot, then add three tablespoons butter, and when melted tilt the pan to run the butter all over the sides. Add one cup of brown sugar and cook until smooth and bubbling all over the sides. next add one small can of shredded pineapple, the juice drained off. Instead of pineapple you may use prunes, steamed and stoned, or half and half fruit and chopped nuts, or marshmallows, or you may use maraschino cherries, or any kind of preserved fruit. Now reduce the temperature and pour over all a cake batter made of two cups of flour, one-half cup of butter, one cup of sugar, three eggs beaten separately, one teaspoon of baking powder, and one-half a teaspoon of salt, with any flavoring you wish, and milk, water, or fruit juice--or all three mixed--to make a thick batter. Bake forty-five minutes in a slow oven, let the pan stand from ten minutes after removing from the oven, then run a knife around the edge and turn out on a cake plate, when the cake should appear to be already frosted. Some of our friends use one-half a cup of butter instead of three tablespoonfuls, to cook in a pan with brown sugar, and then pour over it a sponge cake mixture, or a cake made of two eggs, one cup of sugar, one cup and a half of flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, one-half teaspoon of salt, and one-half cup of hot milk. Some use maple sirup instead of brown sugar and cook the sirup longer. (All of which goes to show that with many cooks there are many minds...)"
    ---"The Cook Book," Salt Lake [City] Tribune, May 22, 1927 (p. 67)

    "Pineapple Upside Down Cake--This is an unusally delicious dessert. Drain the juice form a larte can of either crushed or sliced Hawaiian pineapple. Sift two cups of flour. Sift again with two teaspoons baking poweder and a half teaspoons lat. Cream a half cup of butter or shortening with a cup of sugar. Add yolks of two eggs, heating thrououghly, then add the flour and a half cup of milk alternately. Fold in two beaten egg whites and a teaspoon of vanilla. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan, spread a cup of brown sugar over the pan, add the pineapple. (If you use sliced pineapple, lay the slices close together) on top of the sugar. Pour the cake batter over fruit. Bake in a moderate oven, (360 F) about fourty-five minutes. Turn upside down on a serving dish and add whipped cream and maraschino cherries."
    ---"Some Energy Desserts for Mid-Winter," Palo Alto [California] Reporter, February 10, 1927 (p. 7)

    [1930]
    "Upside Down Cake

    Put in small frying pan
    2 tablespoons butter, add
    1/2 cup brown sugar and stir untill melted. Cover with
    4 slices pineapple. Turn in
    Cottage Pudding mixture...and bake in moderate oven. Turn out in large plate and serve with
    Whipped Cream...or Fruit Sauce...made with syrup from pineapple."
    ---Desserts Including Layer Cakes and Pies, Alice Bradley [M. Barrows & Company:Boston] 1930 (p. 20)

    "Cottage Pudding
    Beat
    1 egg and add
    1/2 cup sugar while beating. Add
    1 cup flour sifted with
    1 teaspoon baking powder and
    1/4 teaspoon salt. Then add
    1/3 cup milk
    3 tablespoons melted butter
    1/4 teaspoon lemon extract and
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Bake in greased pan in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F., for 25 minutes."
    ---ibid (p, 18)

    [1931]
    "Pineapple Skillet Cake--Up Side Down

    8 servings
    1/4 to 1/2 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup pecan meats (optional)
    8 slices canned pineapple drained (1 No. 2 1/2 can)
    Melt the butter in a nine or ten inch iron skillet. Add the sugar and stir it until it is dissolved. Scatter the nuts over the bottom of the pan and place the pineapple slices side by side on top of them. Cover them with the following
    Cake batter
    1 cup cake flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    4 egg yolks
    1 tablespoon melted butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 egg whites
    1 cup sugar
    Combine and sift the flour and baking powder. Beat the egg yolks, add the butter and the vanilla. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry, and fold in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Fold in the yolk mixture, then fold in the sifted flour--1/4 cup at a time. Bake the cake in a moderate oven 325 degrees F. or about 1 hour. Serve it up side down."
    ---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, facsimile 1931 edition [Simon & Schuster:New YOrk] 1998 (p. 251)

    [1931]
    "Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

    Pineapple mixture
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons pineapple juice
    3 slices pineapple

    Melt the sugar in a skillet over moderate heat, allow it to brown slightly, and stir constantly. Add the butter and pineapple juice and cook until a fairly thick sirup is formed. Place the sections of pineapple in the sirup and cook a few minutes, or until they are light brown, and turn occasionally. Have ready a well-greased heavy baking pan or dish, place the pineapple on the bottom, and pour the sirup over it. Allow this to cool so it will form a semisolid surface, then pour in the following

    Cake batter
    1/4 cup butter or other fat
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cups sifted soft-wheat flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup milk

    Cream the fat, add the sugar, well-beaten egg, and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the milk to the first mixture. Pour this over the pineapple. The batter is rather thick and may need to be smoothed on top with a knife. Bake in a very moderate oven (300-325 degrees F.) for 45 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake, turn it out carefully, upside down. If the fruit sticks to the pan, lift it out and place it on the cake. Serve with whipped cream or hard sauce."
    ---Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes Revised, Ruth Van Deman and Fanny Walker Yeatman, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Home Economics, May 1931 (p. 99)

    ABOUT PINEAPPLES

    Why do we call this fruit a pineapple?

    "When the Spaniards first reached the West Indies they found the Indians cultivating the luscious fruit which the natives called anana. But the Dons, struck by its resemblance to a giant pine-cone in form, christened the new fruit pina which the English translated into 'pine' and, to distinguish the fruit from the evergreen tree, they added 'apple'."
    ---Foods America Gave the World, A. Hyatt Verrill [L.C. Page & Company:Boston] 1937 (p. 120)

    Where did pineapples originate?
    "The pineapple grows best in hot humid climates, as it was originally from Brazil and Paraguay and was later distributed over the South American continent by the Tupi-Guarani tribes as they expanded their territory. By the time of the European conquest it was known in the West Indies, Mexico, and the Maya area, as well as South America."
    ---America's First Cuisines, Sophie D. Coe [University of Texas Press:Austin] 1994, 1999 (p. 41)

    "The Incans and pre-Incans knew the fruit, and cultivated it in the warm valleys and on the lowlands near the coast, for pineapples are frequently represented on the ancient pottery vessels found in the mounds and cemetaries of Peru."
    Foods America Gave the World (p. 121-122)

    Global diffusion
    "A native of the New World, the pineapple (Ananas comosus) is now cultivated in frost-free areas around the world. The Tupi-Guarani Indians of South America have been credited with its domestication, although this is in some dispute. It would seem, however, that the origins of the pineapple are definately in lowland South America. The earliest written references to the fruit were made by Spanish chroniclers, including Christopher Columbus, who is alleged to have naemd the fruit, calling it the 'pine of the Indies' because of its resemblance ot a pinecone. It is still called pina in Spanish today, whereas the Portuguese word for 'pinapple,' ananas (also part of the scientific name) derives from an Indian term for the fuit. After their discovery, pineapples were used to provision ships and spread from the Americas by two routes: One was across the Pacific in Spain's Manila galleons to the Philippines and from there to China; the second was in Portuguese ships from Brazil to Africa and beyond to India. Before the end of the sixteenth century, pineapple cultivation had spread across much of the tropical world, and the plant had found its way to some of the Pacific Islands. In the late eighteenth century, pineapples were introduced to Hawaii..."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000. Volume Two(p. 1834)

    Pineapples in North America
    "The earliest known [English] reference to the presence of a pineapple in North America comes from William Strachey. One of hundreds of brave or deluded men willing to sail into all but the unknown where the climate was harsh, the resources limited and the natives unfriendly, Strachly arrived in Jamestown in 1609 and was soon appointed secretary of Virginia. He had heard tell of a 'dainty' and 'nice' fruit that looked a little like a pinecone...As more and more ships arrived, there were undoubtedly repeated attempts to naturalize the pineapple...The fact was that Virginia and the surrounding area simply did not suit it. To consent to grow outside its natural habitat, the pineapple demands time, attention and a finely tuned climate and soil. In the American colonies it experienced none of these...Nonetheless, it managed to maintain an imaginative presence thought the many reports of what it was said to be'...It was not long before the struggle for survival in the American colonies receded to such a degree that the great planters could at last, with sufficient time and funds, concentrate on attaining the stylish living so exalted in England...As one of the most prevalent decorative forms in the age in England, it is no wonder that the first pineapples to find a role within American cultural life were those made of stone, silver, wood or porcelain...Preserved pineapple eaten as a sweetmeat had been available in the colonies for some time...it was not long before fresh pineapple in all its luscious and exotic reality also became an option for those so long starved of treats--albeit only for the very richest. Pineapple has featured in cargoes coming north from the Caribbean (in particlar the Bahamas) since the beginning of the [18th] century, but it was not unitl the 1750s that they began arriving all through the summer months at ports along the east coast from New York to Charleston and everywhere in between. One day in the summer of 1752...the Virginia Gazette announced the arrival in Williamsburg port of seen dozen pineapples from New Providence in the Bahamas...Local grocers stocked imported fruit--if you had the ready cash..."
    ---The Pineapple: King of Fruits, Fran Beauman [Chatto & Windus:London] 2005 (p. 125-131) [NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Your local public librarian will be happy to help you get a copy.]

    19th century pineapple trade proliferates
    "The speed of the clipper ships was reflected in their high freight rates, which meant they carried only luxury goods, high priced enough to be able to absorb the cost...and also destined them to transport perishable cargoes, mostly food--fruit from the Mediterranean, spices from Indonesia, wheat from Australia...In the East, as the speed of coastwise vessels increased, the danger of foods decaying en route diminished, and the North could call upon the produce of the South...by the 1850s ships from Florida were delivering fruits and vegetables there [New York City] twice a month; and by the middle of the century pineapples and coconuts were arriving from Cuba, from other West Indian islands, and even from Central America."
    ---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 154)

    Hawaiian pineapples
    "The pineapple was introduced to Hawaii by Captain James Cook in 1790, but it was not commercially cultivated there because of the difficulty of shipping between the islands and the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century the fruit was a rarity for most Americans, even though it was grown in Florida. In the 1880s, however, widespread cultivation was encouraged in Hawaii with the onset of the steamship trade in the Pacific, and in 1903 James Drummond Dole began canning the pineapple at Wahiawa for shipment everywhere. Dole's Hawaiian Pineapple Company had by 1921 established the fruit as the largest crop in those islands...The most popular variety there is the 'Smooth Cayenne', followed by the 'Red Spanish'. Americans eat pineaple fresh, as part of a salad or fruit cocktail, in sherbets, ice cream, and ices, in gelatin, in cocktails, and as a flavoring, including in cordials. Canned varieties include sliced rings, chunks, and crushed pieces. Pineapple juice is extremely popular and often used in mixed drinks like the Mai Tai and Pina Colada. Dishes made with pineapple are often called 'Hawaiian style'."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 242-3)

    "The major American pineapple industry started in Hawaii. Pineapples had appeared in Hawaii well before it became a U.S. territory in 1898. Plantations grew pineapples that were shipped to West Coast American cities, but this was expensive. Canning in Hawaii began in 1885 but was of little importance until Jim Dole founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901...The vast increase in supply created the need to expand the market, and pineapple growers encouraged publication of pineapple recipes, which soon appeared in cookery magazines and cookbooks."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York], 2004, Volume 2 (p. 282)

    Why are pineapples regarded as symbols of hospitality & friendship?

    "Perhaps because it was such a highly esteemd fruit...the Indians adopted the pineapple as the symbol of friendship and hospitality, the Europeans soon learned that if they came upon an Indian hut or village with pineapples or pineapple tops placed beside the entrance, they would be welcomed and received hospitably...the idea of the pineapple-symbol of friendship took the fancy of the romantic-minded Dons who carried it back to Spain. From Spain the custom spread to England, and from Britain the colonists carried it to Virginia and New England, and wherever they built their homes they placed carved or painted pineapples beside or above the entrances to indicate that visiotrs could be assured of a friendly welcome."
    ---Foods America Gave The World (p. 120-121)

    "When the people of the Old World did learn of pineapples, they recognized some of the same symbolism the people of South America and the Caribbean lands recognized. The pineapple symbolized friendship and hospitality to the Caribs. These people often hung pineapples ouside their huts as a kind of welcome mat, inviting people to visit. But in Europe, other factors also came into play. Because pineapples were difficult to cultivate in European soil, the fruit quickly became and expensive product. Europeans began to associate pineapples with nobility because only the rich could afford them. Interestingly, the pinecones of the Holy Land also served as symbols of nobility...In Europe, the pineapple remained a symbol of hospitality and friendship, just as the nobility stood for hospitality and friendship as well as wealth and privilege. The link people recognized between pineapples and hospitality led to the use of pineapples as an architectural motif. Images of pineapples adorned entrance halls and dining rooms and served much the same purpose as the pineapples hanging outside huts in the Caribbean. A number of scholars who have identified pineapple motifs on ancient altars have suggested that the pre-Columbian Americans may have invested thei pineapples with religious significance."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 177,179)

    Related food? Pineapple Upside-down Cake.


    Checkerboard cake
    Trendy cooks in late 19th century America were fascinated with creating foods with interesting colorful patterns. Among the most popular items were cakes, candies, cookies, sandwiches and ice cream. These recipes were often distinguished by the term "harlequin" or "neapolitan" in the title. 20th century cooks continued to experiment. Before long, they created what is known today as the "checkerboard effect." As expected, recipes for Checkerboard Cake are all over the culinary map. Different colors, various flavors, scratch cakes, box mixes, special pans, and generic kitchenware all vie for attention on this particular cake stand.

    [1884]
    "Harlequin Cake," Boston Cooking School Cook Book/Mrs. D.A. Lincoln [layers, not checkerbooard]

    [1905?]
    "Checkerboard Cake," [Los Angeles] Times Cook Book [cooked in "jelly tins."]

    [1925]
    "Mrs. Genevieve Beatty, demonstrator of Estate Gas Stoves, is in the Stove Department, giving talks and explaining, among other things, how the famous Estate "Checkerboard Cake" is made."
    ---Display ad, Estate Gas Ranges, Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1925 (p. B5) [NOTE: recipe not offered.]

    [1930]
    "Checker Board Cake
    ...You will have to procure a checkerboard cake pan to be able to make this cake. One cupful of butter or shortening, two cupfuls of sugar, six cupfuls of flour, eight level teaspoonfuls of baking powder, one-half a cupful of ground chocolate, one and one-half teaspoonfuls of salt, the yolks of three eggs, the whites of six eggs, two teaspoonfuls of lemon juice and two cupfuls of water. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, sifting them three times, sifting the flour once before it is measured. Cream the butter and sugar together, adding the sugar a little at a time and creaming well. Add alternately with the water to the creamed shortening and sugar, add the lemon juice and three tablespoons of vanilla extract. Divide the mixture into two equal parts, mix the chocolate with one-third of a cupful of water, add to it the well-beaten egg yolks and cook until smooth. To one part of the mixture add the cooked eggs stiff and add half of them to each one of the mixtures, folding in well. Pour into the checkerboard pans alternating the white and chocolate. This will make three large layers. Place in a moderate oven and bake."
    ---"Page for Food Shoppers: Practical Recipes Chef Wyman's Answers," Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1930 (p. A7) [NOTE: this article does not describe or illustrate the "checkerboard" pans.]

    Making the cake using standard layer cake pans:

    [1960]
    "No magic...no special pans are required for this imaginative cake. Sherry and chocolate mint cake mixes are your only trick. Bake both chocolate mint and cherry cake mixed according to package directions. Pour batters into four 9-inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until cakes test done. Cool 10 minutes. Turn out cool thoroughly. To make checkerboard: With a coffee can, mark ring on one layer of both chocolate mint and cherry supreme cakes. With a 3-inch cookie cutter make second ring in the center of the first. Cut along marked lines. To build cake: Place outer ring of chocolate mint cake on serving plate. Fill-in with cherry ring and then the small chocolate mint center ring. Cover with layer of pale pink fluffy frosting. Top with second layer of cherry supreme outer ring and fill in with inner circles of chocolate mint and cherry center. Swirl sides and top with remaining fluff-pink frosting. The two remaining layers may be filled and frosted for freezing."
    ---"Checkerboard Cake Delights Yule Guests," Chicago Daily Defender, December 14, 1960 (p. 18) [NOTE: photo of cake included in this article.]

    [1966]
    "Pink Checkerboard Cake. Grease and flour two round layer pans, 9 X 1 1/2 inches. Make circle dividers for center of pans by folding two pieces of foil, 13 X 6 inches, lengthwise twice, forming two strips, each 13 X 1 1/2 inches. Shape strips into 4-inch circles; fasten each with a paper clip. Place a foil circle divider in center of each prepared pan. Prepare Betty Crocker White Cake Mix as directed on package. Divide batter in half. Tint half light pink and blend in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Fill center of foil divider in one pan with pink batter and the outer circle with white batter. Fill center in other pan with white batter and outer circle with pink. (Batter in both inner and outer circles should be level.) Remove foil dividers and bake as directed on package. Cool. Prepare Betty Crocker Cherry Fluff Frosing Mix as directed on package. Use layer with white center as bottom layer; fill and frost cake."
    ---Betty Crocker's Cake and Frosting Mix Cook Book [Golden Press:New York] 1966 (p. 80) [EDITORS NOTE: Make sure you find & remove the paper clip before serving to your guests!]


    Cheesecake & New York cheesecake
    Cheesecake is a food rich in history, culture, tradition and ceremony. It is not the invention of a single person but a result of culinary evolution. The origins of cheesecake are grounded in ancient agricultural practice, tempered by local resources, and tweaked by technological advancement. In short, cheesecake is a perfectly good example of the dedicated human quest for good tasting food. The English, French, and Germans developed their own recipes, according to cultural taste and period technology. Cheeseless cheesecakes (sweet, rich custard pies) began to appear in English cookbooks in the 17th century. Chess pie, a popular Southern American favorite, is descended from these. What kind of cheese is used for cheesecake?

    Ancient Roman cheesecake
    "Libum means cake'. What kind of cake? It is often talked of by Roman poets, but what they say does not always match Cato's recipe. Libum was sometimes a sacrificial cake such as was offered to household sprirts in the early years of Roman history; it was sometimes a farmhouse cake, served hot; it as sometimes a delicate honey cake that was served at the very end of an elaborate Roman dinner...All the ancient writers associate Libum with honey--all except Cato, and he is the only one who actually gives a recipe...Cato's libum is a delicious savoury cheesecake, very successful when served hot. The cheese that is used can be quite salty and mature...and the resulting texture, with golden-brown crust and soft centre, is similar to that of a modern baked cheesecake. If, on the other hand, we take it that the proper thing was to add honey, a soft unsalted cheese must be chosen: the combination of salty cheese and honey is unappetising."
    ---The Classical Cookbook, Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger, [J.Paul Getty Museum:Los Angeles CA] 1996 (p. 92-96)

    Cato's Placenta (layerd cheesecake)
    "Placenta to be made thus: 2 lbs. bread-wheat flour to make the base; 4 lb. flour and 2 lb. prime emmer groats to make the layers. Turn the emmer into water; when it is realy soft put it in a clean mixing bowl and drain well; then knead it with your hands, and when it is well worked add the 4 lb. flour gradually, and make into sheets; arrange them in a basket to dry out. When they are dry rearrange them neatly. In making each sheet, when you have kneaded them, press them with a cloth soaked in oil, wipe them round and damp them. When they are made, heat up your cooking fire and your crock. The mostine the 2 lb. flour and knead it; from this you make a thin base. Put in water 14 lb. sheep's cheese, not sour, quite fresh; let it steep, changing the water three times; take it out and squeeze it gradually dry with the hands; when properly dry put it in a mixing bowl. When all the cheese is properly dried out, in a clean mixing bowl knead it with the hands, breaking it down as much as possible. Then take a clean flour sieve and press the cheese thorugh the sieve into the mixing bowl. The add 4 1/2 lb. good honey and mix it well with the cheese. Then put the base on a clean table which gives a foot of space, with oiled bay leaves under it, and make the palcenta. First place a single sheet over the whole base, then, oen by one, spread the sheets [with mixture] from the mortar and add them, spreading them in such a way that you eventually use all of the cheese and hone, and on the top put one more sheet by itself. Then draw up [the edges of] the base, having previously stoked up the fire; then place the placenta to cook, cover it with the heated crock, and put hot coals around and above it. Be sure to cook it well and slowly. Open it to check on it two or three times. When it is cooked, remove it and coat with hone. This makes a one-gallon placenta."
    ---Cato on Farming, De Agricultura, a modern translation with commentary by Andrew Dalby [Prospect Books:Devon] 1998 (p. 155-159)
    [NOTES: (1) Original Latin is printed in this source. (2) "Placenta is a Greek word (plakounta, accusative form of plakous 'cake')...The medical use of the word placenta is a modern extension of meaning; it had no such implications in classical texts. (3) Modernized version appears in The Classical Cookbook, Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger [J. Paul Getty Museum:Los Angeles CA] 1996 (p. 94-96)]

    Medieval European cheeesecake
    "...the earliest actual recipe for a cheesecake is found in the Forme of Cury (14th Century). Hannah Wooley's Queen-Like Closet (1664) gives a cheesecake recipe which sounds quite modern."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 158)

    A brief survey of historic cheesecake recipes

    Savory cheesecakes?
    Not all recipes for cheese cakes were sweet desserts made with creamy cheese. Evidence here:

    "Cheese cakes
    2 tablespoons butter
    3 1/2 tablespoons flour
    4 tablespoons grated American cheese
    Whites 3 eggs
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    few grains cayenne

    Melt butter, add flour, and stir until well blended; then add cheese and cut and fold in whites of eggs beaten until stiff. Season with salt and cayenne. Drop from tip of spoon on a buttered sheet one inch apart and bake in a moderate oven."
    ---Catering for Special Occasions with Menus and Recipes, Fannie Merritt Farmer [1911] (p. 76)

    Philadelphia cheesecake
    Primary sources reveal cooking methods relating to early Phildadelphia-area cheesecakes.

    "The German element was an influential one in Philadelphia well into the latter half of the 19th century. In many areas of food production, such as bread and biscuit baking, the manufacture of chocolate and mustard, butchering, and tavernkeeping, the Germans reigned supreme. However, love of cheesecake was shared by both English and German-speaking Phildadelphians, and early in the 18th century, this love became something of a local cult at the Cheesecake House. Situated on the west side of 4th Street, on grounds extending from Cherry Street to Apple Tree Alley, the Cheesecake House stood in the middle of a pleasure garden shaded by cherry and apple trees...Even in 1848, nearly a century after it had disappeared, the Cheesecake House was still fondly remembered in the Sunday Dispatch."
    ---35 Receipts From "The Larder Invaded," William Woys Weaver [Library Company of Philadelphia and The Historical Society of Pennsylvania:Philadelphia] 1986 (p. 18)
    [NOTES: (1) This book contains a German recipe for cheesecake (with English translation), circa 1791. If you need this ask your librarian to help you obtain a copy. (2) William Woys Weaver is considered to be a leading expert on Pennsylvania Dutch foodways. The second edition of his book, Saurerkraut Yankees, was recently published. It contains excellent notes regarding the foodstuffs/primary sources connected with this culture and cuisine.]

    [1866:Philadephia] Orange, Lemon, Curd & Cottage-Cheese cakes, National Cook Book, Hannah Mary Bouvier Peterson (recipes p.123-5)

    New York Cheese cake
    The history of "New York Style" cheesecake begins with upstate New York creameries which developed a unique
    American type cream cheese. What makes it New York cheesecake?

    "Say Cheesecake
    Q. I've heard that the recipe for cheesecake, that classic New York dessert, came here from Italy. A friend insists that it was "invented" here at the turn of the century. Care to get mixed up in this?

    A. You're both at least partly correct. New York cheesecake, the kind made famous this century in restaurants like Reuben's, Lindy's and Junior's, is considered by some to be a dense, sweet, creamy adaptation of traditional Italian cakes made with curd or cottage cheese. Recipes for coarser, less sweet ricotta cakes like the Tuscan crostata di ricotta and the Neapolitan pastiera have been around for centuries, according to Matt Sartwell, a resident scholar at the Kitchen Arts and Letters store in Manhattan. In fact, the writings of Cato the Elder, the Roman statesman and moralist of the second century B.C., include a recipe for "savillum," a relatively simple honeyed ricotta cheesecake. But it wasn't until about 1872 that cheesecake baking as we know it in New York become practical and popular, according to "Cheesecake Madness" by John J. Segreto (1996, Biscuit Books). That was when William Lawrence of Chester, N.Y., accidentally developed a method of producing cream cheese while trying to duplicate the French Neufchatel. Soon after, a dairyman living in South Edmeston, N.Y., produced a particularly silky version for the Empire Cheese Company, which was later sold under the brand name Philadelphia Cream Cheese. "The New York-style cheesecake that we know depended on the development of this cheese," Mr. Sartwell said. He added that the graham cracker crust, another American innovation, would have been impossible before the cracker was introduced early this century."
    ---"Say Cheesecake," Daniel B. Schneider, New York Times, September 21, 1997 (p. CY2)

    "Many nineteenth-century American cookery books do include recipes for cheesecake, beginning, as often as not, with the curdling of the milk with rennet. But the silky, cream-cheese cheesecake is something else again, a turn-of-the-century arriviste introduced, for the most part, by Jewish delicatessens in New York City. [Merle] Evans even traces the beginning of "the New York cheesecake saga" to the 1920s and attributes it to "an enterprising delicatessen owner, Arnold Reuben [who] opened a restaruant on 58th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues" at that time. Soon Reuben had rivals, among them Leonard's...Juniors...Lindy's, a Broadway restaurant...According to Molly O'Neill...the smooth, rich cheesecake served at Lindy's in the 1940s became the quintessential "New York Cheesecake," the one by which all others are judged."
    ---The American Century Cookbook, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 390)

    "What we mean when we say cheesecake In the case of New York Cheesecake, an Eastern-European-style cake made from pot and cream cheeses was claimed as the city's own...Early versions of the cake were probably heavy. In Bronx Primitive, her memoir of growing up in the Bronx, Kate Simon recalls the "cementlike cheesecakes" that her mother made on Fridays. The confection moved from homes to resturants. By 1940, cheesecake was the main call at Lindy's, the fabled theater-district restaurant that actors and actresses jammed for late-night dessert. The Guys & Dolls razzle-dazzle that surrounds Lindy's cheesecake may not be the only reason that Lindy's became synonomous with New York cheesecake. Between homes like the Simon's and restaurants like Lindy's, Eastern European cake experienced an unbeatable lightness of being. The recipe for Lindy's smooth cake has appeared in numerous cookbooks..."
    ---New York Cook Book, Molly O'Neill [Workman Publishing:New York] 1992 (p. 436-7)

    When we think New York style cheese cake, we think Lindy's. The restaurant, like its clientele, was legendary.

    "Lindy's.
    1655 Broadway at 51st...1626 Broadway below 50th...
    The upper Lindy's on west bank of Broadway's stream of humanity, is the main one. Both offer wide selection of eatables, all excellent, incidental to the attraction of Lindy's as ye gossip shoppe and clearing house of news of Broadway, the theater, Tin Pan Alley, the radio world, and Hollywood. Gefeulte fish is delish. Sturgeon and smoke salmon are sandwiched salubriously. Steaks are noble, and Lindy cheese cake a headliner. The shutting down of the bar at 4 a.m. goes unnoticed by the gabbers consuming coffee and cake till ejected at 5 a.am. Smaller Lindy's closes at 3 a.m.. Both open at noon."
    ---Knife and Fork in New York, Lawton Mackall [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1949 (p. 167-168)

    Want to make a genuine Lindy's Cheese cake?
    Recipes for Lindy's cheese cake are easy to obtain. There are several versions. Did Lindy's really release this recipe at one time? We think so, evidenced by the fact is was published by Duncan Hines in the 1930s. At that time, Mr. Hines was famous for recommending restaurants to travelers. His book, Adventures in Food Cooking, offered dozens of dishes from "America's Favorite Eating Places." It was an honor to have a recipe included in this book. We think Hine's version is the real deal. In Duncan Hines Food Odyssey (c. 1952), the author relates his personal encounter with Lindy:

    "As I write this, gold is worth somewhere around thirty-two dollars an ounce. Lindy's cheese cake at forty-five cents a slice is somewhat less expensive, yet a good many people who've eaten at Lindy's famous Broadway restaurant consider it pure gold...There are more items on Lindy's two menus (one for luncheon, one for dinner) than on any menu I can recall...If your taste runs to the Jewish delicacies for which Lindy's is famous, order one of the items printed in capital letters, such as LINDY'S SPECIAL CHEESE CAKE.These dishes are the specialties of the houe, the items on which Lindy prides homself. That 'SPECIAL' must be a typographical error, for Lindy himself calls it simply Lindy's cheese cake. He doesn't see anything special about it. It may be the finest in New York and the most famous in the world, but that's not enough to make it special to Lindy. it is simply the only cheese cake that he make, and that's that...Lindy is more completely surrounded by his work than any restaurant man I've known. His office is a big icebox in the basement. Each morning he sits down at a tale there, surrounded by shelves full of wine, cheeses, and cartons of cigarettes, to telephone his orders and hold conferences with his staff." (p. 47-48)

    [1933]
    "514. Lindy's Cheesecake

    Ingredients: 1 cup sifted flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    1 egg yolk
    1/4 cup butter-melted
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    Directions: Combine dry ingredients including lemon rind in bowl. Make well in center. Add egg, butter and vanilla, work together quickly until well blended. Add a little cold water if necessary to make hold together. Wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly in refrigerator for about 1 hour. Roll out 1/8 inch thick and place over greased bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. Trim off extra dough. Bake in hot oven, 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until a light gold color. Cool. Butter sides of pan and place over base. Roll remaining dough 1/8 inch thick and line sides of pan. Fill with following mixture:

    2 1/2 lbs cream cheese
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    3 tablespoons grated orange rind
    1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    5 eggs
    2 egg yolks
    1/4 cup heavy cream.
    Put cheese in electric mixer and beat at second speed. Add sugar gradually then remainder of ingredients in order given. Eggs should be added one at a time. When thoroughly blended and smooth, pour into lined pan above and place in pre-heated oven 550 degrees, and bake from 12-15 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees and continue baking for 1 hour. Cool before cutting."
    ---Adventures in Good Cooking and the Art of Carving in the Home, Duncan Hines, facsimile 1933 edition edited by Louis Hatchett [Mercer University Press:Macon GA] 2002 (unpaged, recipes in numberical order)
    [NOTE: This exact recipe also appears in the 22nd printing, 1952 (#439) and Duncan Hines Food Odyssey (p. 49-50)

    [1950]
    "Lindy's Cheesecake from Lindy's Restaurant, New York

    2 1/2 lbs. cream cheese
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons orange rind grated
    1 1/2 teaspoons lemon rind grated
    1 pinch vanilla bean (inside pulp) or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5 eggs
    2 egg yolks
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    Combine cheese, sugar, flour, grated orange and lemon rind and vanilla. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, stirring lightly after each addition. Stir in cream. Prepare cookie dough mixture as follows:

    Lindy's Cookie Dough Mixture for Cheesecake
    1 cup sifted flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon lemon rind grated
    1 pinch vanilla bean (inside pulp)
    1 egg yolk
    1/4 cup butter
    Combine flour, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla. Make a well in center and add egg yolk and butter. Work together quickly with hands until well blended. Wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly in refrigerator about 1 hour. Roll out 1/8" thick and place over oiled bottom of a 9" spring form cake pan. Trim off the dough by running a rolling pin over sharp edge. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) 20 minutes or until a light gold. Cool. Butter sides of cake form and place over base. Roll remaining dough 1/8" thick and cut to fit the sides of the oiled band. Fill the form with cheese mixture. Bake in very hot oven (550 degrees F.) 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to slow (200 degrees F.) and continue baking 1 hour. Cool before cutting."
    ---Love and Dishes, Niccolo de Quattrociocchi, [Bobbs-Merrill Company:Indianapolis] 1950 (p. 387-388)
    [NOTE: "Nicky Q." was the owner of El Borracho restaurant, NYC. His book offers recipes from several restaurants in this book, including Cafe Nino, Luchows, and Jack & Charlie's "21" Club. Lindy Pancake for 12 persons (p. 389-390).]

    [1963]
    "Lindy's Famous Cheesecake

    Certain restaurants have built their reputations on a cheesecake. Why can't you do the same?...
    Crust 1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
    1 egg yolk
    1/4 cup soft butter or margarine

    Filling
    5 pkg (8-oz size) cream cheese (2 1/2 lb), at room temperature
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    2 tablespoons all-purose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
    1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5 eggs
    2 egg yolks
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    Makes 16 to 20 Servings
    1. Make Crust: In small bowl, combine four, sugar, lemon peel, and vanilla. Make a well in center; add egg yolk and butter. With fingertips, mix until dough leaves side of bowl.
    2. Form into a ball; wrap in waxed paper; refrigerate 1 hour.
    3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease bottom and side of a 9-inch spring-form pan; remove side.
    4. Remove one third of dough from refrigerator. Roll out directly on bottom of spring-form pan; trim dough even with edge.
    5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool.
    6. Divide remaining dough into 3 parts. On lightly floured surface, roll each part into a strip 2 1/2 inches wide.
    7. Press strips to side of spring-form pan, joining ends of strips, to line inside completely. Trim dough so it comes only three quarters up side. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
    8. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
    9. Make Filling: In large bowl of electric mixer, combine cheese with sugar, flour, lemon peel, orange peel, and vanilla.
    10. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat only until mixture is well combined. Add cream, beating until well combined.
    11. Assemble spring-form pan with baked crust on bottom and unbaked pastry around side. Pour in filling; bake 10 minutes.
    12. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.. Bake 1 hour longer.
    13. Cool in pan, on wire rack. Then refrigeratate 3 hours, or overnight.
    14. To serve: Remove side of spring-form pan. Serve cheesecake plain or topped with one of the Glazes for Cheesecake."
    ---McCall's Cook Book, [Random House:New York] 1963 (p. 247)

    [1977]
    "When Lindy's restaurant in Manhattan closed its doors--and ovens--in September, 1969, it was the end of a legend in more ways than one. It was fabled for its sturgeon, corned beef and blintzes. But most of all it was renowned for its cheesecakes, which were as integral a part of Gotham culture as Yankee Stadium, Coney Island, Grant's Tomb and the Staten Island Ferry. Approximately 20 years abot, shortly before his death, I approached Leo Lindemann, the owner of the establishment, and pleaded with him to let me have the recipe for his cheesecake. I was rewarded with a rather wan, benign and tolearant smile as though I had demanded the Kohinoor diamond. Presumably the recipe for the cheesecake had disappeared from the face of the earth, but I know have what is purported to be that recipe. It was offered me by Guy Pascal,the distinguished pastry chef at La Cote Basque restaurant who, tomorrow will open what promises to be one of the finest pastry shops in Manhattan, the Delixe La Cote Basque, 1032 Lexington Avenue (between 73rd and 74th Streets). How Mr. Pascal came into possession of the recipe is a six-month study in intrigue, subterfuge and deception in and around the sugar bins and flour barrels of a Las Vegas kitchen. The Case of the Purloined Recipe began when the young chef opened a small pastry shop in the kingdom of casinos 10 years and longer ago. 'One day,' Mr. Pascal said, 'an old man came to ask for a job, and among his other credentials he told me that he had spent years in New York preparing the cheescake at Lindy's. At that time I'd never heard of Lindy's cheesecake, and I hired him in spite of the fact. Well, he started to make his dessert and my business started to boom; people were standing in line. I was fascinated at the appeal of the cake. So much so, I offered him money for the recipe. He refused and I offered him more. He still refused...'For weeks I didn't mention the cake. When he worked he was pretty furtive in assembling his ingredients. But I kept a strict account of the number of cakes he produced balanced against the amount of cream cheese we purchased. I have very good peripheral vision, and out of the corner of my eye as the weeks passed I figured out the quantity of orange peel he used, how much lemon peel. the number of eggs and so on. And after six months I had it perfected.' The result is being printed here and, as far as we know, it is the first time the real recipe--or a reasonable approximation of it--is being published...
    Lindy's Recipe?
    Butter
    1/2 cup fine cake crumbs or graham cracker curmbs
    2 lemons
    1 orange
    1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    4 large eggs
    2 tablespoons sour cream
    1/4 cup half-and-half cream
    1. Preheat to oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Generously butter and 8-by-2-inch round cake pan. Sprinkle the inside with the crumbs, then shak out excess crumbs.
    3. Grate the lemons and orange. Set the grated rind aside. Use the lemons and orange for another purpose.
    4. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the grated rind and vanilla, beating. Gradually add the heavy cream and sugar, beating constantly on moderate speed. The important thing to avoid in making this recipe is beating on very high speed. This wouldd incorporate air into the cheesecake and make the cake rise like a souffle. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    5. Beat in the sour cream and half-and-half.
    6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Set the pan in a larger pan and pour boiling water around it. Place in the oven and bake one and one-quarter hours until the center does not quiver when the pan is shaken. Remove from water bath and let stand on a rack about 10 minutes. Invert and unmold while hot. Let stand until cool.
    Yield: 8 to 12 servings
    Note: Crumbs can be made from any day-old cake such as pound cake or genoise." ---"Is Chef Pascal's Cheesecake Lindy's Long-Kept Secret?" Craig Claiborne, New York Times, May 18, 1977 (p. 50)

    [NOTE: This article sparked a fury of letters to the editor "Lindy's Cheesecake Controversy: Which is the 'Real Version?" June 1, 1977 (p. 50). The editor's headnote reads: "There's no dougt about it, New York is rich with cheesecake addicts. The Lving Section on May 18 of Chef Pascal's 'purloined' recipe for Lindy's cheesecake triggered scores of letters from readers. Some disputed the recipe itself, other questioned the technique. Many insisted that the real Lindy's cheesecake had a cookie dough shell and a fruit topping of cherries, strawberries or pineapple. Some offered what they have believed for years to be the true Lindy's cheesecake recipe, encloseing yellowed, Scotch-taped and well-worn clippings as proof. Other 'real' recipes have, according to our readers, apparently appeared in a number of publications over the years, including McCalls, Gourmet, the New York Herald Tribune and even the New York Times, as well as several cookbooks."

    [1992]
    "Lindy's New York-Style Cheesecake

    1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 egg yolks
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    2 1/2 pounds (5 large packages) cream cheese, softened
    1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
    5 whole eggs
    1/4 heavy (whipping) cream
    1. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon of the vanilla. Form a well in the center and add 1 egg yolk and all fo the butter. Work with a fork to make a dough. Add up to 2 tablespoons of water, if necessary, to make a pliable dough. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
    3. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the cream cheese, the remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, and all of the orange zest and beat well. Add the 5 whole eggs, the remaining 2 egg yolks, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and beat well. Add the heavy cream and beat well.
    4. Roll out one-third of the chilled dough on a floured surface; the dough will be very moist and fragile. Roll it out in pieces and evenly press them, with your hands, into the bottom of the prepared pan. Don't worry if it looks like it is going to fall apart. Bake until golden, 15 minues, and cool in the pan on a wire rack.
    5. Roll out the remaining dough in pieces and evenly shape them to fit the sides of the pan, a piece at a time. Make sure that there are no holes in the curst and try to keep the edges neat.
    6. Increase the oven temperature to 550 degrees F. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200 degress F and continue baking or 1 hour. Turn of the heat and keep the oven door open wide. Let the cake cool in the oven for 30 minutes.
    Serves 8 to 10.
    ---New York Cookbook, Molly O'Neill [Workman Publishing:New York] 1992 (p. 434-435)

    What kind of cheese goes into cheesecake? That depends upon the period, people and place. The common culianry theme is creaminess. Cream cheese is most prevalent. In modern times, curdy cheeses (ricotta, marscapone, cottage cheese) are regularly employed.

    When did humans begin consuming cheese?
    "...Cheese actually dates back to the earliest domestication of animals, at about 9000BC and it had been made wherever animals produced more milk than people use in fluid form....Archaeologists have established that cheese was well known to the Sumerians (4000BC), whose cuneiform tablets contain references to cheese, as do the Egyptian and Chaldean artifacts. It is as much a staple of the Old Testament as honey and almonds and wine, and is associated with stories of great daring...The Greeks were so fond of cheese that they rewarded their children with it as we give ours candy--and "little cheese" was a special term of endearment. Their Olympic athletes also trained on a diet consisting mostly of cheese....and the island of Samos was noted for cheese-cakes, for which Athenaeus even gives us a recipe: "Take some cheese and pound it, put in a brazen sieve and strain it, then add honey and flour made from spring wheat and heat the whole together into one mass." Wedding cakes of that early era were almost invariably cheesecakes, and at Argos it was customary for the bride to bring little cakes that were roasted, covered with honey, and served to the bridegroom's friends."
    ---The Cheese Book, Vivienne Marquis & Patricia Haskell [Leslie Frewin:London] 1966 (pages 18-19).

    "Every market in Greece sold cheeses to those who could not make their own, and by the fourth century BC the popular fresh white Greek cheeses were being flavored with herbs and spices and baked into all manner of cakes and pies...The Roman Empire used cheese a great deal in cooking....Cato mentions a sauce based on salt which was used to preserve cheese and gives the recipe for a celebration wedding cake, in which the main ingredient was cheese, spiced and flavoured with grape must, fat, aniseed and bay leaves; this was also baked on top of bay leaves which impaired their agreeable aroma to the concoction....Apicus, the foremost Roman gastronome, included a very elaborate dish among his recipes, served cold, in which the cheese was blended with honey, peppermint, watermelon, vinegar and many other ingredients."
    ---Cheese: A Guide to the World of Cheese and Cheesemaking, Battistotti, Botazzi et al. (pages 12-14).

    Curds
    "Curds were still incorporated in certain cooked dishes which had survived from medieval times. The spiced cheese tarts of that period were continued in tarts of curds which were still known a cheesecakes in the seventeenth century...Fresh curds formed the basis of the filling, supported by eggs, spices and sometimes currants. By the middle of the century, some cheesecake recipes contained neither cheese nor curds, but instead a rich custardy mixture of eggs, butter, flour and unrenneted cream, duly sweetened and spiced....A further development a few decades later was the lemon cheesecake. Its filling consisted of pounded lemon peel, egg yolks, sugar and butter...Orange cheesecakes were made in similar fashion, from the skins of Seville oranges which were first boiled in two or three waters to take off their bitterness."
    ---Food and Drink in Britain, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 172-173).

    What is cream cheese?
    Cream cheese is a complicated topic. According to the food historians, soft, fresh country cheese (cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, farmer's cheese, Neufchatel) were probably the first cheeses known to man. Soft cheese were enjoyed by Ancient Romans and Greeks. Creamier cheese were produced and perfected by European countries, most notable France. Medieval cookery books contain several recipes which include soft cheese both savory and sweet. When cheesemakers immigrated to the United States, they brought their craft with them. Food historians generally agree that cream cheese, as we Americans know it today, was first manufactured in
    upstate New York in the latter half of the 19th century. There is, however, evidence suggesting cream cheese was manufactred earlier in the Philadelphia area (1861/D. Bassett Co.).

    "Those curds and whey Miss Muffet was addressing herself to before the arrival of her uninvited guest were, of course, the sixteenth century forerunner of our cottage cheese. Even at that time, however, it had a venerable history, for although its origins are obscure, there is little doubt that this sour and separated milk--curds and whey--was the beginning of what we now call cheese...In piecing together the story of how fresh cheeses were first made, it seems likely that early nomadic tribesmen, wandering with their flocks, must at times have had a good deal of sour milk to dispose of. After using what they could, they were faced inevitably with the choice of throwing the rest away or carrying it with them--a hard decision for poor people who had to keep moving to keep alive. At some point or other--some say about 9,000 years ago--these wanderers appear to have realized that milk, like meat, could be more easily preserved and transported if it could somehow be dried. Eventually they hit upon two ways of doing this. One, probably the first, involved the process of evaporation: they put fresh milk into shallow earthenware unensils and exposed it to the heat of the sun. The milk first turned sour and then began to evaporate. The result was a semi-dry acid curd characteristic of the fermented milk preparation we know today as yoghurt. This was also probably the primitive beginnings of cream cheese, for the first cream cheeses were--and some are today--simply dried cream...In any event, the simplest way to make a cream cheese...it is pour heavy cream into a perforated box lined with two loose layers of cheesecloth. In about four days, the cream's superflous moisture will have evaporated or drained away, leaving a firm but spreadable cheese...Many variations of pot cheese and cream cheese can be found in every country that makes cheese...Even India, which makes practically no cheese, has a kind of cottage cheese called Surti and a cream cheese called Surtal. The list is endless..."
    ---The Cheese Book, Vivienne Marquis and Patricia Haskell [Leslie Frewin:London] 1966 (p. 25-7)

    "Cream-cheese. A soft, rich kind of cheese, made of unskimmed milk enriched by the addition of cream; a cheese of this kind."
    ---Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, Volume III (p. 1132) [NOTE: The OED traces this phrase in print to 1583.]

    "Up to the eighteenth century a great deal of cheese was eaten in Europe, and especially France. The people of high rank developed a sweet tooth. Sweet desserts became so popular that the only kind of cheese considered elegant was cream cheese heavily sweetened and flavoured with perfumed oils. Rove sheep's milk cheese sprinkled with orange-flower water is still a specialty of Marseilles. Eaten in the evening, it is supposed to be an aid in slumber."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 117)

    Martha Jefferson's cream cheese recipe.

    "'Cream cheese although so called, is not properly cheese, but is nothing more than cream dried sufficiently to be cut with a knife' Thus Mrs. Beeton in in 1861. Her comment was pertinent in that the simplest form of cream cheese is made by draining cream through a muslin and leaving it for a few days until it becomes as firm as butter. But what is normally offered as cream cheese is produced in a more sophisticated manner, and is rarely made from cream alone. Most kinds of cream cheese are made from a mixture of cream and milk, inoculated with lactic acid-producing bacteria chosen to produce the desired degree of acidity. The mixture may or may not need rennet to precipitate the curd. Although the bacteria are allowed some time in which to do their work, a cream cheese is not matured...The most important cream cheese, in terms of quality, must be Philadelphia cream cheese; it has long been the principal American variety, and cream cheeses are said to account for a quarter of all cheese eaten in the USA. Well-known French cream cheese include...Fontainbleu, Boursin, Brillat-Savarin, and Explorateur...The Scottish caboc, known since the 15th century, was Sir Walter Scott's favorite kind of cheese. It became extinct but had been revived as a rich cream cheese, made from double cream and given a crust of toasted pinhead oatmeal."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p.225)

    Philadelphia & New York: American cream cheese capitols
    "William A. Lawrence was in the creamery business in Chester [New York, Monroe County] in 1872 when he entered the cream cheese business...'Legend among the old timers of Chester is that Mr. Green and his cheese making friend were discussing the recipe...and Mr. Lawrence came into the barn, heard them talking, stopped and listened throught a knot-hole in the wall. Heard the recipe given by the Swiss man, and promptly went home and made cream cheese.'...The American product known as cream cheese was made in the manner of Neufchatel, with extra cream added to the mixture. Mr. Lawrence labeled his product Philadelphia cream cheese (not to be confused with Philadelphia Brand cream cheese) because he sent it to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be packaged a shipped to his buyers. Early production amounted to only a few pounds each day. Made in cylinders of about two and three-quarters by one a half inches, the cheeses were rolled in tissue paper and padded with straw for shipping in empty boxes obtained from grocers...Cream cheese production in Central New York began around 1880 at the Crystal Palace Factory in McDonough, R. Johnston and Co. In Afton, and the Empire in South Edmeston. The region was known for fine dairy herds...The high quality cream cheese packed under the label of the "Philadelphia Brand" was made at South Edmeston for nearly one hundred years...The origin of the "Philadelphia Brand" has been the subject of countless debates between legislators as well as cheese makers and local residents who remember the heyday of its manufacture in their valley. Although the word "Philadelphia" was included in the name of the cream cheese made in Chester about 1872 and in Philadelphia, New York, in the 1880s, this brand name was legally established for the cheese made in the Empire Factory in South Edmeston. It signified that the cheese was of the traditional high quality of foods produced in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."
    ---The History of Cheese Making in New York State, Eunice R. Stamm [Lewis Group:Endicott NY] 1991 (p. 180-2)
    [NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be pararphrased here. If you need more details ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]

    According to the records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov) Kraft's Philadelphia Brand cream cheese was first used in commerce September 1, 1880 (registration #0392212).

    "Kraft company records place the invention of cream cheese in the hands of a New York Dairyman named William A. Lawrence, who first experimented with it and saw potential in the mixture he fashioned from milk and cream in 1872; he called the product Star Brand. The cream cheese became so popular that other dairies in the New York area began manufacturing a smimlar product. In 1880 a cheese distributor named C.D. Reynolds forged a deal with Lawrence for the latter to supply a steady flow of cream cheese. At the same time, Reynolds purchased another cream cheese production facility, the Empire Cheese Company of South Edmeston, New York. The name "Philadelphia" was adopted for the product because the Pennsylvania city was treasured as the seat of high-quality foods, particularly dairy products...In 1924 J.L. Kraft & Bros. Co., which had produced and provided processed cheese to the U.S. government armed forces in World War I, went public as Kraft Cheese Company and entered the cream cheese market. Four years later, Kraft merged with Phenix [Cheese Company], continuing the production of Philadelphia Brand cream cheese and introducing new products like Velveeta pasteurized process cheese spread...Compared to Camembert and other rich, soft cheese of Europe, Philadelphia Brand cream cheese was originally made in U.S. locations that could easily provide production plants with fresh milk and cream...Because of several patented adjustments to the production process in the mid-1940s, the life span of the cheese jumped from an original couple of weeks to about four months...Central to Kraft's success at positioning Philadelphia Brand cream cheese as one of the most recognizable products in the American marketplace was the company's unflappable committment to media saturation and advertising..."
    ---"Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese," Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Janice Jorgensen editor [St. James:Detroit] 1994 Volume1: Consumable Products (p. 452-453)
    [NOTE: This book has much more information than can be paraphrased here. You librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy.]

    Related foods: Cream cheese frosting, Cream cheese brownies & bagels.


    Washington cakes
    "Washington Cakes" have been popular up and down the east coast for hundreds of years. Both George & Martha versions come in several varieties. In the most traditional sense, "Washington Cake" is a dense, creamy fruit cake with white icing.
    Philadelphia-style Washington Cakes are completely unique.

    Traditional recipe, courtesy of Mt. Vernon.

    "Washington Cake" can also be a spice cake without fruit. This type of cake was more like gingerbread. Modernized recipe courtesy of Old Sturbridge Village.

    "George Washington" cakes are all over the culinary map. Many popular versions feature cherries in some way (cake, icing, decorations, etc.). Some recipes features apples. In the 1950s-1970s there was also a George Washington brand cake mix.

    Philly-style Washington cake Over the years several people have written to us in search of the recipe for Philly area "Washington Cake." This item was sold in bakeries circa 1950s-1960s.It is generally described as a dark spice cake (akin to gingerbread, sometimes with chocolate) with chocolate frosting. This product was made in sheets and sold by the piece. We find several references, but no recipes. So far. If you have a recipe please send it in!

    "If it's a normal Tuesday, you will find beneath the carved oak art deco paneling at Haegele's Bakery (est. 1930) shelves bearing handmade jelly rolls and flaky pastries called Lady Locks, banana cream pies, and bacon-and-egg-studded breakfast bread, sliced almond cookies the color and shape of ivory domino tiles, golden honey buns and honest-to-goodness cinnamon buns, Washington Cake - a spice cake frosted with chocolate icing - and, finally, in the precise spot in the cases that most of them have commanded for more than half a century, the Tuesday items - apple fritters, egg-washed tea biscuits, lush lemon meringue pie, and an airy, supremely moist, rum-soaked Rum Ring coffee cake unlike any you will encounter elsewhere in rowhouse Mayfair - or the city beyond."
    ---"Before Lent's fast, the fastnacht At Haegele's in Mayfair, they're gearing up for the German doughnut's big day," Rick Nichols, Inquirer Columnist, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 22, 2004
    [NOTE: Haegeles is still in business. No mention of Washington Cake on company Web.]

    George Washington Cake/Philly discussion (gingerbread-type cake with chocolate icing)

    Another Philly-area variety:
    "Hanscom Washington Birthday Specials Decorated Washington Log...choice of lucious chocolate cake with a marshmallow filling or a rich, yellow sponge cake with jelly filling, .49 each Decorated Cherry Iced Layer Cake...A delightful cherry frosting surrounds this egg-rich yellow layer cake, $1.10... 20 Candy and Bake shops in Philadelphia, Norristown and Camden."
    ---Ad placed in Philadelphia Inquirer February 22, 1958 (p. 27)


    Wedding cake
    There are plenty of Web sites offering brief histories of wedding cake, many citing to ancient Roman rituals [crumbling cake on the bride's head], medieval customs [piling cakes to signify good luck and wealth], 17th century improvements [an unkown French chef is often said to have iced the conglomeration of heretofore medieval cake offerings and created the first true wedding cake]. Are these stories true? According to Wedding Cakes and Cultural History by Simon R. Charsley, most of this information was created in the Victorian era in to satisfy late 19th century cultural demands. It is not documented fact.
    Wedding Cake: A Slice of History/Carol Wilson, Gastronomica, sums the topic up nicely.[NOTE: If you don't have ready access to JSTOR database, your librarian can help you obtain this article.]

    "The Victorian myth of origin
    The degree to which the wedding cake and the uses to which it is put in twentieth century Britain have become standardized may well mislead when the past is considered. Even the degree of standardisation already present in the later nineteenth century misled J. C. Jeaffreson whose Brides and Bridals [1872] offered a pioneering account of the history of the cake. Other writers have subsequently followed him, sometimes themselves adding to the confusion by misinterpreting his words in terms of the cakes with which they were familiar in their own day...
    ...Jeaffreson's history is...an interesting example of the myth-making of its period. Like others...he was led by a sense that, to be properly grounded, contemporary practice must have a lineage going back to ancient Rome. This was to make a link with the region of history so special for the identity of European societies as they developed out of the middle ages as to be labelled classical'. At times and amongst people aware of their own imperial status, such links were at a premium...The story Jeaffreson told began, therefore, with an ancient Roman marriage practice involving the breaking of a cake over the bride's head. It jumped to evidence from the England of a thousand and more years later, for the pouring or throwing of grain, and from this to supposed survivals around Britain as late as his own century of the breaking of biscuit, 'cake' or bread' over the bride...
    ...It was, Jeaffreson considered, with the arrival in England of French confectionery skills and influences at the Restoration in 1660 that the pile of cakes was consolidated with an overall covering of icing and decoration....There is no doubt that this story is fanciful and wrong, though its subsequent repetition shows that he had created a myth which would appear appropriate to those few who have thought to question the cake's origins."
    ---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:London] 1992 (p. 29-30)
    [NOTE: this book examines the culinary history, social traditions and cultural variations of fancy cakes in several cultures. It is well documented and contains an extensive bibliography for further reading]

    Does this mean cake was not served at weddings before Victorian times? Of course not!
    Across all eras, cultures and cuisines, the very finest foods are traditionally saved for the most important celebrations. Weddings are considered quintessential human affirmations of the continuing march of human life. In ancient times, it was quite possible that honey and other sweet cakes might have been served as part of the wedding feast. Medieval wedding feasts typically included fine cakes and puddings made with dried fruit. Traditional European holiday fruitcakes and plum puddings descended from this tradition. These confections, however, did not assume the elevated position of today's wedding cake. It has been suggested by some food historians the ritual of wedding cake may derive from religious practices. In Christian religions, the sharing of bread-type products (communion) signifies committment. Some other religions have similar traditions.

    "In the medieval period neither cakes in the usual modern sense nor icing had yet appeared. Nothing directly equivalent to the wedding cake could thereforh have any part in the celebration of marriages. Feasts and celebations might be held but marriage was simply their occasion. No specialized food object had a place at them, not was there as far as has been recorded any special action of a ritual nature using any food item as part of the wedding. Medieval feasting is nevertheless one of the roots from which cakes and their use in weddings were to grow....Decoratively presented foods and those using imported ingredients of high cost were features of medieval feasting. Dishes, often combining both, were developed in the highest reaches of society where the wealth for their creation was available and display was an important prop to status and power..."
    --- and Cultural History, Charsley (p. 36)

    About cake-breaking traditions in the British Isles
    "...one ancient custom continued unabated. This was the strewing of grain over the bride's head, though by the eighteenth century the wheat of tradition was likely to have been joined or replaced by comfits. These sugar-coated nuts and seeds became a universal feature of weddings throughout Europe from the Renaissance onwards...Closely related to the strewing of wheat or comfits was the custom of breaking a cake over the bride's head...No evidence for the breaking of cake over the bride's head exists from the Tudor period, and it is not until the time of Herrick that we hear of it at all. Herrick's verse, with its constant use of antique poetical forms and classical allusions, does not necessarily reflect the actual folk practices of his day. His wassails, wakes and hock carts could just have easily taken place in Arcadia as in rural England. Aubrey mentions the practice in passing and makes a point by linking it with the ancient Roman custom. Eighteenth-century accounts of bride-cake breaking are rather scant, or are in the context of fictional acounts and therefore not reliable. However, there are a number of trustworthy reports of the practice from nineteenth-century folklorists, all from northern England or Scotland. The Reverend Willian Carr, a local historian from Craven in Yorkshire, cites one of the most interesting: 'The bridal party, after leaving the church, repair to a neighborouring inn, where a thin currant-cake, marked in squares, though not entirely cut through, is ready against the bride's arrival. Over her head is spread a clean linen napkin, the bride-groom standing behind the bride, breaks the cake over her head, which is thrown over her and scrambled for by the attendants.' A variation of this procedure is reported from the Scottish Borders, through a piece of shortbread rather than a currant hearthcake is used to scatter on the bride's head. 'As the newly-married wife enters her new home on returning from the kirk, one of the oldest inhabitants of the neighbourhood who has been stationed on the threshold, throws a plate of short-bread over her head, so that it falls outside. A scramble ensues, for it is deemed very fortunate to get a piece of the short-bread, and dreams of sweethearts attend its being placed under the pillow.' This particular rite of passage, which took place on the threshold of the house, ir reminiscent of the widespread train- and comfit-throwing practices of other European countries."
    ---"Bridecup and Cake: The Ceremonial Food and Drink of the Bridal Procession," Ivan Day, Food and the Rites of Passage, Laura Mason editor [Prospect Books:Devon] 2002 (p. 56-57)

    "There are always problems in inferring social practice from fiction. While authors necessarily produce texts from their own culture and time, they are more likely to present events that are in some way unusual, and therefore interesting to themselves and to their expected readers, than they are to describe the entirely usual. Here, clear evidence is provided that ideas of cake-breaking were around in the late eighteenth century, but the important implications are otherwise negative. It can be inferred from this account that no such practice was either general amongst likely readers of the book or even regarded as having been general in the recent past. nor was anything of the kind thought to be in any way essential. There is however other sporadic evidence of such practices from England at the perood...and from Scotland the evidence may even suggest something more generalised. The earliest Scottish report is not indeed of bread or cake of any kind, but the analogy is clear: at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Lady Grisell Baillie bought in Edinburg for her daughters; marriage ribbon 'for the Garland that is brock over the Birds head', as well as 'Confections Plumcaks and Bisket from Mrs Fenton'...It is tempting to see this as a modification, suitable for gentry who had already joined the plum cake class, of an earlier, more earthy cake-breaking. Smollett's reference to 'ancient Britons' may draw similarly on Scottish experience... It is tempting ot imagine that it was from his youth there that he remembered the cake-breaking which he now called into his narrative. Certainly, for soon after Smolette was writing, cake-breaking is directly documented...In parts of Scotland an oatcake or shortbread might be broken over the head of a bride as she entered a house after the marriage. This was often her entry into the groom's house where she would henceforth be living (as was indeed implied by Herrick's poem), but Gregor, a folklore researcher in the north-east of Scotland whose testimony has already been quoted, suggests a wider range of possibilties. It might be an oatmeal cake that was broken over her head. 'In later times a thin cake of "short-bread", called the bride-cake substituted for the oatmeal cake. It was distributed among the guests, who carefully preserved it, particularly the unmarried, who placed it below their pillows to "cream on".'."
    ---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:London] 1992 (p. 104-105)

    "...the term "bridecake" does not simply refer to the special status of the cake baked for the wedding feast, but rather it alluded more specifically to the practice of breaking the cake over the bride's head. In Ireland, this custom was well established in a band of counties running from County Louth on the east coast to County Sligo on the west. It was also widespread in County Galway. It was not, however, unique to Ireland and the practice is well attested in England and Scotland. many Irish accounts indicate that the cake was broken over the bride as she entered her new home, a point ot transition symbolizing her imminent role as the first woman of the house...In contrast to these procedures, the cake was often broken after the wedding feast as the bride sat at the table, or stood amongst the gathered assembly. Alternatively, the cake might be broken by attendant guests who then threw bits at the bride, a variation that is highly reminiscent of the custom of throwing wheat, rice or confetti, suggesting that the practice may have been bound up wtih the question of fertility. However, those informants who could remember witnessing or hearing of this ritual understood that it was enacted with the wish that the bride would not want or go hungry. If the cake was broken over the bride's head, slices or pieces were often distributed to the guests; but if the cake were crumbled for throwing, this was not an option. instead, young, unmarried girls, who subsequently saved them to dream upon, eagerly seized upon the crumbs that fell to the floor. The understanding was that such creams would reveal the identity of their future husbands."
    ---"Food and Drink at Irish Weddings and Wakes," Regina Sexton, Food and the Rites of Passage, Laura Mason editor [Prospect Books:Devon] 2002 (p. 125-126)

    During the 17th-18th centuries, both the English and Americans feasted on "great cakes," sometimes called "bride's cakes" or "bride's pies" as the event required. These special cakes were also not unlike traditional fruitcake. Our notes on colonial wedding feasts include authentic 18th century British and American recipes for wedding cakes.

    19th century wedding cakes:

    [1833]
    "Wedding Cake

    Good common wedding cake may be made thus: Four pounds of flour, three pounds of butter, three pounds of sugar, four pounds of currants, two pounds of raisins, twenty-four eggs, half a pint of brandy, or lemon-brandy, one ounce of mace, and three nutmegs. A little molasses makes it dark colored, which is desirable. Half a pound of citron improves it; but it is not necessary. To be baked two hours and a half, or three hours. After the oven is cleared, it is well to shut the door for eight or ten minutes, to let the violence of the heat subside, before cake or bread is put in. To make icing for your wedding cake, beat the whites of eggs to an entire froth, and to each egg add five teaspoonfuls of sifted loaf sugar, gradually; beat it a great while. Put it on when your cake is hot, or cold, as is most convenient. It will dry in a warm room, as short distance from a gentle fire, or in a warm oven."
    ---The American Frugal Housewife, Mrs. Child, Boston [1833] (p. 72)

    [1845]
    "Wedding Cake, No. 1.

    Four pounds of flour, four pounds of sugar, three of butter, forty eggs, five pounds of stoned raisins, three pounds of currants, on e ounce of mace, half an ounce of nutmeg, six tea-spoonfuls of rose-water, four teas-spoonfuls of cream of tartar, stirred in the flour, two tea-spoonfuls of saleratus well dissolved. Beat the butter and sugar to a cream; beat the yolks and whites separate, add the flour gradually, then the spice and saleratus. Bake it two hours and a half."

    "Wedding Cake No. 2.
    Four pounds of flour, three pounds of butter, three pounds of sugar, four pounds of currants, two pounds of raisins, twenty-four eggs, one ounce of mace, and three nutmegs. A little molasses makes it dark-colored, which is desirable. Half a pound of citron improves it. Bake it tow and a half or three hours."

    Wedding Cake, No. 3
    Four pounds of flour, three pounds of butter, four pounds of sugar, thirty eggs, three and a half pounds of currants, one pound of citron, one ounce of mace, a little cinnamon, very little cloves; make it into loaves of convenient size. Bake it two and a half or three hours."

    Frosting for Cake, No. 1
    Beat the whites of eggs to an entire froth, and to each egg add five teas-spponfuls sifted loaf sugar, gradually; beat it a great while. Put it on when your cake is hot or cold, as is most convenient. A little lemon juice squeezed into the egg and sugar, improves it. Spread it on with a knife, and smooth it over with a soft brush, like a shaving brush."

    Frosting for Cake, No. 2
    Three and a half pounds of loaf sugar, the whites of twelve eggs, lemon juice, and a little potato starch."
    --- The New England Economical Housekeeper and Family Receipt Book, Mrs. E.A. Howland [E.P. Walton and Sons:Montpelier VT] 1845 (p. 22-23)

    [1879]
    Wedding Cake

    Four pounds of flour, three pounds of butter, three pounds of sugar, four pounds of currants, two pounds of raisins, twenty eggs, half a pint of brandy or lemon brandy, once ounce of mace, three nutmegs. A little molasses makes it dark-colored, which is desirable. Half a pound of citron improves it, but it is not necessary. To be baked two hours in a half or three hours. An excellent recipe."

    Very Rich Wedding Cake
    Take four pounds of fine flour, four pounds of fresh butter; sift two pounds of powdered sugar, and grate to it quarter of an ounces of nutmeg; break eight eggs (yolks and whites separately) for each pound of flour; wash and pick four pounds of currants, and dry them before the fire; crush the butter between the hands until it is reduced to a cream, then beat it up with the sugar for fifteen minutes; beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, and mix with butter and sugar; beat the yolks half an hour, and mix them in; put in the flour and nutmeg, and beat it up; pour in a pint of brandy, and add a quantity to taste of citron cut in strips; pour it into the baking-tin, and when it has risen and browned, cover with paper, lest it should burn. Great care must be taken in baking this cake to have the oven of the proper heat."
    ---Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book, Mrs. M. E. Porter, facsimile 1879 edition [Promontory Press:New YOrk] 1974 (p. 240-1)

    About Mexican wedding cakes & cookies

    German Sweet Chocolate Cake
    Food historians generally place German Sweet Chocolate Cake (aka German Chocolate Cake) in 1957 Texas. The "German" part of this cake is "German's Sweet Chocolate," a popular period General Foods product. So, by the way? Was Baker's brand coconut , traditionally incorporated in this cake's icing. Ultimate corporate market coup? Arguably, eventually, yes. But probably not at first. Both GF products were well known to USA home cooks in the 1950s. Economical, delcious and trendy. Combinations were interesting and endless. German Sweet Chocoate Cake with Bakers coconut frosting was inevitable.

    Our survey of USA newspapers confirms German Sweet Chocolate Cake recipes were circulating in states other than Texas in early 1956. Texas-style German's Sweet Chocolate Cake were actively promoted in 1957 by County Home Demonstration Clubs. Recipe variations debated number of layers (2,3,loaf?), type of nuts (pecans, walnuts, unspecified) and filling vs icing. Local newspapers proudly printed local cook names offering up recipes. None of these people claimed to be the "inventor." All of them refer (vaguely?) to having learned this recipe from a contemporary friend.

    Bogus information? We think not. When things hit a perfect popular storm, they go "viral." We think: if German Chocolate Cake was introduced today it would be Tweeted, FaceBooked, YouTubed and Blogged. Fact we've uncovered recipes from 1956 in places other than Texas doesn't change the original impact or nostalgic ramifications. Fact today's researchers are now gifted with online primary sources does always automatically challenge contemporary wisdom. The beat goes on.

    Traditional food history:
    "German's Sweet Chocolate cake. A cake made with Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. The original recipe, when first submitted to a Dallas newspaper in 1957 by a reader, caused the sale of Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate (a trademark of the General Foods Company) to soar in Texas. A General Foods district manager brought the recipe to the attention of the company, and the recipe was perfected and promoted throughout the United States. The recipe has become so widespread over so many decades that it is often called "German chocolate cake," and many believe the cake is of German origins, and, because of the inclusions of pecans and buttermilk, a specialty of Texas bakers. But in fact the name of the chocolate derives from Dr. James Baker, who in 1780 financed the first chocolate factory in America. His descendant, Walter Baker, hired and employee named Samuel German, who developed a "sweet chocolate," which as added to the Baker's line under German's name. A similar cake, apparently newer and adapted from German's Sweet Chocolate cake, is the "Texas sheet cake" (also "Texas cake"), because it is baked in a large baking pan and not set in layers."
    ---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 139) [Note:
    Texas Sheet Cake history notes.]

    "German Sweet Chocolate Cake...A wholly twentieth-century cake, a "reader recipe," the story goes, that was printed in a Dallas newspaper in 1957. That Texas food editor, Julie Bennell, clearly had an eye for the unusual...for this cake contained a quarter of a pound of sweet chocolate. German's Sweet Chocolate was specified, a smooth bittersweet blend named after Samuel German, the Walter Baker & Company employee who'd formulated it in 1852. Though German's sweet chocolate always sold well enough, it didn't take off until 15 years later. And then mostly in Texas. The sudden run on German's mystified the General Foods district manager until he traced it to the newspaper recipe. According to Betty Watson (Cooks, Gluttons, and Gourmets, 1962), he asked Julie Bennell, the Dallas food editor, if he might send the recipe to other food editors around the country. And when it appeared elsewhere, reader letters avalanched in. Writes Wason, "A St. Louis homemaker wrote to her paper saying it was like meeting a long-lost friend; her mother-in-law had given her this recipe thirty years before when she was a gride and she somehow lost it." Before long, home economists at General Foods headquarters...refined the recipe, adding another company product: Angel Flake Coconut, Idea men rechristened it German Sweet Chocolate Cake and beginning in 1958, had it printed on the wrapper of every bar of German's Sweet Chocolate."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 454)

    The New York Times "confirmed" the story:
    "It started in Texas when one housewife lent another her special recipe for chocolate cake. Within a short time, the same recipe had been pased throughout the Southwest. A cafeteria in St. Louis added the cake to its menu with a great success. About that time, General Foods noted that sales of one of its products, Baker's German sweet chocolate, had increased tremendously in the Southwest. The product had been around for a long time--in fact, since Samuel German introduced it in 1852. But distribution had been limited in recent years and sales unimpressive. The southwestern representative for General Foods did some detecting and found that the Baker product was an ingredient in the increasingly-popular chocolate cake, hence the rise in sales. He managed to get a copy of the recipe, although he was not able to trace the circuitious route back to the Texas woman who originated it."
    ---"Food: Chocolate Cake, Dessert That Got Its Start in Texas is Rich and Rather Costly to Make," June Owen, New York Times, Feburary 4, 1958 (p. 24)

    The recipes

    [March 15, 1956]
    "German Sweet Chocolate Cake

    One cup lightly packed brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup butter or oleo, 2 eggs (beat in batter), 1/2 cup boiling water over 1 cake of German sweert chocolate, 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 cup sour milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, salt. Bake in a loaf-pan 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees f.--Margaret Ritchie, Rouseville, Pa."
    ---"Recipes," The Derrick, Oil City-Franklin-Clarion [PA], March 15, 1956 (p. 10)

    [September, 13, 1956]
    "At the left, Mrs. A. M. Nash of the Merton Club is shown putting the finishing touches on a German chocolate cake, a recipe for which she demonstrated at the County Home Demonstration Achievement Day."
    ---"Achievement Day, Pampa Daily News [TX], September 11, 1956 (p. 2)
    [NOTE: photo only, no recipe.]

    "German Chocolate Cake
    Ingredients: 4 eggs, salt, 1 package German sweet chocolate, 1/4 cup boiling water, 1 cup shortening, 2 cups sifted cake flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 cup buttermilk.
    Method: Add 1/8 teaspoon salt to the 4 egg whites and beat very stiff. Set aside. Dissolve the package of chocolate in the boiling water. Set aside. Cream the shortening and sugar well. Add the egg yolks, beaten, and vanilla. Add the soda to 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and the remaining 3/4 cup buttermilk. Fold in the egg whites with a cutting over and under and up motion. Do not beat. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8-inch layer pans for 2 square 9 or 10 inch pans. If you like nice, big thick layers, make only two layers. Bake in 350 degree oven 35 to 40 minutes.
    Icing: In saucepan cook until thick, stirring and being careful not to let stick: 1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy cream (I have used canned milk when I did not have cream and it is very good), 3 egg yolks and 1 cup sugar. Remove from fire and add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 cup coconut. Ice between layers and on top only. Get ready for compliments from your family or friends."
    ---"Conversational Cooking--West Texas Style," Louise Womble, Abilene Reporter News, September 13, 1956 (p. 4)

    [April 6, 1957]
    German Sweet Chocolate Cake

    1/4 lb. German sweet chocolate
    1/2 c. boiling water
    1 tsp. soda
    1 c. buttermilk
    2 c. sugar
    2 c. shortening
    4 eggs
    2 1/2 c. sifted flour
    2 tsp. vanilla
    Dissolve chocolate in the boiling water and set aside to cool. Dissolve soda in half the buttermilk. Cream sugar and shortening, add egg yolks and beat well. Add chocolate, then flour and buttermilk alternately. Stir in vanilla, then fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites. Bake in three 9-inch layers at 350 degrees 30 minutes. Put layers together with

    Filling
    1 c. sugar
    1 c. whipping cream or evaporated milk
    3 egg yolks
    1 c. coconut
    1/2 c. chopped walnuts
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/4 c. butter
    Combine all ingredients in saucepan and boil until very thick, stirring constantly. Spread filling between layers before it is completely cool. Frost sides and top with

    Chocolate Icing
    2 c. sugar
    1 c. cream
    1/4 c. butter
    12 large marshmallows 1 pkg. chocolate chips
    Combine sugar, cream, butter and marshmallows in sauce pan and boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from fire and add chocolate chips. Beat until thick enough to spread.---Margaret Collett, Mullinville."
    ---"Favorite Recipe," Hutchinson News-Herald [KS], April 6, 1957 (p. 13)

    [April 28, 1957]
    "German Sweet Chocolate

    2 cups sugar
    1 cup shortening
    1 cup buttermilk
    4 eggs (beat separately and fold in whites last)
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 teasppon soda, dissolved in milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    One package of German sweet chocolate dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water. Set aside to allow to cool before pouring into remaining ingredients. Makes three layers. Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes."
    ---"Ponder HD Club Collects Recipes," Denton Record-Chronicle, April 28, 1957 (p. 60)
    [NOTE: recipe headnote reads: "The Home Demonstration Club of Pender has set some unusual recipes for cakes. Mrs. Rob Stewart, club president, submits this one."]

    [June 6, 1957]
    "German Sweet Chocolate Cake

    2 C. white sugar
    1 c. buttermilk
    1 T. vanilla
    1 pkg. German Sweet Chocolate
    1 t. soda
    1 c. shortening
    2 1/4 c. cake flour 4 egg yolks and whites.
    Dissolve chocolate in 1/2 c. boiling water. Beat egg whites until stiff. Cream shortening and sugar, add egg yolks that have been beaten in. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and alternate with flour. Dissolve soda with remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Add a pinch of salt to mixture of melted chocolate and water and vanilla. Fold in the egg whites last. Bake in two 10 inch pans at 350 degrees F.

    Filling
    Mix together and cook until thick, stiring constantly:
    1 large can of sweetened condensed milk or 1/4 pint of whilling cream
    1/2 c. chopped pecans
    1 cu. short cut coconut
    3 egg yolks
    1 c. white sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick)margarine or butter
    vanilla
    1 T. flour."
    ---"Person to Person, Mrs. Irl E. Lorrimore, Jr. Llano County Home Demonstration Agent, Llano News, June 6, 1957 (p. 2)
    [NOTE: Recipe headnote reads: "Have you tried the German Sweet Chocolate Cake? The cake is delicious, but the filling really 'makes' it. The recipe for it originated in Nolan County and was given to me by the Nolan County Home Demonstration Agent, Sue Hawthorn. Maybe Colson included it in her colunm recently, and I have had many requests for it since then. Mrs. Walter Lehrer asked for the recipe just las week. Gere it is--happy eating to you!"]

    [January 16, 1958]
    "A favorite cake of Mrs. Martin Elledge's husband is her German Sweet Chocolate Cake, that is 'fabulous.' The Elledges are residents of the New Hope Community, and Mr. Elledge works for Tidewater.

    German Sweet Chocolate Cake
    Ingredients
    1 cup shortening
    2 cups sugar
    2 1/2 cups sifted flour
    1 teaspoon soda
    4 egg yolks
    1 eight-ounce bar German sweet chocolate, melted
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 egg whites beaten stiff
    Cream the shortening and sugar and egg yolks and melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Fold in the egg whites. Bake in three-layer cake pans, or two-layer cake pans and one 9 X 9 X 2 pan in a moderate 350 degree F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

    Filling.
    Ingredients for the filling are:
    1/2 pint whipping cream, not whipped
    1/4 pound butter
    3 egg yolks
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1 cup coconut
    Mix cream, butter, egg yolks and sugar in a sauce pan and cook until it begins to thicken (about 12 minutes). Remove from heat, add nuts and coconut and set aside to cool. This filling requires little or no beating."
    ---"German Sweet Chocolate Cake Recipe a favorite of Mrs. Martin Elledge of New Hope," Winnsboro News, [TX] January 16, 1958 (0. 10)

    What size was a "package" of Baker's German Sweet Chocolate and how much did it cost in 1957? 4 ounces, 19 cents.

    Related cakes: Texas Sheet Cake & Red Devil's Food.

    Groom's cake
    Groom's cake seems to be relatively modern tradition that probably originated in the Southern United States sometime in the 19th Century. The traditional cake ingredients and folklore are reflect ancient Wedding cake customs; current recipes and serving ideas reflect modern wedding tastes.

    "Already in the 1890s, therefore, a choice of cakes had been established in America. The types could be played with, for commercial and/or symbolic effect. One idea was to give the bridegroom a cake to match the bride's, and this might be simply achieved by renaming the rich fruit style. A 'Lady Cake or Plain Bridegroom Cake' for which the recipe was published in "The British Baker" in 1897 as an importation from 'across the herring pond'...was, however, a white cake. The author explains that it is 'supposed to be cut by the bridegroom and distributed with a glass of wine to the bridesmaids before going to church'. In Britain neither practice nor cake met with any success, but in the United States the two cakes did persist, with the light cake usually being associated with the bride, the dark with the groom. From the mid-century a possible combination of the two has been described from Virginia. The bride's would be on the bottom..."
    --Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:London] 1992 (p. 23)
    [NOTE: this book contains notes to primary sources, ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]

    Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book [c. 1871] features an interesting collection of cake recipes named for love & courtship. Here you will find recipes for Bachelor's cake (quite similar to groom's cake, see recipe below), Acquaintenceship cakes, Introduction cake, Ancient Maiden's cake, Flirtation cake, Rival cake, Engagement cake, Kisses & Jealousy puffs. This book was reprinted in 1974 by Promontory Press in its "Cookery Americana series.

    "Bachelor's Cake
    One pound of flour, half a pound of sugar, quarter of a pound of butter or lard, four wine-glasses of milk, half a pound of Sultana raisins, quarter of a pound of currants, the same of candied peel, quarter of a nutmeg, two teaspoonful of ground ginger, one teaspoonful of cinnamon and one teaspoonful of carbonate of soda; mix well together, and bake slowly for an hour and a half."
    ---Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book, Mrs. M. E. Porter (p. 236)

    "Cake historians say the [grooms cake] practice first came to the wedding party in the mid-19th century. About that time the bride's cake--for a long time a single-tier, dense fruitcake--had evolved into a stacked pound cake in the shape of a church steeple. But revelers still desired some of the old-style, rich, fruity cake. Enter: the Bridegroom's Cake. Each guest was given a slice of fruitcake in a box to take home. As the story goes, single women who slipped a slice under their pillow would have sweet dreams of a mate. Today, groom's cakes are baked and iced in the bridegroom's favorite flavors...A groom's cake is a have-to-have in the deep South."
    ---"A Cake of His Own," Washington Post, April 15, 1998 (p. E01)

    "The grooms cake...The tradition of sending wedding guests home with a piece of second cake, called a "grooms cake," has its origins in early southern [U.S.] tradition. It is a tradition that almost disappeared by today is experiencing a revival of sorts. The modern-day groom's cake is often a chocolate cake, iced in chocolate, or baked in a shape, such as a football or a book, that reflects an interest of the groom. It is to be used as a second dessert, it is placed on a separate table from the wedding cake and cut and served by the wait staff. At a small, at-home wedding, it is placed on a separate table from the wedding cake and is served. Having a special groom's cake is a charming personal touch. Some couples ask to have the groom's cake packaged, festively wrapped and tied with a ribbon, in small boxes to send home with departing guests."
    ---Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, Peggy Post, 4th edition (p. 339)

    "A reliable history of the groom's cake is tough to trace. Most bakers think it's a Southern tradition with Texas roots. The story goes that a bride wanted a chocolate cake for her wedding, but didn't want to sacrifice the white-on-white theme. So the smaller dark cake was assigned to the groom, served separately and decorated more modestly. As it's become more common, the groom's cake has taken on a life of its own. It has design flair, and usually includes radical flavorings to match the decorating style."
    ---"Here comes the...Groom's Cake," Palm Beach Post, April 15, 1999 (p. 1FN)


    Cola cakes
    Our survey of historic culinary sources confirms American cooks began using soft drinks in recipes in dawning decades of the 20th century. It is difficult to determine whether these recipes originated in corporate test kitchens or customer's homes. We do know, however, food manufacturers have a reputation for being ingenious marketers. What better way to promote one's product than to capitalize on a popular recipe? Food historians trace gelatin salads made with soft drinks [think: Ginger ale Salad]in print to 1912. Cake recipes were a later invention, probably sometime after World War II.

    Newspaper articles confirms this genre of cake making belongs to the South. No wonder! Both Coca Cola (Atlanta) and Dr. Pepper/7UP (Dallas) are southern-based companies. Our sources do not confirm the exact person/place/date for the genesis of these cakes. Most generically refer to the cake as "traditional" or "grandma's." How did they start? If one goes with the "community cookbook" theory, then our hunch is that the recipe was invented (by accident or on purpose) by an employee of said company. Many soft drink companies give their employees free samples to take home. If the product's always on hand, it's bound to be used in some creative ways. A media-blitz in the 1990s reintroduced these confections as "old fashioned:"

    "According to Phil Mooney, archivist for the Coca Cola Company in Atlanta, it is impossible to document just when cooks first took Coca-Cola in hand. It appears to have started around the turn of the century, he said, want to have been a spontaneous event that evolved from the fact that Coke was on hand in many American kitchens, not unlike the way wine was in the kitchens of France...Of all the recipes, the most widespread, according to the Coca Cola Company, is one for a gooey chocolate cake with miniature marshmallows, pecans and probably more calories per square inch than anyone can count."
    ---"Yes it's true, Cooking with Coke," Dena Kleiman, New York Times, June 6, 1990 (p. C6)

    "Something almost mystical and negligibly naughty washes over otherwise calm, collected cooks when they pour a can of soda into a recipe. It doesn't belong there, and the mere inclusion seems illicit and risque. But when culinary art turns into pop art, these masters of the kitchen exhibit an effervescent pride and a willingness to boast of their secret ingredient: the humble soft drink. That giddiness-along with plain good taste-has fueled the popularity of a cookbook produced this past year by the Dr Pepper/7Up Cos. Inc. in Dallas. The 88-page, spiral-bound collection of Dr Pepper and 7Up recipes, created last summer for new shareholders, has been offered free to the public since fall. "We've mailed out more than 10,000 cookbooks since August," says Tom Bayer, a spokesman. "It was such a hit with our stockholders that we wanted to offer it to the public." Although Coca-Cola Cake and Classic 7Up Pound Cake have been recipe box staples for years, and Dr Pepper had files of published recipes going back to the '40s, Bayer says the company wanted to update and expand the offerings, lightening the ingredients for the calorie-conscious. The addition of Dr Pepper, the soft drink created in Waco in 1885, or 7Up "needed to make a contribution to the recipe," Bayer says. "It had to bring its own flavor-texture component to the dish." The company asked Marilyn Ingram, a home economist, to test, update and expand some of the cookbooks' recipes. "We were fairly picky with the recipes we put in," Ingram says. "We made sure they were good recipes and not just a recipe somebody had tossed 7Up in to be creative." For example, she says, "the Classic 7Up Pound Cake was just as outstanding as everybody had said it was." Ingram found that just about every time she used 7Up in a batter, she had good results, especially for fried fish and onion rings. "It seems to really make the batter light and fluffy and crunchy," she says. She developed recipes for certain categories that were shy on offerings, such as vegetables, to go with an abundance of recipes for desserts and beverages."
    ---"Redesigned Soda Cookbook Just What the Dr. Ordered," Ron Rugghless, Chicago Tribune, May 5, 1994 (P. D4)

    A selected dessert table of American cola cake recipes

    [1936]
    "Ginger Ale Icebox Cake

    2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
    1/4 cup cold water
    2 3/4 cups ginger ale
    1 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    30 marshallows
    2 cups whipped cream
    1 cup chopped walnut meats."
    ---"Five Recipes for Ginger Ale Bring Prizes," Washington Post, August 12, 1936 (p. X13)
    [NOTE: No instructions are provided. Possibly these items were mixed together and put in the icebox to congeal.]

    [1949]
    “Raisin Cake Made With Pepsi-Cola

    On cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup Pepsi-Cola
    ¼ cup sliced citron
    ½ cup shortening
    2 eggs
    2 ½ cups flour
    2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    1 cup raisins
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon ---“Special Pepsi-Cola Treats for Christmas Brunch: Serve Raisin Cake Made With Pepsi for Holiday Treat,” New York Amsterdam News, December 17, 1949 (p. 19)

    [1952]
    "Chocolate Cola Cake

    3 eggs
    2 cups alll purpose flour
    2/3 cup Cola beverage
    1/2 cup butter milk or sour milk
    1/2 cup shortening
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    Sift flour, soda, salt, sugar, and cocoa into large bowl. Add shortening, buttermilk, Cola beverage and beat for 1 1/2 minuts with electric beater at low speed. Add one whole egg and two egg yolks. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into two well greased and lightly flowered, layer pans. Bake in moderate oven 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and frost with Cola frosting, given below.
    2 egg whites
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/3 cup light corn syrup
    1/3 cup Cola beverage
    1/4 teaspon salt
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Combine ingredients in top of double boiler. Cook over rapidly boiling water, beating all the while, until mixture stands in peaks. Emove from heat and continue beating until thick enough to spread."
    ---"'Unusual' dishes awarded second, third place in contest," Charleston Gazette [WV], August 8, 1952 (p. 20)
    [NOTE: the contest was run but the newspaper; the recipe was supplied by Mrs. E.D. Greer of Lillybrook, W. Va..]

    [1955]
    "Cola Layer Cake

    1/2 cup shortening
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    2 eggs, separated
    3 cups sifted cake flour
    3 tablespoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup cola beverage
    METHOD: Cream shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add beaten egg yolks and blend. Sift dry ingredients together; add, alternately with the cola, to the first mixture. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake at 375 deg. 30 minutes in two greased 9-inch layer pans.

    Cola Fluff Icing
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    12 cuip cola beverage
    1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Pinch of salt
    2 egg whites
    METHOD: Combine sugar, cola, cream of tartar and salt in saucepan. Boil at 238 deg. until syrup forms a soft ball in cold water. Whip egg whites stiff, add syrup slowly, beating constantly between each addition. Continue beating until icing is fluffy and holds its shape."
    ---"Baked Potato Topped With Nippy Cheese Enlivens Summer Meal," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, July 8, 1955 (p. B4)

    [1957]
    “7-UP Angel Food Cake

    Never before have you had a cake so light, so airy, so high, and with such a delightful new flavor. Just follow the directions on the package of prepared angel food cake mix. Moisten the egg whites with the same quantity of 7-UP as your recipe calls for water. Do not chill the 7-UP, use it at room temperature.”
    ---You’re Really Cooking When You’re Cooking with Seven-UP! [Seven-UP Company, St. Louis MO] 1957 (p. RE-3)
    [NOTE: Recipe for 7-UP Gingerbread, also made with commercial packaged mix, and 7-UP Date Nut Loaf “scratch cake” also included.]

    [1959]
    "In the following recipe, dried apricots are cooked in the nationally known beverage, 7-Up, for the brown sugar sauce. The natural lemon-lime flavor of 7-Up is used as the liquid ingredient.

    Apricot Up-Side Down Cake
    Sauce

    1 7-oz bottle 7-Up
    1 cup dried apricots
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    Simmer 7-Up with apricots 20 minutes. Stir in butter and brown sugar and continue cooking to melt butter. Spread sauce over the bottom of a 9 by 12 by 2 inch baking pan.

    Cake batter
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
    2 12 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 7-ounce bottle 7-Up
    3 egg whites
    Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder and alt together and stir in alternately with 7-Up. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour batter over sauce in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 45 minutes. Invert and serve up-side down."
    ---"Please Your Family This Week With An Apricot Up-Side Down Cake," Daily Defender (Chicago), February 17, 1959 (p. 40)

    [1968] Cola Cake
    2 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
    1 tbsp. cocoa
    1 cup cola
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 beaten eggs
    1 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
    Combine flour and sugar in mixing bowl. Heat butter, cocoa and cola to boiling and pour over flour and sugar mixture, mixing thoroughly. Mix together buttermilk, eggs, soda, vanilla and marshmallows. Add to first mixture and mix well. Batter will be thin. Bake in a sheet pan, 13 by 2 inches in 350 degree pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Ice while hot.

    "Cola Icing
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
    3 tbsp. cocoa
    6 tbsp. cola
    1 box confectioners sugar
    1 cup nuts
    Combine butter, cocoa, and cola. Heat boiling and pour over sugar, beating well. Add nuts, pecans or walnuts. Spread on hot cake."
    --"Cake, Barbecue Sauce Shine," Albuqerque Journal [NM] May 1, 1968 (p. 12)

    [1971]
    "While nothing quenches thirst like an ice-cold cola--nothing pleases the palate like a warm cola cake. Here's how to use this delightful and unique "baking soda":

    Royal Crown Cake
    2 cups unsifted flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 tbsps. cocoa
    1 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1 cup butter or margarine
    1 cup Royal Crown Cola
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
    Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Bring the butter and cola to a boil and add to dry mixture. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and marshmallows. This will be a very thin batter with the marshmallows floating on top. Bake in a large oblong pan at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.

    Frosting
    1/2 cup margarine or butter
    2 tbsps. cocoa
    6 tbsps. Royal Crown Cola
    1 box confectioners sugar
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1 tsp. vanilla
    Combine butter, cocoa and cola and bring to a boil. Pour over confectioners sugar and mix well. Add nuts and vanilla. Spread over cake while hot."
    ---"Crown cake with Crown cola," Chicago Daily Defender, October 21, 1971 (p. 35)

    [1982]
    "Now here's a request that really fizzed. Sally Garber of Deerfield Beach asked our readers to come up with a recipe for 7-Up cake with pineapple frosting. We received 72 replies. Apparently, there are 3 versions of 7-Up cake: A pound cake, baked in a Bundt pan, that is made from scratch; a sheet cake made from a mix; and a 3-layer torte, also made from a mix. The pineapple frosting also comes in many versions. Most readers who sent the pound cake recipe said they usually settled for a simple sprinkling of powdered sugar on this rich cake, or perhaps a light glaze. Those who sent the sheet cake or the 3-layer recipe tended to use a pineapple frosting, but some recipes called for a cooked frosting while others were for a buttercream type. Some recipes add chopped pecans along with the pineapple; most also added coconut. And while most recipes called for the frosting to be spread on a cooled cake, others specified that the frosting be spread while the cake was warm -- and one said you should poke holes into the warm sheet cake before pouring on a warm frosting. It wasn't easy deciding which recipes to publish, so we decided to use the first three that we received. It is interesting to note that the recipes came from an amazing number of sources. Dev Steffen of Miami Springs sent a recipe that builds upon a cake mix, which she got from her husband's Aunt Eleanor. Marge Pruessman of Miami sent a recipe she found in a cookbook called What's Cooking Senora?, published in Venezuela. Fran Rives of Jupiter sent a similar recipe, courtesy of her sister in Oklahoma who assisted in the compiling of a cookbook by doctors' wives entitled Doctor's Orders. An anonymous reader sent a recipe for 7-Up pound cake, from a cookbook compiled by members of the Grand Court of Florida Order of the Amaranth. Connie McGee of Pembroke Pines found her recipe in What's Cooking in our National Parks. Mrs. William Randolph got hers from a cookbook published by a group from Brown's Methodist Church in Jackson, Tenn. Why would a recipe call for 7-Up? Is it for the flavor? It would seem that the delicate flavor would be masked by all the other ingredients. Connie Bedell of Fort Lauderdale may have the answer. She sent us this quote, from a cookbook published by The Seven-Up Co. in 1957: "Make a cake with the contents of a packaged mix, using 7-Up instead of the liquid in the recipe. You'll be amazed at how light and airy your cake is." At any rate, here are the recipes. The first is from Mary Jane Altman of West Palm Beach. "It's a little extra effort, but it's worth it," she says. Other cooks who sent similar recipes emphasized that it is important to beat the butter for a full 20 minutes. They also said the cake improves if baked a day before you plan to serve it, and keeps well frozen.

    7-UP POUND CAKE
    3 sticks of butter (margarine will not do)
    3 cups sugar
    5 eggs
    3 cups flour
    2 teaspoons lemon extract
    3/4 cup 7-Up
    Cream butter and sugar for 20 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Gradually add the flour and beat well, then add lemon extract and 7-Up. Bake 1 1/4 hours at 325 degrees in a well oiled Bundt pan. Cool 8 to 10 minutes, then dust with powdered sugar. While most of the pound cake recipes didn't call for a frosting, Louise Gotti of Port St. Lucie frosts hers with this:

    PINEAPPLE BUTTER FROSTING
    1/2 cup butter
    3 cups confectioners' sugar
    1/3 cup crushed pineapple with juice
    Cream butter. Add remaining ingredients and continue creaming until mixture is well blended and fluffy.
    This is Steffan's recipe for 7-Up cake that begins with a packaged mix. Other similar recipes called for a yellow or a lemon cake mix in place of the pineapple, and lemon or vanilla pudding in place of the pineapple pudding. Pat Krenick of Goulds uses an orange cake mix and lemon pudding. Some cooks bake this in a 9-by-13-inch pan; others in three round pans.

    AUNT ELEANOR'S TROPICAL CAKE
    1 package Pineapple Supreme cake mix
    4 eggs
    1/3 cup oil
    1 small package instant pineapple pudding
    10 ounces 7-Up
    Mix all ingredients together and beat at medium speed of electric mixer for two minutes. Pour into greased and floured 8- inch cake pans or 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Note: the baking time varies greatly from recipe to recipe; some call for 40 to 45 minutes of baking.>

    PINEAPPLE FROSTING
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1/4 cup butter
    2 eggs
    1 small can flaked coconut
    1 small can crushed pineapple
    Beat together sugar, eggs and butter until smooth, then stir in coconut and pineapple. Frost on cooled cake.
    This recipe for a cooked frosting comes from Krenick, who says the 7-Up cake with this frosting always is requested for family birthdays and special occasions. She got her recipe from friends in Arkansas:

    PINEAPPLE FROSTING
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 stick butter
    2 tablespoons flour
    2 eggs
    1 small can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
    Note: some recipes call for the exact same ingredients, except a large can of pineapple.
    Mix ingredients together and cook until thick and transparent. Remove from stove and add 1 cup coconut. When cool, fill and frost cake. Finally, just to be sure we've had the last word on 7-Up cake, here's a recipe from Bedell that will really top it all:

    7-UP ICING
    2 egg whites
    3 tablespoons 7-Up
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 tablespoon cream of tartar
    Put all ingredients in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. Upper pan should not touch surface of water. Beat with rotary beater until stiff enough to stand inpeaks, (about 5 minutes)."
    ---"America is Turning 7-Up Cake," Linda Cicero, Miami Herald, August 5, 1982

    [1986]
    "Seven-Up Pound Cake.

    3 sticks butter
    3 c. sugar
    5 eggs
    3 c. sifted cake flour
    3/4 c. 7-Up
    1 tsp. lemon flavor,br> Grease a tube pan; dust with flour. Cream butter until smooth and shiny. Add sugar and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy. Add flavor, then eggs, one at a time. Beat thoroughly after each. Add flour; mix well. Add 7-Up and mix well. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees F."
    ---Food For My Household: Recipes by Members of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta GA [Cookbook Publishers:Lenexa KS] 1986 (p. 46)

    Mud cake
    This rich chocolatey dessert surfaces in American print about the same time as
    Mud Pie. The difference? Mud cake is baked. Mud pie can be frozen, semi-frozen or no-baked. These recipes confirm "Mud" was big in the chocoholic 1980s. "Dirt" was a less complicated version of mud. Go figure.

    [1976] Mississippi Mud Cake
    1 c. Butter
    2 c. Sugar
    1/3 c. Cocoa
    4 eggs
    1 1/2 c. Flour
    1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder 1/3 c. Coconut
    1 c. Chopped pecans
    1 pt. Marshmallow cream
    Cream butter, sugar and cocoa. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Sift flour and baking powder together; add to mixture. Fold in coconut and pecans. Bake in (12X9X2-inch) greased and floured pan at 350F. Until done. While still hot, cover with 1 pint of marshmallow cream. Let cake cool in pan, then spread frosting over the marshmallow cream.

    frosting
    1/2 c. Butter (room temperature)
    1/3 c. Cocoa
    1 tsp. Vanilla
    1 lb Powdered sugar
    4 tbsp. Evaporated milk
    Put all ingredients in bowl and beat with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy." ---She Cooks by Ear: Old Southern Cookery, Frances S. James [S.C. Toof & Co.:Memphis TN] 1976 (p. 60)

    Related cakes? Texas Sheet Cake & Dirt cake.


    Earthquake cakes
    The earliest print reference we find to Earthquake Cake was published in review of Vivande Porta Via, a box-lunch caterer stationed at San Francisco International Airport. It is described thusly: "Earthquake cake, a flourless chocolate cake with a cracked top." ("At the Nation's Table: San Franciso," Jeanette Ferrary, New York Times, January 20, 1988 p. C3). The chef-owner(s) were Carlos and Lisa Middione. How was it named? "One of Middione's devoted clients was overheard saying "You don't think they're going to sell that cake, do you? It look as if it's been in an earthquake." And thus, the cake was named."
    ---"Lasting Temptation of Chocolate," Leslie Deddell, Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, February 14, 1990 (p. D1)

    This cake is perfectly period correct. Born in a time when decadent chocolate desserts were 'to die for.' Flourless Chocolate Souffle cakes exploded into Molten Lava Cakes and (Mississipi) Mud Cake made cracked tops fashionable. Box-mix earthquake cakes , on the other hand, were actually inspired by a real earthquake.

    Middione's Earthquake Cake
    "This recipe appears in Susan Costner's "Good Friends" book, but it comes originally from Carlo Middione, an Italian cook and author who runs the popular San Francisco lunch and carryout shop, Vivande. The cake was given the name "earthquake" because the top crust is flaky after baking and falls slightly in the middle. Earthquake cake is made in a springform pan -- it is quite high -- so the sides can be released and lifted off. The cake is dense, but very moist, intensely chocolatey and luscious. When you cut into it, the texture is supposed to be quite wet.
    24 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
    8 large eggs, at room temperature
    3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted onto waxed paper or into a bowl
    1/2 cup potato starch
    2 cups heavy cream, softly whipped (for serving)
    Set the oven at 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with waxed paper or parchment paper cut to fit it exactly. Grease the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. In the top of a double boiler set over (but not touching) simmering water, melt the chocolate the butter together, stirring with a rubber spatula. Lift off the double boiler top and leave the chocolate until it is cool but still liquid. In the largest bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs over a medium heat until they are thick and heavy ribbons form on the batter when the beaters are lifted. (CORRECTION: Because of a reporter's error, a line in the San Francisco Earthquake Cake directions in the Jan. 27 Food pages was incorrect. The eggs should be beaten with an electric mixer at medium speed (not over medium heat) until they are thick and form ribbons.) Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg batter, then fold in the sugar and potato starch. Gently pour the batter into the springform pan and transfer the cake to the center of the oven. Bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it is soft in the middle and cracked slightly. Leave the cake to cool completely, then slide a knife around the edge to release it from the sides, if necessary, and unclamp the spring. Lift off the ring. Use two wide metal spatulas to release the cake from the bottom of the springform and carefully transfer the cake to a board. Cut it into wedges -- you will not be able to keep the wedges perfectly intact, so don't worry if it gets a little messy -- and transfer them to dessert plates. Garnish each plate with a spoonful of softly whipped cream and serve at once."
    ---"A Super Bowl Feast," Sheryl Julian, Boston Globe, January 27, 1988 (p. 37)

    Box-mix homemade Earthquake Cakes
    Our survey of regional USA newspapers confirms popular recipes titled "Earthquake Cake" first surfaced in 1990. The locus of origin appears to be Missouri. The earthquake connection? A mild tremor rocking eastern Missouri on September 26, 1990 followed by a prediction for a larger natural disaster on December 3rd. The later quake did not happen.

    The standard Earthquake Cake recipe belongs to the culinary genre called convenience: quick assembly of pre-packaged goods. The recipe itself screams "back of the box," (Betty Crocker is known for its German Cake Mix, the only brand name ingredient on the list) but we cannot confirm this shaky cake was created in corporate test kitchens. Over time Earthquake Cake morphed from trendy to traditional. Local bakers won several blue ribbons at fairs for their creations and recipe exchange columns continue to receive requests.

    "Some residents of eastern Missouri are quaking because of a scientist's prediction of a severe earthquake and a mild quake that occurred last month. "It's panic," said Dominic Gragnani, disaster specialist with the St. Louis County Office of Emergency Management. "When the quake hit Sept. 26 we were at the boiling level, and that blew the lid off the pot," he said. 'Kind of Nuts'... Earthquake Cake Includes 'Big Fault' St. Louis - One homemaker said she has taken a scientist's earthquake prediction seriously, but she has found a lighter side. "I bake an earthquake cake," Meg Huber, a suburban mother of five, said with her tongue in cheek. "It has a great big fault down the middle." She said she follows this recipe: Prepare a box-mix cake and place it in the oven to bake at 350 degrees. When the cake is half-baked, open the oven door and then slam it. "That causes the fault, usually right down the middle," Mrs. Huber said".
    ---"Missouri Residents Getting the Jitters Over Earthquake Prediction Quake Insurance Not Hot Item in Nebraska Earthquake Cake Includes 'Big Fault' David Thompson, Omaha World-Herald, October 14, 1990 (p. 1A)

    "[Earthquake Cake] This recipe came from my hometown, New Madrid, Mo., which survived an earthquake predicted for Dec. 3, 1990, that did not occur. The original recipe called for a 13-by-9-by-2 inch baking pan, but my only experience using that size proved - to use a pun - a disaster. I now use an 11-by-15-by-2 inch baking pan. This is a delicious and very rich cake, but where an earthquake is concerned who is counting calories? - Sue Anton"
    ---"Earthquake cake a dieter's disaster," Houston Chronicle, February 6, 1991 (p. 8) [NOTE: the recipe is only available on the newspaper's microfilm; not included in article databases or Houston Chronicle archives.]

    "Earthquake Cake
    1 cup coconut
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 package German Chocolate Cake Mix
    6 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 stick oleo
    1 pound confectioners' sugar
    Grease and flour 13 X 9-inch pan. Spread coconut and pecans in bottom of pan. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter over coconut and pecans. Mix cream cheese, oleo and confectioners sugar. Put mixture on top of batter. (Glob it on by the teaspoonful.) Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cake will be shaky but will set up. Rita Purkey, Covington."
    ---"Desserts," Daily-News-Record, Harrisonburg [VA], October 17, 1991 (p. 22)


    Eccles cakes
    "Eccles cakes, small English cakes similar to Banbury cakes, except that they are normally round in shape and they filling has fewer ingredients; currants, wheat flour, brown sugar, butter and vegetable fat, milk, and salt are standard. The cakes take their name from the small town on the outskirts of Manchester where they were first made and named. Mrs. Raffald (1769), herself from Manchester and the author of one of the best cookery books of the 18th century, had given a recipe for 'sweet patties' which may well have been the confections from which Eccles cakes evolved...The first mention of eccles cakes by name seems to have occurred at the end of th 18th century when a certain James Birch was making them. An apprenctice of his, William Bradburn, had set up a rival operation by about 1813. Evelyn Vigeon...in her brilliant and comprehensive history of these cakes describes the confrontation:
    James Birch advertised that he was the original Eccles cake maker removed from across the way, while William Bradburn retaliated with an advertisement claimimg that his shop was the only old original Eccles Cake Shop. Never removed. This rivalry was to the advantage of both manufacturers over the following century since visitors would often buy cakes from both shops to be sure they had indeed tasted the original one.'
    The same author traces the later history of these and other Eccles cake establishments...She believes that early Eccles cakes may well have differed from those known now, both in shape (some at least were sold cut in squares) and the nature of the pastry (puff or flaky pastry is now used), and ingredients for the filling. She points out that the fact that Eccles cakes were being exported abroad by 1818 suggests very good keeping qualities, so they may well have included spirits such as brandy and rum in the same way as the nineteenth century Banbury cake'. Chorley cakes are a variation of Eccles cakes, usually somewhat plainer."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 267)
    [NOTE: the article noted by Mr. Davidson as the "authority" on Eccles cakes is: The Celebrated Cookie Shop', Evelyn Vigeon, Manchester Genealogist, 29/1 (January) 1993. Your librarian can help you obtain a copy.]

    Mrs. Raffald's recipe for Sweet Patties, 1769:

    "Sweet patties.
    Take the meat of a boiled calf's foot, two large apples and one ounce of candied orange, chop them very small. Grate half a nutmeg, mix them with the yolk of an egg, a spoonful of French brandy, and a quarter of a pound of currants clean washed and dried. Make a good puff paste, roll it in different shapes, as the fried ones, and fill them the same way. You may either fry or bake them. They are a pretty side dish for supper."
    ---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, intorduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 79)
    Compare with this British recipe, c. 1894:
    "Eccles Cakes.--Required: some paste, a filling made by mixing a pound of washed and dried currants, six ounces of moist sugar, two ounces of chopped candied peel, and a saltspoonful of grated nutmeg. Cost, about 1d. Each. The cuttings of puff or flaky paste will do for these, and are often used, though the cakes are nice when paste is made purposely. It should be thinly rolled and cut in rounds; a teaspoonful of the mixture is put in the middle, and the pastry doubled over like a ball; it is then pressed on the board to make round flat cakes, the size of the top of a small tumbler. Three small cuts should be made with a knife, and the cakes finished off like Banbury cakes. NOTE.--The filling for these is sometimes the same as Banbury cakes, or a little grated apple is added to the mixture given, with an increased quantity of sugar if required."
    ---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 1023)

    About Eccles
    About Manchester

    If you would like more information on the evolution and history of British baked goods we recommend these sources:
    1. English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David
    2. Food in Britian, From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson
    3. Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson (separate entries for specific items)

    Realated foods? Portable pies...pasties, turnovers and such.


    Election cake
    The history of Election Cake is an excellent lesson in food lore. Food historians generally place the origin of Election Cake in 18th century New England, most notably Hartford, Connecticut. As the name implies, the recipe is somehow connected to politics. Culinary experts confirm the original item was not a true cake (as we know it today), but a simple, sweetened yeast bread composed of dried fruit and spices. Amelia Simmons [1796] is often credited for providing the first printed recipe entitled Election Cake. Some contend the recipe was known as early as 1771, others peg it to the 1830s. Other names for this cake are Hartford cake and Commencement cake. Therein concludes the agreement.

    What makes the history of Election cake so interesting are the conflicting theories regarding the "why and when" this cake was served. While many people today assume it's a November treat, history tells that's not likely. Elections are moveable feasts. We find several historic references to Election cake placing it anywhere from mid-January to June. The month with the most documentation is May. This is what the food historians have to say:

    "So what then is the how, when, where, what and why of Election Cakes? The Connecticut Historical Society provided some answers, but...said...that some conflicts cannot be resolved. "What you can say...is that this is cake traditionally made in conneciton with elections in Hartford form pre-Revolutionary times...the Colonial Records of Connecticut from May 1771 show that one Ezekial Williams Esq. submitted a bill to the Connecticut General Assembly for the cost of making the cake for the election'." To understand why the government of the colony of Connecticut would pay for such a cake, along with other food, you have to know how the Governor of the colony, and later the state, was elected. In early spring, elections were held in Connecticut towns, and in May representatives of the towns gathered in Hartford, the capitol, for the formal counting of the votes, first for Governor, then for Lieutenant Governor and then for other officials. The counting often went on into the night. The representatives came the day before and stayed overnight in Hartford...in every Hartford home, Election Cakes were made to serve the out-of-town lodgers. According to...[The Connecticut Historical Society], housewives planned for Election Day well in advance and made cakes that would keep. By the mid-1800's Election Day had declined as a major festival and around 1875 the date for election of the Governor shifted to January from May..."
    ---"Election Cake: A Noble Tradition, Marian Burros, New York Times, November 2, 1988 (p. C12)

    "Election cakes date from well before the American Revolution. They were very large, enriched yeast cakes, tasting like modern coffee cakes or Hot Cross Buns. In England such cakes were called "great cake" and made for local festivals. The Puritan election cakes were made for Election Day, Muster Day or Training Day. These were spring and September (a second training day) [and] regional gatherings to elect local officials...The custom persisted into the 1820s, but by then the larger cakes were, in Lydia Maria Child's cookbook,'old fashioned'."
    ---The American History Cookbook, Mark H. Zanger [Greenwood Press:Westport CT.] 2003 (p. 59-61)
    [NOTE: this book contains a modernized recipe]

    "Election cake. A raised fruitcake of New England, first mentioned by Amelia Simmons in her American Cookery as early as 1796, although, as the name indicates, records show that such cakes have been baked to celebrate Election Days at least as early as 1771 in Connecticut. Although this practice spread throughout the Midwest and West in the nineteenth century, the cake is usually associated with Hartford, Connecticut, and, by the 1830s, was often called "Hartford election cake." There were also "election buns," which were doled out along similar party lines. Cookies, usually of gingerbread, served at such functions were often called "training cakes," because another name for Election day was "Training Day."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 122)

    WHAT EXACTLY IS ELECTION CAKE?

    Contrary to some reports, Election cake was not invented by American colonists. It was borrowed (and/or adapted) from popular period English yeast breads.

    "The American or Hartford election cake is American in name only. The cake itself is a classic English "rich cake," "loaf cake," or "fruitcake," which went by many names and varied many ingredients. Martha Washington wupplies the essential in her many kinds of "great cake," listed in The Booke of Sweet-meats, always beginning with barm, the froth produced by fermenting ale. Amelia Simmons calls these "emptins," a contraction of "emptyings," which meant the yeasty dregs in the bottom of a cask of ale. On baking day, a thrifty housewife would use some of this yeast to make a richer dough than bread and she might use some of her raw bread dough as a starter or sponge for cake..."
    ---I Hear America Cooking, Betty Fussell [Viking:New York] 1986 (p. 324)

    A survey of recipes through time

    [1796]
    "Election cake
    Thirty quarts of flour, 10 pound butter, 14 pound sugar, 12 pound raisins, 3 doz eggs, one pint wine, one quart brandy, 4 ounces cinnamon, 4 ounces fine coriander seed, 3 ounces ground allspice; wet flour with milk to the consistency of bread over night, adding one quart yeast; the next morning work the butter and sugar together for half an hour, which will render the cake much lighter and whiter; when it has rise light work in every other ingredient except the plumbs, which work in when going into the oven."
    ---American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, facsimile of the Second Edition, printed in Albany, 1796 with an introduction by Karen Hess [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 1996 (p. 43-44)
    [NOTES: This recipe is cited by some food historians as the first recipe for Election Cake. In the 18th century, the word plumb was often used interchangeably with the word raisin]

    [1839]
    "Election cake
    Take half a pint of lively yeast, mix with is half a pint of sweet milk and enough flour to make it a good batter; cover it, and set it by the fire to rise. This is called setting a sponge. Sift two pounds of flour into a broad pan, cut up in it a pound of fresh butter, add a pound of powdered sugar, two grated nutmegs and six beaten eggs. When the sponge is quite light, pour it on the flour, &c., make the whole into a soft dough, knead it well, and make it into small flattish loaves. Sprinkle a shallow iron pan with flour, lay the rolls in it close together, put them at first in a very slow oven, that will permit them to rise, and when risen, bake them with moderate heat."
    ---The Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan, facsimile edition [Image Graphics:Paducah KY] (p. 299-300)

    [1844]
    "Hartford Cake
    Rub two pounds of butter into five of four; add sixteen eggs, not much beaten, one pint of yeast, and one of wine. Knead it up stiff like biscuit; let it stand till perfectly light. When light, work in thoroughly, two and a half pounds of raisins soaked several hours in a gill of brandy, a gill of rose-water, two and a half pounds of powdered loaf sugar, half an ounce of mace, and a spoonful of cinnamon. Put it in your pans, let it rise, and bake as "Loaf Cake."
    ---The Improved Housewife, Mrs. A.L. Webster [Hartford, CT] 1844 (p. 113)
    [NOTE:Hartford Cake is another name for this recipe. It is interesting to note this author (from Hartford) calls it such.]

    [1844]
    "Old Harford Election Cake (100 years old)

    Five pounds dried and sifted flour.
    Two pounds of butter.
    Two pounds of sugar.
    Three gills of distillery yeast, or twice the quantity of home-brewed.
    Four eggs.
    A gill of wine and a gill of brandy.
    Half an ounce of nutmegs, and two pounds of fruit.
    A quart of milk.
    Rub the butter very fine into the flour, add half the sugar, then the yeast, then half the milk, hot in winter, and blood warm in summer, then the eggs well beaten, the wine, and the remainder of the milk. Beat it well, and let it stand to rise all night. Beat it well in the morning, adding the brandy, the sugar, and the spice. Let it rise three or four hours, till very light. When you put the wood into the oven, put the cake in buttered pans, and put in the fruit as directed previously. If you wish it richer, add a pound of citron."
    ---Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt-Book, Catharine E. Beecher, facsimile 1844 reprint [Dover Publications:Mineola NY] 2001 (p. 146)
    [NOTE: Miss Beecher was born to a very prominent Hartford family. Her sister was Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.]

    [1866]
    Election cake, National Cookbook, Hannah Peterson

    [1877]
    Buckeye Cookery, Estelle Wood Wilcox provides these recipes for Salem Election Cake & Old Hartford Election Cake. Notes in this book indicates both versions are "100 years old."

    [1918]
    Election cake, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Merrit Farmer
    [NOTE: this recipe is more like modern cake]

    [2004]
    Election Cake; historic notes & modernized recipe courtesy of the Washington Post

    Culinary evidence confirms this recipe was a staple in American cookbooks up until the 1940s. The last recipe we have for Election cake was printed in the 1939 edition of Fannie Farmer's The Boston Cooking School Cook Book. In recent years, the recipe and its history are sometimes printed in newspaper articles the week preceding our current November election date.

    Modernized recipe, redacted by Stephen Schmidt, culinary historian.

    Related food? Irish soda bread.


    Hummingbird cake
    Food historians generally cite Mrs. L.H. Wiggin's recipe published in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living magazine (p. 206) as the first printed reference to "Hummingbird Cake." Mrs. Wiggins did not offer an explanation of the name. Evidence strongly suggests this cake was popular in the south and known by several different (and equally interesting) names.

    Where did this cake originate and why is it named such? Recent evidence suggests this confection descended from Jamaican roots. The hummingbird (aka Dr. Bird) is one of the national symbols. Notes below also suggest the cake we know know today was adapted for American tastes:

    "29 March 1969, Kingston (Jamaica) Daily Gleaner, pg. 7: Press kits presented included Jamaican menu modified for American kitchens, and featured recipes like the Doctor Bird cake, made from bananas."
    SOURCE:
    American Dialect Society

    "When it comes to cake, the Dr. Bird or Hummingbird Cake recipe has been one of the most popular through the years. Originally the recipe came to me during the late `60`s, as I recall, from the Jamaican airlines...Ruth Threat of Matthews even sent a picture of a Dr. Bird, a national symbol of Jamaica "
    ---"HUMMINGBIRD CAKE FROM JAMAICA REMAINS POPULAR," Helen Moore, Charlotte Observer, November 23, 1986

    This is what the food writers say:
    "But the sweetest import from below the Mason-Dixon line might be hummingbird cake, which has started popping up at popular baking spots around town with little fanfare - fine Southern upbringing indeed. To many Southerners living in New York, the concoction of mashed banana, pineapple, pecans, and cream cheese icing weighing more than your average one-year-old serves as a sweet, immediate reminder of home. The impressive looking three-layer treat seems like it would be tough to make, but is, in fact, quite easy; it can be whipped up in a little more than an hour. The exact origin of the cake remains a mystery. In 1978, a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, N.C., submitted the recipe to Southern Living magazine, the Southern belle bible of gracious hostessing, and the cake became renowned. "It is still our most requested recipe," says Donna Florio, a senior writer at the magazine."
    ---"The Recipe for Hummingbird Cake, Food & Drink," ELIZABETH SCHATZ, The New York Sun, November 13, 2002 , Pg. 1

    "IT SEEMS as if just about everyone but yours truly had a recipe for the Cake That Doesn't Last. Then a reader clued me with a December 1972 date and I found our copy in the older files. Meanwhile we have been swamped with telephone calls and letter, far too many to credit individually. Be assured, however, that all assistance was appreciated. Elizabeth Bartlett of North Little Rock, the first to reach us via telephone, said that the cake also is known as Hummingbird Cake. The bird connection puzzles me, just as it does Juliet Macy of Bull Shoals, who describes the cake as very rich and heavy. Macy also said it is a delicious cake, an evaluation with which everyone seems to agree. Virginia Raney of Russellville, who has made the cake many times, said, " Sure enough, it doesn't last!' Pat Jefferson of Paron, noting that it is a family favorite, added that it has replaced fruit cake at their holiday table. Never Ending Cake is the name turned in by Pauline Isley. A Benton respondent supplied Jamaican Cake, a title that might not be far afield considering the ingredients. Ella Sheets knows it as Granney's Best Cake. Nothing Left Cake is the name supplied by Patricia H. Downes of Jacksonville, who, with her 8-and 11-year-old sons, prefers it sans icing. More than 75 copies of the recipe have been received, most of them identical. The variations _ notably in mixing directions, oil measurement and additional fruits _ are incorporated in the recipe that follows. Cake That Won't Last."
    ---Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR), April 3, 1985

    We wonder if hummingbird cake was named in reference to how these birds eat. These tiny creatures are drawn to intensely sweet food sources. They engage the food source quickly and disperse when sated. Some of the descriptions we read regarding how this cake attracts people and is consumed quickly reminds us of hummingbirds eating patterns. PLEASE NOTE: This is our theory, not a documented fact.

    Mrs. Wiggins' recipe [1978]

    "Hummingbird cake
    3 cups all-pupose flour
    2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 eggs, beaten
    1 1/2 cups salad oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
    2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
    2 cups chopped bananas
    Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
    Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and salad oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup chopped pecans, and bananas. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees F. For 25 to 30 minutes; remove from pans, and cool immediately. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans. Yield: one 9-inch layer cake.

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    1 cup butter or margarine, softened
    2 (16 ounce) packages powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Yield: enough for a 3 layer cake.--Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, Greesnboro, North Carolina"
    ---"Making the most of bananas," Southern Living, February 1978 (p. 206)

    The Kentucky Derby Cook Book [Kentucky Derby Museum:Louisville KY, 1986] contains a recipe for Hummingbird Cake on p. 204. A note printed in this book states "Hummingbird Cake. Helen Wiser's recipe won Favorite Cake Award in the 1978 Kentucky State Fair."


    Ice Box Cake (aka Refrigerator Cake)
    Ice box cakes descend from 19th century
    ice cream cake which descend from Colonial Era Charlottes which descend from Renaissance-era Trifles. There is no specific person or company credited for creating the first ice box cake. The evolution was inevitable.

    Ice box cakes, as we Americans know them today, were introduced during World War I. In the 1920s & 1930s these trendy cakes were promoted as "modern" because they embraced commercial shortcuts: store-bought ladyfingers, crushed graham crackers, & packaged cookies. Companies manufacturing refrigerator cake ingredients (condensed milk, marshmallows, wafer cookies, tub whipped cream, electric refrigerators) capitalized on this trend with "back of the box" recipes and company brochures. When ice boxes became extinct recipes were renamed "refrigerator."

    Our survey of historic newspapers (best source for trending recipes) and cookbooks confirm early recipes combined cake (sponge, ladyfingers) with whipped cream or custard filling. Ingredients were layered in molds or loaf pans. The earliest recipe we have employing cookies (vanilla wafers) is a Nabisco cooking booklet, c. 1932. The earliest recipe we have combining chocolate wafers and whipped cream to create the classic festive "ice box log" is 1935.

    Ida Bailey Allen, popular home economist, described ice box cakes this way:
    "Icebox cake is an adaptation of either a charlotte or Bavarian cream, or a mixture of both. It always calls for whipped cream in some form and freqently for butter. Nuts are often added and the mould is either decorated or put together with some sort of a cake mixture, as macaroons, sponge cake, angel cake, or lady fingers. In any case the dessert is so extremely rich that it should be served only in small quantities in a meal containing very little fat."
    ---Ida Bailey Allen's Modern Cook Book, Ida Baily Allen [Garden City:New York] 1924 (p. 602)

    A survey of early ice box cake recipes

    [1917]
    "An absolutely new confection is the refrigerator cake, which is being served occasionally at parties in Kansas City when the hostess takes a vacation from Hooverizing, for the ingredients are expensive. However, it makes a very large cake. The unique feature is that no baking is required, and the cake is served cut in wedge shaped pieces like pie. In fact, it is really more like a very sumptuous pudding. To make it, take half a pound of unsalted butter (which can be purchased at the larger markets), one half pound of powdered sugar, one-half pound of crushed macaroons, one-half pound of blanched almonds, one-half dozen eggs, and one and a half dozen lady fingers. Beat the egg yolks till thick and lemon colored; beat the whites till stiff; cream together the butter and sugar, chop the almonds and crush the macaroons. Mix all together. In a round loaf cake pan arrange the lady fingers, split in halves around the edge, so that they all form an upstanding border. The pour in the cake batter. The best pan to use is a large one that has removable sides and bottom. The success of the cake depends largely on the thorough beating given the yolks of the eggs. They would be beaten until as thick as mayonnaise. Instead of being baked the cake should stand in the refrigerator for at least thirty hours before being cut. Serve with whipped cream piled on top."
    ---"Ever Eat Refrigerator Cake? Instead of baking you put it in the ice box," Kansas City Star, October 19, 1917 (p. 2)

    [1919]
    "Ice Box Cake

    There are two recipes for icebox cake in the new Stevenson Memorial Cook Book which, as we know, has been put out for one of the best of causes...

    One dozen lady fingers; one tablespoonful sugar; three eggs, separated; one cake sweet chocolate. Melt chocolate in double boiler with tablespoonful of warm water. Add mixture of yolks of eggs and sugar, well beaten, a little vanilla, and lastly, well beaten whites of eggs. Dip each ladyfinger in mixture, arrange in form which has been wet with cold water, and fill in. Place in icebox over night. Serve with whipped cream."

    The other recipe is for a larger cake ang gives fuller directions: "Three cakes sweet chocolate, three tablespoonfuls powdered sugar, three tablespoonfuls hot water, two dozen ladyfingers. Melt chocolate, sugar and water in double boiler and add half beaten yolks of six eggs. Line a mold with ladyfingers and pour half the mixture on them, then fill with ladyfingers, repeating with the chocolate mixture. Make twenty-four hours before serving. Just before serving whip one half pint of cream and put on top of cake. Grate a little chocolate over all."
    ---"Ice Box Cake," Jane Eddington, Chicago Daily Tribune, December 1, 1919 (p. 24)

    [1923]
    "Ice Box Cake

    (Rich but oh, so good! If you are trying to reduce, turn the page.)
    One-fourth cup water
    One-half cup sugar
    Two squares chocolate
    Four egg yolks
    One cup butter
    One cup powdered sugar
    One teaspoon vanilla
    Four egg whites
    Two dozen lady fingers.
    Cook the water, sugar and chocolate together in a double boiler until the mixture is smooth. Add the beaten egg yolks. Cook for one minute, beating constantly. Cream the butter, and slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat the egg whites very stiff and add to the first mixture. Line a square cake pan with waxed paper. Arrange lady fingers, split, around the sides and across the bottom. Add a layer of the cake mixture. Add another layer of the lady fingers and place the rest of the mixture on top. Set in an ice box with whipped cream. It is delicious but very rich."
    ---Bettina's Best Desserts, Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles Le Cron [A.L. Burt Company:New York] 1923 (p. 36)

    [1924]
    Chocolate Icebox Cake

    Follow the recipe for almond icebox cake, omitting the nuts and adding to the creamed butter and sugar a half pound of grated sweet chocolate, melted."

    "Almond Icebox Cake
    3/4 cupful fresh butter
    1 1/4 cupfuls sifted powdered or confectioner's sugar
    3 eggs
    1 cupful finely chopped toasted almond meats
    1/2 pint heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoonful almond extracts
    12 macaroons
    1 1/2 dozen single lady fingers
    Beat the butter to a cream and work in the sugar, almond extract, and egg yolks. The add the egg whites, whipped stiff, and the copped nut meats, and combine the mixture with the cream, which should be whipped stiff and folded in. Line a three-pint mould with waxed paper, put a layer of macaroons on the bottom, interspersing them, if desired, with whole toasted almond meats, to form a design. Line the sides of the mould with lady fingers, arranging them vertically, put half of the cream mixture in the mould, of this lay the remaining macaroons, adding the balance of the mixture, and set in the coolest part of the refrigerator for twenty-four hours. To serve, unmould and garnish with additional sweetened whipped cream, putting it on by means of the pastry bag and tube."
    ---Ida Bailey Allen's Modern Cook Book, Ida Baily Allen [Garden City:New York] 1924 (p. 603)

    [1927]
    "Chocolate Ice Box Pudding--No. 98

    Put
    2 ounces sweet chocolate
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar and
    2 tablespoons water on top of double boiler. When chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, add
    4 egg yolks slightly beaten, stir, cook and fold in
    4 egg whites beaten stiff. Spril
    Lady fingers, if double, place a layer in brick mold lined with oiled paper, cover with chocolate mixture, put in another layer of the lady fingers, and chocolate, and continue until mixture is used. Let stand 24 hours in refrigerator, but not in chilling unit. Turn out on platter, and decorate with
    Whipped Cream."
    ---Electric Refrigerator Menus and Recipes: Recipes prepared especially for the General Electric Refrigerator, Miss Alice Bradley [General Electric Co.:Cleveland OH] 5th edition, 1927 (p. 115)

    [1930]
    "Campfire Ice Box Loaf

    1/2 lb Campfire Marshmallows
    1 1/4 cups milk
    1/2 cup chopped nuts
    1/2 cup chopped dates
    2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (2 1/2 doz.)
    Cut marshmallows in quarters and pour milk over them. Add dates and nuts. Then add cracker crumbs, kneading thorougly. Place in loaf shaped mold and let stand in ice box about 12 hours before serving. Slice and serve with whipped cream. Will keep moist several days."
    ---How Famous Chefs Use Campfire Marshmallows, Angelus-Campfire Co.:Chicago IL] 1930 (p. 36)

    [1931]
    "Ice Box Cake.

    To be made with Lady Fingers, Sponge Cake, or Angel Food and Custard. Line a bowl with wax paper. Place lady fingers (or slices of cake) around the sides and over the bottom. Put part of the custard into the bowl, then a layer of cake, then custard and last cake. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 12 hours, or more. Invert the contents of the bowl onto a plate, cover the cake with whipped cream and serve it.

    "Fillings for Ice Box Cakes...
    Chocolate Custard:

    3/8 pound sweet chocolate
    3 tablespoons sugar
    3 tablespoons water
    4 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Melt the chocolate, add the sugar, water and egg yolks. Cook this mixture over hot water or over a low flame until it is smooth, stirring it constantly over hot water or over a low flame. Cool the mixture and fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites."
    ---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, fascimile 1931 edition [Scribner:New York] 1998 p. 266)
    [NOTES: Also contains a recipe for Cocoa Custard filling. The 1953 edition of this book calls this recipe "Refrigerator Cakes. The recipe & fillings are virtually unchanged.]

    [1932]
    "Trick Icebox Cake

    2 squares unsweetened chocolate
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 cup water
    Vanilla Wafers
    Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add condensed milk and stir until mixture thickens. Add water. Line long narrow mold with paraffin paper and cover bottom with thin layer of chocolate mixture. Cover with a layer of 'Uneeda Bakers' Vanilla Wafers. Then add a layer of chocolate mixture and another layer of wafers. Repeat until all chocolate is used. Top with wafers. Chill in refrigerator 3-4 hours. Turn out on platter, remove paper and serve in slices, plain or with whipped cream. 6 portions."
    ---Menu Magic, National Biscuit Company "Uneeda Bakers," 449 West 14th Street, New York, N.Y. 1932 (p. 12)
    [NOTE: This booklet offers a recipe for Apricot Icebox Cake, also featuring Vanilla Wafers.]

    [1935]
    "Choco-Mint Icebox Cake

    One thin large Brown's chocolate wafers, 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, 3/4 teaspoon mint extract, five drops green coloring, 2 teaspoons powdered sugar, outside of roll, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Whip 1 1/2 cups cream, adding mint exctract, coloring and sugar. Spread 1/4 inch between chocolate wafers, standing them on edge to make a roll. Return to chocolate wafer tin or cover roll with waxed paper and place in refrigerator for five to six hours or overnights. When ready to serve, cover roll with 1/2 cup cream, whipped, to which vanilla and sugar have been added. Pipe outside of roll with colored mint whipped cream. Slice diagonally to show rows of green and brown. Serves 8 to 10. All measurements standard." ---"Try Chocolate-mint Icebook Cake Soon," Mildred Kitchen, San Antonio Light [TX], April 5, 1935 (p. 32)

    [1937]
    "Chocolate Refrigerator Cake

    2 squares unsweetened chocolate
    1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk
    1 egg, separated
    1/3 cup chopped preserved ginger
    2 tablespoons ginger syrup
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Ladyfingers, split
    Heavy cream, whipped
    Melt chocolate in top part of double boiler, stir in condensed milk and cook until thickened. Stir 2 tablespoons chocolate mixture into beaten egg yolk; then add to remaining chocolate in double boiler and cook 3 minutes longer; cool. Stir in ginger, ginger syrup and vanilla and fold into stiffly beaten egg white. Line bottom and sides of mold or loaf pan with waxed paper, then with ladyfingers, round side out. Fill center with chocolate mixture, and if a loaf pan is used, arrange additional ladyfingers and chocolate mixture over top. Chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours. Unmold, slice and serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream. Approximate yield: 4 to 6 portions."
    ---America's Cook Book, Compiled by the Home Institute of The New York Herald Tribune [Charles Scribner's Sons:New York] 1937 (p. 710)

    [1944]
    "Chocolate Refrigerator Cake

    (For a Party)
    1 7 oz pkg. Semi-sweet chocolate
    2 tablesp. Granulated sugar
    3 tablesp. Cold water
    3 eggs, separated
    1 c. Heavy cream, whipped
    1 teasp. Vanilla extract
    1/2 teasp. Peppermint extract (optional)
    18 lady fingers, split
    Melt chocolate in top of double boiler. Add sugar and water, and mix well. Remove from heat. Stir gradually into egg yolks, and beat smooth with a spoon. Cool. Meat the egg whites stiff, and fold into the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the whipped cream and extracts. Arrange some of the lady fingers on the bottom of a loaf pan 10" X 5" X 3", and pour in some of the chocolate and whipped cream mixture. Then alternate layers of lady fingers with the chocolate mixture until the loaf pan is full and all lady fingers and chocolate mixture have been used, having lady fingers on top. Chill in refrigerator for 24 hrs., and serve with or without whipped cream. Serves 12."
    ---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Completely Revised 7th Edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1944 (p. 653)

    See also: Refrigerator Pie


    Japanese Fruit Cake
    According to the food historians, the geographic locus for this holiday dessert stretches from Southern Appalachia, throughout the Deep South, and west to Texas. This generally follows the same pattern as the popularity of coconut, one of the prime ingredients. None of the food history reference books we examined provides an explanation for the Japanese connection. In fact, most note the ingredients are in no way connected with the Orient in any way. Our study of historic sources confirms not one, but two completely different versions of Japanese Fruitcake:
    1. Popular southern enriched spice layer cake with coconut filling and/or icing, likely descended from 19th century southern-style White Fruitcake.
    2. An iced fruitcake promoted by a Kate Brew Vaughn, a popular cookbook author (no coconut).
    Ms. Vaughn explains why she picked the name for her cake. Southern cooks are "mum" on the subject. Who decided to renameWhite Fruitcake and why? We have no clue.

    STANDARD STORIES

    "Japanese Fruitcake is an exotically named, typically Southern dessert cake, especially popular in the twentieth century. This same cake was once called Oriental cake, but there is nothing of the Far East about it, except the spices, none of which is Japanese in origin. Like Lane Cake and Lady Baltimore, Japanese Fruitcake is one of the Edwardian dessert extravaganzas with its rich fruit and nut fillings hidden under mounds of fluffy white icing."
    ---Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie, Bill Neal [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1990 (p. 295)

    "Japanese Fruitcake. This marvelous cake was my mother's favorite...While the name is somewhat mysterious (with no Japanese ingredients), the cake is a descendent of the traditional English pound cake and, of course, the giant colonial-era fruitcakes that were the rage through the South."
    ---Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking, Joseph E. Dabney [Cumberland House:Nashville TN] 1998 (p. 420)

    "Japanese Fruitcake. This beloved Southern fruitcake bears little resemblance to the traditional fruitcake. It begins with a yellow cake, the batter is divided, then two-thirds of it is enriched with raisins and spices. I've never encountered Japanese Fruitcake outside the South, in fact rarely out of the Carolinas. And then mostly at Christmastime in the homes of friends. Nor have I ever heard any explanation of its unusual name; certainly there is nothing Japanese about Japanese Fruitcake...While I can't prove it, I feel certain Japanese Fruitcake belongs to the twentieth century. I have rarely seen recipes for it beyond community fund-raiser cookbooks and in these only from the '30s onward."
    ---American Century Cook Book, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 430) [NOTE: this book contains a recipe from Sunset [magazine] 1990.

    KATE BREW VAUGHN'S JAPANESE FRUIT CAKE, circa 1913

    The earliest print reference we find to a recipe titled Japanese Fruit Cake is from 1913. It is one of many in the popular culinary repertoire of Kate Brew Vaughn, a travelling home economics specialist, cookbook author, and cooking class demonstrator. She was a native of Nashville, TN. This snippets explain the Japanese connection: "Mrs. Vaughn is going to tell News readers who attend her lecture-demonstrations about a very wonderful cake, the recipe of which was given to her by a former Japanese chef who for years prepared food for the laste Mikado. This cake, which Mrs. Vaughn will bake for Galveston women, has that characteristic charm of the Flowery Kingdom about it. It is rich in fruits and spices. Mrs. Vaughn is going to hold this recipe as a surprise. You will hear more about the famous 'mikado cake' later."---"Mrs. Vaughn to Lecture for News," Galveston Daily News, March 12, 1913 (p. 14) "The final lesson was a fitting climax to the week. Mrs. Vaughn demonstrated the making of her famous Japanese fruit cake. The recipe of this she does not allow to be published but she freely gave it to all present yesterday and also show them how to secure the best results."---"Mrs. Vaughn Ends Cooking Classes Here," San Antonio Light, April 13, 1913 (p. 6) Mrs. Vaughn's recipe appears below. Note: it does not contain coconut.

    [1914]
    "Mikado Cake (Japanese Fruit Cake)

    2 c sugar (sifted)
    1 c butter
    8 whole eggs
    4 c flour
    4 t Royal Baking Powder
    1 t salt
    1 t cinnamon
    1 t mace
    1 t nutmeg
    1 t allspice
    1 lb chopped nuts
    1 t each orange, vanilla, almond, pistachio, redcherd [sic] extracts
    1/2 c rich cream
    3/4 c. Tokay wine
    1/4 c apricot cordial
    1 c strawberry preserves
    1 lb crystallized ginger
    1/2 lb crystallized cherries
    1/2 lb crystallized pineapple
    1/4 lb crystallized apricots
    1/4 lb crystallized angelique
    1/4 lb crystallized limes
    1/4 lb crystallized kumquats
    Sift dry ingredients cream butter and sugar, add yolks, add preserves. Chop fruits and pour wine and cordial over night before; alternate dry ingredients and fruit, last nuts, fold in beaten whites. Start in hot oven and when the cake is set so fruit will not sink to bottom, reduce heat bake from 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Spread with golden icing flavored with wine and put on top marshmallow icing."
    ---Culinary Echoes from Dixie, Kate Brew Vaughn [McDonald Press:Cincinnati OH] 1914 (p. 203)

    COMPARE THIS WHITE FRUIT CAKE WITH THE JAPANESE VERSIONS BELOW

    [1879]
    "White Fruit Cake [superior, tried recipe]

    1 pound white sugar
    1 pound flour
    1/2 pound butter
    Whites of 12 eggs
    2 pounds citron, cut in thin, long strips
    2 pounds almonds, blanched and cut in strips
    1 large cocoanut, grated.
    Before the flour is sifted, add to it one teaspoonful of soda, two teaspoonfuls cream tartar. Cream the butter as you do for pound cake, add the sugar, and beat it awhile, then add the whites of eggs, and flour; and after beating the batter sufficiently, add about one-third of the fruit, reserving the rest to add in layers, as you put the batter in the cake-mould. Bake slowly and carefully, as you do other fruit cake.--Mrs. W."
    ---Housekeeping in Old Virginia, Marion Cabell Tyree [John P. Morton and Company:Louisville, KY] 1879 (p. 314)

    [1926]
    "Japanese Fruit Cake

    Recipe contributed br Mrs. Geo. W. Ranking, Los Angeles
    3 cups Globe "A1" Flour
    1 cup butter or substitute
    2 cups butter
    4 eggs
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 pinch of salt
    1 cup milk
    1 cup seeded raisins
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1/4 teaspoon grated cloves
    1/4 teaspn. ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspn. grated nutmeg
    1/2 teaspn. vanilla extract
    For Filling
    1 cup grated cocoanut
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    2 cups cold water
    1/4 teaspoons salt
    2 cups sugar
    7 tablespoons cornstarch rounded
    Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs well beaten. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together three times and add alternately with the milk. Divide into two parts. To one portion add nuts and vanilla; to the other add raisins, chopped fine and spices. Bake in four layers in moderate oven about 30 minutes. Put together with cocoanut filling made by cooking all the filling ingredients together in double boiler 45 minutes."
    ---display ad, Globe A1 Flour, Los Angeles Times, January 3, 1926 (p. L32)

    [1930]
    "White Fruit Cake.

    One pound butter and one pound powdered sugar creamed together. Add beaten yolks of twelve eggs, one pound sifted flour with two teaspoonfuls of baking-powder. Mix together one cocoanut grated, one-half pound almonds blanched and sliced, one-half pound citron sliced very thin and the stiffly beaten whites of twelve eggs. Mix this with the flour mixture and bake two hours. Ice with cocoanut icing."
    ---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride & Company:New York] 1930 (p. 104)

    [1941]
    "Japanese Fruit Cake

    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    3 1/4 cups flour
    1 scant cup water or milk
    4 eggs
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Make as any cake. Divide batter into two parts. Into one part put 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and allspice, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 pound of raisins, chopped fine. Bake in two layers. Bake the white part into two layers.

    Filling
    Juice of 2 lemons
    Grated rind of 1 lemon
    1 good-sized cocoanut, grated
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup boiling water
    2 tablespoons corn starch
    Put all together into saucepan, except corn starch. When the mixture begins to boil, add the cornstarch dissolved in half cup of cold water; continue to cook, stirring constantly until the mixture drops in a lump from the spoon. Cool and spread between the layers. Cover top with a white icing."
    ---Southern Cooking, Mrs. S.R. Dull [Grosset & Dunlap:New York] 1941 [NOTE: This book also contains a recipe for "Mrs. D's Japanese Cake," a similar product except the filling uses oranges instead of lemons and does not contain the cup of water or corn starch.]

    Relate food?
    Sawdust Pie.


    Italian cream cake
    Italians have been creating fabulous rich egg cakes cakes composed of nuts and sweet, sealed with creamy dairy fillings from ancient times forward. Cheese cakes and cannoli are two shining examples. Italian Cream Cake, as we Americans know it today, descends from this culinary tradition. While no one claims to have invented this particular cake ("set of cakes" really, since there are dozens of variations), food historians generally agree Italian Cream Cakes are related to Renaissance-era Trifles. Combinations of sponge, cream, & flavorings are endless. Think:
    English Trifles/Zuppa Inglese & Zabaglione/Zabaoine.

    The earliest print reference we find for Italian Cream Cake in North American newspapers is 1913. We have no clue what the actual recipe/dish was like. In 1937 we find an actual recipe. It's a far cry from what you find today on the Internet.

    [1913]
    "Italian Cream Cake
    , tea or coffee, 20 cents."
    ---"Tea Room Dainties," Lethbridge Herald [Alberta Canada] May 8, 1913 (p. 9)[NO recipe.}

    [1925]
    "Italian Cream Cake."

    ---"Taits restaurant menu," Oakland Tribune [CA], December 7, 1925 (p. 13) [NO recipe.]

    [1937]
    "Italian Cream Cake

    6 eggs beaten thick and light. Add gradually 2 cups sugar, 4 t lemon juice. Continue beating. Sift and measure 2 cups Snow Queen Flour, 2 t KC baking powder, add to mixture and beat again. Then add 12 T boiling milk, 1 t lemon extract. Bake in an angel cake pan. When cold cut into layers, fill with cream filling and decorate with whipping cream." ---Plano News [TX] September 30, 1937 (p. 7)
    [NOTE: t=teaspoon; T=Tablespoon]

    [1954]
    "American cooks who like to serve Italian-style suppers will be interested in the quickly made cream-cake. Ever taste Zuppa Inglese --that Italian sweet with its layers of rum-soaked sponge cake, custard filling and topping of whipped cream and candied fruit? This is a relative of Zuppa Inglese; in typical American fashion it substitutes a special lemon syrup for the rum flavoring and uses an instant pudding mix for the custard filling. Italian-style coffee, for dishes for demitasse, is fine to serve with this cream cake. Italian coffeemakers macchinettas --are widely available; but if you haven't one use the Italian double-roast type of coffee in an ordinary coffeemaker.
    "Italian Cream Cake
    Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups sugar, 3/4 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons aromatic bitter,s 1/2 package vanilla instant pudding mix, 1 cup milk, two 8- or 9-inch sponge-cake layers, 1 cup heavy cream (whipped), sliced citron, candied cherries. Method: Mix sugar and boiling water; stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cover and boil 1 minute. Uncover and boil 5 minutes without stirring. Add lemon rind, lemon juice and bitters; cool. Add instant pudding to milk; mix according to package directions; chill. When ready to serve, place a sponge-cake layer on serving dish. Drench with lemon syrup. Spread with vanilla pudding mixture. Cover with second sponge-cake layer. Sprinkle lightly with lemon syrup and top with whipped cream. Any remaining syrup may be passed with the dessert or stored in the refrigerator for later use. Garnish with slices of citron and candied cherries."
    ---"Top Off Italian-Style Supper," The Corsicana Daily News [TX], November 25, 1954 (p. 6)

    [1977]
    "Italian Cream Cake

    Ingredients:
    1 stick oleo equal to one-half cup
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    2 cups sugar
    5 egg yolks
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 small can coconut
    1 cup chopped nuts
    5 egg whites, beaten stiffly
    Frosting ingredients:
    1/2 cup soft oleo
    1 box confectioner's sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Directions for cake: Cream the shortening, oleo and sugar. Beat well. Add the egg yokes. Add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk. Mix well. Add the vanilla, coconut and the nuts. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour this mixture into the cake pans. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. It may take longer for the larger pan. Directions for the frosting: Cream the oleo and cream cheese until soft. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy and smooth. Spread on cake."
    ---"Italian Cream Cake," North Hills Now [Warrendale PA] February 19-20 (p. 7)


    Kolache
    The art of stuffing dough with with sweet and savory fillings is ancient. Sweet pastries, such as kolache, harken back to Medieval days. Most European countries and cuisines adapted this simple formula to incorporate local ingredients and please local tastes. The names of the recipes are different but the basic idea is the same. About
    pie & galette (yeasted sweet cake filled/topped with fruit & nuts). A traditional filling for Central European Koloache features poppy seeds.

    ABOUT KOLACHE
    "Kolachy, kolache. A sweet flaky pastry usually made with a cream cheese and butter dough, occasionally with a yeast-risen dough. Kolachys have several traditional fillings, including poppy seed, cream cheese, jam, nuts, and berries or other chopped fresh fruit...Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia."
    ---International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections, Carole Bloom [Hearst Books:New York] 1995 (p. 163)

    "The oldest ritual leavened loaf which came into being soon after the Slavs embraced Christianity is shaped in a round, ring or like a cart and is called kolach in Bulgarian and Macedonian or kolac in Serbo-Croat and Slovenian, from the old Slavonic word for wheel, kolo. The term has been disseminated far beyond the Slavic languages; it has becom kulac or kullac in Albanian, kakacs in Hungarian, extended further to mean all types of breads, cakes and yeast cakes. Leavened bread, made from the finest flour, is used by the Orthodox Church for communion."
    ---The Melting Pot: Balkan Food and Cookery, Jaria Kaneva-Johnson [Prospect Books:Devon] 1999 (p. 231)

    "With the records written in Latin, traces of everyday life buried in medieval kitchen refuse, and no extant cookery books from the [Medieval] period written in Polish or even claiming to be Polish, how do we arrive at the Polish table with a firm sense of cultural identity? Surely medieval Poles understood who they were and readily recognized certain foods as peculiarly their own. But perhaps this identity was also an evolving one, just as the Polish language itself was evolving at the time. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Polish was heavily influenced by Czech, from which it borrowed many words and concepts. Was food likewise influenced by this same flow of ideas? The appearance in Polish of the Czech terms like kolace (from Latin collatio) would suggest this."
    ---Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscoveirng a Cuisine of the Past, Maria Dembinska, revised and adapted by William Woys Weaver, translated by Magdalena Thomas [University of Pennsylvania Press:Philadelphia] 1999 (p. 9)

    "The Polish term for flat cakes, plaki, derives from the Latin placenta (cake) and covers a variety of forms without conveying a fixed meaning other than flat shape...Special recipes were prepared for Good Friday in waver irons...They were unleavened and generally eaten on fast days. Special recipes were prepared for Good Friday and stamped with appropriate religious symbols. There were also flat cakes baked with apples, evidently something akin to an apple pizza, and related in for to the kolace of Moravia."
    ---ibid (p. 117)

    ABOUT KOLACHE IN AMERICA

    "Kolache. Also "kolach" and "kolacky." A sweet pastry bun filled with cheese, poppyseeds, sausage, or, more commonly, jam or fruits like cherry, apricot, peach, pineapple, or prune, first mentioned in print in Willa Cather's novel My Antonia (1919). It is of Czechoslovak origins (the Czech word is kolace) and, as "kolacky," entered print about 1915. Kolaches are most popular in West Texas, where Czech immigrants settled in 1852."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 177)
    [NOTE: Recommended reading: Cather's Kitchens: Foodways in Literature and Life, Roger L. and Linda K. Welsch. Sorry, no authentic Cather recipe. "We found no recipes for kolaches in the Cather files, but that isn't surprising: they were a part of the Czech kitchens she visited and described rather than those in which she grew up." (p. 82)]

    ABOUT TEXAS-STYLE KOLACHE
    If you want to hook in the local angle (is this if a history/sociology class?) you might want to include some background on Czech immigration. Czechs in Texas

    "Between 1850 and 1920 thousands of Czechs left their homes in Moravia and Bohemia to come to Texas in search of a better life. Todat you can visit towns like Fayetteville, Praha and Hallettsville where the Czech language is in everyday use...The Czechs who settled in Texas in the middle and late 19th century were known mainly for two things. First, wherever they settled they worked hard and became useful, productive citizens. Second, the Czechs, or Bohemians as they were known, knew how to celebrate...In the 1880s pratically all Czech Texans libed in rural areas. Almost all were farmers who settled in a geographic triangle bound by Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. Some others made their homes in the lower Gulf coast and the Texas panhandle...Czech Texans continnue to celebrate weddings with a magnificent feast...Czech sausage, colaches, potatoes and other traditional favorites are still served...Today a typical menus might include soup, baked pork loin, sauerkraut, boiled potatoes and kolaches for dessert."
    ---The Melting Pot: Ethnic Cuisine in Texas, Institute of Texas Cultures [University of Texas at San Antonio:San Antonio] 1977 (p. 37-8)

    Kolache is also quite popular in Nebraska. Sample pioneer-era recipe:

    "Kolaches
    Scald one pint of milk, let cool to lukewarm. Dissove one and one-half cakes compressed yeast in one-fourth cup lukewarm water to which one teaspooon of sugar has been added. Let rise while milk cools. Add dissolved yeast to cooled milk and make a sponge. Let rise until light. Cream together one cup sugar one one cup butter. Add three egg yolks and two whole eggs, well beaten, and two teaspoons salt. Add to the sponge and mix well. Stir in nour enough to handle well. Let rise until light and roll out to one-half inch thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Make a depression in the center and fill. Let rise and bake in a quick oven. Any of the following fillings can be used:
    Fruit filling: Mash stewed prunes. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste, and sprinkle with coconut or chopped nuts. Apricots, peaches, apples, or any canned fruit may also be used.
    Poppy seed filling: bring poppy seed and boil it in just enough water to keep moist. Then add sugar, cinnamon, and maple syurup to taste; raisins; and three or four gingersnaps, ground.
    Cottage cheese filling: Combine grated rind of lemon, one-half cup sugar, one tablespoon cream, two egg yolks, and one pint of dry cottage cheese."
    ---Nebraska Pioneer Cookbook, Compiled by Kay Graber [University of Nebraska Press:Lincoln NE] 1974 (p. 86-7)

    Related food? Danish & Kuchen


    Kuchen
    Apfelkuchen descended from a long line of
    sweet yeast breads. Food historians tell us ancient bakers in the middle east often used fruits and nuts in their breads, cakes, pastries, and cookies. This tradition was also practiced by the Ancient Romans, who are credited for spreading fruits (apples) and recipes throughout Europe.

    Apfelkuchen in a German word that literally translates into "apple cake." There are dozens of variations on this simple theme ranging from apple chunks in basic dough to complicated compotes encased in batter cakes. While the title of this particular cake is German, the recipe is also known in other European countries. The central core is generally this: apfelkuchen is a simple recipe, one enjoyed by the 'average' person. Streusel topping is traditional.

    Recipes for kuchen of all types were introduced to America by settlers of Northern European descent. Most notably are the Germans, who settled here in great numbers.

    "Kuchen can usually be translated as cake (large or of biscuit size)...Although Kuchen often refers to something less fancy than a Torte, one of the most famous Kuchen is very fancy indeed. This is the Baumkuchen...Streuselkuchen (crumble cake) can be a plain rubbed-in cake..with cinnamon-flavoured crumble topping. A more elaborate version, called Apfelstreuselkuchen, has a layer of apple...pure between two layers of crumble."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 802-3)

    "Kuchen. The German word for cake or pastry. Kuchen is a cake or pastry made with a sweetened yeast-risen dough that is either topped with a mixture of sugar and spices or nuts or filled with fruit or cheese before baking. Kuchen is the classic coffee cake and is served for both breakfast and dessert."
    ---The International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections, Carole Bloom [Hearst:New York] 1995 (p.167)

    "Kuchen, any of several varieties of coffee cake, were the pride of every nineteenth-century immigrant German baker, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Each cook or housewife had a yeast-based "kuchen" dough, which she would shape into rectangular crusts and top with either fruit or cheese, or she would twist with cinnamon and nuts into a streusel or coffee cake, or roll up jelly-roll style in to Schenecken...By the end of the century, baking powder came into use and replaced yeast in many kuchen. Quick breads and cakes gradually replaced the slower yeast-raised doughs. In May 1906, the Ladies' Home Journal ran an article on kuchen by Lola D. Wangner. "There seems to be a steadily-growing fondness among us for the German coffee-cakes or kuchen...They are to be found on many of our breakfast-tables on Sunday morning. These cakes are peculiar to Germany, every part of the Fatherland having its own methods of making them, and there are more than one hundred recipes."
    ---Jewish Cooking in America, Joan Nathan [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1998 (p. 308)

    HISTORIC RECIPES

    [1884] Dutch Apple Cake
    [1889] Apple Cake (Kuchen)
    [1919] Apple Cake (Kuchen)

    Related food? Coffeecake (scroll down for notes on crumble & streusel), Kolache & Danish


    Tortes
    Culinary historians generally agree that torten, a specialty of Austria and neighboring regions were known in the early 19th century.
    Sacher torte, a rich chocolate confection, is perhaps one of the most well-known. Linzer torte and Dobos torte are also quite popular. French gateau is closely related.

    What is torte?

    "Torte. The German word for cake. Tortes are usually made with flour, sugar, eggs, and gutter, but often ground nuts or bread crumbs are substituted for some or all of the flour. Tortes have a moist quality that keeps them fresh for several days. A torte may be either a multilayered cake or a dense-textured single-layer cake...Tortes originated in Central Europe."
    ---International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries and Confections, Carole Bloom [Hearst Books:New York] 1995 (p. 304)

    "Torte is a German word which corresponds fairly closely to gateau. Its sister-word, Kuchen, can usually be translated as cake (large or of biscuit size); but in this case the connection see also quiche, by derived term. Torte appears in the title of many celebrated Central European confections, including sachertorte."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 802)

    "Nineteenth-century Danubian nations...created the riches and creamiest layer cakes, or torten in Europe. Vienna was the undisputed capital of the confectioner's art."
    ---Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking Through the Ages, William Harlan Hale [American Heritage:New York] 1968 (p. 662)

    About sponge. Desserts composed of layers of sponge and cream were known in the 16th century. About English trifle.

    About Dobos torte

    "Dobostorte, named after Dobos, a famous Hungarian chef who created it in 1887, is made by building up five or more thick circles of savoy sponge sandwiched with layers of a creamed filling, often flavoured with chocolate. The top layer of cake is covered with a layer of sugar caramel, marked into portions."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 802)

    "Jozsef C. Dobos, born 1847, was pround of the fact that an ancestor on his father's side was the chef of Count Rakoczi. Toward the end of his life he opened a fabulous food specialty shop in Budapest, where he stocked over sixty different cheeses and twenty-two kinds of champagne and managed to import every rare seasonal delicacy imaginable. Famous far and wide was his showmanship, whether it was a machine of his own invention that projected a clock face on the sidewalk, or his stunt of hollowing out a fifty-kilo cheese, pouring in a magnum of the finest burgundy, leaving it in the shop window until the wine had completely soaked into the cheese, then selling pieces to the passionate epicures who flocked to buy from him. It was in this shop that he created and sold his famous Dobos torta in 1887. He had devised a packaging for sending this delicacy to foreign countries. Soon everybody started to imitate this cake, mostly with very bad results. This prompted him to publish the authentic recipe in 1906, donating it to the Budapest Pastry and Honey-bread Makers Guild. The sensation of the Millennium Exposition in 1896 was the Dobos Pavilion, where guess what was baked and served! One of the four major works he published is his Hungarian-French Cookbook. It sands as a classic. The world remembers thte anniversaries of battles and birthdays of great composers--what what city other than Budapest would stage a full-scale festival to commemorate the seventy-fifth birthday of a torte? In 1962, Dobos torta had this unique honor when the Hungarian Chefs' and Pastry Chefs' Association placed a wreath on Dobos' grave to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the creation of the Dobos Tortae. After this, in the Hungaria Cafe-Restaurant, they held a banquet, reproducing one of his great dinners; and for two days the Vorosmarty Pastry Shop sold only cakes and tortes of his creation. His grandson was presented with a heart made of traditional honey bread, and a six-foot-diameter Dobos torta was paraded by pastry chefs through the avenues of Budapest. Dobos died in 1924."
    ---The Cuisine of Hungary, George Lang [Atheneum:New York] 1982 (p. 61-3) [NOTE: This book contains a modernized recipe for Dobos Torte.]

    Related dessert? Smith Island Cake.

    About Linzertortes
    Jindrak, an Austrian company famous for its linzertortes, traces this recipe back to 1696. It attributes this tasty flaky pasty and fruit recipe to a 300 year old cookery book [author/title not cited].

    "Nineteenth-century Danubian nations...created the riches and creamiest layer cakes, or torten in Europe. Vienna was the undisputed capital of the confectioner's art...The Linzertorte, whose descent is obscure, could well be the contribution of Linz, the capital of upper Austria which like Vienna and Budapest is located on the banks of the Danube."
    ---Horizon Cookbook and Ilustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages, William Harlan Hale [American Heritage:New York] 1968 (p. 662)

    "Another well-known Austrian pastry, the Linzertorte, takes is name from the medieval city of Linz, which, like Vienna, stands beside the Danube and prospered as a trading center. The Linzertorte itself is a raspberry-filled delight that has become increasingly popular here in the United States. It has inspired miniature Linzer Tarts, and, more recently, Linzer Hearts, filled cookies that allow just a bit of raspberry jam to peek through a heart-shaped opening in the center..."
    ---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens] 1998 (p. 241-242):

    American Heritage [magazine] June 1965 attributes the introduction of Linzertortes to America to Franz Holzlhuber:
    "In 1856 Holzlhuber, an enterprising young Austrian from the vicinity of Linz, started for America. He had very little money but was equipped with a zither, a sketchbook, some education in the law and in draftsmanship, and the promise of employment in Milwaukee as conductor of an orchestra. Somewhere between New York and Wisconsin, he lost both his luggage and the letter confirming his job, which, it turned out, was no longer available. Nothing daunted, he went to work as a baker-introducing (so he said) the Linzer Torte to America..."

    [1931]
    "Linzer Tart

    Time required, 1 1/2 hours
    Tender Batter
    3 1/2 oz. flour
    7 oz. butter
    3 1/2 oz. sugar
    2 oz. powdered cloves
    7 oz. almonds
    2 egg yolks
    cinnamon
    sugar to strew over tart
    flowr for tart form
    3 1/2 oz. currant jam
    white of one egg for brushing
    Rub butter with flour and add the peeled and grated almonds, sugar, the powdered cloves, cinnamon, and egg yolks and knead the whole to a good dough. Roll out to about 1/4 of an inch, save a small piece, and put on a floured tart form. Spread currant jam over the top. From the dough reserved, shape a small rim round the tart and cover it with latticed strips of pastry. Brush with the white of an egg and bake for about one hour. Sprrinkle with sugar."
    ---Two Hundred Famous Viennese Recipes, selected by Madame Melanie Reichelt [Wm. Filene's Sons Company:Boston] 1931 (p. 26)

    About Sachertorte
    Classic folklore surrounding the origin of the Sachertorte here:

    "Sacher torte. A famous Austrian cake served on festive occasions in German-speaking countries. It is a rich chocolate sponge cake glazed in apricot, and spiced with bittersweet chocolate. It was first produced in 1832 by Franz Sacher, chef to Prince von Metternich, and is reputedly the only cake in the world that was ever the subject of a court case."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 679)

    [NOTE: This book contains a brief description of the case. It also refers to another book, Festive Baking in Austria, German and Switzerland by Sarah Kelly.]

    "Sachertorte. A famous Viennese gateau, created at the Congress of Vienna (1814-5) by Franz Sacher, Metternich's chief pastrycook. Sachertorte (literally, Sacher's cake')...For years, Vienna was divided into two camps by the sachertorte controversy. The supporters of the sachertorte as it was served at the Sacher Hotel--two layers separated by jam, the top being iced--were led by the descendants of Franz Sacher, who regarded their version as the only authentic one. On the other side were the customers of the famous Demel patissiere, who based their claim on the rights acquired by Eduard Demel from Sacher's grandson, who authorized the so-called "true" recipe (the cake is simply spread with jam, then covered with icing), as published in Die Wiener Konditore by Hans Skrach. The Sacher Hotel finally won the court case that fascinated Vienna for six years. Demel replied by claiming that his was the Ur Sachertorte (the original cake)."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 1010)

    "The best known of all tortes is the Sachertorte, named for Franz Sacher, chef to Prince Metternich (1773-1859), for whom he created it in 1832. It was one of the earliest chocolate cakes, made apparently only to please a demanding and somewhat iracible nobleman who was always requesting new desserts. For Metternich by this time was an old man, no longer the dashing, youthful price who had dazzled all of Europe at the Congress of Vienna in 1814-1815. But the city has always stood for grandeur and the Sachertorte has become almost a symbol of Vienna and its talent for good living. Eduard Sacher, grandzon of Franz, allowed the recipe to be publsihed and also gave a famous Viennese pastry shop, Demel's, the right to call their version the Genuine Sachertorte. Inevitably, Demel's rivals protested. The Hotel Sacher, run by a distant cousin, sued, and much to the amusement of the Viennese, it took the courts seven years to decide in favor of the hotel. The only difference between the two versions was one extra layer of apricot jam, and not all of Vienna's chefs agreed with the courts."
    ---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 239)

    "To appreciate [the Sachertorte] thoroughly, you must put it in its context. It was created in 1832 at the request of Prince Mtternich... Compared with the elaborate architectural cakes of the period, it struck people as marvelously new and simple. Later, about 1870, the Hotel Sacher was built in the Philharmonikerstrasse. It soon became Vienna's most distinguished hotel; it still is. Around 1912 the hotel's most celebrated manager, cigar-smoking Anna Sacher, gave the recipe for the delicious chocolate torte to Olga and Adolph Hess for their Viennese cookbook. The later became Austria's equivalent of the Fannie Farmer anthology. Using the Hess recipe, Mrs. Ruth P Cass-Emellos, the New York Times' home economist, developed the adaptation appearing on these pages today...Demel's is a pastry shop in the Kohlmarkt at No. 14, dating form 1813 and generally considered to be the best in Vienna. In 1934, Demel's concluded a contract with Eduard Sacher, Frau Anna's only son, whereby it gained the right to serve the "original Sachertorte." (many other Austrian restaurants and pastry shops now serve the cake also, it should be noted.)"
    ---"The Legendary Cakes of Vienna," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, September 16, 1956 (p. SM27)

    [1931]
    "Real Sacher Cake

    Ten servings. Time required, 1 1/2 hours.
    5 oz. butter
    5 oz. sugar
    6 egg yolks
    5 oz. chocolate
    5 oz. flour
    6 whites of eggs
    Beat butter until very creamy, add egg yolks, nearly melted chocolate, sugar, the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs and lastly the flour. Bake in greased cake mould in moderate oven. When cooled, put a very little apricot jam over the top and glaze with chocolate."
    ---Two Hundred Famous Viennese Recipes, selected by Madame Melanie Reichelt [Wm. Filene's Sons Company:Boston] 1931 (p. 18)

    [1952]
    "Sacher Cake (Sachertorte)

    This is the original recipe, obtained through the courtesy of Mrs. Anna Sacher.

    3/4 cup butter
    6 1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
    3/4 cup sugar
    8 egg yolks
    1 cup flour
    10 egg whites, stiffly beaten
    2 tbls. apricot jam
    icing:
    1 cup sugar
    1/3 cup water
    7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

    Beat butter until creamy. Melt chocolate. Add sugar and chocolate to butter; stir. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add flour. Fold in egg whites. Grease and butter 8-9" cake tin. Pour mixture in. Bake in 275 degree F. oven about 1 hour. Test with toothpick or straw. Remove to board; cool. Cut top off and turn bottom up. Heat apricot jam slightly and spread over top. Cover with chocolate icing, prepared as follows:

    Cook sugar and water to thin thread.
    Melt chocolate in top of double boiler.
    Add sugar graudlly to chocolate.
    Stir constantly until icing coats the spoon.
    Pour on top of cake
    Note: If desired, split cake into 2 or 3 layers. Fill with apricot jam or whipped cream."
    ---Viennese Cooking, O. & A. Hess, adapted for American use [Crown Publishing:New York] 1952 (p. 229)

    About tortes (torten).


    Red Velvet Cake
    Baking is both art and science. "Red" cakes may be achieved several ways, including chemical reaction, natural coloring (crushed red fruit--cherries, strawberries, raspberries or red vegetables--beets) and artificial chemical colorants. Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen confirms this "red" chemical reaction occurs when combining alkaline (baking soda/powder) with acid (cocoa, buttermilk, vinegar). "Chemical leavenings have...effects on both flavor and color...Colors are...affected conditions: browning reactions are enhanced, chocolate turns reddish, and blueberries turn green." (p. 534).
    Red Devil Cakes first surface in the 1930s. Chocolate Beet Cakes graced our tables in the mid-1950s.

    The earliest recipe we found titled "Red Velvet Cake" was published in 1960. Earlier recipes (Red Velvet Devil Cake, 1951) are not the same. While some people hypothesize the color of this recipe was inspired by tomato soup cakes, our survey of historic does not bear this out. The color in Red Velvet cake is achieved by chemical reaction (soda=alkaline;vinegar=acid) AND the addition of red food dye. Someone, somewhere, apparently decided old-fashioned "red" was not "red" enough. Red Velvet cake was popularized by the Waldorf-Astoria recipe legend and as Armadillo Cake in the movie Steel Magnolias. Coincidentally? The earliest recipe we've identified to date was published in Texas. Armadillo is the official small mammal of Texas. Our survey of historic newspapers confirms this recipe spread like wildfire all over the country the summer of 1960.

    [1960]
    "Red Velvet Cake

    2 ounces of red food coloring
    3 tablespoons cocoa
    1/2 cup shortening
    2 beaten eggs
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    2 beaten eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    2 1/4 cups cake flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    Mix food coloring with cocoa and set aside. Cream shortening and sugar, add beaten egg, then cocoa-coloring mix. Beat well. Sift flour and salt three times, and along with buttermilk. Add vanilla and beat well again. Remove from mixer and add mixture of vinegar and soda to batter. Mix by hand until blended. Bake in two nine inch pans, greased but not floured, at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool, then ice.

    Icing
    1 stick soft butter
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons flour
    2/3 cup sweet milk (at room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Cream butter and shortening with sugar. Add flour, 1 tablespoonful at a time, add sweet milk and vanilla. Beat a long time with mixer until icing is light and fluffy. When cake is frosted, sprinkle with coconut. This cake has a fine flavor and good keeping qualities-- if there's any left to keep. It's best kept in a cool place during the summer. The icing is as light as whipped cream."
    ---"Recipe of the Week," Mrs. Cagle's Red Velvet Cake," Denton Record-Chronicle [TX], June 16, 1960 (p. 12)
    [NOTE: there is no bio note provided for Mrs. Cagle.]

    "Any time you see a recipe making the rouds among people whom you consider good cooks, you can be pretty sure it is extra good...ran across one the other day which is a favorite of Gladys Stroop and she got it from Dorothy Waggerle...they refer to it simply as red velvet cake...I pan to try it just as soon as quail season sets in, but you want to make a stab at it now, here's the recipe...
    1/2 cup butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 egs
    1/4 cup red food coloring
    1 cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons (buttermilk)
    2 1/2 cups cake flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 teaspoon soda
    Cream shortening and sugar and eggs. Make a paste of coloring and cocoa; add to creamed micture. Add buttermilk alternately with flour. Add soda to vinegar and add to mixture. Bake 350 degrees 24 to 30 minutes in two 8-inch pans...Now the frosting...
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 1/2 cups butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Cook flour and milk until thick, stirring constantly. Cool well. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until very fluffy; add first mixture and mix well consistency of whipped cream."
    ---"All Around Town," Bette Thompson, Amarillo Globe-Times [TX], June 27, 1960 (p. 16)

    [1962]
    "Red Velvet cake with Ermine Icing sounds like a luxurious suggestion for a Valentine's Day celebration. This must be a favorite cake recipe among Exchange readers, judging by the numbers of copies sent to answer a recent request... Red Velvet Cake.
    Ingredients: 1/2 cup shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 2 ounces red food coloring (four 1/4 ounce bottles), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 1/2 cups cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons soda, 1 tablespoon vinegar. Cream together the shortening, sugar and eggs. Make a paste with cocoa and food coloring add to creamed mixture. Mix salt and vanilla with buttermilk and add alternately to creamed mixture, alternating with the flour. Mix soda and vinegar and fold into mixture. Do NOT beat. Bake in two 9-inch layer pans for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The batter is mixed in the same way as any other cake batter, to the point at which the soda and vinegar mixture is added. This is folded in thoroughly.
    Ermine Icing.
    Ingredients: 5 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup milk, 1 cup granulated suagr, 1 cup butter or margarine. Cook flour and milk until thick, stirring constantly. Let cool and be sure this mixture becomes cold. Next, beat in the sugar, butter and vanilla. Beat until icing is of spreading consistency. I should be creamy."
    ---"And Now It's Red Cake!," Reader Exchange, Washington Post, January 28, 1962 (p. F23)

    [1968]
    "These chocolate cakes have unusual twists. Food coloring is repsonsible for the rich red color of an often-requested chocolate cake...
    Red Velvet Cake
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 1-oz. bottle red food color
    2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. soda
    2 tbsp. cocoa
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 tsp. vinegar
    Cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Beat in vanilla nd food coloring. Sift together flour, salt, soda and cocoa. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and vinegar, mixing well after each addition. Turn batter into 2 greased and floured 9-in. layer pans. Bake at 350 deg. 30 min. or until cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool slightly, then remove from pans to cool on cake racks. Split cooled layers, if wanted. Fill and frost with desired icing."
    ---"Chocolate Cake With Unusual Twists," Los Angeles Times, August 12, 1968 (p. I20)

    [1977]
    "There is no accounting for the odyssey that some recipe take in traveling from one section of this country to the other. When we printed an old recipe for red velvet cake recently ["Red Devils Cake," Q&A, NYT, March 30, 1977 p. 52], we received numerious replies from readers stating that their recipe was the more accurate. Although the cooking instructions varied in some of them, the ingredients in several were the same. Carolyn A. Knutsen of Kings Point, L.I., was one who wrote, and she noted that hers was, she believed, 'an old Southern standard cake,' one she had obtained from her family in Alabama. She embellishes her cake with a fillign that some other recipes did not include.

    Red Velvet Cake
    The Cake:
    1/2 cup white shortening
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 egg
    2 to 4 tablespoons cocoa
    1/4 cup red food coloring (see note)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 buttermilk
    2 1/2 cups sifted flour
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    The Filling:
    8 tablespoons butter
    1 cup sugar
    8 egg yolks
    1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    2 tablespoons bourbon or rum
    1 cup raisins

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cream together the shortening and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat one minute on medium speed.
    3. Blend the cooca and red food coloring (the amount of coloring may be reduced but the cake will not have its traditional vivid red color) and make a paste. Add this and the salt to the creamed mixture. Blend the vanilla and buttermilk. Alternately add this and the flour to the creamed mixture, beating constantly. Blend the vinegar and soda and beat this in.
    4. Meanwhile, butter and flour two nine-inch cake pans. Shake out the excess flour. Add the cake, batter to each pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes.
    5. Remove the cake layers and let cool on a rack. Turn out.
    6. For the filling, combine the butter, sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan. Set the saucepan in a skillet of boiling water and beat with a wire whisk until thickened. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. Let cool. As the filling stands it will thicken more. Spread between the cake layers and on top. Yield: 8 or more servings.
    Note: This quantity of food coloring sounds excessive. It was the amount listed in several of the recipes. When the recipe was tested recently, we reduced it to about one ounce. If you use the full amount, according to Carolyn Knutsen, 'it is red.'"
    ---"De Gustibus: Red Velvet Cake Return...," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, April 25, 1977 (p. 57)

    The Waldorf-Astoria connection?
    The Waldorf=Astoria Cookbook/John Harrison & Ellen Silverman contains this hotel's "famous" Red Velvet Cake recipe. Which makes us wonder: if this cake was truly intimately connected with this famous hotel from the 1920s forward, why no reference to it in prior books or newspaper articles? The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook/Ted James and Rosalind Cole [c. 1981] does not offer this cake (or anything similar). Coincidentally? Mr. Harrison is also the author of the Neiman Marcus Cookbook. Urban food legends unlimited. Remember the one about the $250 cookie recipe?

    "After years of enduring the myth, Neiman Marcus had some up with a chocolate chip cookie recipe of its own...On the store's Web page...Neiman Marcus traces the tale back to at least the 1930s, when a similar story circulated about the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. That recipe was for Red Velvet Cake, and the reported charge was $100. Jan Harold Brunwald, a folklorist who has written books on urban myths...noted that the Waldorf-Astoria, which did not serve Red Velvet Cake when the stories involving it first circulated, eventually came up with a recipe it distributed, much as Neiman Marcus has done."
    ---"The $250 Cookie Recipe Exposed," Barbara Whitaker, New York Times, July 2, 1997 (p. C1)

    [1989]
    The most famous of all red velvet cakes is perhaps the groom's Armadillo Cake served in the movie Steel Magnolias (1989).

    The practice of creating fantastic beasts from various food began was known to ancient Roman cooks. Only the very wealthy could enjoy such items. As time, place, and taste progressed "illusion food" adapted to suit local needs. Medieval lebkuchen (gingerbread) was often molded/decorated in elaborate shapes. 19th and 20th century cooks regularly used cake as a sculpting medium. Advances in cake molds, ovens, and auxillary props facilitated this task. Wedding cakes were the first to receive such attention. After WWII, directions for fancy cakes baked in molds and assembled from sheet cakes proliferated. Perhaps for express the delight of children growing up in new suburbs?

    Culinary evidence confirms the tradition of serving groom's cake originated in the American south. The first grooms cakes were not clever cake sculptures. Only recently has this tradition become popular throughout the country, assuming (sometimes) the role of "illusion food." Our notes on groom's cake here.


    Mayonnaise cake
    Some food historians tell us Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is a Depression-era dessert "invented" by Best Foods/Hellmann's to promote their Mayonnaise. Why
    mayonnaise? According to food historian Jean Anderson, this ingredient provided an economic substitution for butter and milk. Historic sources confirm cakes including thickened dairy products similar to mayonnaise consistency (most notably sour cream, sour milk and buttermilk) were popular at the time. In both culinary contexts, mayonnaise made sense.

    Was this cake really a "new" invention? No. An examination of early recipes suggest mayonnaise cakes descend from chocolate-infused spice cakes, popular in the early 20th century. Subsequent raisin/nut-free variations were similar to Red Devil cakes. While Hellmann's didn't invent this delicious confection, the company deserves recognition for making it popular.

    "Since 1937, [Hellman's Mayonnaise] has been a main ingredient in a popular cake recipe invented by the wife of a company salesman called, simply, "Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake."
    ---The American Century Cookbook:The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 300)
    [NOTE: Ms. Anderson's book contains a copy of the original 1937 recipe on p. 444]

    The earliest print recipe we find titled "Mayonnaise Cake" was published in 1927. It is entirely possible similar recipes including mayonnaise were published earlier under different names.

    [1927]
    "Mayonnaise Cake.

    1 cup of seeded dates, cut up. 1 cup of walnuts broken up coarsely. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of soda over dates and walnuts and add 1 cup of boiling water to this mixture. Let is stand until cool and then add 1 cup of sugar and 2 cup of flour, 3 heaping teaspoons of ground chocolate, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and little salt. Whip 1 egg in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and add this. Bake in layers or a square sheet."
    ---"Recipes," Oakland Tribune [CA], March 7, 1927 (p. 24)
    [NOTE: recipe does not include oven temperature and cooking time.]

    [1937]
    "Mayonnaise Cake

    (submitted by Mrs. Ellen Campbell, LaSalle)
    3/4 cup mayonnaise
    1 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons ground chocolate
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup dates pitted and cut up fine
    1 cup nut meats cut up fine
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 cup boiling water
    2 cups sifted flour
    Dissolve soda in boiling water. Pour over date and nut mixture. Let stand while mixing sugar and chocolate and mayonnaise together. The add nut mixture and last the two cups of four. Mix well and bake in a loaf pan 30 minutes in moderate oven (350 degrees .)"
    ---"Mrs. Lott is Again Winner Recipe Prize, Greeley Daily Tribune [CO], November 15, 1937 (p. 3)
    [NOTE: This contest was sponsored by the newspaper.]

    [1950]
    "Mayonnaise Cake...simple and inexpensive...This recipe was created by a famous food concern that has been in business for more than 22 years. The main ingredient is pure mayonnaise which is a blending of selected spices and fresh eggs; lemon juice is added to give it a piquancy of flvor. It has a firm, yet fluffy body--not pale, thin or runny...

    "Mayonnaise Cake Diablo
    2 cups sifted cake flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 taspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon soda
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    1 cup cane sugar
    3/4 cup pure mayonnaise
    1 cup water
    1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    Method: Resift flour with other dry ingredients three times. Blend in mayonnaise, water and vanilla. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake at 350 deg. 40 to 50 minutes; or pour into layer cake pans and bake at 350 deg. 30 to 40 minutes."
    ---"Unusual Cakes Add Party Air to Menu," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, October 23, 1950 (p. B4)
    [NOTE: Diablo=Devil. This recipe screams Red Devil with mayo. About Red Devil's cake.]

    [1962]
    "Raisin Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

    1 cup raisins
    2 cups sifted flour
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    1 teaspoon soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    Butter and lightly flour 13X9X2-in. loaf pan. Set aside. Chop raisins. Sift flour with cocoa, soda and salt. Cream mayonnaise and sugar thoroughly. Add flour and water alternately in three additions. Stir in raisins. Turn into prepared pan. Bake at 350 deg. 30 to 35 min. Cool and, if wished, frost with penuche or chocolate frosting. Makes 15 servings."
    ---"Desserts With a Place in the Picnic Basket," Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1962 (p. D13)

    [1981]
    "Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

    1 package (18 1/2 oz) devil's food cake mix
    3 eggs
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
    Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. In large bowl with mixer at low speed beat together cake mix, eggs, water and real mayonnaise until blended. With mixer at medium speed at 2 beat 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans. Bake in 350 degrees F oven 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Frost as desired. Makes 12 to 16 servings."
    ---Favorite Brand Name Recipe Cookbook, editors of Consumer Guide [Beekman House:New York] 1981 (p. 256)

    Current Hellmann's recipe here

    Savour the competition: Kraft's Miracle Whip Cake.
    [1959] "Miracle Whip Cake
    1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
    2 cups flour
    1 cup water
    4 Tbsp. chocolate or cocoa
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. baking powder
    2 Tbsp. vanilla
    Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and chocolate. Add cup of water. Add flavoring. Mix a little water in soda and add to Miracle Whip, but don't beat, until foams. Stir this mixture into chocolate mixture. Pour into two greased 8 or 9 inch layer cake pans and bake at 350 degrees approximately 35 minutes., or until done. For White Cake: Add 4 Tbsp. flour instead of cocoa or chocolate."
    ---"Savory Subjects: Readers' Recipe Exchange," Mansfield News-Journal [OH], November 30, 1959 (p. 6)

    Related recipe? Sour Milk Chocolate Cake.


    Mystery cake (aka Tomato Soup Cake, Tomato Soup Spice Cake)
    Food historians generally place the genesis of Mystery Cake (spice cake made with tomato soup) in the 1930s. Articles published in the 1960s & 1970s state this cake was amazingly popular. The earliest reference we find in print is this from 1928:

    "The opening of the fall season is observed on th menu arranged by Mrs. Mabelle (Chef) Wyman for her demonstrating this afternoon... Under the dessert classification are velvet cake and mystery cake, a culinary idea of Mrs. Wyman's skill."
    ---"Wyman Starts Classes Today," Los Angeles Times, September 18, 1928 (p. A7)
    [NOTE: this snippet is interpreted by some that Mrs. Wyman 'invented' these recipes. We find no print evidence confirming this.]

    "Mystery cake, Campbell's Soup. Cooking with condensed soups (usually Campbell's but Heinz and Hormel also were popular) had really taken hold in the 1920s, but this recipe was one of the first departures from the sauce/aspic oeuvre."
    ---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 76)

    "Mystery cake (Tomato Soup-Spice Cake). Cakes with alien ingredients--sausage meat, an entire bottle of red food coloring--have always intrigued American cooks. But none more so than..."mystery cake," containing a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup. Even M.F.K. Fisher...liked tomato soup cake. She says in How to Cook a Wolf (1942), "This is a pleasant cake, which keeps well and puzzles people while you are cooking other things, which is always sensible and makes you feel rather noble, in itself a small but valuable pleasure." Fisher's recipe differs from the Campbell's in several respects. For starters, it contains only 3 tablespooons butter and one cup sugar...Even leaner than Fisher's version is cookbook author Jim Fobel's Mystery Cake of 1932...which, he says "is one of the few old recipes that can be precisely dated: It was developed in 1932, during the worst of the Depression. In keeping with the rather desperate circumstances of that time, it contains no eggs and very little butter."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 448)

    "During the first thirty years of its history, Campbell quite sparingly published recipes that used soup as a sauce, and when it did, Tomato Soup was usually called for. One of the most long lasting, though perhaps the oddest, was for Tomato Soup Cake; the ingredients were: "2 tbs shortening; 1 c. sugar; 1 egg (well beaten); 1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup; 2 c. flour; 1 tsp. ground cloves; 1/2 tsp. mace; 1/2 tsp. nutmeg; 1/2 tsp. baking soda; and 1 c. seeded raisins."
    ---America's Favorite Food: The Story of Campbell Soup Company, Douglas Collins [Harry N. Abrams:New York] 1994 (p. 125)

    The oldest recipe we found for Mystery Cake/Tomato Soup Cake is this:

    [1932: Marian Manners]

    "Mystery Cake
    Four tablespoonfuls butter; one cupful sugar; one can tomato soup; one teaspoonful soda; two cupfuls cake flour; two teaspoonfuls baking powder; one-half teaspoonful salt; one teaspoonful cinnamon; three-four teaspoonful cloves; three-fourths teaspoonful allspice; one-half cupful seedless raisins; one-half cupful nut meats. Cream shortening and sugar. Add soda to soup and stir until all signs of action disappear. Add to creamed mixture alternately with flour sifted with baking powder, salt and spices. Add raisins and nuts with last of flour. Pour into greased aluminum loaf cake pan and bake one hour (or more) at 350 deg. Let stand one day before serving."
    ---"Requested Recipes," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, November 28, 1932 (p. A6)

    [1941: Campbell Soup Company]

    "Tomato Soup Cake
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon cloves
    1/2 teaspoon mace
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 cup seeded raisins
    2 tablespoons shortening
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg (well beaten)
    1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup
    Sift the flour, measure; add spices, baking soda, baking powder and sift again. Wash and cut raisins and roll in 2 tablespoons of flour mixture. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, and cream well. Add beaten egg and mix thoroughly. Then add flour mixture alternately with the soup. Stir until smooth. Fold in the raisins. Bake in a buttered loaf cake pan 8 by 4 inches in a moderate oven (350-375 degrees F.) For 1 hour."
    ---Easy Ways to Good Meals: 99 Delicious Dishes Made with Campbell's Soups, Campbell Soup Company [Camden NJ] 1941 (p. 36)

    [1942:M.F.K. Fisher's recipe]
    "Tomato Soup Cake

    3 tablespoons butter or shortening
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 can tomato soup
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg, ginger, cloves mixed
    1 1/2 cups raisins, nuts, chopped figs, what you will
    Cream butter, add the sugar, and blend thoroughly. Add the soda to the soup, stirring well, and add this alternately to the first mixture with the flour and spices sifted together. Stir well, and bake in a pan or loaf-tin at 325 degrees F."
    ---How to Cook a Wolf, M.F.K. Fisher (1942) reprinted in The Art of Eating, [Macmillan:New York] 1990 (p. 314)

    [1964: modern iteration]
    "Tomato soup cake was the talk of every city, town and hamlet in the country about 30 years ago. Many modern homemakers still like to bake this moist spice cake studded with raisins. It can be made with a mix, 1960s style, or by the mixed-from-scratch recipe of the 30s.

    Tomato Soup Cake
    2 cups sifted cake flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. soda
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    1/4 tsp. cloves
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    10 1/2-oz. can tomato soup
    1 cup chopped nuts
    1 cup raisins
    Sift together flour, baking pwoder, dosa, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. Cream shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Add sifted dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with soup, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Beat 1 min. longer, then fold in nuts and raisins. Turn into two 8-inch round layer pans whick have been greased and lined on the bottom with paper. Bake at 375 deg. 30 min. Cool 10 min. oin pans, then remove to wire rack to cool thoroughly. Fill and frost with 7-min. or any favorite white frosting.

    "Shortcut Tomato Soup Cake
    Prepare a package of spice cake mix as directed on package, but using a 10 1/2-oz can tomato soup plus 1/4 cup water instead of the liquid called for on the mix packages. Stir in 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup nuts. Bake in two prepared 8-in. round layer pans at 350 deg. 30 to 40 min."
    ---"Tomato Soup Cake--the Dessert That was the Sensation of the 30s," Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1964 (p. D7)

    Related cakes?
    Red Devil, Red Velvet & Chocolate Beet Cake. How much did a can of condensed tomato soup cost in the USA?


    Sponge cake
    Opera cake, Madeleines, Lady fingers, Genoise, Mary Anns & Diet bread

    Food historians generally agree that sponge cake (as we know it today) was probably a European recipe invented in the early 19th century. Prior to this there were recipes for 'biscuit bread' or 'sponge fingers' which would have produced a similar product. Sponge [spunge] cake and it's many variations were used ingredients a several popular Renaissance-era desserts such as English trifle and fooles. Gervase Markham, Robert May, and Elizabeth Raffald [early 17th century English cookbook writers] included recipes for "Fine bread," "Bisquite du Roy," and "Common biscuits," that are close to sponge cake.

    "Sponge cake.
    a light cake made by the whisking method in which egg yolks are beaten with sugar, then flour and other ingredients added...The term 'sponge cake' probably came into use during the 18th century, although the Oxford English Dictionary has no reference earlier than a letter Jane Austen wrote in 1808 (she evidently like sponge cakes)...Towards the end of the 19th century something called a 'sponge-cake pudding' began to appear, but then became simply sponge pudding."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 748)

    "Savoy, a type of sponge cake...The Savoy biscuit arrived in England early in the 18th century. However it did not arrive alone. Other similar 'biscuits', named according to their supposed origins--Naples, Lisbon, or Spanish biscuit--also became popular in England at that time, and the differences between them, if differences there were, no doubt perplexed people then as they do now. When Mrs. Mary Eales gave a recipe for 'spunge biscuits' in her Receipts (1718), the situation became clearer, since this phrase conveys to British ears the correct impression, whereas terms such as 'Savoy biscuit' suggests something different. Morever, Mrs. Eales specified that the biscuits should be baked 'in little long pans', which corresponds to the shape of modern sponge fingers (or Boudoir biscuits)"
    ---Oxford (p. 702)

    OPERA CAKE

    L'Opera cake/gateau is a 20th century recipe with Ancient roots. Not unlike Tiramasu.

    The practice of layering cakes with sweet substances (honey), intoxicating liquors (wine) and accented with nut flavorings (almonds) was a particular favorite of ancient middle-eastern cooks. The Romans adopted/adapted this recipe and took it with them when they conquered Europe. It is no accident that 16th century English cooks created "trifle." Chocolate and coffee were introduced to Europe in the 16th-17th centuries but (due to economics) were not incorporated into recipes until the 19th century. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson (p. 748) sponge cake was also created in the 19th century. Also related to L'Opera gateau are Genoise (almond-flavored sponge with various decorations and fillings) and Savoy (sponge made by beating egg yolks and whites beaten separately). About sponge cake.

    "Opera gateau is an elaborate almond sponge cake with a coffee and chocolate filling and icing."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated, [Clarkson Potter:2001] (p. 814)

    "A classic for the past twenty years, the Opera was created for those who unabashedly choose chocolate and butter cream over fruit desserts. What makes this low, flat cake more modern than any of its predecessors is its shape (usually square or rectangular), and its undecorated sides that show all the layers. L'Opera is traditionally composed of layers of Biscuit Joconde, an almond sponge, that have been thoroughly soaked with coffee syrup...Some pastry shops decorate the top with the word Opera, written in panach with all the swirls that the French love so much..."
    ---New French Baker, Sheila Linderman [William Morrow:New York] 1998 (p. 66)

    "Opera cake. This is a classic chocolate-coffee cake that I believe was first made in the 1930s for an important French-American reception held at the Paris Opera."
    ---La Nouvelle Patisserie, Jean-Yves Duperret [Viking:New York] 1988 (p. 155)

    MADELEINES (sponge recipe)
    The food historians haven't quite determined the exact origin of the Madeleine as of yet. Their connection to Marcel Proust is his reference to them in the opening lines of his autobiography Remembrances of Things Past.
    Proust's original text.

    "In culinary lore, Madeleines are always associated with Marcel Proust, whose autobiographical novel, Remembrance of Things Past, begins as his mother serves him tea and "those short, plump little cakes called petits madeleines, which look as though they had been molded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell." The narrator dips a corner of a little cake into the tea and then is overwhelmed by memories; he realizes that the Madeleines bore "in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast tructure of recollection." ...But Madeleines had existed long before Proust's boyhood. Numerous stories, none very convincing, attribute their invention to a host of different pastry cooks, each of whom supposedly named them for some particular young woman. Only three things are known for sure. One is that Madeleine is a French form of Magdalen (Mary Magdalen, a disciple of Jesus, is mentioned in all four gospels). Another is that Madeleines are always associated with the little French town of Commercy, whose bakers were said to have once, long ago, paid a "very large sum" for the recipe and sold the little cakes packed in oval boxes as a specialty in the area. Finally, it is alow known that nuns in eighteenth-century France frequently supported themselves and their schools by making and selling a particular sweet...Commercy once had a convent dedicated to St. Mary Magdelen, and the nuns, probably when all the convents and monastaries of France were abolished during the French Revolution, sold their recipe to the bakers for an amount that grew larger with each telling."
    ---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens] 1998 (p. 178)

    "Madeleine, a small French cake associated with the town of Commercy in Lorraine...Legends about the origin of the name are critically discussed by Claudine Brecourt-Villars [Mots de table, mots de bouche, Paris:Stock 1996]. Madeleines have earned themselves an immortal place in literature, as the taste on one dipped in limeflower tisane provided the basis for Marcel Proust's celebrated reference to them, and the phrase a madeleine of Proust...The name madeleine has also been applied, for reasons which are obscure, to an English product: a small individual sponge cake in the shape of a truncated cone, covered in jam and dessicated coconut, and surmounted with a glace cherry."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 468)

    "Madeleine...The origin of this seashell cake so strictly pleated outside and so sensual inside" (Marcel Proust) is the subject of much discussion. It has been attributed to Avice, chef to Tallyrand, the French statesman, who had the idea of baking a pound-cake mixture in aspic moulds. Other authorities, however, believe that the recipe is much older and originated in the French town of Commercy, which was then a duchy under the rule of Stansilaw Leszczynski. It is said that during a visit to the castle in 1755 the duke was very taken with a cake made by a peasant girl named Madeleine. This started the fashion for madeleines (as they were named by the duke), which were then launched in Versailles by his daughter Marie, who was married to Louis XV. The attribution of the cake to Madeleine Paumier, cordon-bleu to a rich burgher of Commercy, seems doubtful."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 709)

    "Madeleine...A chronicler of the history of pastry-making ways that the great pastry-cook, Avice, when he was working for Prince Talleyrand, invented the madeleine. He had the idea of using tot-fait or quatre-quarts mixture for little cakes baked in an aspic mould. M. Boucher and Careme approved of the idea. He gave the name of madeleines to these cakes.' (Lacam, Memorial de la patisserie.). Other authorities, however, hold that far from having been invented by Avice, these little cakes were known in France long before his time. They believe that they were first made at Commercy, and were brought into fashion about 1730, first at Versailles and then in Paris, by Stanislas Leczinski, father-in-law of Louis XV, who was very partial to them. The recipe for Madeleines remained a secret from a very long time. It is said that it was sold for a very large sum to the pastry-makers of Commercy who made of this great delicacy one of the finest gastronomic specialties of their own."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne, edited by Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud [Crown:New York] 1961 (p. 603-4)

    Recipes for madeleines have changed over time:

    [1890's]
    "1290. Madeleines

    These are made with the same kind of batter as Genoese cakes, to which currants, dried cherries, candied peel or angelica may be added. When the batter is ready, let it be poured into a sufficient number of small fluted or plain dariole or madeleine moulds (previously buttered inside); these must be placed on a baking-sheet spread with some charcoal ashes, to the depth of half an inch, and then baked in an oven of a moderate heat. When they are done, turn them out of the moulds, and dish them up in a pyramid form. These cakes may also be partially emptied, then filled up with some kind of preserve, and the small circular piece, removed previously to taking out the crumb, should be replaced."
    ---Francatelli's Modern Cook, Charles Elme Francatelli [David Mckay:Philadelphia] 1890s (p. 442)

    [1941]
    "French Madeleine

    4 eggs
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups butter, melted
    Rum, if desired
    Vanilla extract or lemond rind
    Work the eggs and sugar in a double boiler until creamy and lukewarm. Remove from the fire and beat until cold. Add the flour gradually, mixing with a wooden spoon, the butter and the rum, if desired, vanilla extract or grated lemon rind. Butter and flour the Madeleine molds, fill them 2/3 full. Bake in a hot oven about 450 degrees F. Yields 24 to 30 small Madeleines."
    ---Cooking a la Ritz, Louis Diat [J.B. Lippincott Company:Philadelphia] 1941 (p. 424-5)
    [NOTE: Mr. Diat also offers a recipe for "Viennese Madeleine," which includes marzipan, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, melted butter and cornstarch.]

    About sponge.

    Lady Baltimore Cake
    Lady Baltimore cake descends from the light egg-white tradition of lady cakes. Delicate, smooth, and creamily iced, they were popular from the mid-19th century forwards. As one might suspect, there are several recipe variations. Although the name suggests this is a traditional Maryland confection, evidence strongly suggests the cake originated in Charleston, South Carolina.
    Lord Baltimore cake is an egg-yolk rich counterpart of questionable origin.

    What is a Lady Baltimore Cake?
    "Lady Baltimore Cake. A moist, pure white, three-layer cake made with a filing of chopped pecans, raisins, and other dried fruit, such as figs, and a billowy white frosting, usually made with boiled icing. The cake, which uses egg whites only, not yolks, in the batter, has a delicate fine-grained texture. Lady Baltimore cake is a traditional cake that was originally a specialty of the city of Charleston, South Carolina."
    ---International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections, Carole Bloom [Hearst Books:New York] 1995 (p. 169)

    For whom was it named?
    "Lady Baltimore Cake...A legendary dessert, famous throughout the South. This cake is said to have originated with the first Lord Baltimore's wife, for serving at afternoon teas."
    --- Chesapeake Bay Cookbook: Rediscovering the Pleasures of a Great Regional Cuisine, John Shields [Aris Books:Berkeley CA] 1990 (p. 59)

    Where did it originate?
    "Lady Baltimore Cake. A white cake filled with nuts and raisins and covered with a vanilla-and-egg-white frosting. There are several stories of how the cake was named, but he most accepted version concerns a cake by this name baked by a Charleston, South Carolina, belle named Alicia Rhett Mayberry for novelist Owen Wister, who not only described the confection in his next book but named the novel itself Lady Baltimore (1906). In American food (1974) Evan Jones noted that 'it may also be true that the 'original' recipe became the property of the Misses Florence and Nina Ottolengui, who managed Charleston's Lady Baltimore Tea Room for a quarter of a century and annually baked and shipped to Owen Wister one of the very American cakes his novel had help to make famous.'"
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1997 (p. 179)

    "Despite the fact that the original Lady Baltimore was a yellow cake, the version most Americans now accept as the classic is a silver cake made with plenty of stiffly beaten egg whites. Even James Beard, the dean of American cooking, offers the egg-white version in American Cookery (1972). Charleston Receipts (1950) prints both versions. When did the shift from whole eggs to whites occur? The earliest whites-only Lady Baltimore I could find appears in Good Housekeeping's Book of Menus, Recipes and Household Discoveries (1922). It calls for nine egg whites, confectioners' sugar instead of granulated, and rose extract for flavor. Nearer the Lady Baltimores of today is the one in All About Home Baking, a slim volume of recipes put out by General Foods in 1933. Here, Lady Baltimore is introduced as a 'butter cake which uses egg whites only.' My hunch is that General Foods publicized its Lady Baltimore in Swans Down Cake Flour ads, possibly on package labels, too, which would explain why silver cake versions have eclipsed the whole-egg original."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 426)

    "Each year at Christmas time hundreds of white boxes to out of Charleston to all parts of the country bearing the round, the tall, the light, the fragile, the ineffable Lady Baltimore cakes. There are several ladies of old descent who make an excellent living baking these famous cakes.You have seen Lady Baltimore cakes on many a menu, but it usually means something altogether different from the real Charleston delicacy. By no stretch of the imagination could this cake be called economical, but its goodness makes one willing to forget its eight eggs!"
    ---200 Years of Charleston Cooking, recipes gathered by Blanche S. Rhett, edited by Lettie Gay [Random House:New York] 1930, revised edition 1934 (p. 172)

    [1930]
    "Lady Baltimore Cake (The original recipe)

    Beat one-half cupful of butter and two cupfuls of sugar to a cream. Add three-fourths of a cupful of sweet milk slowly to this mixture, stirring steadily. Sift two heaping teaspoonfuls of the baking-powder with two and one-half cupfuls of flour. Stir the flour into the sugar, butter, and milk, and stir until smooth. Beat the whites of eight eggs to a stiff, dry froth. Fold these carefully into the batter, add a few drops of almond extract, and turn into three greased layer cake tins. Bake in a moderately quick often. Filling: Boil three cupfuls of sugar with one of the water for ten minutes. Beat the whites of two eggs to a stiff froth. Pour the syrup upon these eggs, beating steadily until a meringue is formed which will spread. Flavor with vanilla. Add two cupfuls of raisins, seeded and torn, or cut in pieces, not chopped, and two cupfuls of English walnuts and almonds, mixed and chopped fine. One-half of this rule is sufficient for the filling for three layers, if more plain frosting is made for top and outside of cake."
    ---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride & Company:New York] 1930 (p. 114-115)

    [1930, 1934]
    "Lady Baltimore Cake II

    It was this recipe which was used at the Woman's Exchange when Owen Wister wrote Lady Baltimore.
    1/2 cup butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs, separated
    1 cup milk
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt.
    Cream the butter and sugar, add the beaten egg yolks and beat well. Mix and sift the flour and baking powder twice, then sift slowly into the first mixture, adding the milk gradually. Fold in the beaten egg whites last of all. Bake in three well-buttered layer cake pans in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees F.) for about twenty-five minutes. When the layers are baked, our the soft filling given below on each layer before you put on the hard filling. It is this filling with the indefinite flavor which makes this cake so distinctive.
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup walnut meats
    1/4 cup water
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract.
    Put the sugar, walnut meats and water into a saucepan and cook to the very soft ball stage (234 degrees F.). Remove from the fire and let cool until lukewarm (110 degrees F.). Add the flavorings and beat until slightly thickened before pouring on cake.
    For the hard filling use
    2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup water
    2 egg whites
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    Juice of 12 lemon
    1 cup chopped raisins
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    bring the sugar and water to the boiling point and cook until it will form a firm ball (246 degrees F.). Pour slowly over the stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly, and continue beating until cool, adding the raisins, nuts, flavoring and lemon juice as it begins to harden.--Alicia Rhett Mayberry."
    ---200 Years of Charleston Cooking (p. 174-175) [NOTE: This book also provides two additional Lady Baltimore Cake recipes.]

    [1932]
    "Lady Baltimore Cake.

    One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, one cup of milk, three and a half cups of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon of rose water. Add the whites of six eggs. Bake in three layers in hot oven. In the icing add a cup of raisins and nuts (pecans preferred), and about five figs cut fine or in thin strips.--Mrs. William T. Delaplaine, Frederick County"
    ---Eat, Drink and Be Merry in Maryland: An Anthology from a Great Tradition, Frederick Philip Steiff [G.P. Putnam's Sons:New York] 1932 (p. 217)

    [1990]
    Lady Baltimore Cake
    Makes one 9-inch cake, serves 8
    1 cup (1/2 pound) butter, softened
    2 cups sugar
    3 1/2 cups flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cups milk
    6 egg whites
    Lady Baltimore Filling and Frosting
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add extract to milk. Add a little of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and mix in. Then stir in a little of the milk. Alternately add the remaining dry and wet ingredients in small amounts until both are completely incorporated. Beat until a smooth batter is formed. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into the batter, one third at a time. Pour into 2 greased and floured, 9-inch round cake pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in pans, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Prepare frosting and filling while cake layers are cooling, then fill and frost.
    Lady Baltimore Filling and Frosting
    4 egg whites
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    2/3 cup water
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 cup chopped raisins
    3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    8 figs, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons Cognac
    In the top pan of a double boiler, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and water. Beat with electric beater over simmering water until soft peaks form. This takes 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from water and beat in vanilla. Continue beating until the frosting is stiff. Put aside half of the frosting. Beat into the remaining half of the frosting the raisins, nuts, figs, and Cognac. Use this mixture as a filling between the 2 layers of the cake. Ice the entire cake with the reserved frosting."
    ---Chesapeake Bay Cookbook (p. 59-60)

    LORD BALTIMORE CAKE
    What is Lord Baltimore Cake? A richer egg-yolk intense version of popular
    Lady Baltimore Cake most likely *invented* by food companies to promote their products.

    "A light-textured golden cake baked in three layers and filled with a mixture of boiled icing blended with crushed macaroons, chopped pecans or almonds, and candied cherries. The cake is frosted with billowy white boiled icing. The story is that this cake was created to use up the egg yolks leftover from making Lady Baltimore Cake."
    ---International Dictionary of Desserts (p. 178)

    Where did it originate?

    "I haven's been able to pinpoint the arrival of Lord Baltimore Cake; certainly I've found no recipes for it in early-twentieth-century cookbooks. Earlier cookbooks either. Presumably this cake was developed to use up all the yolks left over after making the silver cake version of Lady Baltimore."
    ---American Century Cookbook (p. 427)

    The legend of origin:
    "Lord Baltimore Cake...After sampling his wife's egg white-laden cake...Maryland's firs t governor, Lord Baltimore, notces the large amount of egg yolks her ladyship was letting go to waste. After giving her a sound tongue-lashing, the governor snatched the yolks form his wife and dashed off to the kitchen looking for the manor's head cook, Miss Florine. Putting their heads together, Lord Baltimore and Florine worked into the wee hours of the morning sipping sherry and perfecting a yolk-rich cake. As the sun was rising, and with the sherry nearly gone, Lord Baltimore and MIss Florine, in a fit of culinary ecstasy, threw everything but the kitchen sink...into the mixing bowl to provide a filling for their masterpiece. The result was a richly textured cake and one of the most festive fillings since the Queen of Sheba's birthday cake in 900 B.C. During my research I was unable to confirm the complete accuracy of the details of this historic occasion. Since my grandfather recounted this tale at every Fourth of July cookout, however, I am sure it is very close to what actually happened."
    ---Chesapeake Bay Cookbook (p. 102)

    [1933]
    "Lord Baltimore Cake

    Recipe makes 3 8-inch round layers or 2 8X8X2 inch square layers
    Temperature: 365 degrees F. Time: about 30 minutes
    1 3/4 cups Pillsbury's Sno Sheen Cake Flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 cup sugar
    8 egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup milk.
    1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
    2. Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly.
    3. Beat egg yolks until thick and light colored. Add to creamed mixture and beat smooth. Add flavoring and mix well.
    4. Add flour mixture and milk alternately. Beat well.
    5. Bake in greased pans, lined with waxed paper, in moderate often.
    6. Invert on wire rack to cool. When cool, spread Lord Baltimore Filling between layers and sprinkle powdered sugar on top, or cover with Boiled Frosting.
    Lord Baltimore Filling
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup light corn syrup
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 egg whites
    1/2 teaspoon orange extract
    1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
    2 tablespoons macaroon crumbs
    1/3 cup chopped almonds
    10 Maraschino cherries, cut fine.
    1. Boil sugar, water, corn syrup and salt tot eh firm ball stage, or 248 degrees F.
    2. Pour slowly over stilly beaten egg whites, beating constantly.
    3. Beat until frosting is cold and holds its shape. Add flavorings. Spread between layers as it begins to stiffen.
    4. Roll macaroons until pulverized; add with cherries and nuts to filling.
    5. Cover cake with Boiled or Seven Minute Frosting, which my be delicately tinted. Garnish with a border of cherries.
    For the Inquiring Cook: An all egg yolk cake must be beaten very vigorously from beginning to end. Incorporate all the air possible throughout the mixing."
    ---Balanced Recipes, prepared under the personal direction of Mary Ellis Ames, Head of the staff of Pillsbury's Cooking Service [Pillsbury Flour Mills Company:Minneapolis MN] 1933 -(recipe card #44)

    [1990]
    "Lord Baltimore Cake

    Makes one 9-inch cake, serves 8
    2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 cup (1/2 pound) butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    8 egg yolks
    3/4 cup milk
    1 teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract
    Lord Baltimore Filling and Frosting
    Candied cherry halves, for garnish
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F,
    Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light in color and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix well. Alternately, add the dry ingredients and the milk in small portions to the batter. Mix well. Add the extract and mix well. Pour the batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in pans, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Prepare frosting and filling while cake is cooling, then fill and frost. Garnish with cherry halves.
    Lord Baltimore Filling and Frosting
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup water
    2 egg whites
    Pinch salt
    1/21 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup macaroon crumbs
    1/2 cup chopped black walnuts
    1/4 cup chopped almonds
    1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon sweet sherry
    Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil until a syrup forms, about 10 minutes, In a bowl beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form Pour a little of the boiling syrup into the egg whites and beat well. Continue cooking the syrup until thin threads form from the tip of a spoon that is dipped in and then pulled out of the syrup (about 230 F. on a candy thermometer). Beat the syrup into the egg-white mixture. Ad the vanilla. Continue beating until the frosting is stiff and forms tall peaks. Transfer two thirds of the frosting to another bowl and put aside. Beat the macaroon crumbs, walnuts, almonds, cherries, lemon juice, and sherry into the remaining one third of the frosting. Use this nut mixture as a filling between the layers of the cake. Ice the entire cake with the reserved frosting."
    ---Chesapeake Bay Cookbook (p. 102-103)

    ladyfingers
    The recipe for ladyfingers (aka biscuits a la cuilliers, boudoir biscuits) originated in Europe (likely England, France, Italy, or Spain); the name is English. Food historians tell us these small sponge cakes were "invented" in the 18th century. About
    sponge cake/biscuits.

    "Ladyfinger. A light sponge-cake biscuit. The name comes from the usual shape of the confection, which is long and narrow, light and delicate...The word often appears in the possessive, "Lady's finger," and the plural, "ladies' fingers," and was first mentioned by John Keats in his poem The Cap and Bells (1820). Ladyfingers have long been a popular confection in America, where some recipes call for the pastry to be pushed through a pastry tube."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 179)

    "Boudoir biscuits are in effect the same as sponge biscuits or sponge fingers, ladyfingers (N. America) and savoy biscuits (an older term). They are long, finger-shaped, crisp sponge biscuits based on whisked egg and sugar mixtures with a crystallized sugar topping. In France they are also called biscuits a la cuiller. Helen J. Saberi (1995) has investigated the history and significance of the unusual name "boudoir biscuits'. Although boudoir entered the English language from French long ago and its application to these biscuits could therefore have arisen in England, it seems clear that the French were the first to use the name. Boudoir comes from the French verb bouder, to pout, and normally refers to a woman's private room where she would receive only her intimate friends--who could pout and nibble sponge fingers as much as they wished in this cloistered environment."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davison [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 90-1)

    "Ladyfingers are dry, airy cakes, often with a sugar crust which are made by piping a stiffly whipped egg-and-flour batter into diminutive oblongs. The sponge batter used for lady fingers was developed in Europe by the seventeenth century to produce Naples or Savoy biscuits. Introduced to colonial America under those names, the cakes were often baked in specially designed tins or paper cases of varying sizes and shapes. The term "ladies' fingers" was used in America no later than the 1820s, although recipes for Savoy biscuits, in which one puts the batter "into the biscuit funnel, and lay it out about the length and size of your finger."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 25)

    The line from Keats read thusly:
    "Fetch me that Ottoman, and prithee keep your voice low," said the Emperor; "and steep some lady's-fingers nice in Candy wine."

    Ladyfingers and similar products are used to compose English trifles, Zuppa Inglese, and Tiramisu. Notes here.

    A SURVEY OF LADY FINGER RECIPES THROUGH TIME:

    [1828]
    "Biscuits a la Cuilliere.
    Take a silver spoon, and use the same paste as above (Savoy Biscuits, cold). To dress savoy biscuits, and biscuits a la Cuilliere, you must glaze them with fine sugar, and bake them in a very temperate oven."
    ---The French Cook, Louis Eustache Ude, English facsimile 1828 reprint [Arco Publishing:New York] 1978 t(p. 417)

    [1869]
    Finger Biscuits.

    Break 6 eggs; put the whites in the whipping bowl, and the yolks in a basin; To the latter add 1/2 lb of pounded sugar, and stir for five minutes; Whip the whites very firm; then put them in the basin containing the yolks, adding 5 oz. of sifted flour; mix thoroughly. Take a sheet of stiff paper, and shape it into a funnel; secure it with sticking paste; and when dry, fill it with the biscuit paste; close the top, by folding over the paper, and cut off the end of the funnel, making an opening 3/4 inch diameter; Force some of the paste out of the funnel, on a sheet of paper, in the shape of a finger 3 inches long, 1 inch wide; leaving an inch space between each biscuit; dredge come sifted sugar over them; put them on a baking-sheet, and bake in a moderate oven for ten minutes; let the biscuits cool on the paper; then take them off, and dress them on a dish; The biscuits are flavoured by the addition of vanilla, lemon, or orange flower."
    ---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, & Marston:London] 1869(p. 204)

    [1875]
    "Lady Fingers.
    Whisk four fresh eggs thoroughly, the whites and the yokes separately. Mix smoothly with the yolks three ounces of powdered sugar and three ounces of flour, add the whites, and afterwards a quarter of a pint of rose-water. Beat all together for some minutes. Have ready a well-buttered baking tin, form the paste upon it with a spoon in "fingers," three inches long and three-quarters of an inch wide, sift a little powdered sugar over them, let them stand five or six minutes to melt the sugar, then put them into a moderate oven, and bake until they are lightly browned. When cool, put them in pairs, and keep them in a tin canister closely covered until wanted for use. Time to bake, about twenty mintues. Probable cost, 8d. Sufficient for two dozen fingers."
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 352)

    The other food sometimes referred to as "Lady fingers" [by the British] is okra. If this is the food you want, check here for notes.

    Genoise
    Genoise is one of several types of sponge cake. According to the food historians, this cake was *invented* in the early 19th century. About
    sponge cake. There are also other confections known by this geographic appelation. Genoa Cake, for one. These are somewhat similar in ingredients.

    The Genoa connection
    Presumably, these recipes are connected with the Italian city of the same name. This busy trading port served as one of several crossroads for importing/exporting foods from Arab countries throughout Europe. These included ingredients generally found in geneoise: almonds, currants, raisins, citrus and spices.

    "Genoa's position in the Mediterranean in summed up in the medieval proverb genuensis ergo mercator, a Genoese therefore a trader. In the eleventh century, the Arabs began losing their position to the Normans in Sicily. The decline of Arab supremacy meant the rise of the other powers like Genoa. But by the late fourteenth cetnury, Genoa was in danger of falling to foreign domination and decadence. The enterprising Genoese avoided this fate by exploring new ways to assure a prosperous future. Commerica interests from northern Europe, with their expertise in building mountain roads, found Genoa suitable for their entry into the profitable shipping trade, and by the fifteenth century Genoa was the leading financial city of the world. Genoa played an early role as an intermediary between Seville and the New World and forged an alliance with Spain in 1528...The Ariadne's thread throughout Genoa's history is the concern for a reliable food supply...The Genoises were their own principal customers of food, and the luxuries of the East--which made them rich--were reexported at high profit. Genoa traded with whomever could provide food."
    ---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 348)

    What makes Genoise special and how is used?
    "Genoise. A type of sponge cake...but is not to be confused with Genoa cake, which is really a type of light fruit cake. Whole eggs are beaten with sugar until thick, and the flour then folded in. This type of sponge may be simply dusted with icing sugar and eaten plain; or split and filled with jam and cream, or butter icing. The top may also be iced. Sheets of genoise are used to make Swiss rolls. Genoise-type mixtures are also made into sponge fingers...and French Madeleines."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 334)

    "Genoese Sponge, genoise. A light sponge cake that takes its name from the city of Genoa. Genoise sponge is made of eggs and sugar whisked over heat until thick, then cooled and combined with flour and melted butter. It can be enriched with ground almonds or crystallized (candied) fruits and flavoured with liqueur, the rind (zest) of citrus fruits or vanilla. Genoese sponge...differs from ordinary sponge cake in that the eggs are beaten whole, whereas in the latter the yolks and whites are usually beaten separately. Genoise sponge is the basis of many filled cakes. Cut into two or more layers, thich may be covered with jam, cream, or fruit puree. It is coated, iced (frosted) and decorated as required."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated [Clarkston Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 55)

    Sample historic recipes:

    [1869]
    "Genoise Cake.

    Put in a basin:
    1/2 lb. of pounded sugar
    1/2 lb. of sifted sugar
    1 small pinch of salt,
    the grated peel of a lemon,
    4 eggs;
    Mix the whole, with a wooden spoon;
    Melt 1/2 lb. Of butter in a stewpan; pour it in the paste; and mix thoroughly; Slightly butter a plain-pudding mould; put the paste in it, and bake for three quarters of an hour; ascertain if the cake is done, by inserting the blade of a small knife;--if it somes out damp, the cake is not quite done, and should be left in the oven a few minutes longer; Turn the cake out of the mould; let it cool; and serve."
    --Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated from the French and adapted for English use by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marson:London] 1869 (p. 203)

    [1875]
    Genoese Cake.

    Melt half a pound of butter by letting it stand near the fire. Mix thoroughly half a bound of flour, half a pound of sugar, a pinch of salt, and the finely-minced rind of a lemon. make them into a paste with a wine-glassful of brandy, four eggs, well beaten, and the clarified butter. Beat for te minutes with a wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into a well-buttered pie-dish, and bake in a moderate oven. When the cake is sufficently cooked (this may be ascertained by pushing a skewer into it, and if it comes out dry and clean it is done enough), take it out, and cover it with sugar and blanched almonds (see Genoa Cake). Time, three quarters of an hour to bake, a quarter of an hour extra to brown the almonds. Sufficient for a pudding-dish two inches deep and five inches square. Probable cost, 1 s. 6 d., exclusive of the brandy."
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1975 (p. 247-248)

    [1875]
    Genoa Cake.

    Mix a quarter of a pound of currants, a quarter of a pound of raisins, a quarter of a pound of candied lemon, orange and citron together--all being finely minced--as much powdered cinnamon as will stand on a threepenny piece, six table-spoonfuls of moist sugar, half a pound of flour, and the finely-chopped rind of a fresh lemon. Beat these ingredients for several minutes, with half a pound of clarified butter, four well-beaten eggs, and two table-spoonfuls of brandy. put the mixture in a well-buttered shallow tin, and bake about three-quarters of an hour. Mix the white of an egg with a table-spoonful of sherry. Brush the top of the cake with this, and strew them finely--chopped blanched almonds on the surface. Put it in the oven a few minutes longer, to brown the almonds slightly. Probable cost, 1s. 10d., exclusive of the brandy. Sufficient for a tin two and a half inches deep, and four inches square."
    ---ibid (p. 247)

    What was 18th century "diet bread?"
    "Diet bread" (also "diet cake", "diet biscuits,"
    "dier bread") was a small sponge cake or biscuit in 18th-19th century England and America. There is nothing particularly striking about this recipe in either ingredients or method. Except? Its simplicity.

    "Diet bread seems to have been of varying composition, but one early type calls for a batter resembling that for lady fingers..."
    ---Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:New York] 1980 (p. 349)

    "Diet bread, sponge cake...1830 Huntington (Pa.) Gazette 15 Sep. 4/5 [Recipes] Diet Bread. Sponge Cake. Dough Cake."
    ---A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles, Mitford M. Mathews editor [University of Chicago Press:Chicago IL] 1951 (p. 485)

    Why the name?
    Good question. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Diet Bread" was consumed by sick people: "diet-bread n. special bread prepared for invalids or persons under dietetic regimen. 1617 S. Collins Epphata to F. T. ii. ix. 357 To feede them with such dirt for diet-bread. 1824 M. R. Mitford Our Village (1863) I. 223 Drinking her green tea, eating her diet-bread, begging her gowns." Unfortunately, we cannot tell from these quotes what the recipe was or why it was called such. The Oxford English Dictionary and Samuel Johnson's Dictionary [1755] provide several period meanings for the word "diet." None of them strike us as the obvious reason for a recipe title.

    Curiously? The recipes we found for "Diet bread" were grouped with cakes and biscuits, not invalid cookery. Descriptions in period newspapers couple diet-bread with plum cakes and sweetmeats, suggesting they were consumed by the wealthier classes. "Healthy breads" of the period were generally called "Dyspepsia Bread" and "Graham's Bread." While Colonial Americans had a sense of food and body connection, we find no evidence they thought in terms of eating for weight reduction (think: Hollywood bread), as we do today.

    Dier bread?
    A late 19th century article suggests diet bread was sometimes pronounced as "dier" or "dyer." The OED defines the word "dier" is as someone who is dying. We might infer from this historic observation "diet bread" was recommended for young folks over richer cakes. The same rule logically hold true for the aged and infirm. The key: "diet bread" is devoid of standard period culinary riches: spices, dried exotic fruits and rich cream. This makes sense.

    "Cousin Susan's cupboard also contained stronger waters than tamarind, for side by side sat two corpulent cutglass decanters, of which one was half filled with madeira wine, and the other with honest rum. A variety of sweet cakes was near by, to be served with the wine to any chance visitor. There were black fruit cake in a japanned box; hearts and rounds of rich yellow pound cake; and certain delicate but in one little sponge biscuit, of which our cousin spoke by the older-fashioned name of diet or, as she chose to pronounce it, dier bread. She always called the sponge cakes little dier breads. Pound and fruit cakes were forbidden to our youth, but we might have our ladylike fill of dier breads, and also of delightful seed - cakes, which were cut in the shape of an oak-leaf, and were marvels of sugary thinness. These seed-cakes, by the bye, were kept in a jar which deserves at least a passing mention. It was, I suppose, some two or three feet high, though it looked to me then much higher. It was of blue-and-white china, and was fitted with a cover of dull silver. Tradition stated that some seafaring ancestor had brought it home from Calcutta, filled with rock-candy. What was done with so large a supply of this confection I never knew. In those days choice sugar- plums were not as plenty as they have since become; possibly at the time blackjacks and gibraltars were unknown, and this was Salems only candy. At all events, it is somewhere recorded that the ship Belisarius brought from Calcutta ten thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven pounds of this same rocky and crystalline dainty. The fact of such a quantity of candy had for us children a superb and opulent significance. What an idea, to have a choice confection, not by the stick or beggarly ounce, but by the jarful! To think of going and casually helping ones self at will! To imagine lifting that silver lid, and gazing unreproved into the sugary depths I Perhaps nice, white - haired spinsters used it in glittering lumps to sweeten their tea, or even served it at table by the plateful, as one might serve cake. Fancy exhausted itself in all sorts of delightful speculations. The whole legend had a profuse and mythical sound. It was like a fairy tale, a scene from Arabian Nights. It threw about the jar and the cupboard a mystic charm which time fails to efface. Even now a stick of sparkling rock-candy has power to call up cousin Susans dining-room cupboard, its sweet, curious perfume, the quaint old silver and blue china, and the huge turkey-feather fan, with its wreath of brilliant painted flow- ers, which hung on the inside of the door."
    ---
    ; "Out of Old Salem Cupboards," Atlantic Monthly, February 1886

    Historic recipe sampler

    [1736]
    "XII. To make a Diet Loaf.

    Take 9 Eggs, beat them with 3 Quarts of a lib. of Sugar, till they be thick and white, take 2 Drop of Cinnamon, 2 Drop of Nutmeg, 2 Drop of Cloves, a Quarter of an Ounce of Carvey-seed [caraway seed], 3 Quarts of a lb. of Flour, mix all together, and put it in your Frame, and send it to the Oven."
    ---Mrs. McLintock's Receitps for Cookery and Pastry-Work, facsimile 1736 edition [Aberdeen University Press:Glascow] 1986 (p. 5)

    [1753]
    "To Make Diet Bread.
    Dry and beat a Pound of Loaf-sugar; then take three Quarters of a Pound of Flour dried, seven Eggs, Yoks and Whites; whisk your Eggs with two Spoonfuls of Orange-flower-water, and two Spoonfuls of Water, Half an Hour; then shake in your Sugar, and beat them with a Spoon a Quarter of an Hour; and put in your Flour, and beat it another Quarter; bake them in Tin-pans, put Paper within your pans well floured; an Hour bakes them; put them into your Pans just as you put them into the Oven."
    ---The Lady's Companion, 6th edition, Volume II [J. Hodges:London] 1753 (p. 212-3)

    [1763]
    "They were received very graciously, had the honor to kiss his Majesty's hand, and enteretained with diet-bread, plum-cakes and caudle."
    ---"London," London Evening Post, August 23, 1763 (p. 3)

    [1785]
    "...Harry carried my own bundle...to the coach, and some plum-cake, and diet-bread, made for me over-night, and some sweet meats, and six bottles of Canary wine..."
    ---"Pamela," Novelist Magazine, January 1, 1785 (p. 68)

    [1825]
    "Diet Bread.
    --one pound of flour, one of sugar, nine eggs, leaving out some of the whites, a little mace and rose water."
    ---"Recipes for the Ladies," The New England Farmer, and Horticultural Register, August 5, 1825; 4, 2; (p. 13)

    [1844]
    "296. Diet Bread.

    Mix a pound of sifted flour with a pound of powdered sugar; stir into the mixture, very gradually, eight well-beaten eggs; season with essence of lemon, rose-water, or to taste; and bake fifteen or twenty minutes."
    ---The Improved Housewife or Book of Receipts, Mrs. A.L. Webster [sterotyped by Richard H. Hobbs:Hartford CT] 1844 (p. 114)

    [1847]
    "Diet Bread.

    One pound of sifted flour, one pound of fine sugar, one teaspoonfujl of salt, and nine eggs. Make and finish the same as sponge cake'" (p. 307)

    "Diet Biscuit.
    Beat the yolks of four eggs for ten minutes, with half a pound of powdered sugar, and rather less flour, beat the whites and the yolks to a high froth, flavor with a teaspoonful of salt and essence of lemon or orange flower water, add the whites to the yolks, stir them gently together, and bake in small tins in a quick oven."
    ---The American System of Cookery, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 310)

    [1850]
    "Diet Cake.

    Stir one pound of fine sugar into one pint of boiling water, add one tea-spoonful of salt, eight eggs well beaten, and one pound of sifted flour; keep stirring until ready to bake; bake to a light brown in buttered tins.

    "Diet Bread Cake.
    Put two gills of water into a stew-pan with one pound of sugar, stir it until it comes to a boil, then remove it from the fire, and stir in briskly the well beaten yolks of twelve eggs and the well beaten whites of six eggs,with half a teaspoonful of salt; then stir in lightly one pound of sifted flour, pour the mixture into buttered tins, and bake twenty minutes."
    ---the Practical Cook Book, Mrs. Bliss [Lippincott, Grambo & Co.:Philadelphia] 1850 (p. 171-172)
    [NOTE: The title pages indicates Mrs. Bliss is "of Boston."]

    [1857]
    "Diet Bread Cake.

    Three quarters of a pound of sugar, three quarters of a pound of flour, and eight eggs; pour your sugar and eggs together into a basin or pan, with half a pint of lukewarm water; beat them all well up with a whisk, the same as for sponge cakes, over a slow fire until quite warm, take them from the fire and whip them until cold; adding the grating of one lemon, then mix in the flour lightly, adding some caraway seeds, if they are liked; do not fill your mould; they should be square paper cases, buttered."
    ---Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy, Elizabeth M. Hall [Miller, Orton & Co.:New York] 1857 (p. 266)


    Texas sheet cake
    Food historians have not quite determined the true origin/history of the Texas Brownie/sheet cake. They do, however, confirm chocolate cake & brownie-type desserts are early 20th century recipes. Why? That's when the price of chocolate declined to the point where it was readily available to general public. What was heretofore considered an expensive treat was now a common cooking ingredient. Recipes titled "Texas Sheet Cake" surface in the mid-1980s.
    Colorado Sheet Cake is a variation on this hometown theme.

    "Texas sheet cake. One of my all-time favorite cookbooks is a little spiral-bound paperback called Food Editors' Hometown Favorites published in 1984 by the Newspaper Food Editors and Writers Association. It is appears this heavenly chocolate cake spread with fudge-pecan icing. it was contributed to the book by Dotty Griffith, food editor of the Dallas Morning News. But the accompanying headnote says the recipe was also submitted by food editors all over the country. Some attribute the cake to Lady Bird Johnson. Others say it got its name because it's as big as Texas--well, not quite. The cake couldn't be easier to make, it's suprisingly light, but my, it is sweet."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the Twentieth Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 459)
    [NOTE: (1) Hometown Favorites 1984 recipe.]

    "What's Cookin'
    Question: Where does Texas Sheet Cake get its name?
    A) From the super-chocolatey taste, as big as Texas.
    B) From the fact that the taste is so intense, people can eat only a small piece - meaning one cake will serve a Texas-size crowd.
    C) From its overall richness - a big taste in a big cake from a state that was supersizing things long before fast-food places were.
    D) All of the above.
    The answer, if you've ever tasted the famous cake, has got to be D. Texas Sheet Cake is chocolate through and through, rich and decadent. As for whether it originally came from Texas, I couldn't find a definite answer. But Lone Star cooks were smart to get their state's name on something that tastes so good."
    --- "A chocolate cake from the land of the supersized," Ann Burger, The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), January 28, 2001 (p. G6)

    Sheet vs. Sheath cake?
    Food historians ponder this linguistic puzzle. Without definate conclusion. It appears somewhere in middle of the 20th century the terms sheet and sheath were interposed. A survey of historic culinary sources confirm recipes for Shealth/Sheet Cake in the American South are quite similar. They are generally rich, chocolate-based cakes slathered with equally rich icing.

    "When it comes to desserts, Texans have plenty to brag about. From such delights as Texas Sheet Cake and Buttermilk Pie to sweet favorites like Peach Cobbler and German Chocolate Cake, the Lone Star State's signature desserts are as remarkable as the state itself. Everyone has a favorite, of course, but one of the most universally loved desserts is the Texas Sheet Cake or Texas Sheath Cake, depending on whose recipe box you're looking in. Cooking instructor and cookbook author Lenny Angel says she got her recipe for Texas Sheath Cake in 1963 two years before she moved to Texas from Nebraska. "My mother, who lived in Illinois, mailed it to me. Texas Sheath Cake has become the birthday cake for my family. My son John adores it so much we had it at his wedding as the groom's cake," she says. "I have run into zillions of people in my classes that love that cake. I think it's a family favorite of so many you hardly ever meet anyone who doesn't know that cake." Angel theorizes that the real name of the cake is Texas Sheet Cake, noting that bakeries often sell "sheet" cakes of various flavors. "I think someone had bad ears and didn't hear right, and that 'sheath' was an offspring of sheet," she says. Angel, whose family now refers to the cake simply as Texas Cake, says she tried to broaden their culinary horizons by baking "the new white Texas cake not too long ago. My family nixed it. I loved it, but they didn't," she says."
    ---"Sweets from the Heart of Texas," Karen Haram, San Antonio Express-News [TX], May 21, 1997 (p. F1)

    Our survey of historic recipes confirms southern USA sheet/sheath cake fondness but not exact place/date of origin.
    NOTE: recommended pan sizes are post WWII.

    [1899]
    "Black Chocolate Cake

    Two-thirds cup of butter
    Two cups of sugar
    One cup of milk
    Three cups of flour
    Two teaspoonfuls of baking powder
    Three eggs.
    Melt 1/2 of a cake of chocolate, add a little milk to make smooth; add to cake batter after it is well beaten. Bake either as loaf or layer cake. Filling for layer cake: Boiled icing mixed thickly with nuts. Mrs. Orville D. Parker."
    ---The Capitol Cookook (facsimile of the Austin TX 1899 edition) [State House Press:Austin TX] 1995 (p. 118)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Chocolate Loaf Cake & Devil's Food; both done two ways. Neither accomplished in flat sheet-cake pans.]

    [1936]
    "Chocolate Cake. (Large Sheet Cake)

    1/3 cup fat
    1 cup sigar
    1 cup thick sour cream
    2 squares chocolate, melted
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 egg
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon soda
    Cream fat and sugar. Add rest of ingredients and beat 2 minutes. Pour into shallow pan lined with waxed paper and bake 35 minutes in moderately slow oven. Cook and frost.
    Frosting
    1 egg white, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoond hot cream
    1 cup confectioner's sugar
    Mix ingredients and heat until creamy. Spread on cake."
    ---"Helping the Homemaker," Galveston Daily News [TX] May 30, 1936 (p. 9)

    [1967]
    "Mrs. Elkins' Sheath Cake

    2 cups sugar
    2 cups sifted flour
    1 stick margarine
    1/2 cup shortening
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Sift sugar and flour into large bowl. In saucepan, bring next 4 ingredients to rapid boil; stir into sugar and flour. Mix in other ingredients. Pour into greased 11X16 inch pan. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. 5 minutes before done, make icing.

    Icing:
    1 stick margarine
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    6 tablespoons milk
    1 box confectioners sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup chopped pecans
    Bring cocoa, margarine and milk to boil. Remove from heat, adding sugar and vanilla. Beat well. Add pecans and spread over hot cake while still in pan.--Mrs. William P. Dilworth, III"
    ---Hunstville Heritage Cookbook [Junior League of Hunstville Inc.:Hunstville AL] 1967 (p. 260)

    [1981]
    "Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge Cake

    2 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1 cup oil
    1 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2/4 cup hot water
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    6 tablespoons milk
    1 stick butter
    1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla
    1 cup chopped pecans, optional
    Sift together flour, sugar, soda, salt and cocoa. Add oil, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and hot water; mix well. Bake in greased 9 X 13 inch pan at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. For icing, make a paste of the cocoa and milk in a saucepan. Add butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well; add pecans. Oiour over still hot cake in baking pan.--Mrs. Don Bradford (Melinda)."
    ---Lone Star Legacy: A Texas Cookbook, Austin Junior Forum [Austin Junior Forum Publications:Austin TX] 1981 (p. 229)

    [1984]
    "Editors from opposite ends of the country set in the recipe for Texas Sheet Cake. Where did it get its name? 'Some said it was Lady Bird's recipe. Others said no, it was called Texas Sheet Cake because of its size. Or because it is rich. Whatever the reason, it is well worth baking, especially in the summer when large parties abound,' wrote Janice Okun of the Buffalo (New York) News. 'The cake is quite well known in Pennsylvania and Ohio, judging from the reader resposnses to a recent request. The cake is ultra-easy to put together. You can have the whole thing frosted and ready to go in half an hour. But it also keeps well. It is a moist, heavy cake.'"

    "Texas Sheet Cake
    2 cups granulated sugar
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup margarine
    1/2 cup solid shortening
    4 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Icing (recipe follows) Sift together sugar and flour in a large bowl. Combine margarine, shortening, cocoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil, then pour over flour-sugar mixture; stir well. Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla; mix well. Pour batter into a greased 15 1/2 X 10 1/2-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan). Bake in a 400 degree F.oven 20 minutes. Five minutes before cake is done, prepare Icing. Spread icing on cake while it is still hot and in the pan.

    Icing
    1/2 cup margarine
    4 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1/3 cup milk
    1 box (16 ounces) confectioners sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup chopped pecans
    Combine margarine, cocoa and milk in a saucepan and cook over low heat until margarine is melted. Then bring to a boil, remove from heat and add confectioners sugar, vanilla and pecans. Beat well. Use to ice cake as directed.---Dotty Griffith, The Dallas Morning News [TX]"
    ---Food Editors' Hometown Favorites Cookbook: American Regional and Local; Specialties, Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker editors [Dial Publishing Company for the Newspaper Food Editors and Writers Association] 1984 (p. 118)

    [1985]
    "Denver Chocolate Sheet Cake

    2 1/3 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/4 cups water 4 tablespoons cocoa
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 teaspon vanilla extract
    Frosting
    1/2 cup butter
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    6 tablespoons buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 pound confectioners' sugar
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    Mix flour, sugar and soda in bowl. Bring butter, water and cocoa to a boil in saucpan. Four over dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Pour into a greased 9-by-13 inch pan or sheet-cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until it tests done. To make frosting, heat butter, cocoa and buttermilk to boiling. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla, sugar and nuts. Serves 12 to 16. Note: The frosting will be runny but it will harden as it cools. Cake freezes well."
    ---"Chocolate," News-Herald [Panama City FL], February 13, 1985 (p. 2B)
    [NOTE: The Colorado Cache Cookbook prepared by the Denver Junior League, is credited for this recipe.]

    [1982]
    1886 Chocolate Cake

    1 sticks butter
    1/2 cup cocoa, rounded
    2/3 cup water
    2 cups flour, sifted
    2 cups sugar
    1 tsp. salt
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 tsp. soda, rounded
    2 tsps. vanilla
    Melt in a heavy saucepan the butter, cocoa and water. Blend together the dry ingredients and combine with the cocoa mixutre. Mix together the eggs, buttermilk, soda and vanilla and blend with the cake mixture. Pour into a lightly greased and floured 9 X 13 inch cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or bake in a jelly roll pan for 20 minutes. Make icing while cake is baking, and ice cake still in the pan while cake and icing are both warm. This cake freezes well, or it can be stored in the refrigerator and will stay moist if kept covered.
    Icing for 1886 Chocolate Cake
    1 stick butter
    3 heaping Tbsps. cocoa
    3 to 4 Tbsps. half-and-half
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 cup chopped pecans
    Melt butter and cocoa in a heavy saucepand. Add cream and heat. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well, and pour over cake while still in the pan.
    ---Austin Heritage Cook Book, Heritage Society of Austin, Texas [Hart Graphics:Austin TX] 1982 (p. 362)
    [NOTES: (1) "1886" refers to the 1886 Room, opened on November 8, 1971 in the Old Driskill Hotel, 116 East Sixth St. Austin TX. (2) Modified version titled "Driskill's 1886 Chocolate Sheet Cake" appears in the Texas Home Cooking, Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison [Harvard Common Press:Boston MA] 1993 (p. 524-525)

    Related recipes: Devils' food & brownies


    Twinkies
    According to the records of the
    US Patent & Trademark Office, Twinkie brand snack cakes were introduced to the American public by Continental Baking Company (later Hostess) June 25, 1930.

    "Twinkies were created in 1930, the same year Continental Baking intoduced sliced bread to a then-skeptical public. Due to the depressed economy, overall sales of Continental's Hostess cake products were slow at that time. The late James A. Dewar, then a regional manager for Continental Baking Company, was looking for a way to boost company sales. He noticed that the pans used to make 'little short cake fingers' were collecting dust for most of the year except for the six-week strawberry season. Dewar decided to inject cakes with a banana creamfilling and market them year-round. The first Twinkies were filled one at a time, using a hand-held piston-type filler...

    Product development
    "The shape and size of Twinkies have changed little since their introduction, althout the content of the snack cake has been modified slightly over the years. During World War II, when bananas were hard to come by, Twinkies' banana cream filling was replaced by a vanilla flavored filling. Other changes were minimal until 1970, when Continental, following food industry trends, began adding vitamins to the snack cake. Continental Baking's biggest change in its Twinkies line occurred in 1988 with the introduction of Fruit and Creme Twinkies; traditional sponge cake with a strawberry and vanilla cream swirl in the center...Another break from Twinkies tradition occurs during the slow summer months when devils food Twinkies are sold in selected markets...Twinkies Lights were introduced in 1991...these Twinkies...were 94 percent fat-free...

    Why call them "Twinkies?"
    "The name Twinkies was coined by Dewar during a business trip to St. Louis, Missouri, where he saw a billboard advertising 'Twinkle Toe Shoes.'...

    What was the original price?
    "As the economy was tight, Deward decided to market Twinkies as a low-priced convenient snack. He packaged them 'two-to-a-pack for a nickel,' and targeted the cake's advertising to children...

    When was Twinkie the Kid introduced?
    "In the mid 1970s the official spokesperson became Twinkie the Kid, and animated cowboy Twinkie character wearing a bandanna, cowboy hat, and boots...

    What was the "Twinkie Defense?"
    "Perhaps most damaging to Twinkie's image was its use as a defense for Dan White, a San Francisco city supervisor accused in the 1979 murder of San Francisco mayor George Mosone and city supervisor Harvey Milk. The defense employed a psychiatrist's statement that White's diet of Twinkies, Coca-Cola, and potato chips created extreme variations in his blood sugar level. This in turn worsed his existing manic depression, leading to the murder. The press labeled it "The Twinkie Defense."...

    American icon
    "American's attitudes toward Twinkies remain ambivalent. The snack cake has been served at the White House, and was the official cake at Superman's 50th birthday party. Television character Archie Bunker proclaimed them 'white man's soul food' in the series All in the Family. They've been dubbed the 'quintessential junk food' and an 'icon of American junk food.'
    ---"Twinkies," Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Janice Jorgensen editor, Volume 1: Consumable Products [St. James Press: Detroit MI] 1994 (p. 602-603)

    Deep fried Twinkies?
    According to Barry Popik, Deep Fried Twinkies were introduced in 2002.

    Related snack cake? Hostess Cup Cakes.


    Victoria sandwich cakes
    Culinary evidence confirms sandwich cakes originated in the 19th century. Essentially composed of sponge cake filled with jams or soft creams, these were popular Victorian tea treats. Like so many popular English desserts, they descended from Renaissance-era
    trifles. Tipsy cake is a version with alcohol.

    "A sandwich cake is a sponge cake consisting of a layer of filling, such as cream or jam, sandwiched between two layers of sponge....Victoria cake."
    ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 300)

    "The Victoria sandwich, or Victoria sponge as it is also known, was named after Queen Victoria of Great Britain, and seems first to have come on the scene after about a quarter of a century of her reign: the first known recipe for it is given in Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (1861) (although from its placement in the book she seems to regard it more as a dessert dish than a tea-time cake). Essentially it consists of two layers of light sponge cake with between them a filling of jam, or sometimes cream."
    ---An A-Z of Food and Drink (p. 358-9)

    "Victoria sandwich cake named after Queen Victoria, is a plain cake made by the creaming method...closely related to pound cake. Although sometimes referred to as Victoria sponge cake', it is not a true sponge cake in the sense that Savoy or Genoise are. Usually it is cut in half and spread with jam and/or cream to give a sandwich. The top is usually dusted with sugar."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 826)

    About sponge cake

    Mrs. Beeton's orginial recipe:

    "1560. Victoria Sandwiches.
    Ingredients.--4 eggs; their weight in pounded sugar, butter and flour; 1/4 saltspoonful of salt, a layer of any kind of jam or marmalade.
    Mode.--Beat the butter to a cream; dredge in the flour and pounded sugar; stir these ingredients well together, and add the eggs, which should be previously thoroughly whisked. When the mixture has been well beaten for about 10 minutes, butter a Yorkshire-pudding tin, pour in the batter, and bake it in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Let it cool, spread one half of the cake with a layer of nice preserve, place over it the other half of the cake, press the pieces slighly together, and then cut it into long finger-pieces; pile them in cross bars on a glass dish, and serve.
    Time.--20 minutes. Average cost, 1s 3d
    Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons. Seasonable at any time."
    ---Mrs. Beeton's Cookery and Household Management, Isabella Beeton [1874] London (p. 775-6)

    "Lemon Sandwiches.--Required: a cake mixture, and a lemon filling as below. Cost, according to quantity. Take a mixture as given for Swiss Roll, Sponge Cake, Geneva Cake, or any other similar sort. Bake on two shallow tins, so that when done it shall be only a quarter of an inch thick. Turn the two pieces out upside down, on sugared papers, and spread the mixture, then put together, and cut in any shapes to taste. To prepare the filling, allow a small lemon, two ounces of castor sugar, and a beaten egg; the proportions must be doubled or trebled according to the size of the tins used for the cakes. The lemon juice is first to be heated in a saucepan, and the sugar stirred in, then the grated lemon rind, and the beaten egg of the fire; set by to cool before using. For richer sandwiches, use the curd given for lemon cheesecakes, but this will be more generally preferred."
    ---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894(p. 1032)
    [NOTE: This book also contains recipes for orange sandwiches]

    Related recipe? lady fingers


    Tipsy parson
    Tipsy Parson (aka Tipsy Cake, Tipsy Pudding) descends from Renaissance-era English Trifle. This particular multi-layered sponge cake and cream dessert is soaked in alcohol (brandy, sherry, etc.). The "tipsy" refers to what might happen to the diner who eats too much of it! None of our sources offer explanation regarding the "parson" portion of the name. About
    English trifle.

    "Tipsy cake is a traditional English dessert, first cousin to the trifle. As its name suggests, its key ingredient is alcoholic: it consists essentially of sponge cakes soaked in sweet sherry or some other dessert wine, decorated with almonds, and with custard poured round it. The first reference to it was reportedly by the writer Mary Russell Mitford in 1806: 'We had tipsy cake on one side, and grape tart on the other.'"
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 344)

    "Tipsy cake, a sponge cake or Victoria Sandwich Cake soaked with cherry syrup and decorated with cream. Popular since the late 18th century, it belongs to the British tradition of cake, cream, and alcohol puddings such as trifle. Eliza Acton (1845) gave Tipsy Cake the alternative name of Brandy Trifle. Florence White (1932) whent one step further and combined what was known as hedgehog cake with tipsy cake into a hedgehog tipsy cake. Versions exist in other countries such as the Spanish bizcocho borrecho a la crema, a type of sponge cake soaked in syrup flavoured with rum and orange liqueur, and filled with a lemon-flavoured custard."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 799)

    "Tipsy. Also, "tipsy parson" in the South. A sponge cake spread with almonds, soaked in sherry , and served with custard (1570). It was a dish of the late nineteenth century. The name apparently refers to the alcohol content, which if taken in large doses would make the imbiber "tipsy" or slightly drunk."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 327)

    "Tipsy Parson or Tipsy Squire comes from colonial Virginia. A dessert obviously very like the English trifle, its name is a double play on words. Since it contains sherry it could, conceivably, bake one who overindulged a bit "tipsy," but it is equally true that a pudding made of cake and custard may wobble drunkenly if turned out of its mold."
    ---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio Univeristy Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 203)

    ELIZA ACTON'S RECIPE [1845]

    "Tipsy Cake, or Brandy Trifle.
    The old-fashioned mode of prepariang this dish was to soak a light sponge or Savoy cake in as much good French brandy as it could absorb; then to stick it full of blanched almonds cut into whole-length spikes, and to pour a rich cold boiled custard round it. It is more usual now to pour white wine over the cake, or a mixture of wine and brandy; with this the juice of half a lemon is sometimes mixed."
    ---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 reprint with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993 (p. 396)

    Compare with this American recipe, circa 1877.

    Related food? Victorian Sandwich Cakes.


    Wacky cake, Crazy cake, Cockeyed cake & Dump cake
    Wacky cake is an interesting study in culinary chemistry. What sets modern Wacky Cake apart from other chocolate cakes? Vinegar and method. WWI-era Dump Cakes likely provided inspiration. They do not, however, include vinegar. Depression-era Crazy cakes feature cocoa, baking soda & baking powder. No vinegar. In sum, recipes with these names vary greatly according to place and period. The connecting culinary threads are innovation, efficiency, and deliciousness.

    It is interesting to note that two popular 20th century American food history books (Jean Anderson's American Century Cookbook and Sylvia Lovegren's Fashionable Food) place this recipe in the 1970s. Culinary evidence confirms this recipe existed in the 1940s. Wacky cake is but one example of the tradition of "make do" cakes that were popular during times of short supply. Contrary to popular opinion, eggless, butterless cakes were not invented at that time, they were revived from WWI days (which were revived from pioneer days). Dump Cake is another descendant of Wacky Cake in method.

    "Dump cake. A cake made by "dumping" the ingredients directly into the baking pan, mixing them, and baking the batter."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 117)

    The earliest reference we find to Dump cake is from a Duncan Hines company cooking brochure published in 1980 (sorry, we don't own a copy).

    "Wacky Cake or Crazy Cake. In a way, this is a variation on Chocolate Pudding Cake...But it takes the "quick-and-easy" one step further: The cake is mixed in the baking pan. That's part of the wackiness. Another is that the batter contains vinegar and water, but no eggs. Like Chocolate Pudding Cake, this one is shortened with oil instead of butter or margarine."
    ---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 467)

    RECIPES

    [1912]
    "Dump Cake

    Dump into a dish all together the following articles: One cup butter, two cups sugar,three eggs, four cups flour, one pound chopped raisins, one teaspoon soda in a cup of cold water, two teaspoons cream tartar. Any spice you choose. Mix well. Bake in two deep pans."
    ---"Tried Recipes," Christian Science Monitor, January 31, 1912 (p. 6)

    [1936]
    "Crazy Cake

    1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup lard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup boiling water. Put ingredients in a mixing bowl in the order given. Do not stir until the boiling water is added. Beat for three minutes. Pour into a 9-inch greased pan with waxed paper in bottom. Bake in a slow oven (320 degrees F.) for 30 minutes or until done. Frost with Chocolate Mocha Frosting. Serves 8."
    ---Hammond Times [IN], November 6, 1936 (p. 94)

    [1937]
    "Crazy Cake

    So many of our readers have asked us to repeat this recipe that we realize its demand. It may be made up in a crazy manner but, when finished, you will wonder how it happened that you hae passed so many years of your life without learning to use this simple recipe.

    Place upon the work table, your largest mixing bowl. Measure one cup of sugar and put it into that bowl. Add one whole egg, then one-half cup sweet milk. Next add one-half cup of cocoa. Measure one-half cup of butter and add it to the mixing bowl. One-half teaspoon soda, one teaspoon baking pwoder and one teaspoon vanilla extract are added next. Sift all purpose flour and meaure one and one-half cups of it and add to thebowl. Now add one-half cupt of boiling water and beat the mixture for three minutes or until all the ingredients are well blended and creamy. Bake in an oven temperature of 325 degrees until done. The pan would better be the square type and greased at the bottom. We were crazy enough to try to make crazy cake and are delighted with its texture and taste."
    ---Freeport Journal-Standard [IL], November 24, 1937 (p. 10)
    [NOTE: our research confirms this recipe was published in several USA newspapers in the late 1930s.]

    [1943]
    "Hole-In-The-Middle Cake

    1 1/2 c flour
    1 c sugar
    2 T cocoa
    1 t soda
    1/2 c melted butter
    1 c sour milk or cream
    1 egg
    1 t vanilla
    Sift dry ingredients and make a deep hole in the middle. Add sour milk, egg, butter, and vanilla, and mix well. Bake in 350 dgtree oven 40 min.

    Icing
    1 c white sugar
    1 c brown sugar
    lump of butter
    milk to moisten
    Boil until it reaches the soft ball stage. Remove from fire and beat throroughly. Helen Olheim."
    ---The Connecticut Cookbook, Woman's Club of Westport [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1944 (p. 210)

    [1949]
    "Wacky cake
    . A favorite recipe of Mrs. Donald Adam, Detroit, Michigan.
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour
    1 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons cocoa
    1 teaspoon soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    5 tablespoons shortening
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup cold water.
    Sift flour, Measure. Add sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Sift into greased and waxed paper lined 9X9X2 inch pan. Make 3 grooves in dry ingredients. Put shortening in 1 groove, vinegar in the second, and vanilla in the third. Pour over cold water. Beat until almost smooth. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 30 minutes. Makes 12 servings."
    ---New York Times, November 17, 1949 (p. 23)
    [NOTE: This recipe was included in a display ad for The Time Reader's Book of Recipes, Time magazine, (E.P. Dutton:New York)]

    [1960]
    Cockeyed Cake

    (This is a famous recipe, I believe, but I haven't the faintest idea who invented it. I saw it in a newspaper years ago, meant to clip it, didn't, and finally bumped into the cake itself in the apartment of a friend of mine. It was dark, rich, moist, and chocolatey, and she said it took no more than five minutes to mix it up. So I tried it, and, oddly enough, mine, too, was dark, rich, moist, and chocolatey. My own timing was five and a half minutes, but that includes hunting for vinegar.)
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    1 teaspoon soda
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    5 tablespoons cooking oil
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup cold water
    Put your sifted flour back in the sifter, add to it the cocoa, soda, sugar, and salt, and sift this right into a greased square cake pan, about 9X9X2 incues. now you make three grooves, or holes, in this dry mixture. Into one, pour the oil; into the next, the vinegar; into the next, the vanilla. Now pour the cold water over it all. You'll feel like you're making mud pies now, but beat it with a spoon until it's nearly smooth and you can't see the flour. Bake it ad 350 degrees F. for half an hour."
    ---The I Hate to Cook Book, Peg Bracken [Harcourt, Brace & World:New York] 1960 (p. 104)

    [1978]
    Wacky Cake or Crazy Cake

    Cake
    1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    6 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup cold water

    Frosting
    3 tablespoons butter or margarine
    1 cup sifted confectioners' (10X) sugar
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teasoon vanilla extract.
    1. Cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Sift four, sugar, cocoa, soda, and salt together into ungreased 8X8X2-inch baking pan.
    3. Make three wells in mixture with spoon: one large, one medium, and one small. Into large well pour oil; into medium well, vinegar; into small well, vanilla. Pour water over all and stir with fork until smooth; do not beat.
    4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until springy to touch
    5. Frosting: Melt butter in saucepan, add 10X sugar, cocoa, salt and vanilla and beat until smooth. If too stiff to spread, thin with few drops hot water.
    6. As soon as cake tests done, transfer to wire rack and spread at once with frosting. Cool cake before cutting.
    ---Woman's Day Old-Fashioned Desserts [1978], as reprinted in The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 467)


    Cake icing and frosting

    In their most basic form, confections of all kinds can be traced to ancient cooks. Sweetmeats were popular in Medieval times. The history of modern confectionery is generally traced to Renaissance Europe, where white sugar (although available) was very expensive and highly prized. At that time, sugarpaste and marchepane (marzipan: a paste of almonds and sugar shaped into elaborate forms) were sometimes used to decorate elaborate cakes. Food historians generally trace modern icing, named such because the finished product, a glaze (aka glace), was supposed to look like ice, to 18th century England.

    "In medieval times, icing--a sprinkling of sugar--was put on top of savoury as well as sweet foods: fish pies, for instance. But the iced cakes we are familiar with today started to emerge in recognizable form in the seventeeth century; in those days, once the sugar had been applied (either directly, or to a layer of beaten egg white), the cake was returned to the oven for a while for the icing to harden. That was still the case in the eighteenth century, when the term icing is first actually recorded in Elizabeth Raffald's Experienced English Housekeeper (1769)...The term icing has also in the past been applied to marzipan, as used for topping cakes: Mrs. Beeton give a recipe for this almond icing'. Of roughly equal antiquity with the term icing is frosting, which is the preferred word in American English. The term icing sugar is first recorded in 1889; American English also uses confectioners' sugar."
    --- An A to Z on Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 168)

    Mrs. Raffald's icing recipes [1769]

    "To make Almond Icing for the Bride Cake
    Beat the whites of three eggs to a strong froth; beat a pound of Jordan almonds very fine with rosewater. Mix your almonds with the eggs lightly together [with] a pound of common loaf sugar beat fine, and put in by degrees. When your cake is enough, take it out an lay your icing on and put it in to brown."

    "To make Sugar Icing for the Bride Cake
    Beat two [pounds of double-refined sugar with two ounces of fine starch, sift it through a gauze sieve. Then beat the whites of five eggs with a knife upon a pewter dish half and hour. Beat in your sugar a little at a time, or it will make the eggs fall and will not be so very good a colour. When you have put in all your sugar beat it half an hour longer, then lay it on your almond icing and spread it even with a knife. If it be put on a s soon as the cake comes out of the oven, it will be hard by that time the cake is cold."
    ---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald [c. 1769], with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 135)


    [NOTE: Mrs. Raffald's icing recipes are the precursors to Royal icing.]

    "Davidson...surveys the evolution of icing in England in the 18th century and 19th centuries and identifies Mrs. Raffald (1769) as the first author to provide for the combination of cake, marzipan, and royal icing. Her cake was a bride cake', which had also been known as a 'great cake' and only acquired the name wedding cake' in the 19th century. However, until the late 19th century, icing was reserved for special cakes. An 18th century icing was usually made by beating the ingredients together in a mortar, spreading the mixture over the cake, and drying it in a low heat. Mrs. Glasse (1747) writes : with a Brush or Bundle of Feathers, spread it all over the cake, and put it in the oven to dry; but take Care the Oven does not discolour it.' In North America the term frosting' has a slightly longer history than icing', but the two terms became interchangeable and icing' has now become the perfect usage.'"
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 394-5)
    [NOTE: this book has information on they differenty types of icing/frosting. If you need more information please ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]

    "Though cake icing had begun, perhaps only in the highest circles, in the seventeenth century, until the early nineteenth century if anything were to be iced it was most likely to be marchpanes in the early period, tarts rather later. Only a simple glazing was involved when the term 'ice' first began to be used. The earlier decorated marchpanes already referred to were, as has been seen, to be washed over with a rosewater syrup before being put into the oven for that will make the 'Ice'. The same should, however, also be done with a cake as soon as it came out of the oven...The addition of white of egg was the beginning of new things an there was always more than one possibility...The spicing of icings was...already on its way out in the eighteenth century. A simple version, merely a pound of sugar to the whites of seven eggs, was offered by the first Scottish cookery book (McLintock 1736)...Starch began occasionally to feature at the same period. It was often taken up subsequently and came to be added to commercial icing powder when this began to be manufactured in the mid-nineteenth century. Also in the nineteenth, lemon juice was substituted for the earlier flower-waters and the passion for whiteness projected some into including the powder blue. The concern with whiteness had been explicit, despite the somewhat different initial connotations of the term ice, since icings in the modern sense developed out of glazes. Icing was, until much more recent times, an item of lavish display in itself, its whiteness and direct indicator of the quality and expense of the sugar from which it was produced...By then, colouring was a possibility, as it had not been at the earlier period, and for that an inferior sugar could be used. By then too, perhaps with a change in the ovens used, ...'Cakes should never be put into an an oven after being iced,'... Modification was made over time therefore, and there was some more radical experimentation continuing too. Hannah Glasse tried adding starch and some gum tragacanth as another way to Ice a great Cake in a confused entry of her first edition. In her third, To Ice a Great Cake she proposed something altogether different, twenty-four whites to one pound of sugar, put onto a cold cake: If does not do well hot....The effect would have been what in modern terms woud have been a soft meringue rather than icing...Even in the eighteenth century there had therefore been a good deal of experimentation. Fondant icing was available but mixtures normally termed royal icing remained the standard in Britain."
    ---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:London] 1992 (p. 67-69)
    [NOTE: this is one of the best book on the topic of icing/frosting. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy. Chapter 6: Confectionery and Icing, pages 64-81)

    Icing vs. frosting
    Why two names for the same basic item? The general concensus of the food historians is that icing is the traditional European term. Frosting is a broader American appellation which includes cooked, fluffy coatings. Notes here:

    "Icing. A preparation of icing (confectioner's sugar used to coat sweet goods). Glace and royal icing are the traditional types., but the term covers a variety of cake coverings, including American frosting--a whisked mixture of egg whites and sugar syrup, prepared over hot water to give a foamy, soft and sweet surface when cooled. Frosting sets slightly on the surface when cooled."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and upadated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (P. 617)

    "Frosting. The American term for icing, used as a noun to describe the mixture applied as a cake covering and filling, and a s a verb to describe the process fo applying it. Frosting covers soft icings and cake fillings, such as buttercream, chocolate icing, or glace icing, but not royal icing, which is known by the came name. Outside America, the soft cake covering and filling made by whisking sugar syrup into egg whites is usually called American frosting."
    ---ibid (p. 529)

    "Frosting is an alternative term to icing often used in the United States. It seems first to have been applied to pulverised sugar, perhaps with starch added to reduce caking, when this began to be manufactured commercially in the mid-nineteenth century. American interest in icings/frostings has typically been greater than British; a far wider range is generally offered by American cookery books than by British."
    ---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History (p. 144)

    "Icing. A term often interchangeably with "frosting" and preferred in America to describe the sugar-and-water mixture used to decorate and cover cakes..."Frosting" actually precedes "icing" in print, the former appearing around 1610, the latter in 1760, with icing considered a somewhat lighter, decorative glaze than frosting. But in America it became normal to used "icing" (and the verb "to ice") to describe either form of the confection."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 166)

    Icing types
    A survey of late 19th and early 20th century American cookbooks reveals a variety of different frosting recipes. It is an interesting study of flavoring, texture, ingredients, and imagination. If you are interested in researching this, check the full-text cookbooks linked from the
    Food Timeline (They are indicated by italics).

    Buttercream

    An extensive survey of late 19th-early 20th century American cookbooks confirms buttercream icing (as we know it today) is a modern recipe. Why this time period? Food historians suggest it might have been the result of product availability and corporate promotion. The two main factors that set buttercream apart from traditional icings of the day (besides the butter, course!) are that it does not require cooking or eggs. During World War I eggs were very scarce and eggless recipes proliferated. Perhaps there is a connection?

    "Butter cream frostings. Strangely, thse easy icings don't seem to have been in the repertoire of nineteenth-century American cooks, who chose to bind powdered sugar with raw egg white or yolk. Or to cook their frostings. In searching through several dozen cookbooks dating back to 1880, I found a butter frosting only in the 1915 Larkin Housewives' Cook Book...The Larkin Company, "Pure Food Specialists," sold chocolate, sugar, salt, assorted flavorings, and just about everything else the cook needed...Mrs. Fred W. Gurney of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, ...submitted her Mocha Frosting--the first butter cream I've been able to locate...A similar mocha frosting appears in the 1918 edition of "Fannie Farmer,"...By its 1923 edition, "Fannie" had added four more butter creams. And by the 1930s, these were the frostings cooks had come to rely on. For good reason. They were quick, versatile, and foolproof."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 486)

    Precursors to modern buttercream are late 19th century cake fillings/frostings employing rich cream. These recipes would have produce a more liquidy type of frosting than we know today, but the finished product was probably pretty close:

    "Cream frosting.
    From Mrs. Mary Payton, of Oregon, Lady Manager.
    One cup of sweet thick cream, sweetened and flavored with vanilla. Cut a loaf cake in two and spread the frosting between and on top. This tastes like Charlotte Russe."
    ---Favorite Dishes: A Columbian Autograph Souvenir Cookery Book, Compiled by Carrie V. Shuman, facsimile of 1893 edition [University of Illinois Press:Urbana] 2001 (p. 172-3)

    Icing without eggs, Inglenook Cook Book, Elgin Illinois, 1906

    The earliest recipe we find for a buttercream-type was printed in a company cookbook in 1908. Note: it is not called buttercream!
    [1908]
    "Mocha Filling and Frosting

    6 tablespoons butter
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    4 tablespoons dry cocoa
    3 tablespoons liquid coffee
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

    Beat the butter to a cream, adding one cup of the sugar; then sift and add the cocoa. Beat well, put in the coffee and remaining sugar, and then the vanilla. Spread between and on top of layers of cake."
    ---Rumford Complete Cook Book, Lilly Haxworth Wallace [Rumford Chemical Works:Providence RI] 1908 (p. 155)
    [NOTES: The Rumford company made baking powder. This recipe appears to be very similar to the one referenced by Ms. Anderson. Interesingly enough? It also comes from New England.]

    [1918]
    Fannie Merritt Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cook Book several frostings, some with butter; most without.

    [1923]
    "Butter Cream.

    2 1/2 pounds of icing sugar, 1 pound of good sweet butter, 2 ozs. corn starch, 5 eggwhites. Rub sugar and butter till light and creamy add starch and then the whites of eggs gradually, flavor with vanilla."
    ---Practical Cake-Art, Fred Bauer [Fred Bauer:Chicago IL] 1923 (recipe no. 49)

    [1927]
    "Butter Cream Icing

    4 lbs. Confectioner's Sugar
    1 pt. Cream (about)
    1 lb. Sweet Butter
    These ingredients are creamed up in a cake mixer until light. More butter may be added and less cream if desired, or a good lemon or vanilla custard may be added in the place of the cream or milk."
    ---Master Cake Baker, Cleve Carney [Calumet Baking Powder Company:Chicago IL] 1927 (p. 85) [NOTE: this books was originally published in Germany. Plate 55, "Butter Cream and Icing Flowers" offers glossy color illustration of 19 different flowers made from butter cream.]

    [1935]
    Several recipes for Butter Cream are offered in this professional text:
    1. Raw Butter Cream: sweet butter, icing sugar, egg white, vanilla
    2. French Butter Cream: icing sugar, sugar-yolk, sweet butter, icing sugar, vanilla
    3. French Butter Cream (2): icing sugar, egg white, sweet butter, icing sugar, vanilla
    4. Boiled French Butter Cream (1): sugar, glucose, water, sugar-Yolk, sweet butter or part shortening, flavor to suit.
    5. Boiled French Butter Cream (2): sugar, glucose, water, whole egg, butter, flavor to suit.
    6. Boiled Butter Cream: granulated sugar, water, Fleischmann's Cream, egg white, sweet butter, vanilla.
    7. Butter Cream (stock): granulated sugar, water, corn starch, water.
    ---A Treatise on Cake Making [Fleischmann Division, Standard Brands Inc.:New York] 1935 (p. 445-448)

    Royal icing
    Royal icing descends from 18th century
    glace and sugar paste. Recipes for these confections present themselves under several names and and various permutations. Royal sugar sculpture elevates this substance to veritable works of art.

    While recipes creating "royal icing" type coatings exist in 18th/19th century British & American cookbooks, the oldest print reference for a recipe with that title was published in 1896. Prior to this, our sources reveal this item was titled "Ornamental Icing."

    Why the name?
    None of our sources divulge this information. Our survey of historic American newspapers (Historic Newspapers/ProQuest, Americas Historic Newspapers/Readex) and cookbooks confirm the popularity of Royal Icing surged in the dawning decades of the 20th century. Curiously? We find no references to Royal Icing in the Times [London] historic database. Possibly this is an American appellation?

    What is Royal icing?
    "Royal Icing. The harding type of icing used for coating wedding, birthday and celebration cakes; it being almost an airtight casing, cakes coated with this type of icing will usually keep for a very long time. It consists of icing sugar and whites of eggs beaten together until they become almost as light and pliable as stiffly whipped cream. A little blue is sometimes added to give that expert whiteness, and acetic acid to haste its drying or hardening proces.."The Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith [Philosophical Library:New York] 1951 (p. 204)

    "Royal icing. An icing made from confectioners' sugar, egg whites or dried meringue powder, and a few drops of lemon juice, which dries to a rock-hard finish. Royal icing is used for long-lasting delicate cake decorations such as fine line piping and flowers. The icing can be tinted with food coloring. United States."
    ---The International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections, Carole Bloom [Hearst Books:New York] 1995 (p. 264-5)

    "Royal icing, made with egg whites and icing sugar, is a completely different preparation to glace icing, used for coating marzipan-covered fruit cake and for adding piped decoration. Royal icing dries to a fairly hard consistency and it keeps for several months."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 618)

    Compare these recipes:

    [1845]
    "Ornamental Frosting,"
    Housekeeper's Assistant/Ann Allen

    [1884]
    "Ornamental Frosting,"
    Boston Cooking School Cook Book/Mrs. D.A. Lincoln

    [1896]
    "Royal Icing

    Take the whites of 2 or 3 eggs, being very particular to remove every particle of yolk; place in a clean bowl; now stir in sufficient of the very finest pulverized sugar, to make a medium thick paste: now add 10 or 15 drips of citric acid (procure come dry citric acid at any drug store, and dissolve it in water); lemon juice may also b used, but the acid is best; this is to produce a gloss, also to whiten the icing; now with a fork or spoon beat this paste until it is very light and stiff, so stiff that when you take out the spoon the icing will stand up in drops: then it is done; do not add any more sugar after beginning to beat it, as it would make it very heavy. The object is to produce as stiff an aicing as possible, and at the same time to have it light and spongy. Fancy Cook."
    ---"Housekeeper's Department," Boston Daily, April 12, 1896 (p. 27)

    What are the differences/similarities between Royal icing and Buttercream frosting?
    Royal Icing is traditionally made with egg whites, sugar, lemon juice. It produces a hard product well suited for decoration. Butter Cream recipes are all over the map. Original Butter Cream recipes featured sweet butter; subsequent recipes sometimes subsitituted synthetic shortenings. A few also included dairy cream. Butter Cream frostings produce a softer, moister covering condusive to conveying flavor rather than artistic decoration.

    The egg white factor:
    We're not finding any titled "true butter cream" but we do find several examples with and without egg whites. We even found one with egg yolks! Early 20th century professional texts generally include egg white. Home cookbooks often omit this ingredient, esp. as the century progressed. It may help to compare Royal and Butter Cream icings published in professional texts:

    "Royal Icing
    Beat up well in an earthen bowl with wooden spatulas, 3 lbs. of icing sugar and 8 eggwhites. Add a few drops of aecetic acid, lemon juice or cream of tartar. When partly beaten the icing can be used for covering wedding cakes using a rather stiff icing for first coat and a softer icing for second coat so it can be spread nice and smooth. It will aquire a nice gloss if dried before the open oven door mouth. For decorating icing continue beating till icing stands up well and can be drawn to points. When icing is to be used for decorating with fine tubes the sugar best be sifted or some of the icing can be presssed thru a fine clean sieve. This icing dries quickly and must therefore be covered up with a damp cloth or a plaster of paris cover which is soaked in water. Add a little blueing to icing to make it look whiter."
    ---Practical Cake-Art, Fred Bauer [Fred Bauer:Chicago IL] 1923 (recipe no. 64)

    "Royal Icing
    Take from 3 to 4 egg whites of eggs to 1 lb. XXXX sugar and a pinch cream of tartar. Put in a cake mixer and beat until it stands up well. This icing is used for decorating fancy wedding and birthday cakes. Also all kinds of flowers. In making flowers with this icing it is best to run them on wax paper until dry, then remove them and place on the cakes."
    ---Master Cake Baker, Cleve Carney [Calumet Baking Powder Company:Chicago IL] 1927 (p. 83)

    When were dried egg products introduced to Royal Icing?

    Ready-to-spread packaged icings
    The earliest reference we find in print to a commercial ready-to-spread (aka "just-add-water") frosting mix (in a USA source) is from the 1925:
    [1925]
    "Something new: Ice-a-cake, just add water to Ice-a-cake. Vanilla, chocolate, mocha."Christian Science Monitor, April 17, 1925 (p. 17)

    "Perfect cake icing, creamy, smooth, delicious in a few minutes! Ice-a-Cake. A compelte icing in powder form. Just add water, mix and spread. No other ingredients needed. No failures possible. If made too thick, add more water--if made too thin, add more ice-a-Cake! Icing sets in 15 minutes. Will not crack when cut. Flavors: chocolate, vanilla, mocha, 25 cents per tin...James P. Smith & Company, New York City & Chicago."
    ---
    display ad, American Cookery, October 1925 (p. 148)

    [1948]
    "In a new Virginia Dare product all ingredients except liquid for pink or white confectioner's frosting are assembled in eight-ounce jars. Add two and one-fourth tablespoons hot water to the contents. Stir and the icing is ready to spread. There is enough in one container to cover the top and sides of a large layer cake or twenty large cupcakes. The frostings are at Altman's, where each variety is 32 cents."
    ---"News of Food," New York Times, March 11, 1948 (p. 36)

    This complete "ready-to-spread" product packed in jars: [1949]
    "Frostings Ready to Spread.

    At another counter in the Gimbels epicure department a second demonstrator pries open a glass jar of pastel-hued icing and proffers a taste. The frosting on the cake that won grandma a "first" at the country fair could not have been better. One of the largest makers of syrups for soda fountains, the Penn Syrup Corporation, is using some of its products to make six ready-to-spread frostings--strawberry, orange, lemon, chocolate, mocha and white (vanilla-like). The fact no synthetic flavorings are used in the strawberry, orange and lemon icings explains their "true" fresh-fruit taste. As for the "feel" of all six kinds, it is free for grittiness, smooth as fondant. Whether these frostings are more like the cooked or uncooked type one does at home is a question. They share qualities of each. So far they are the only preparations of their kind available. The price is 29 cents for a jar that yields enough for the top and sides of an eight-inch cake or eighteen large or thirty small cup cakes. The trade name: E-Zee."
    ---"News of Foods: Hurried Cooks Get a 30-Second Pudding and a Ready Icing; Peaches are Pinked'," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, March 17, 1949 (p. 31).

    By the late 1960s, ready-to-spread frostings were readily available to American housewives. Not unpredictably, this particular market segment reacted with the same ambivalence their mothers did when cake mixes introducted in the 1940s. Box mix cakes were perfectly acceptable as long as one made the frosting from scratch. According to ads printed in the New York Times, the major U.S. baking mix manufacturers re-launched aggressive promotions for their ready-spreadable canned frosting products in the early 1980s.

    Pillsbury [1980]: New York Times, January 23, 1980 (p. C9) "Daitch Shopwell Pillsbury Frosting, Chocolate, Vanilla, or Milk Chocolate Ready to Spread, 16.5 ounce can, $1.09"

    Betty Crocker [1982]: New York Times, February 10, 1982 (p. C7) "A&P Betty Crocker Frostings, Ready to Spread--any variety, 16.5 ounce can, $1.29"


    Cake decorations
    Food historians confirm the histories of sweet cakes and confectionery (candies, decorations) are intertwined from the earliest days forward. Both were expensive and therefore traditionally reserved for special celebrations. Decorations varied according to culture and cuisine. The earliest decorations were nuts, seeds and preserved/candied fruits. Sweet, colored, artfully shaped almond paste (marzipan) traveled with Crusaders from Arab cuisine to European banquet tables.
    Dragees, edible gold/silver leaf and comfits soon followed. Contemporary sugar paste, royal icing, and fondant covers first surface in the early 19th century.

    Medieval & Renaissance periods

    "Comfits came into their own at parties...Several types, including anis vermeil and dragee blanche, are listed amongst items to be bought for feasts in a work on household management from fourteenth-century Paris. For those who could afford them, comfits became part of the festivities. Sir Hugh Plat mentioned them in the context of several celebratory confections, especially marchepane (a large flat cake of marzipan). He directed that this should be iced with rosewater and sugar, and 'sticke long comfits upright in it, cast biskets and carrowies in it, and so serve it; guild it before you serve it'. The habit of making festive marchpanes with icing and comfits continued. Shortly afterwards, in the English kitchen, this became the topping for fruit cakes, giving the now familiar form which distinguishes Christmas and wedding cakes: symbols of sweetness and status at our most important celebrations. Comfits are now little used on wedding cakes, but the custom did not die out entirely. Like so many things to do with sweets, it became mostly for children, and may be the origin of the habit of decroating party buns wtih icing and hundreds of thousands. From the artfully sculpted and iced marchepan to fairy cakes turned out by the dozen may seen a slither down the social scale, but it shows that even the humblest denizen of the tea-table may have a complex history."
    ---Sugarplums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 128-129)

    19TH CENTURY

    "Icing is one thing, the addition of an almond layer another, and a third is colour and other kinds of decoration on the icing. Early on, when iced plumb cake was already a costly and labour-intensive achievement, further decoration seems rarely, in contrast with the decoration of marchpanes, to have been considered. Hannah Wolley...had, it is true, suggested strewing her 'Cake without Plumbs' with comfits, but this was merely glazed, not iced. Suitable sugarpaste ornaments were even available...But the fifth edition of Mrs. Frazer's Practice of Cookery, Pastry and Confectionery, published in 1806, is the earliest explicit account of cake ornamentation I have found. Having given instructions for icing the cake all over, she continues:

    'If you choose to ornament the cake, put a Crown in the middle, and other small fancy figures on the top; waving small shells up and down the sides of it, and placing within the crown a bunch of artificial flowers of different colours; the crown, figures and shells are of sugarpaste, the flowers and leaves of different coloured paste, and the stalks of lemon peel.

    "Caird, again from the Edinburgh area and clearly reporting commercial practice, followed quick on Mrs Frazer's heels and with a more revealing discussion (1809). After icing 'a high shaped cake, such a s a gato, or 'obelisk', he says,

    'immediately ornamented with spangles, gold and silver leaf, drague, mottoes, nonpareils, rock candies, etc., according to fancy. If for cakes which are flat, the icing is equally spread over them with a spatula, and should not be so think as for the high shaped cake, which cannot be spread so well with a knife. Coats of arms and other emblematical devices are often put on cakes, in which case the icing should be allowed to harden; after which trace the pattern with a pencil dipped in gum water, and gild it with gold and silver leaf, or Dutch metal. The icing is sometimes coloured with the extract of cochineal, lake or carmine, gamboge, etc., by taking a little of the colour and a spoonful of syrup, and pounding them in a small marble, or glass mortar, and mixing it with the icing. Cakes are also ornamented with gum paste in flowers, festoons, trophies, etc., etc. The paste may also be coloured in like manner. The moulds for gum paste, unless very finely cut, do not show so well. A board of various figures, such as leaves, flowers, trophies, etc., will cost about 3 L. The cakes usually ornamented are diet loaves, and formed in a great variety of shapes, as domes, obelisks, steeples, etc.

    "Such cake decoration was clearly an important step, but it was not at this stage directed to bride cake and it was still a long way from any distinctive style of decoration for them."
    ---Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley [Routledge:London] 1992 (p. 74-74)
    [NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Your local public libarian will be delighted to help you obtain a copy.]

    [1845]
    "Fine Venetian Cake or Cakes...The top may be iced, and decorated with pistachio-nuts, or grains of coloured sugar, or with a wreath of almond-paste leaves. There are many varieties of this dish, which is known by different names in different countries. It is sometimes called a Neapolitan Cake, sometimes a Thousand Leaf Cake a la Francaise. It is occasionally made entirely with almond-paste, and highly decorated; it may be formed also of many layers of puff or fine short crust cut of uniform size, or gradually less, so as to leave round each a clear border of an inch wide, which may be covered with coloured icing, or ornamented with preserved fruits, tinted almonds, grains of white or pink sugar candy, or aught else that the fancy may direct."
    ---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993 (p. 453)

    Silver dragees
    The little silver balls found in our supermaket baking aisles are called dragees. These descend from ancient
    edible silver & gold. The balls are hard sugar covered with a thin layer of edible silver. Silver dragees have been used throughout the 20th century for decorating cakes, cookies and the occasional fesitve holiday ham. In the USA silver dragees (they can also be gold) are traditionally associated with Christmas and weddings. The earliest print reference we find for silver dragees is from 1906: "[chocolate] eggs are beautifully decorated with roses, silver dragees and name, in a box." ---display ad, Bucks County Gazette [Bristol PA], April 12, 1906 (p. 1).

    What is a dragee?
    "Dragee. A French name for a sweetmeat composed of a nut or some other centre coated with layers of hard sugar. Almonds are the nuts usually chosen; alternative centres are seeds, fruit pastes, or chocolate, and occasionally liqueurs...Dragees have long been a great specialty of French confectionery. These sweets have their origin in sugar-coated pills made by apothecaries. However, the original word 'drage' is obscure although it occurs as early as the 13th century in the archives of Verdun in the north-east of France."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 p. 255

    How are they made?
    "Silver of Gold-Coated Comfits or Dragees. Various kinds of pan goods can be silver coated, but it is essential that the goods should be well finished and perfctly smooth before the metallic coating is applied. The silvering or gilding is done in a glass glove, or glass pan, which is closed with a cork plug. Various solutions may be used for moistening the goods such as gelatin solution, egg white or a musilage of gum arabic. Care should be taken to ensure that the quality of the gold or silver leaf employed is of sufficient purity for food products. It is advisable that both types whould be carefully packed and kept away from direct sunlight or the metallic lustre will be impaired. Put the leaf in the glass pan. Place the goods in an earthenware vessel and moisten sufficently for the leaf to adhere to them. Over-moistening will necessitate the use of much more metal leaf than is needed, and sill, moreover, detract from the final appearance of the goods. After the goods have been moistened, pass them as quickly as possible through a funnel into the revolving pan, then immediately set the pan in motion, adding a few gold or silver leaves as required, allowing the pan to run until the comfits attain a fine gloss and are well burnished. Metal coating is a cold process, and should be carried out in a room free from draughts." ---Skuse's Complete Confectioner, revised and edited by W.J. Bush & Co., thirteenth edition, 1957 [London] (p. 238-40)

    Product pricing
    [1950]
    "Silver Dragees...jar, 12 cents and 20 cents." (no product size indicated)
    ---display ad, Oak Park Oak Leaves [IL], December 14, 1950 (p. 11)

    "Wagner Brand silver dragees, 46 cents bottle (no size indicated)
    ---dispaly ad, New York Times, March 23, 1966 (p. 26)

    "Tone's Silver Dragees, 2 1/4 oz. jar 39 cents."
    ---display ad, Des Moines Register [IA], December 14, 1967 (p. 12)

    About marshmallow creme as cake filling/frosting.


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    © Lynne Olver 2000
    18 August 2014