A recipe that I'm really pleased with comes from my 1926 West Pottawattamie County Farm Bureau Women's Cookbook. Longtime blog readers will remember me mentioning this cookbook before in this post. I've been making sure that we have always had some kind of home-baked sweet on hand during our extended stay-at-home time. Neither of us needs the extra calories, but if a nice homemade cookie or piece of cake isn't available, we have a bad habit of eating even worse things in order to satisfy the sweet tooth we both have.
I'm excited to bring you this recipe because it has truly lived up to its name, and it is simple and fast but also quite flexible. For those readers who are off-grid, it's very easy to mix this cake by hand, and it's made of things that are readily found in most kitchens. The only thing that some people may not always have on hand is the sour cream. However, that is a staple in our refrigerator.
This recipe was contributed to the cookbook by a Mrs. Belle Sharp, and she attached this note: "This is an excellent cake recipe for a busy farmer's wife who wants a hurry-up cake."
Here are the required ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
flavoring to taste
1 1/2 cups flour
The procedure is as follows:
a) Beat the egg.
b) Beat in the sugar.
|I beat the egg and the sugar together until they are what my|
great-grandmother called "lemon-colored." It doesn't take long.
d) Add the remaining dry ingredients and the flavoring. Beating for only a little while after the flour has been added.
I used cake flour (a tad more than 1 1/2 cups) instead of all-purpose for this plain yellow cake version, and I added about a 1/2 tsp. vanilla, a 1/2 teaspoon lemon flavoring, and a 1/2 tsp. almond extract. I know that sounds like an odd combination, but that is what my great-grandma Ruth used to flavor yellow cakes, and, trust me, it is surprisingly delicious.
Now, the pictures that you see here are actually of the second time that I baked this cake, and it so happened that this was during the week that my brother's Ward's Economy Cookstove was here in our summer kitchen in early June. Thus, you see it baking in that stove in the pictures below.
There were no instructions for how long to bake this cake, but cake baking is pretty straightforward stuff. If you blow up the picture above, you can see that the oven thermometer is registering 350ºF. A moderate oven until the cake tested done did the job beautifully.
For the Spice Cake Version:
|The cocoa and the flour going into the chocolate|
version of the cake.
|The chocolate version was baked out in the Hayes-Custer|
cookstove in the summer kitchen.
|The finished chocolate cake.|