- Food and Cooking
Another Vintage Recipe ... a Yummy Snow White Cake
From then to now
In previous hubs, I explained that I found a container with my mother's 'bride chest' recipes. My oldest sister, who was born in 1920, recopied our mother's recipes into a notebook. My sister was in her teens at that time. We all grew up on a farm and prospered but my parents were always extremely conservative. For example, they jotted down lists, recipes, and about everything else on the back of envelopes from mail they received. In addition to those, some of our mother's other recipes were unwritten until we all copied them in that notebook.
The Snow White cake is one of my mother's.
Mixing the batter
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup egg whites (from about 3 eggs)
- 2/3 cup milk, plus 1/3 cup to be added later
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-1/4 cups cake flour
Baking the cake
Directions for the snow white cake
Sift the dry ingredients together. add the 2/3 cup milk to the butter and beat. Add the 1/3 cup milk, the egg whites, and vanilla and beat two minutes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
- Let me explain the directions in more detail. For example, the butter needs to be at room temperature before beating with the milk. We had only an icebox when this recipe was used by my mother so the butter did not need much 'warming'. She also churned butter regularly as my parents had milk cows. She didn't need to write in the instructions that the butter should be at room temperature because it probably was when she decided to make a cake.
- She did not add information about preparing the pans because she and her daughters knew how to do that too. First, we would line the pan with a thin later of shortening (butter or lard), sprinkle flour over the shortening, shake off any excess, and then fill the pans with batter. Later on, we also used waxed paper in lining the pans.
- We did not have utilities as such, no running water, no gas heat, etc., so cakes were baked in the oven of a wood-burning kitchen range. There was no temperature dial on the oven we had so she developed a sense or knack of knowing the oven's temperature and would adjust it with dampers and amounts of firewood if needed. Later I added the 350 for 30-35 minutes. I must tell you that I have had cakes fall over the years in my modern ovens but can only remember one of hers that fell.
- Egg whites in a carton were not available at that time so my mother always made noodles from the egg yolks. These were absolutely delicious and I will add that recipe below.
Directions for the noodles
These directions are for six yolks ... just halve the recipe when using three yolks. To make noodles using the six yolks from the silver cake, add the lightly beaten yolks to three tablespoons of water. Mix in enough flour to make a dough similar in consistently to tortilla or pie dough. Using a piece of dough about two inches in diameter, roll out on floured board until it is very thin (thinner than pie-crust), turning over once or twice and adding a sprinkle of flour during this process. Set aside and roll out additional pieces until the dough is used. Dry sheets of dough on low to medium low skillet. Roll tightly a few dough sheets and cut across with a sharp knife. The slices should be less than 1/4 inches wide. Cook the noodles in broth (beef, chicken, or pork) until done. It is especially good when pieces of meat (I prefer beef) are in the broth.
Nice icing for the cake
Our youngest son (called Raven in the hubs) does some of the baking. He is very interested in vintage recipes and my mother's are certainly that! He thought the following, butter icing also one of her recipes, would be a good match and it was.
- Butter Icing --- 2 cups confectioners sugar; 1/4 cup soft butter; 2 tablespoons cream; 1 teaspoon flour. Mix thoroughly.
Pink icing also makes the finished product even more attractive. From my perspective chocolate or fudge is too much of a contrast but you can always experiment with flavors and colors of icing.
Cake Flour trivia
When my son Raven and I started this vintage baking project, I no longer had cake flour on hand. He picked up Softasilk from the grocery store for us to use. I looked at the box and saw that it was made by Pillsbury. We were busy and I didn't check into it sooner but, with the snow white recipe, I did. Am I the only person who did not know that Pillsbury was bought out by General Mills in 2001, though later was required to sell off some products. I feel better now that I know I was not having a memory glitch although Pillsbury Softasilk sounds like an oxymoron.
I hope you enjoy the trivia and that you will continue reading my vintage recipe hubs as well as the others.