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Old Fashioned Cake Baking Secrets & Recipes
Secret Techniques for Making Delicious Homemade Cakes
How many movies have you seen featuring an old fashioned picnic or state fair with beautiful prize-winning cakes? Or maybe you're lucky enough to remember your mom's or grandma's delicious cakes on special occasions? Forget the cake mix. Roll up your sleeves and put on that apron. With some basic ingredients and the secrets of the best cake makers from the good old days, you can surprise your family and maybe yourself with a to-die-for old-fashioned homemade cake. By the way, these recipes make delicious cupcakes, too.
Vintage Images: Files of Nancy Oram
Prize Winning State Fair Cakes
Did you know there are only TWO types of cake?
When you learn to make the two basic cakes, you can make endless variations of cakes. Every cake is a variation of one of these two. Every cake begins by being either a butter cake or a sponge cake.
Cake Secrets by Janet McKenzie Hill
A Rare Glimpse Into a Professional's Techniques
Janet McKenzie Hill, renowned expert of her day, takes the mystery out of producing cakes people ooh and aah over by sharing her secrets and techniques of cakemaking.
If you really want an old-fashioned cake made authentically, this vintage/antique Cake Secrets cookbook is the gold standard.
Biggest Cake Secret
There are only two types of cake:
1. Butter Cake
2. Sponge Cake
Regulation Butter Cakes
Basic Butter Cake Recipe
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
2 C cake flour
3 teas. baking powder
3 egg whites
2/3 C milk
1 teas. flavoring extract
Method of Making
First Mixture: Beat or work the butter with a slitted wooden spoon until it has a whitish appearance around the edges. Then gradually add the sugar to the butter, beating the mixture meanwhile.
Second: Sift the flour, measure, add baking powder, and sift three times.
Third: Beat the egg whites until very light and fluffy. Dry-beaten egg whites make a dry cake. Use a wire whip, which leaves the eggs moist.
To the creamed butter and sugar add alternately the 2/3 C milk and the flour with the baking powder. Thoroughly beat the entire mixture until smooth. Add flavoring. Fold in the egg whites. Do this carefully with a wooden spoon so as not to break down the air cells in the beaten egg whites.
Grease a pan, 8 x 8 inches, sift a little flour over the grease, tap the pan on one edge to remove extra flour. Put the batter into the pan and let bake about 35 minutes. Have the heat moderate until cake has risen, then have strong heat until three-fourths of the baking time, then gradually reduce the heat.
Butter Cake Secrets
Work butter to a cream before adding any sugar.
Flour and milk should always be added alternately, beating hard after each addition.
See How It's Done - Today's Secret Cake Making Techniques
This video is incredible. Pay close attention to the order the ingredients are added, the way they're incorporated, and how much time the cake is mixed after each step.
Regulation Sponge Cakes
Basic Sponge Cake Recipe
1 C sugar
1/2 lemon, grated rind and juice
1 C cake flour
1/4 teas. salt
Sift the flour before measuring; grate the lemon rind into the sugar; extract and measure the juice--there should be two tablespoonfuls.
Beat the yolks with egg beater until light colored and thick, gradually beat in the sugar and grated rind with the wooden spoon, then add the lemon juice.
Beat the whites with wire whip until very light.
Cut and fold part of the whites into the yolks and sugar; cut and fold in the flour and salt; cut and fold in the rest of the egg whites. Do not stir or beat the mixture.
To bake a sponge cake, divide the time into four quarters of 15 minutes each. At the end of the first quarter the cake should begin to rise. In the second quarter it should rise to full height and brown slightly. In the third quarter it should brown all over. In the fourth quarter it will finish baking and settle somewhat in the pan. The heat should be rather low until the cake has reached its full height, then increased for 15 minutes while browning, then decreased until it is done.
A clean toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan, inverted. In this way the moist cell walls are made firm while elongated, and the light, airy texture is maintained.
Sponge Cake Secrets
Always beat and fold ingredients, never stir, as it breaks down the air and makes a heavy cake.
Recipe for Marble Cake
A Variation of a Basic Butter Cake
Follow the recipe for the basic butter cake above. Divide the mixture and leave one half plain.
Into the other half beat:
2 squares (ounces) of melted chocolate,
1/2 teas. ground cinnamon,
1/4 teas. ground cloves,
1/4 teas. soda.
Put the two mixtures, alternately, by large spoonfuls into a loaf pan.
On the mixture may be set 15 marshmallows in three rows, sprinkling the surface with 3 tablespoonfuls granulated sugar and 1/2 teas. cinnamon.
Bake about 25 minutes. Serve cut in squares, a marshmallow on each square, eliminating the need for icing.
Cake Pans - The essentials for baking cakes.
Recipe for Jelly Roll
A Variation of a Basic Sponge Cake
Jelly Roll Cake
Bake regulation sponge cake in a large flat pan; line the pan with a greased paper that hangs over the ends. Turn the cake on a damp towel, and remove the paper. Cut off the crisp edges. Spread the cake with fruit jelly beaten smooth. Roll and turn on a cake rack to cool.
The Cake Bible
The Cake Bible
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Master Cake Decorating Class
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Cake Cookbooks - Live Auctions Right Now
A chance to pick up some cake cookbook bargains.
Your Favorite Cake - Sometimes It's Hard to Choose Just One!
My favorite has to be Devil's Food, but a close second is Sponge Cake with Chocolate Icing! I also love Lemon, Black Forest, German Chocolate, Boston Cream, White with Strawberries, Carrot Cake. . . .
Did I leave anything out?
What is your very most favorite cake?
Photos used with permission are credited in individual modules. Every other photo on this lens resides in original form in my personal collection.