Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Joy of Baking - 1929 Sponge Cake

This recipe was Tom's request for his birthday cake today. It comes out of my late mother's recipe box and is from her childhood neighbor. I am typing it out first exactly how the neighbor (??) wrote it, and then will add my notes. In the picture, the additional notes are my mother's and mine. So three different people writing on the same handwritten recipe; isn't that a wonderful thing?

Sponge Cake

Beat 3 eggs without separating until a light colored, thick froth is the result.
Add 1 cupful granulated sugar and beat again with the egg beater until very stiff.
Mix in 4 tablespoonsful of cold water.
Then sift together twice one cupful of flour, 1 teaspoonful baking powder (I use 2 teaspoonsful of Grand Union Baking Powder), and 1/4 teaspoonful salt.
Add to mixture and beat the whole to-gether before putting in cake tin.
Flavor with 1/2 teaspoonful lemon.
Bake in angel cake tin.

I use my KitchenAid mixer to make this cake, and it comes out light and wonderful.
I, too, use 2 teaspoons baking powder (though not Grand Union).
I add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
I grease the pan, and use a tube pan.
I bake it at 350 F. about 30 minutes.
This is so good that you don't even need frosting. When I have frosted it, I have used a chocolate buttercream frosting, and also a regular buttercream frosting with added lemon juice.

Tonight it will be the lemon frosting, but I decided to take the picture before so you could see the beauty of the cake. Too bad I couldn't show you the great taste. :<)

Oh, and here is the birthday boy himself doing the nightly chores.


  1. Yum, yum, yum!! I love that you have the handwritten recipe. What a treasure.

    Wish the birthday boy a very happy one from both of us. :)

  2. I am planning to make a sponge cake for Saturday night's gathering and have been hunting for a recipe. Lo and behold - here one is!

  3. What I like best about the recipe is the handwriting. What a lost art, to be able to write so beautifully...Oh, and Happy Birthday to your honeybunch.

  4. Belated Happy Birthday to Tom. The cake looks delicious and how good to have that recipe from 1929. I have a cookery book that belonged to my mother with handwritten recipes - I'm not sure when she started it - probably in 1938 when she got married.

  5. It is a wonderful thing. I love to read recipes that my mother wrote in her own handwriting. It makes me feel close to her now that she is gone.

    I like to date recipes that people give to me. It is amazing how the years go by and this is another way to keep track of years past.

    Happy Birthday to Tom!

  6. What an amazing thing to have passed down to you. The handwriting is so beautiful and the cake looks delicious. I wish I had some of my grandmother's recipes, but by the time I though to ask it was too late (she wasn't able to remember) and my mother, who doesn't cook never thought to ask. I still dream about her baked bean, loin of pork, cole slaw, wine vinegar chicken...

  7. Aren't old handwritten recipes that have been passed down the best? Whatever we make from them always seems to have extra love added to it :) Happy birthday to your husband!
    Hugs, Joanne

  8. What a pretty cake! I love handwritten "passed-down" recipes. They are the best. Even those that I don't make, for one reason or another, are a treasure in my recipe box.

  9. Yum! What time do I come over for the celebration? :)

  10. This does look good, Nan! I've been enjoying catching up with your blog ... I've missed a lot! Have a great weekend. ~ hugs, Lynda xo

  11. Tom is quite the famous boy recently with his book review and now his birthday. :<)

    He thanks you all for his birthday wishes, and I thank you for the nice comments on the recipe. I have a few more which I'll share in the future.

    Whenever I make anything from a cookbook, I write my reactions and the date I first made it, hoping someday a child or grandchild or even a great-grandchild will enjoy reading my words all those years later.

    Thanks again to you all for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  12. I also make notes in my cookbooks. Mostly they are helpful to me, but I hope to someone in the future as well.

  13. I find them very helpful, too, Tara. Sometimes I write to not make again! I have also begun putting a check mark in the index to show what I have made from a certain book. I was always wondering where a recipe came from and this helps.

  14. This is just great, Nan. I'm impressed that you tried a bundt; you may just have inspired me! And you may have inspired me to start writing in cookbooks, too, although I was trained by my mother NEVER to write in a book so this may take more work.

  15. Tinky, thanks so much for coming by to read it. I never write in 'real' books but definitely write in cookbooks. I always note down when I first make a recipe and what I thought of it, any changes, and then make a little mark in the contents so I know what I've made. I have another one from that same time, a chocolate cake, that I will make and write about.


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