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Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

postheadericon Do Nothing Cake

My Mom always had some favorite “go-to” recipes that found themselves on the table at many family get-togethers or community events. She concentrated on foods that were easily transported, pleased a variety of palates, were budget friendly, and were not labor intensive. When called upon to provide a dessert, this cake was at the top of her list.  My Mom made this a gazillion times (ok, a LOT…) for many different occasions throughout the 60s and 70s.  I would hang out with her at our yellow vinyl and chrome kitchen table set not necessarily paying much attention to the creation of the cake but counting down the minutes until I could scrape the bowl and lick the spoon.  Mom would always intentionally leave some batter in the bowl rather than meticulously scrape it all into the baking pan “just because” I was “such a good helper”.

Although this cake was taken to many events, there is one that stands out in my 58 year old mind as if it were yesterday. Mom was a member of the local hosey’s (volunteer fire company) Ladies’ Auxiliary (back in the era when women could join the auxiliary of the organization and provide “support” and building and equipment fundraising help, but not be a member of the Fire Company itself…). The auxiliary met monthly at the hosey to discuss business (and keep up to date on neighborhood events and “happenings”) and each month it was the responsibility of that month’s “refreshment committee” to serve coffee and snacks at the official close of the meeting. I would often go with my Mom to the meeting and sit quietly at the bar doing homework or snacking on a piece of hot bologna, a 5 cent bag of Marsden’s potato chips, and a Coca Cola served in one of those little green glass bottles. When the meeting was over and refreshment time rolled around, I proudly took my place next to Mom at one of the long banquet tables while seated on a gunmetal gray folding chair that had the initials of the hosey stenciled on the rear of the backrest and told the ladies in attendance how “I helped bake the cake” Mom was serving. God love them; they smiled and nodded and made happy noises…and made my day. Of course, my chosen cake that evening out of the couple contributions available was always this one! Oh, Mom – how I miss my “baking buddy” and wish I could get you back, if even just for one minute.

This cake is very moist and makes an elegant treat for dinner guests, your family, or a potluck.  Make sure to poke plenty of holes in the cake top so the topping flows into the cake nicely. If transporting it, bake it in a disposable foil pan to safe the work of having to retrieve your cake pan later.

Do Nothing Cake

Ingredients

    Cake
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 - 20 ounce crushed pineapple, un-drained
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    Topping
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine or butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
  3. Mix all cake ingredients in large bowl until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake just tests done (do not over-bake).
  5. Make topping while cake is baking.
    Topping
  1. In sauce pan, place margarine or butter, sugar, and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until it bubbles, then cook 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and nuts until blended.
  3. Poke holes across entire top of cake with skewer or a long-tine fork.
  4. Pour the warm topping over the still warm cake (the topping will ooze down through the holes you made.)
  5. Spread the topping to cover the entire top of cake.
  6. May be served slightly warm or completely cooled.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/30/do-nothing-cake/

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postheadericon Coconut Dusted Cake with Cooked Frosting

When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s, every holiday had its ritual in my family. Easter was no exception. Every year, without fail, Mom and I went shopping for an Easter outfit for me, complete with requisite frilly hat and often, given the penchant for the Coal Region to spew forth unseasonably cool weather around Easter, a coat (lookout Sears, Robert Hall, and Town and Country, here we come!). An order was placed with our church for a potted lily which would join dozens of other pots lined up on the altar Easter morning with cards attached to a lilac bow inscribed with the names of deceased loved ones the flowers honored. Two dozen eggs were bought and stored in the refrigerator early (because eggs that are not ultra fresh peel easier when hard-boiled, don’tcha know…) awaiting their bath in Paas egg dye which magically produced lovely bowls of color in which to dip those eggs by dropping a little tablet of fizz into a bowl of combined vinegar and water.  My favorite Easter basket came out of the attic along with the colorful cardboard bunny and egg cutout decorations that were taped to the inside surface of the picture window in the front “parlor” of our house. Evidence of tape from previous years were always clearly visible on those poor, overused decorations, but I loved them. Local hoseys (volunteer fire companies or “hose companies”), clubs, and organizations planned and held Easter egg hunts for children in their towns. It was no holds barred when the signal was given to “Go!” and dozens of kids, running in all different directions, turned over every leaf and looked under every shrub, hoping to find not only an egg, but a numbered egg which denoted a prize.  Oh, to be the lucky one in your age group to uncover and snag the egg marked with a “1”. More often than not, that number corresponded to a ginormous chocolate bunny that was coveted by every kid in attendance.  Numbers “2” and “3” also brought prizes, but oh how they paled in comparison to “1”! During the shopping trip to the local A & P for the supplies for our family’s Easter feast, my Mom would place a fresh coconut in the cart which would come home to be used for her favorite cake which she made every year for Easter dinner without fail. Once home, I would plant myself on a chair at the kitchen table and watch my Dad set to work on the coconut. Mom always told Dad she left the prep work of them to him because he was so proficient at it, but I think she preferred to get through the experience with unscathed knuckles. Dad stood at the sink, a coconut sitting on a tea towel in his left hand, a hammer in his right. With a confident swing of the hammer, and a resounding “thwaaack” the coconut split open and the water from inside poured into the sink.  Dad then separated the meat from the hard shell,  picked up the peeler and removed the brown “skin” from the creamy white coconut meat. Out came the box grater and he grated every bit of that coconut by hand, somehow managing not to scrape his knuckles even as each piece became smaller and smaller as he worked.  Perfect! Even though my child’s mind was convinced otherwise  there was nothing magical about the freshly grated coconut and, over the years, I have made this cake using store bought shredded coconut and it was delicious. I now realize the memories, the traditions, and the love in our family is what made those coconuts and the cake lovingly created with them so special.  If you can get fresh coconut to use, go for it. If not, flaked or grated commercially prepared will work just as well.  If you are not a fan of coconut, leave it off, the cake and frosting are delicious on their own. This icing is not overly sweet and is light and smooth. This recipe is in my files in my Mom’s handwriting and has been around longer that I have been.

Coconut Dusted Cake with Cooked Frosting

Coconut Dusted Cake with Cooked Frosting

Coconut Dusted Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter and shortening (about half and half)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
    Icing
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

    Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Grease and flour 2 - 9 inch layer cake pans.
  3. In bowl, cream sugar and butter/shortening until light and creamy.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Stir together flour and baking powder in small bowl.
  6. Add the milk and flour mixture, alternating, ending with the flour mixture. Beat until well blended and smooth.
  7. Divide cake mix evenly in pans, bake on center oven rack until top springs back when pressed or cake tester comes out clean. (Mom never wrote down the baking time, and I am embarrassed to say I never did either. I check by sight and cake tester. I would start watching them at 20 minutes or so.)
  8. Cool in pans 15 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  9. Once cool. place one layer on plate, frost top, place second layer on top, frost top and sides.
  10. Sprinkle coconut on top and/or sides.
    Icing
  1. Place Flour in small saucepan and whisk in milk until smooth.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
  4. In mixing bowl, place the butter, shortening, sugar and salt and beat with mixer until light, beat in the vanilla, then add the cooled milk/flour mixture and beat until smooth and fluffy.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/02/18/coconut-dusted-cake-with-cooked-frosting/

 

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postheadericon Brown Stone Front Cake

One of the most used, spotted, and worn recipe cards in my collection is in my Mom’s handwriting and it is for “”Brown Stone Front Cake”. I lost track of how many times she made this cake; it was my Dad’s absolute favorite. Holding that recipe card, I can close my eyes and see her in my mind, plumping the raisins, gathering the ingredients, and pouring the batter into a well-used, very old 13 x 9 pan. As it baked, chances were my Dad was on his way home from a trip hauling coal to Philadelphia or New York in his tractor-trailer.  As the cake cooled, Mom put the coffee on in anticipation of Dad’s arrival. As he came through the kitchen door, he greeted us as if he hadn’t seen us in days. After the hugs and kisses were through, his eyes would light up again when he spotted his favorite cake on the counter. Simple pleasures made my Dad happy and I surely wish he was still with us. In doing some research on this cake, I came across several Coal Region cookbooks that include this recipe and call it “Brown Stone Front Cake” but on the internet, a “brown stone front cake” recipe often includes cocoa or chocolate and a suggested frosting. Mom’s version needs no frosting, or is delicious simply dusted with powdered sugar.  NOTE: Make sure the raisins as completely cool and very well drained before adding to the batter.

Brown Stone Front Cake

Brown Stone Front Cake

Brown Stone Front Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour milk (1 cup whole milk + 1 Tablespoon white vinegar, stir and let sit 10 minutes)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 pound raisins (plump by simmering raisins in just enough water to cover until they plump, cool completely and drain well)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cook the raisins, drain very well, and cool completely.
  3. Cream sugar with shortening until fluffy, then beat in eggs.
  4. Add flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, milk; beat thoroughly.
  5. Gently fold in cooled, drained raisins.
  6. Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan or 2 prepared 9 inch round pans.
  7. Bake until cake tests done using a cake tester or toothpick and the pick comes out clean and cake bounces back lightly when pressed. (Recipe does not give exact time. Start visually checking at 35 - 40 minutes for a 13 x 9 pan.)
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/18/brown-stone-front-cake/

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postheadericon Moravian Sugar Cake

The Lehigh Valley of Eastern Pa. is full of Moravian history. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was founded in 1741 by a group of Moravians, members of a church that traces its heritage to pre-Reformation fifteenth-century central Europe. These Moravians settled in the Lehigh Valley from what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. On April 2, 1741, William Allen deeded 500 acres at the junction of the Monocacy Creek and Lehigh River to the Moravian Church. The setting was ideal. It had fertile soil, ample lumber, and a plentiful water supply. Continued Moravian immigration and careful planning of the community is evidenced in the rapid growth of the settlement. By 1761 the settlements inhabitants erected over 50 buildings, maintained nearly 50 industries, and cleared over 2000 acres of Bethlehem-Nazareth land. Much credit for this early success can be attributed to the communal system in which these early settlers lived.  For over one hundred years Bethlehem was exclusively Moravian; however, it was not an isolated community. Bethlehem was an active, mutli-cultural center for trade and industry. Although the Moravian Church continued to hold the vast majority of the land in Bethlehem, the land could be leased from the Church and used for homes or private businesses. This organization remained in place until 1844 when the community was opened to non-Moravians.

This yummy and addicting treat is turned out by bakeries in the Lehigh Valley with fervor during the Christmas season. It is made with a sweet yeast dough enriched with mashed potatoes. The dough is left to rise in a flat pan, and just before baking, deep wells are formed in the surface of the dough with the finger tips, and a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon is loaded on top. During baking, this forms a rich sugary crust that permeates deep into the interior of the cake. Moravian Sugar Cake is best served warm from the oven, but it keeps at room temperature for several days, and also freezes well.

NOTE: This recipe calls for a cake of yeast (fresh yeast) which is not always easy to find in stores today as it was in the past. Use the fresh yeast if you can find it.  If not, use one envelope (packet) Active Dry Yeast or 2-1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast from a jar.
This recipe is from Edna Eby Heller’s Dutch Cookbook, 1960

Moravian Sugar Cake

Yield: 3 cakes

Moravian Sugar Cake

Moravian Sugar Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 potatoes
  • 1 yeast cake (.6 ounce US) OR 1 packet active dry yeast OR 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast from a jar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 7 cups sifted AP flour
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • additional 1/2 pound butter (or more if needed)
  • Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Peel and cook until tender enough potatoes to make 1 cup mashed potato
  2. Soak yeast in 2/3 cup warm water
  3. To scalded milk, add sugar, salt and 1/2 cup butter, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool until lukewarm
  4. Add the mashed potatoes, yeast and eggs and beat until smooth
  5. Add flour and knead 10 minutes using more flour as dough becomes sticky
  6. Place in a greased bowl and brush with melted shortening (or spray bowl and dough lightly with cooking spray)
  7. Place in a warm (80F) and let rise about 1-1/4 hours or until doubled in bulk
  8. Roll into 3 cakes 11 inches by 15 inches and put each on a lightly greased cookie sheet
  9. Brush tops with melted shortening
  10. Cover and let rise to 3/4 inch thickness
  11. Sprinkle tops with light brown sugar
  12. Punch dough with thumb to make deep (but not through) indentations in dough one inch apart across entire top
  13. Place a 1/4 inch square cube of butter in each hole (use more butter if you have more dents than cubes)
  14. Lightly drizzle some melted butter over top
  15. Sprinkle with cinnamon
  16. Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/12/moravian-sugar-cake/

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postheadericon Classic 7up Cake

In the Coal Region, we have churches and bars in almost every town –  no matter how small the town — sometimes on every corner. In the little village where I grew up – population less than 300 people — we had two churches and several bars (the number of bars at any given time depended on the decade; some closed when owners aged, retired or passed away). In addition to the bar at the Hosie (the fire company) during the years of my youth, there were a couple of bars in town my Pappy (grandfather) frequented on a some-what regular basis – much to the chagrin of my Nana (grandmother). He was a retired bootleg miner, succumbing to the ravages of Black Lung, and in my ten-year old eyes, he could do no wrong. I often rode my bike “uptown” to go meet up with Pappy at the bar when it was time for supper and he often brought home a 6 pack of Coke in those little green bottles from the bar for me.  My hero!  It is funny, I remember no details about the bar other than there was one of those soda machines outside the door that dispensed bottled soda – the kind where you inserted the money, opened a long glass door, and pulled a bottle out of the dispenser. When it came time to make this cake, my Mom always sent me uptown on my bike to buy a bottle of 7up from that machine.  I will always believe that soda tasted so much better from those bottles back then. This recipe was in my Mom’s handwriting, has been in my collection for decades and I can close my eyes and be 10 years old again, climbing on my bike to go make the soda run for her to make my favorite cake.  Lemony and delicious, my Mom’s recipe called for cake flour which I believe gives it a nice texture and crumb. If you do not have cake flour, you can create your own cake flour: take 1 cup of all purpose flour, remove 2 Tablespoons of it, add 2 tablespoons corn starch, sift it five or six times and you have created your own cake flour.  Have your eggs and butter at room temperature before starting. NOTE: the oven is set at a low temperature for this cake.

Classic 7up Cake

Classic 7up Cake

Classic 7up Cake

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup room temperature lemon lime (original) 7 Up
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • OPTIONAL
  • 7 up Glaze (see below)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 315 F.
  2. Prepare a large Bundt or tube pan with nonstick baking spray, or grease well and flour.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter for two minutes on high speed until pale in color.
  4. Add in sugar and salt and cream together for an additional seven minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times until very pale yellow and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Slowly add in flour with the mixer at lowest speed. Do not over beat at this point. Pour in 7 Up and extract and mix just until thoroughly combined. (do not over beat)
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 75-85 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto plate. Cool completely.
    7up Glaze
  1. In small bowl, mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of 7- up until smooth. Drizzle over completely cooled cake.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/30/classic-7up-cake/

Soda vending machine of my youth.

 

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postheadericon Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

This recipe has been in my recipe file box for so long, it is nearly unreadable — spotted with cake batter and fingerprints and grease spots. I could simply write up another card, but this one has “personality” and most importantly, it is in my Mom’s handwriting. In some small way, it brings her back to me when I see it. And so, I filed this away on a thumb drive for future reference, but when it comes time to bake this cake, I pull out that beloved, spotted, banged-up recipe card, think of my Mom, and all is well in the world. You will not taste sauerkraut in this recipe, but its addition adds a wonderful moisture to this cake. In the Coal Region and in Pa Dutch kitchens, it is not unusual to have a can or jar or sauerkraut in the pantry making this an easy to put together cake. Make sure to chop the sauerkraut finely or you will wind up with shreds throughout the cake (like shredded coconut). This cake is also delicious frosted with a basic vanilla cream cheese frosting. You can make this cake as a layer cake or bake in a 13″ x 9″ pan.

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake

 

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sauerkraut drained, rinsed, drained again and chopped fine
  • 1- ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips or squares
  • 8 Tablespoons. butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients together.
  3. Cream together sugar, butter and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with water.
  5. Add sauerkraut and mix thoroughly.
  6. Pour into prepared pans.
  7. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto cooling rack. Cool completely.
  9. Frost with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting or frosting of your choice.
  10. Frosting:
  11. Melt the chocolate with butter in a saucepan on low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into bowl or stand mixer or mixing bowl.
  12. Blend in the sour cream, vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar until it is your desired consistency. Whip until smooth.
  13. Spread between layers, frost top and sides. Store cake in the refrigerator.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/12/chocolate-sauerkraut-cake-with-sour-cream-frosting/

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postheadericon Tomato Soup Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This retro recipe has been around for decades. Campbell’s published it in a cookbook for the first time in 1940, but it was in existence well before then. The recipe found its way into my Mom’s hand-written recipe file and, as a child, I was convinced my mother was a magician and genius.  After all, who but MY Mom could put a can of tomato soup into a cake and make it taste so good??  (Turns out, LOTS of grandmas and moms did, but I prefer to keep  my Mom on the pedestal I built for her…)

A nice, thick layer of frosting on this is a requirement in my mind. It can be made as a layer cake, but I always use a 13″ x 9″ pan so that the cream cheese frosting (or “icing” in my coal region/Dutchie home) is not spread out between the multiple surfaces of layers.  Raisins are option, but use ’em if you like ’em, they add another touch of yum to this spice cake.  I sometimes sprinkle finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans over the surface of the frosting. (I like the flavor, the look of the garnish, and they help keep that fussy plastic wrap from sticking to the frosting for storage.)

Tomato Soup Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomato Soup Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (use unsalted butter - the salt in the soup and the sodium in the baking soda and baking powder is sufficient)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (OPTIONAL)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional but recommended)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Add the soup, butter, eggs, and water and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Fold in the raisins, if using.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let the cake cool completely.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth and light. Add the butter and beat into the cream cheese. Add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Continue to add confectioners’ sugar until you have your desired consistency. Beat in the cinnamon.
  6. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/25/tomato-soup-spice-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

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postheadericon Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Penuche Frosting

This recipe bakes in a 9″ square pan making it a great choice for a smaller family or one or two people. You can use any frosting you wish; chocolate, vanilla buttercream, or peanut butter are good choices, but my favorite pairing with this cake is Penuche frosting. Penuche is a sort of fudge with a caramel flavor made with brown sugar, butter and milk – this frosting is all that in spreadable form. There no eggs or oil listed for this recipe because the mayonnaise provides them. NOTE: Use only full fat mayonnaise in this recipe,  not low fat or fat free to obtain the correct results.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Penuche Frosting

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise (Use only full fat mayonnaise, not low fat or fat free)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Cold Water
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • PENUCHE FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar (or as need to make desired consistency)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water, mayonnaise, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda; gradually beat into mayonnaise mixture until blended.
  2. Pour into greased 9-in. square or 11x7-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  3. FROSTING:
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in half-and-half cream and salt and return to a boil, continuing to stir. Remove the caramel from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm, then add vanilla.
  6. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, being careful not to over-beat. If the frosting becomes too thick, hot water can be added to thin it out.
  7. Spread over a cooled cake. Allow the frosting to set before serving, about 15 minutes.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/25/chocolate-mayonnaise-cake-with-penuche-frosting/

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postheadericon Shoo Fly Cake

Shoo Fly Cake gives you the delicious flavors of the Pa Dutch favorite Shoo Fly pie, but in cake form. It is also more portable than the pie version and pieces wrap up nicely for picnics and lunches. The recipe calls for “molasses” and I always use “table syrup” (Turkey brand, Golden Barrel, or King’s Syrup). It is milder in flavor than unsulphured baking molasses (Brer Rabbit, Grandma’s) which I find far too strong and harsh to use alone in this recipe or any shoo fly pie. You may like the bold flavor of unsulphured molasses and choose to use that. If you want milder flavor and cannot get table syrup, mix 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses with 3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup. Use what suits YOUR taste!

Shoo Fly Cake

Shoo Fly Cake

Ingredients

  • Crumbs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, preferably unsalted, room temperature
  • Cake
  • Crumbs from above
  • 1 cup molasses (table syrup or unsulphured, your choice)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • Dash of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 13" x 9" inch pan.
  2. For the crumbs, combine the flour, sugar and butter. Mix with hands to form crumbs. Measure out 1-1/4 cups for topping. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, add the molasses and 1 cup of hot water to the remaining crumbs. Beat well. Add the remaining 1 cup of water and beat again. Dissolve the baking soda in the 1 tablespoon of warm water. Add to batter with a dash of salt. Mix well.
  4. Pour into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the top with reserved crumbs. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack before cutting and serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/24/shoo-fly-cake/

King Table Syrup

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postheadericon Peg’s 2-2-2-2-6 Pound Cake

The secret to this recipe is to start with a cold oven – do not preheat! The name of the recipe, “2-2-2-2-6 Pound Cake”,  comes from the list of ingredients.

The recipe for this super easy pound cake was given to me by my best friend, Peg, from Ashland, Pa. in the heart of the Schuylkill County area of the Coal Region. The first time I ever had it was when I went to visit her and she had made fresh strawberry shortcake for our dessert after dinner. I had not seen her in several years due to my moving from the area and that visit was so very special.  I am not sure whether the cake itself — or the pure pleasure of her company — was what made this so special. I never make this cake without thinking of her; seeing her slicing it then topping it with sweet, red, juicy locally grown Pa. strawberries in syrup and a big dollop of whipped cream. When I find myself mourning the passing of my best friend of over 30 years in early 2013, I close my eyes and go back to that day in her kitchen.

“When someone you love becomes a memory. the memory becomes a treasure.”

Super Easy Pound Cake

Peg’s 2-2-2-2-6 Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 whole eggs (room temperature)

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat for 10 full minutes at lowest speed.
  2. Grease and flour a tube or Bundt pan.
  3. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  4. Put pan in COLD oven. Turn to 300° F. Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Do not open oven for first hour.
  5. When tester inserted in cake comes out clean, remove from oven. Cool 15 minutes in pan, turn out onto serving platter.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/19/pegs-2-2-2-2-6-pound-cake/

COOK’S NOTE: This cake can be left unadorned, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, or topped with a glaze of your choice.

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