White Cake From Carl’s Wife

A basic recipe.

Compare this version from the December 17, 1887 edition of The Newport (Rhode Island) Mercury:

White Cake.–One cup heaping full of sugar, piece of butter size of an egg, rub to a cream; two-thirds cup of sweet milk, two cups sifted flour, two teaspoons baking powder, whites of three eggs beaten to a stiff froth and add last.

From a notebook originally from somewhere in the general area of Sterling, Colorado from the 1930s.

This recipe is from the fifth page of the notebook; here’s the page in full (click to enlarge).

Click to expand a longer explanation...

In the words of the seller:
I acquired this book from the great granddaughter of the woman who wrote this book back in a small Nebraska town in the 30’s. She belonged to that generation of rural housewives who worked tirelessly to make ends meet and “keep body and soul together” for their families working the farms.

Later addendum:

[A]fter a conversation I had with a friend’s sister who used to live in North Eastern Colorado, given the type of recipes listed we decided it might be from a small town there, i.e., Sterling or Fort Morgan. Also North Platte or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you Google a map of Sterling, Colorado and pull back, you will see all these little towns in that tri-state area.

White Cake from Carl’s Wife

Cream together:

  • 3/4 c. shortening
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar

4 egg whites are added [one] at a time and beat well after each
1 and not quite a half cup of sweet milk
3 tsp. [baking powder?]
2-1/2 c. cake flour (more if needed)

Beat well and bake.

Very good

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