Friday, September 2, 2011

Wonder Cake, Icing - Family Recipe Friday

During those times when I have unthinking kinds of work to do, such as stitching a hem or scrubbing a floor, I spend part of the time wondering about many different things but often especially about the lives of my ancestors (unless I'm otherwise preoccupied with wedding preparations as is the case just now). One thing I have never wondered about is my grandmother's recipe for Wonder Cake. Now, as I sit to transcribe it, I wonder why it is called Wonder Cake. Was it an exception in it's time? Was it unusual in it's lightness or easiness to bake? Did it have fewer ingredients than most cakes? Why Wonder Cake? I doubt I'll ever know.

This recipe comes from my grandmother's, Emma Bickerstaff Meinzen's, Webster's Spelling Recipe book. This recipe is unusual, compared to the other recipes in this booklet, because it tells the length of time to bake the cake. It does not, however, tell the temperature at which to bake it. Probably about 350 degrees, which is the temperature at which most cakes bake.

I still think my grandmother did not use enough chocolate in her recipes! They do seem to call for healthier ingredients, though, including plenty of nuts and fruit.

Wonder Cake
cream 1/2 cup butter
with 1 1/2 cup powdered
sugar 1/2 cup milk
a little at a time
add 2 cups flour
with 2 teaspoon R.
Baking powder
sifted with flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
fold in 6 beaten
egg whites last
Bake 20 min.

Boil 1 1/2 cup sugar
with 1/2 cup water
untill spins a thread
add slowly to 3 egg
whites beaten add
1/3 cup raisins (cut)
1/2 cup nut meats
1/2 " chopped figs

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