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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Brown Sugar Cake

Let's start this off with an easy one.

Ah cake, a form of sweet bread with traditional recipes from almost every corner of the world.  In the US we eat it as a dessert, typically, with or without ice cream or fruit on top or bottom.  Whatever way you have it, it's almost always a comforting treat.

Helen's breadbox had the following "recipe" written on a torn off piece of paper:

Not much of a recipe, but it does have a complete list of ingredients.  Now to figure out what this is; could be cookies or a cake or who knows.  I did notice a large amount of liquid to flour so that led me to believe this was a batter.  Probably for a cake, but what kind of cake is it?  It's not chocolate or "yellow" or anything I'm used to seeing.  So anyway, using the creaming method I proceeded to produce a batter which ended up looking like this:

It filled two 8" round cake pans about half full and when baked at 325 degrees F for 30 min I got this:

Frosted with a simple vanilla frosting:

Lovely, isn't it?  But what kind of cake is it?  The best I could figure out is it's just cake.  No special name for it is needed.  I later had a conversation with my good friend Jon and he said his mother would make a similar cake for birthdays and it had no special name.  It's just cake.  So I give you the recipe for "just cake" or brown sugar cake if you need a fancy name for it:

Helen Reilly's Brown Sugar Cake:

Ingredients
2 c.  Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Shortening
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 c. Milk
2 c. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2) Mix flour and baking soda together and set aside.
3) Cream together shortening and brown sugar.
4) Add eggs one at a time and vanilla and cream until well blended.
5) Add ½ of the flour mixture and stir well.
6) Add ½ of the milk and stir well.
7) Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk.
8) Pour into two greased 8” round cake pans.
9) Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
10) Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Makes two 8” round layers, approximately 24 servings