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Classic Cakes That Need Resurrecting


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Coca-Cola Cake


1 cup Coca-Cola

½ cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1¾ cups sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ cups miniature marshmallows

Coca-Cola frosting (recipe follows)

¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 13x9-inch cake pan.

Combine Coca-Cola and buttermilk; set aside. Combine flour, cocoa and soda; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat until blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat at low speed until blended.

Add cocoa-flour mixture alternately with cola mixture; begin and end with dry ingredients. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from oven; allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour Coca-Cola frosting over warm cake; top off with toasted pecans. Makes 20 servings.

Coca-Cola frosting: In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/3 cup Coca-Cola and 3 tablespoons cocoa to a boil, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; whisk in 1 (16-ounce) package confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember this thread had some discussion of Lady Baltimore Cake, and someone had wondered where it originated. I found the answer (courtesy of the The Food Reference Newsletter.

The Lady Baltimore Cake was a cake created by the fictional character in 'Lady Baltimore' (1906) by Owen Wister. In the novel, Wister had the character, Mrs Alicia Rhett Mayberry, create the cake, which he described in the novel. Supposedly a young women gave Wister a cake, which became the basis for the cake in the novel.  Lady Baltimore Cake is a moist 3 layer white cake made with egg whites, filled with dried fruits and nuts, and covered with a fluffy white frosting.

P.S. Thursday, October 23 is National Boston Cream Pie Day. (another tidbit from the Food Reference Newsletter, I didn't make that up.)

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P.S. Thursday, October 23 is National Boston Cream Pie Day.  (another tidbit from the Food Reference Newsletter, I didn't make that up.)

Now that's my idea of a national holiday!

And thanks for the background on the Lady Baltimore Cake (I love the Historical.)

Hmmm: Would the Coca Cola cake work with Pepsi? I have a two litre bottle of the stuff hanging around (unopened) from an eG gala here back in May. I've since learned that Heartlanders rarely touch a nonalcoholic beverage!

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel


A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites


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Hmmm: Would the Coca Cola cake work with Pepsi?  I have a two litre bottle of the stuff hanging around (unopened) from an eG gala here back in May. I've since learned that Heartlanders rarely touch a nonalcoholic beverage!

It would probably be good -- don't know.

A quick bit of Googling did reveal a lot of different Pepsi Cakes. So you could probably bake it into *something*. I like the idea of the peanut butter frosted Pepsi cake -- the homage to the Southern classic, Peanuts and Pepsi.

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  • 5 months later...

Other classics on my "revival list" include:  Coconut Layer Cake

I am almost sure I will make that on Saturday for my baby boy's first birthday. I can't wait to see what he does with the coconut frosting. :biggrin:

The spouse actually made his first birthday cake last weekend for moi, and it was a coconut layer cake out of Cook's Illustrated. I remember it fondly from church potlucks as a kid, but I gotta say, we halved the frosting (only 2 layers) and it was still way, way too sweet for me. Like scrape the frosting off the middle too sweet. The icing was a buttercream made just with eggwhites. Have my tastes changed or are there less sweet versions?



I's been a long time since this thread began and I've been experienting off and on with coconut cakes just because my family loves coconut. We celebrated my mother's 71st this past weekend and I decided to make a coconut cake for her. Thing is, dear mother can't eat egg/custard based frostings 'cause they give her stomach problems. We love the classic frosting that goes with this cake but we too can only handle it in small doses because of the cloying sweetness.

So anyway, I had an epiphany while strollig the aisles of the supermnarket and I decided to experiment with Birds Custard Powder for the frosting. I'm sure most of you know the french buttercream that involves all the egg yolks etc, so I took that principle and used the powder instead. I know for "foodies" this may seem cheap and nasty, :raz: but anyway, I made a custard using all coconut milk instead of regular milk and I added a tiny bit of coconut essence. When the custard cooled, I beat it into the butter and added some icing sugar. We were quite pleased with the results. Naturally because of the custard powder, the product is yellow as opposed to the billowy white variety, but what I got was a super-smooth, not-overly-sweet frosting with a nice coconut flavour. The whole cake had sweet toasted coconut pressed into it, which tasted great with the frosting.This frosting also stays beautifully at room temperature.

One problem though, and I am hoping some of you have some insight. But I took some and refrigerated it and when I took it out, it looked curdled like when french buttercream goes wrong. I haven't tried re-whipping it, but any ideas why that happened? :huh:

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That is the icing I grew up with, custard buttercream. A common German thing, I believe; at least, it's in my solitary German cookbook and my Oetker Book of Baking (calling, of course, for Oetker pudding rather than Bird's).

My mother made it with a cornstarch pudding (for a typical cake, 2 cups milk, 4T starch, 2T sugar, flavouring to taste). Let the pudding cool to room temperature (stirring occasionally to keep a skin from forming), and a full brick of butter warm likewise; it is important that both be the same temperature AND not too cold, or the icing will curdle.

Beat butter till creamy, then gradually beat in spoonfuls of pudding, adding a bit more sugar as necessary to taste. If the temperature is not quite right, it may still curdle a bit, but though it won't be perfectly smooth to look at, it will still taste good.

In the fridge, it always firmed up a little, and I thought (and still do) that it actually tasted good, and real. While most icings and frostings, commercial or standard, are simply "sweet" if not oversweet.

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Yup, that's the method. I have an oetker book too! :smile: I think Birds is a cornstarch base. However, the temperature was fine. I have done custard buttercream for years.. but you raise a point about the butter. maybe there wasn't enough of it (1/2 lb) for the amount of custard. I would hate to increase it, though, as I would get an enormous quantity and lose the coconut flavour without having to rely on essence, which is fine in VERY smalll quantities, but really gross and kinda bitter if it's the main thing....

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jersey - Thanks for bringing this thread up again. I would probably never have seen it otherwise. Now all I can do is think about cake and what I am going to bake. :biggrin:

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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I had given up baking for lent. I decided to end a little early on account of mom's b-day so now I'm on a bender (when I'm not at work, that is). I'll be trying another ccoconut cake this week since I have leftover frosting and my sister will be in town. Maybe I'll be able to figure out how to get it to un-curdle. :huh:

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I just made coconut cake this weekend for birthdays...I "washed" the cake layers with a little bit of warm coconut cream (Coco Lopez) & a small amount of water...and used a coconut milk pastry cream ( I like 1/2 half & Half, 1/2 coconut milk) made it the day before, so it was really thick, so thinned it with about a cup of whipped cream folded into it. Then just frosted the cake with a "creme fraiche" frosting (whipped cream with sour cream & little powdered sugar).

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I made the Burnt Sugar Cake Burnt Sugar Cake posted by snowangel as a practice for my daughter’s 12th birthday. The party is next week. We loved the cake—the flavor is absolutely delicious and I want to thank snowangel for posting this cake, which I had never heard of. My daughter read that her kids liked it so she voted for it as the first practice cake and it is a winner. I also made the frosting, which is a soft caramel and soooo good!

I have some comments and a question at the end.

I think that there are some mistakes with the recipe as written. I

will admit that I read the beginning of the recipe several times before

starting, but not the end… First, the ingredient list calls for 2/3 c white sugar, for

the burnt sugar syrup, but in the instructions calls for 1/3 c. After trying 1/3, I figured it was 2/3c, because that made a thicker syrup. I used ¼ cup water for the 2/3 c sugar.

The creaming of butter and sugar and then adding yolks and vanilla part is the

usual butter cake beginning. When I added the cold water it became very curdly

and I thought, this is the most unusual cake I’ve ever made. I added the 2 c

flour and mixed that in. Then I came upon the oddest part, whipping the whites with ½ c flour and the baking powder. Also, the instructions don’t talk about the salt, so I added it to the batter bowl. Now back to the whites (I re-read and re-read—I wished I had read it before so I could ask on this board!) I decided to press on. Well, flour and whipped egg whites make..glue, which I threw out. I separated 3 extra whites and whipped them. I added the extra 1/2c flour and the baking powder to the batter and then folded in the whites.

I baked my cake in a 9x13 inch pan for 35 minutes: toothpick clean and pulling a

bit off the sides of the pan.

The cake was not very high. The taste, like I said before, was fantastic.

The mixing order and the water as a liquid still puzzled me. I searched my many cookbooks. Two had recipe's for Burnt Sugar Cake.

The Pioneer Lady’s Country Kitchen, by Jane Watson Hopping (1988), which is of old fashioned recipes. It did have a Burnt Sugar cake, and cleared up the old-fashined method. This book's cake is almost identical to the one posted. (except for the vastly reduced amount of syrup-only 2 ts, 2 eggs instead of three, only 1 ts vanilla and, horrors, no salt). Here is the method in the book, after the water is added. Two cups of flour are mixed in first “with a few strokes” then the ½ cup flour with the baking soda (and the salt, I guess) are beat in with a few more strokes. Then the whites are folded in. In other words, my gut reaction was correct. But I still didn't understand why to mix the baking powder with only part of the flour.

Joy of Cooking (Rombauer, 1975 edition) also has a Burnt Sugar Cake (and calls it a "taste sensation"). In this book they do a more traditional method of creaming butter and sugar and adding yolks and vanilla, then alternating the dry ingredients with water and finally folding in the whipped whites.

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (Cunningham, 1981 edition-a favorite cookbook) has a 2 velvet cakes which are very similar, that is a butter cake with water, but they both have 1/2 c cornstarch added to the flour.

I'm making the cake again, but really want to try the 2-step method (as recommended in The Cake Bible (Berenbaum, 1988) and also in The Best Recipe (editors of Cook's Illustrated, 1999) of mixing the dry ingredients with the butter and a small amount of the liquid, then adding the rest of the liquids.

My question is, I haven't seen a 2-step method cake with both yolks and whites. In The Best Recipe's recipe for white cake, they say just add the whites without whipping, and of course they explain why. My inclination is to treat the yolks like the fat they are and add the whites with the other liquids.

Any helpful thoughts? Also, the Burnt Sugar Cake recipe as posted seems to need editing or clarification.

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The southern Italian cream cake is delicious. It's a buttermilk cake with pecans and coconut in the batter as well as in the cream cheese frosting. However, if that seems like a lot of nuts, omit them from the batter.

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You can't get a TRULY RED Velvet Cake if you substitute for the food coloring. I've tried several times. It doesn't taste the same either.

Red food coloring has a distinct flavor--no matter what number red is in the bottle. The recipes I've seen for a red velvet cake call for pouring in the entire bottle...which I think is about two ounces?

You certainly could get a super-red cake if you used paste color in the batter.

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I am answering my own question. I made another Burnt Sugar cake, following .Joy of Cooking, 1985 version, but with the proportions of the recipe posted on Recipegullet. The cake turned out high, but dry. I think in the future I'm going to take a little batter and bake a cupcake alongside, so I can try it without cutting the main cake. I could have salvaged this cake with a little soaking syrup.

Anyway, I loved the taste of the first cake and did find the recipe in

Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, and with the two mixing methods (the traditional way of creaming the butter and sugar, etc, and the other one adds the butter to the dry ingredients). The traditional method has more egg and sugar and less baking powder than the other method. You can search inside the book on the Amazon site. I liked that the recipes include directions for different-sized cake pans.

I found other recipes for this cake on the internet, but these were the clearest.

I will report back when I make one I like.

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Back to burnt sugar cake.

When I originally entered the recipe, I entered exactly as my great-grandmother wrote out the card.

I went through the steps this morning, and called my mother about the egg white/flour/baking powder part. And, I remembered just how my grandmother did it. What my grandmother did and I do is beat the egg whites and fold them in along with the flour and baking powder. My mom just puts all of the flour and the baking powder in at the same time.

And, I did make a mistake on the sugar -- yes, you burn all 2/3 cup. The original recipe only called for 1/3 cup, but I like to have more extra burnt sugar for the frosting.

I have edited the recipe on RecipeGullet.

As a side note, these make wonderful cupcakes, too. When my grandmother made them as cupcakes, she always filled the tins a little too ful so that they rose and spilled over a little, creating shoulders or rims. We always ate the shoulders or rims off first, and she always told us to make wishes on each of these bites.

This does not make a high cake, but it makes a very moist cake.

Finally, I have been known many times to double the frosting so there is extra for the cake and extra to lick out of the pan.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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My mother in law (yes, the one who can't cook) made a coke cake last weekend, and as she was telling us how awful it looked, and how bad it tasted (since it didn't come out of a box, and the only cakes that look and taste good are box cakes) I just kept eating away. As I was finishing my second piece, I just looked at her and told her that this was by far the best thing I ever ever tasted that you made.

She said it would be better if it had canned icing.

Mothers in law.

Now that's a thread.

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Snowangel, thanks for the burnt sugar cake clarification. I am smitten by the flavor of this cake. To my taste it combines caramel, butter and salt in a great way. Thanks again for mentioning it. I will try it again. Also, I loved your recipe for the "frosting." I want to add that I made it too hard on the first try, but just remelted it and added more cream and it was perfect. In other words, it is good and easy to adjust.

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Toasted Pecan Caramel Layer Cake-- there is a great version in Bill Neal's Southern Cooking ($ for egullet if you order thru this link)

I was reminded of this after seeing the Burnt Sugar Cake recipe above (which I'll definately try).

For this classic southern cake the pecans are toasted, ground and folded in to the cake batter. The frosting is a praline type caramel (with out the nuts).

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Toasted Pecan Caramel Layer Cake-- there is a great version in Bill Neal's Southern Cooking

I got Bill Neal's Southern Cooking on the advice of another thread and am almost done reading it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Hope you enjoy the book and cooking from it.

Making the Toasted Pecan Caramel Cake takes a little baking experience--grinding nuts so that they are fine and not oily, whipping egg whites and folding in properly and working with the caramel frosting---but the end result is very rewarding. It's nice to serve with whipped cream also to contrast with the sweetness a bit. The sweetness of the frosting is also counterbalanced by the astringency of the nuts---and small portions are de rigeur...

Another cake that Bill Neal raves about in this book but that amazingly I have not yet tried is the Huguenot Torte from Charleston. This is another classic southern cake with ground pecans but with the addition of finely chopped apples in the cake. It is simply iced with sweetened whipped cream.

Has anyone made this cake? comments?

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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OK, OK...i just skimmed this thread so...is there a recipe for Velvet Spice Cake out there? I Google Recipe Searched it and came up with nada.


Ok.... I have too much time on my hands today... :smile:

I didn't come up with a recipe doing a quick google search ( "velvet spice cake") but did see that there should be a recipe in Rombauer's 1985 Joy of Cooking... Seems like a book that should be a the library.

I was curious as to what to what makes a cake "velvet" -- is it just a descriptitve name or is there some technique or group of ingredients in common with, say for instance, "red velvet cake".

edited for typo

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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