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Brainstorming - American Regional Classic Desserts


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ludja - i've put the jean anderson book on hold for myself at the library, but in the meantime, would you be willing to share the vanilla/vanilla cake recipe? i'm also a really big fan of the pure vanilla flavor.


My mom just makes a very simple vanilla buttercream frosting with powdered sugar, butter, a little cream and vanilla extract. Other vanilla buttercream recipes might be even nicer, perhaps with real vanilla bean. I should try making the cake itself with vanilla bean sometime also.

Whipped Cream Cake

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups sifted cake flour

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

(Mom uses all purpose flour with success).

Preheat oven to 375 deg. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with wax paper and grease the paper.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside.

Whip cream until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until thick and piled softly. Fold beaten eggs into the whipped cream. Stir in sugar and vanilla.

In two additions, fold in dry sifted ingredients by hand.

Divide batter between both pans. Bake until cake is lightly browned and the center springs back to the touch, about 20-25 min.

Cool cakes on wire racks for 10 min. Invert, remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Peel off wax paper and cool to RT.

Serve with vanilla buttercream.

Softened butter, slowly add powdered sugar. Add vanilla flavoring. Add a little canned milk, or cream or milk to get proper consistency. Use other flavorings as desired.


oh, and i think i've made those apple crumb squares, btw! a long time ago, i worked for a german baker at a little cafe in harvard square. she taught me lots of classic things - i'm still mad that i lost her cheesecake recipe. all i can remember is that it had a shortbread crust, was made with cottage cheese & raisins, and had a piped meringue lattice topping. mmmmmmm :wub:

I love German/Austrian cheesecakes or "Topfentorte". They typically use Quark or Farmer's cheese, are flavored with lemon, vanilla and maybe rum or raisins, and, as you mentioned, employ a shortbread crust. I have some recipes but none are tested by me yet. When I try a successful version, I'll try to remember to post it on egullet.

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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thank you for the whipped cream cake recipe - not only am i adding it to the 'potential new menu item' list, i'm also thinking it'll be perfect for my husband's approaching birthday. and yes yes, if you find a Topfentorte recipe that you're happy with, please do post it - i'd love to see it!

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Wayne Harley Brachman has written a couple of retro/All-American dessert cookbooks. You can look at each index to get more inspiration:

"American Desserts : The Greatest Sweets on Earth "

"Retro Desserts: Totally Hip, Updated Classic Desserts from the '40S, '50S, 60s and '70s"


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


Tim Oliver

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I grew up Noth Dakota, haven't seen many replies from my part of the country. Rhubarb cake, or pie is really good and a sign of spring! A cozy winter treat was raspberry or plum dumplings. The fruit was cooked in the bottom of a heavy pot and then drops of sweet dough were added on top, served in a bowl with lots heavy cream, mmm. And of course pie, lots of pie.

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