The Thrifted Kitchen {White Cake + Lemon Cream Filling}

Good morning & happy Thursday! The workweek is almost over (hooray!), and I think that calls for a celebration. Perhaps cake? :)

You can thank the hubs for this week's tasty treat. He had a hankering for cake, and when that happens, there's really no further discussion. Usually it's a white layer cake with a strawberry jam & almond filling, but I convinced him to peruse the possibilities in my thrifted copy of The Good Housekeeping Cook Book from 1949. He didn't stray too far from his favorite, still choosing a white cake. But this time it has a lemon cream filling, topped with a lemon butter frosting.

Now, I could put on a happy disposition and tell you how splendidly the whole process went...but what fun would that be? The cake itself and the frosting turned out fine, but the filling kinda kicked my butt. It didn't set very well, which I'm thinking is because either 1) it didn't cook long enough in the double boiler,  2) I didn't let it rest long enough in the bowl as it cooled or 3) I didn't whipped the cream long enough before I added it to the rest of the filling.

So after I put it on top of the bottom cake layer and then placed the second on top, most of the filling squirted out the sides. I tried to remedy it as best I could (which required my taking a 10-minute break in the living room, mumbling something about "...I never have problems with cake..." in my best Grumpy impersonation while the hubs tried to keep from smiling) and then relied on the frosting and some time in the refrigerator to help things come together.

Eventually it did, and it tastes delicious; it just isn't the prettiest thing to look at. :)

White Layer Cake
Yields 1 two-layer, 8-inch cake

2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
3 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two 8" layer pans, 1 1/4" deep, on bottom with waxed paper; grease paper. Sift together three times flour, baking powder and salt. With back of spoon, work shortening against sides of mixing bowl until creamy. (Note: I did this in my stand mixer because it's a heck of a lot easier.) To this, add flour mixture, alternately with milk, in small amounts, beginning and ending with flour, and beating smooth after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat egg whites with hand or electric beater until they form moist peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar slowly, beating after each addition until sugar is blended. Beat well into batter with spoon. Turn into pans. Bake in moderately hot oven of 375 degrees, 25 minutes, or until done. Cool on wire cake rack 10-15 minutes before removing from pan and removing paper.

Fill and frost with...

Lemon Cream Filling
Fills two 8" or 9" cake layers. Yields 1 1/3 cups filling.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup heavy cream

Combine first three ingredients in double boiler. Slowly stir in water and lemon juice, mixing well. Cook over boiling water 10 minutes, stirring, or until a small amount dropped from a spoon mounds slightly. Pour slowly, while beating with spoon, over egg, beaten with 1/4 cup sugar. Return to double boiler; cook 2 minutes, or until a small amount dropped from a spoon mounds slightly. Remove. Add rind and butter. Cool. Fold in 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped, just before using.

Lemon Butter Frosting
Frosts 8"x8"x2" cake, or fills and frosts single 9" layer, cur in halves, or 24 cupcakes. To fill and frost two 8" layers, double recipe.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
Speck of salt
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
About 3 tablespoons cream or milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Place butter in medium mixing bowl; let stand to soften a little.

Add salt; then work with back of wooden spoon, or electric beater at high speed, until light in color, fluffy and creamy.

Gradually stir in about 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar. Then add remaining sugar and cream, alternately, while stirring or beating until very smooth. Add only enough cream to make a spreading consistency.

When frosting is smooth, add lemon juice and lemon rind and spread on cake. 

{Images by me}

1 comment:

  1. :) I'm laughing with you. Some of the older recipes tend to be a little testy. It makes you think that your grandma must have been so much better in the kitchen. But I have come to believe that they leave little useful tidbits out of the recipe to make us later generations feel less competent. It was a master plan ;0)


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