Friday, September 13, 2013

Thrifty Acres: Let's Bake A Cake!

Hello! A friend is moving overseas and thus has to get rid of just about everything in her pantry. Knowing I like to cook, she asked me if I wanted a box of  Softasilk cake flour. 

I said sure, but later wondered how I'll use it. I don't actually have many recipes that specifically call for this ingredient; all-purpose flour is the norm. 
As luck would have it, I found this in a thrift store the next day:

This is from 1957. Over on eBay, one seller is currently asking $25.00 for it! That seems like a lot of money for a slim cookbook - it's only 31 pages in length. But that seller was extolling the pristine condition; for one thing, no writing in his copy. 

That is not true for my volume - if you notice the faint marks on the cake in the photo above (right below the top row of strawberries), those are the words "Good Book" that someone had written. And I'll show some more handwritten comments in a bit. 

But is it a "Good Book"? Well, I haven't looked over all the recipes yet, but the photos sure look good:

Not shown in the photo is the caption "Here's a cake so downright rich that you just couldn't make it from a mix! You have to start this beauty with Softasilk Cake Flour. And when you bake it you'll have the confidence that the special blend of special flours in Softasilk will make your cake turn out high, light, tender, and wonderful!"

And if that prose wasn't glowing enough, the copywriter added "A soft...soft...Softasilk Cake says such nice things about you!"

Well, how about that - I thought that a well-made cake says I am a good baker - now I'm wondering what else it says about me?

Oh, by the way, the above cake is a Pink Marble Cake (Bonnie Butter Cake with a portion of the batter tinted pink and cut into the plain batter), frosted with White Mountain Frosting tinted pink. 

Next up:

This drum cake is a Real Red Devil's Food Cake, frosted with White Mountain Frosting and decorated with peppermint sticks and maraschino cherries. Love the marching band figures in the foreground!

Also love this trio:

These chocolatey goodies would be favorites indeed in my family! Alas, like most of the other photos in the cookbook, there's no caption telling me what recipes were used for the batters and frostings. I had to hunt for the recipe that matched the first photo I showed. (the Drum Cake was an exception; its photo was smaller, so there was room for its instructions next to the photo). 

Is one of the cakes above Black Midnight Cake? Are those Brownies in the back? Is that Minute Fudge Frosting on top of them? Beats me!

I had promised to show another handwritten comment in this cookbook, and here it is:

In case you can't read the writing on the side, it says "Real Good. moist" and "Edna" below those words. I am going to try out this recipe to see if this baker's opinion was on target - plus I love the name "Dinette Cake" anyway! Sounds quaint, doesn't it? 

Whoever owned this cookbook had also written next to a couple other recipes - for instance, "Edna" is mentioned again next to Black Midnight Cake, which was credited as being "Good". 

Now, that eBay seller obviously thought an unwritten-in copy of this cookbook greatly increased its value. But as for me - well, I think the commentary adds to the charm of my copy - and, I paid FAR less than $25.00 for it!


  1. Is the dinette cake a smaller cake? I would love the one with the handwritten notations too.

  2. Yes, it's smaller, as in 8" square pan - a great size for a small family like mine.