A recipe in a hundred-year-old cookbook for Feather Cake piqued my interest. Was the cake really as light as a feather?
The short answer: No. The longer answer: This cake might not be as light as a feather, but it’s still delightful.
Feather Cake is a spice cake with nuanced tones of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It has a lovely texture – though it was not a particularly light cake. The cake was easy to make, and the recipe made a small 8 -inch square cake that is perfect for a small family.
Here’s the original recipe:
Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar. This recipe calls for both baking soda and cream of tartar (rather than just using baking powder) – which suggests that even though this recipe appeared in a 1919 cookbook that its origins might be much earlier.
And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins (optional) (I didn’t use raisins when I made this recipe.)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Put all ingredients (except for the raisins) in a mixing bowl. Beat until well blended. If desired, stir in the raisins. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Frost if desired.