Special occasions, think out of the box

  • By Sue Ade
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016 5:16pm
  • LifeFood

On the heels of last week’s exceptional recipe for carrot cake, I hope you’ll forgive me for toying with your sweet tooth once again. In honor of my mother’s 85th birthday, we enjoyed a sensational Vanilla Buttermilk Cake that you just might want to know how to bake for an upcoming special occasion of your own.

The cake is similar to one my mother made in the 1950’s, easy to make because it’s mixed in one bowl with an electric mixer, based on the then relatively new “quick-mix “ method of mixing cakes. The frosting for the cake, “Creamy French Icing,” is adapted from the 1948 edition of “New Recipes for Good Eating,” a publication by the Procter & Gamble Company utilizing Crisco, a product the company introduced in 1911, twenty years before my mother was born. Please don’t tell the folks at Crisco, but my mother, who is an excellent baker, always preferred the taste of butter in her cakes and frostings (and so do I), so the icing recipe has been altered – not only for the butter, but also for the tripling of the recipe to accommodate a larger layer cake.

For her mixing tasks, my mother used a Dormeyer stand mixer, which served her admirably for decades. I use a workhouse of a stand mixer by Kitchen Aid in my kitchen, but I also value my own vintage Dormeyer stand mixer and a neat little Dormey hand-held model because, though retired, they still work. Honest. The mixers of the 1950’s did not possess the power of today’s mixers, so the directions in the cake recipe calls for setting your mixer at medium speed for a comparatively short mixing time, and it’s important not to overbeat this cake.

Special events deserve the best your baking skills have to offer. Be you experienced, or fairly new at baking, sometimes it’s good to step out of the box and into the delicious world of tried-and-true memorable recipes that last a lifetime and for the lucky, many years beyond.

More in Life

John Messick’s “Compass Lines” is displayed at the Kenai Peninsula College Bookstore in Soldotna, Alaska on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Messick reflects on path forward in ‘Compass Lines’

“Compass Lines,” a new book by John Messick, a local writer and… Continue reading

Keanu Reeves portrays John Wick in "John Wick: Chapter 4." (Photo courtesy Lionsgate)
On the Screen: ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ goes out on top

In the showstopping, approximately 40-minute long, third-act action sequence of “John Wick:… Continue reading

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Springing ahead

I’m not ready to spring ahead

Murder suspect William Dempsey is pictured shortly after he was captured on the outskirts of Seward in early September 1919. (Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks archives)
A Nexus of Lives and Lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 8

Dempsey spent more than a decade attempting to persuade a judge to recommend him for executive clemency

Promotional image via the Performing Arts Society
Saturday concert puts jazz, attitude on stage

Lohmeyer is a former local music teacher

The author holds a copy of Greta Thunberg’s, “No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference,” inside the Peninsula Clarion building on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Thunberg speeches pack a punch

“No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference” is a compilation of 16 essays given by the climate activist

White chocolate cranberry cake is served with fresh cranberries. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Hard-to-ruin cranberry cake

This white chocolate cranberry cake is easy to make and hard to ruin — perfect for my students aged 3, 6, 7 and 7.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: It’s March

March is the trickster month, probably why we see so much raven activity these days

After Pres. Woodrow Wilson commuted his death sentence to life in prison, William Dempsey (inmate #3572) was delivered from Alaska to the federal penitentiary on McNeil Island, Wash. These were his intake photos. (Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks archives)
A Nexus of Lives and Lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 7

The opening line of Dempsey’s first letter to Bunnell — dated March 19, 1926 — got right to the point

Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Pedro Pascal as Joel in “The Last of Us.” (Photo courtesy HBO)
On the Screen: ‘The Last of Us’ perfectly adapts a masterpiece

HBO unquestionably knew they had a hit on their hands

Chocolate cake is topped with white chocolate cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A cake topped with love (and white chocolate cream cheese)

He loved the frosting so much he said he never wants anything else on his cake

In 1914, Pres. Woodrow Wilson appointed Charles Bunnell to be the judge of the Federal District Court for the Third and Fourth divisions of the Alaska Territory. (Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks archives)
A Nexus of Lives and Lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 6

Prosecution lawyers were fortunate to have a fallback plan: witnesses to the crime.