Anyone who knows me knows I love cake. Seriously, I love cake. I like fancy cafe cakes a lot, but to me there is something really special about homemade cake. Cake made from a family recipe, with lots of love.
Sadly, I don’t have any family recipes. My nanna was a great (vegetarian!) cook but she wasn’t a dessert/cake kind of lady. My mum bakes good cake (especially banana cake with chocolate icing) but, aside from one well-worn old recipe book from her high school days, she doesn’t really have a collection of cherished recipes. These days she mostly just looks in the pantry and does a quick search on google to see what she can bake with what she has on hand. I do the same thing. And though that’s really, really handy and I’ve found some great recipes online, I would really love to have a collection of old, tried and tested, much loved cake recipes. Old ones with simple, unfancy ingredients like milk and eggs and sugar and butter. Ones that I could write down on little notecards, keep in a cute recipe box and pass on to future children, friends and neighbours. Call me old fashioned but I like that. I like history and nostalgia and I like that food has the power to evoke powerful memories.
And so, in hopes of collecting a bunch of lovely old recipes, I’ve recently started collecting vintage cake books. I’m yet to try any of them but I plan to start working my way through the books and collaborating my favourite recipes soon. Maybe I should challenge myself to making one new (old) cake every week? I’m especially keen to have a go at making a sponge cake. I adore a good sponge with jam and cream but I’ve always been a bit scared of attempting to make one. I think now might finally be the time. After all, no collection of classic cake recipes would be complete without a lovely sponge!
Do you have a favourite old cake recipe? Did your mother or grandmother pass any good ones on to you? Perhaps you would be kind enough to share them with me? I’d love to give them a try and perhaps add them to my little collection!