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A Cake for Mrs. Leeper

Submitted by: suzanne-mcminn on August 20, 2010
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5
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A Cake for Mrs. Leeper

I’ve been eyeing this recipe ever since I first opened my Treasure Trove collection of vintage war-time recipes. I love the name Defense Cake. On further study of the recipe, I determined it was basically a sponge cake, renamed for the era and the patriotic effort these …

Difficulty:

Ingredients

Directions

I’ve been eyeing this recipe ever since I first opened my Treasure Trove collection of vintage war-time recipes. I love the name Defense Cake. On further study of the recipe, I determined it was basically a sponge cake, renamed for the era and the patriotic effort these women at home were immersing themselves in to make-do during shortages. Even in town, you might well have some chickens, so you had eggs, but fewer people in town had access to a cow and fresh milk, making the milk-less sponge cake the way to go.


One of the other fun things about this book of recipes is that these ladies knew what they were doing, so they were a little short on directions. Not to mention, the directions (and ingredients lists) were often an out-of-order mish-mash with some steps left out.

Here is the original ingredient list as it appears in the book:

6 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 2/3 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon baking powder

And the directions:

Beat egg yolks, salt, until light and fluffy. Add 3/4 cup sugar gradually. Beat after each addition. Add pineapple and lemon juice, beat egg whites until light but not dry. Add 3/4 cup sugar gradually (fold in). Add flour and baking powder to egg yolk mixture, then add egg white mixture. Fold in latter. Bake 1 hour at 325-degrees in ungreased angel food tube pan. Invert until cool.

This recipe is credited to Mrs. H.E. Leeper, 129 Maple Avenue, Fairmont, WV.

We love Mrs. Leeper, but she didn’t know how to write a recipe, so I’m here to straighten her out!

How to make Defense Cake:

6 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 2/3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

Note: It’s perfectly fine to use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, and I didn’t have any pineapple juice so I substituted orange juice. Substituting whatever you have on hand is in keeping with the war-time make-do mission.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and salt until light and fluffy. Add 3/4 cup sugar gradually, beating after each addition. Add pineapple (or orange) juice and lemon juice. Add flour and baking powder to egg yolk mixture; beat. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until light but not dry.

Add 3/4 cup sugar gradually (fold in) then fold egg white/sugar mixture into the egg yolk/flour mixture.

Bake 1 hour at 325-degrees in ungreased angel food tube pan. You may want to cover the top with a sheet of aluminum foil halfway through to prevent over-browning. Invert until cool.

I can’t help myself and I always grease and flour the pan anyway. I’m afraid something might fall out of the sky and smite me dead if I don’t grease a pan.

Serve slices with some home-canned fruit syrup mixed with fresh fruit or even a little jam or conserve. This is a light, delicious cake, and despite my few little changes, I think Mrs. Leeper would approve!

See this recipe on Farm Bell Recipes for the handy print page and to save it to your recipe box:
Defense Cake


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Comments

One comment | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 8-20
    1:24
    pm

    I LOVE this! It doesn’t have ‘specialty’ stuff in it. I have everything in my pantry or fridge, except for pineapple juice, that would be bad! I’m using orange juice too since me with big red blotches all over my chest, arms and face after eating pineapple juice would not be a good thing. (It’s not a true allergy, since my throat doesn’t swell up and kill me, but it’s NOT pretty either!)

    Also, using up 6 eggs is a good thing for me too! My hens haven’t read that hot weather should make them lay fewer eggs.

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