2 versions of sunshine cake, an old favorite

  • Tue Jul 31st, 2012 10:04pm
  • Life

By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist

Turned into the expert hands of Forum cooks, a much-wanted, but seemingly elusive, oldtime recipe for sunshine cake makes a comeback, starting today.

Granted, the how-to is one of those really hard-to-find recipes, but it has now successfully been retrieved from treasured personal recipe files and boxes, calls to family and friends and eventually discovered in handed-down-in-the-family cookbooks.

And who we have to thank for all that time and effort are 18 Forum cooks, who have taken the time and trouble to send along 28 recipes. Whopping response, right?

Let’s wade right in there, then, beginning with one identical recipe, taken from the same source, but shared by two different gals.

Everett cook Randy Bindner writes, “This recipe is from a 1927 edition of ‘Any One Can Cook,’ cookbook by the Royal Baking Powder Co. This is one of the many cookbooks I have from both of my grandmothers and my great-grandmother.

“I copied this recipe exactly like it is in the recipe book. How many people today, do you think, will know what it means to “hair’ your syrup? Ha! I love these cookbooks, and I use them, too.

“I also have dozens of the really old pamphlet-style recipe books that give you the choice of cooking with wood, or the ‘new electric way.’”

Randy concludes, “They really are a treasure trove of pleasure for me, and I’m glad I have them.”

Another Everett helper-outer, Sherrill Boyle, tells us, “This is in reference to the SOS from Janice Klatt, who is looking for an old recipe for sunshine cake. Well, here it is, the recipe published in 1927 by the Royal Baking Powder Co.”

Next, Martha Sherry of Marysville antes up with a different version that also dates back to 1927. She tells us, “This was my husband’s sister’s favorite birthday cake. My mother-in-law would make a thin frosting of orange juice and powdered sugar and drizzle it over the cake. I haven’t thought of it in years.

“The recipe was in the 1927 edition of ‘Boston Cooking School Book.’ Hope this is what Janice Klatt of Camano Island is looking for.”

So we can all take a look at the way recipes were printed in the 1920s, this pair is an exact duplication of them, as they appeared in the original cookbooks.

Special sunshine cake


6tablespoons cold water

11/4cups granulated sugar

1/8teaspoon salt

1cup sifted flour

1teaspoon baking powder

1/2teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2teaspoon almond extract

Separate yolks and whites of eggs. Beat whites stiff, adding salt. Cook sugar and water until syrup hairs when tried in water. Pour while hot over whites and beat until cool, as for boiled icing. Beat yolks until thick, add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to yolks and other half to the flour (sifted at least four times). Add flavoring. Blend all together with the whites. Pour into ungreased angelfood tube pan and bake 50 minutes in a slow oven. Start oven at 300 degrees, increase to 350 degrees, and last part of baking decrease the heat again. To cool, invert pan.

Makes one nine-inch loaf.

Sunshine cake

Whites 10 eggs

Yolks 6 eggs

1cup flour

11/2cups powdered sugar

1teaspoon lemon extract

1teaspoon cream-of-tartar

Beat whites of eggs until stiff and dry, add sugar gradually, and continue beating; then add yolks of eggs beaten until thick and lemon-colored and extract. Cut and fold in flour mixed and sifted with cream-of-tartar. Bake 50 minutes in a moderate oven in a buttered angel-cake pan.

Note: Since these recipes will likely raise questions, if you’d like to explain what the term “hairs” means, or the directions for “cut and fold flour” as given in the two recipes, don’t hesitate to write to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. We are always happy to receive your contributions and requests, but please remember that all letters and email must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to email by return email; send to kruse@heraldnet.com.

The next Forum will appear in Friday’s comics pages.