When you bake your own cakes, using basic ingredients, you actually know where they come from. It’s not only a good idea, but it’s also cheaper than buying a cake and results in the sweetest-tasting cakes this side of heaven … not that I came from heaven with the recipes, but I was blessed to grow up in those years when, at supper time, we were presented with a nice warm, home-baked cake (or pie) from Mom’s kitchen. So, put that apron on, jump back half a century and try your hand at making these home-baked cakes.


Fresh-from-the-Garden Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Ingredients

½ cup shortening

1 ½ cups brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. soda

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

3 cups rhubarb, diced

1 cup nuts, chopped

(Topping)

½ cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

Method

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Mix flour, salt and soda together and add to creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk (or sour milk). Stir in the rhubarb and nuts. Spoon batter into lightly greased 9- by 13-inch pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 ℉ for 40 minutes. Best served warm.


Yummy Banana Coffee Cake
INGREDIENTS

½ cup shortening

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

¾ cup bananas, mashed

½ cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

(Topping)

2 tsp. melted butter

2 tbsp. flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup walnuts, chopped

Method

Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, bananas, flour, soda and salt in a 9- by 9-inch greased pan. Mix topping ingredients, sprinkle on top and bake at 350 ℉ for 30 to 35 minutes.


Our First Date Cake
Ingredients

1 cup boiling water

2 cups dates, finely chopped

1 cup white sugar

½ cup walnuts, chopped

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 tsp. soda

Method

Pour boiling water over dates and allow to stand until cooled. Mix remaining ingredients and add 1-½ cups flour to date mixture. Combine well. Bake at 350 ℉ for 1 hour. (This is one date you will remember.)


Fresh Garden Carrot Cake
Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar

1-½ cups salad oil

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

3 cups fresh carrots, grated

(Topping)

1 ¼ cups icing sugar

2 tbsp. butter

3 oz. cream cheese

1 tsp. vanilla

Method

Cream sugar and salad oil. Add eggs one at a time and beat. Sift dry ingredients and add, alternating with grated carrots. Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 350 ℉ in a 9- by 12-inch pan. Beat topping ingredients and spread on cooled cake.


Heavenly Chocolate Cake Mix
Ingredients

1 cake mix

1 ¾ cups sugar

1 ¾ cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

5 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 cup strong black coffee

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. Vanilla

(Filling)

6 squares white chocolate, chopped

¼ cup butter

¼ cup whipping cream

Method

Heat oven to 350 ℉. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted near the center (the cake will have a slight dip in the middle). Cool for 10 minutes.

Remove sides of pan. Then use the handle of a wooden spoon to make 2 one-inch trenches in the cake, one that is 1 ½ inches from the outer edge and the other 1 ½ inches from the center.

(Filling): Melt chocolate, butter and whipping cream over very low heat, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour into the trenches in the cake. Chill.


Sweet Glazed Lemon Cake
Ingredients

1 cup soft butter

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

2 tbsp. granulated lemon rind

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 ¼ cups milk

Method

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs in, one at a time, beating well. Add lemon rind and vanilla and beat.

In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon or mixmaster, beat into the butter mixture, alternating with milk (3 additions of flour mixture and 2 additions of milk).

Spread in a greased 9- by 13-inch cake pan. Bake in the center of a 350 ℉ oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.