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Black Cake recipes from the early 1900s

Recipes were a little less thorough around the turn of the turn of the last century, but there seems to be enough information for a good start. If any readers attempt these recipes, we'd love a photo of the results. --Pen


The earliest mention I found of "black cake" in the Adair County News appeared in the summer of 1902, when the Fair offered a one dollar premium for the best entry in that category. (Mrs. Claud Hurt won the prize.)

In the process of plundering through the old papers, I found two recipes for this delicacy. The one headlined simply "Black Cake" comes from the September 14, 1910 edition. The other one saw publication in the July 18, 1922 paper.

Black Cake, September 14, 1910

Beat one cupful butter to a cream, add one cupful sugar, beat until very light, then add one cupful molasses and after mixing thoroughly add four cupfuls of flour in which sift one-half teaspoonful soda, one-half teaspoonful cinnamon, one-quarter of a nutmeg grated, one-half teaspoonful cloves, one cupful each of dried currants and seeded raisins and one cupful of strong coffee. After blending thoroughly, add the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs. Bake in a paper lined tin, greasing the paper. It will take two hours in a modern oven to bake this cake. When cold cover with yellow icing put on roughly and decorated with strips of citron cut to represent sheaves of wheat, a bit of icing placed about the sheaves to represent the strings holding them together.

The text below is from what appeared to be a syndicated column, Mother's Cook Book, by Nellie Maxwell, 1922 Western Newspaper Union, from the July 18, 1922 edition of the Adair County News.

One of the chief causes of financial pressure in modern life is the falure of some girls and women to realize that money does not fall like the dew gently from heaven.

Good Things For The Table
Take one cupful each of flour and milk, one half cupful of corn meal, one fourth cupful of sugar one tablespoonful of butter and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Sift the flour baking powder and corn meal together. Cream the butter add the sugar then the flour and milk alternatly. Beat well and bake in hot, well-buttered gem pans.

Chocolate Wafers
Take one cupful each of molasses and brown sugar one half cupful each of butter lard and grated chocolate one teaspoonful of soda dissolved in one-fourth of a cupful of boiling water, one teaspoonful of vanilla and flour to make a stiff dough. Form in balls about the size of a hickory nut, flatten slightly and place well apart on a baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven.

Black Cake
Take one cupful of brown sugar four tablespoonfuls of butter one half cupful of grated chocolate dissolved in a little hot water and the cup filled with milk one and one half cupfuls of sifted flour, one teaspoonsful of soda dissolved in a little hot water. Mix and and bake in a sheet. Cover with icing. This cake is better a day or two old.

Cherry Bread
Take two quarts of sweet cherries and one and one half tablespoonfuls of sugar, a piece of butter the size of a walnut (or two tablespoonfuls). One teaspoonful of salt and cornmeal to make a soft dough. Bake in a well-greased pan and serve cold.

Endive and Prune Salad
Wash and wipe the leaves of one head of endive and put them on a salad dish. Stone one and one-half cupfuls prunes, which have been simmered until tender in the water in which they were soaked over night. Add the prunes to the endive. For the dressing mix four tablespoonfuls of olive oil, two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, one half teaspoonful of salt, one-half teaspoonful of paprika and a dash of cayenne. Pour this over the salad. Mx and serve.

This story was posted on 2020-12-01 10:54:28
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Black Cake recipe from 1910

2020-12-01 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy JIM.
This recipe, headlined simply "Black Cake," comes from the September 14, 1910 edition of the Adair County News.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.

Good Things For The Table, July 1922

2020-12-01 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy JIM.
This clipping is from what appeared to be a syndicated column, Mother's Cook Book, by Nellie Maxwell, 1922 Western Newspaper Union, from the July 18, 1922 edition of the Adair County News. Recipes included Cornbread, Black Cake, Chocolate Wafers, Cherry Bread, and Endive and Prune Salad.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


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