Caroline Paddleford's Marble Layer Cake



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Clementine Paddleford. How America Eats. (New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons), 1960.

Caroline Paddleford's Marble Layer Cake


Caroline Paddleford was Clementine's grandmother and here is what Clem wrote in her book HOW AMERICA EATS (Scribner's Sons, 1960), p. 289.

"Sunday dinner is to me the symbol of good eating in the Middle West. I know those Sunday feasts as of yesterday and today. I was born and raised in Blue River Valley, now the basin of the Government's great Tuttle Creek Dam. Our farm, before Alaska's and Hawaii's statehood, was within twenty miles of the geographical center of the United States. It was in a yellow limestone church at Stockdale, Kansas, a crossroads town, that I sat dreaming during Summer Sunday sermons, not of heaven or hell, but of the good dinner to come. There would be fried chicken and gravy, fresh garden vegetables, green beans, summer squash or beets. In July came new peas and new potatoes. There would be leaf lettuce and cucumbers with a vinegar-sugar dressing. Always in summer, homemade ice cream and invariably this marble cake made by Grandma Paddleford's recipe."


2 cups sifted cake flour*; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ; 2 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder ; 2 eggs, separated ; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 3/4 cup milk ; 1/2 cup shortening; 1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted ; 1 cup sugar

Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly. Add vanilla. Beat in well-beaten egg yolks. Add cake flour alternately with milk, beating until smooth after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture. Divide batter into 2 parts. To one half, add chocolate. Put by spoonfuls into 2 greased and floured 9 inch layer pans, alternating light and dark batters. Bake at 375 degrees F. about 25 minutes. Put layers together and cover with chocolate butter frosting or frosting of your choice. Yield: 2- 9 inch layers.

*Make sure you use CAKE FLOUR for the recipe and NOT all purpose or any other type. Otherwise the cake will not turn out as well as it should.

Kelly and I hired a chef to test our recipes. The above recipe has been tested.

Also note, that this cake is not intended to turn out like a professional cake from the bakery. The intention of Paddleford's recipe collecting and writing was so that ordinary people could cook good food.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think.