Hawaiian Sheet Cake – A Bonus Recipe

P Cake

We’ve been getting pounded with snow in Michigan.  I do love it, but at times I think about warmer weather and what it would be like just to have a little break from the cold snow, to enjoy the sun, just for a little while.  Maybe in….Hawaii?!

When my husband was growing up, his Uncle was in the army.  He was stationed in Hawaii for about six years.  During that time, my husband’s family took a once in a lifetime trip and went to visit.  For a week, amongst many other things, they got to swim on the secluded beaches that were for military only, they hiked and explored the natural wonders of the islands and even toured the Dole Pineapple Factory.  He said he’ll never forget that trip, all the adventures, the way he remembers them as a nine-year old boy.

This recipe came from that trip to Hawaii.  My husband’s Grandmother and his mother made this recipe for years.  It was such a favorite of my husband’s that he actually chose it as the groom cake at our wedding.

Hawaiian Sheet Cake

Cake

  • 1 large can of crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt (scant)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Frosting

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 box powdered sugar (4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup or more chopped nut meats (macadamia preferred)

For Cake: Heat crushed pineapple with juice and stick of butter.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar and beat in eggs, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.  Beat in flour, soda and salt.  Stir in sour cream.  Pour into a prepared cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For Frosting:  Add milk and butter to saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add 1 box powdered sugar.  Spread onto cake when still warm.  Top with nuts.

Melted butter and pineappleI started out by melting 1 stick of butter and the crushed pineapple on the stove top.

Pineapple and sugarI removed it from the heat and whisked in the sugar.

Pineapple butter and eggsThen I added the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

Dry ingredientsI then added all of the dry ingredients.  Once they were incorporated, I mixed in the sour cream.

BatterIt was ready to be poured into the greased cookie sheet and go into the oven.

BakedI baked it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  The edges were just beginning to brown and my toothpick came out clean so I pulled it out of the oven.

P - Frosting1While the cake was cooling, I began preparing the frosting.  I added milk and butter to my saucepan and brought it to a boil.

P - Frosting2Then I pulled it off the heat and slowly started adding the powdered sugar.  The recipe calls for a “box” of powdered sugar.  I looked it up and the equivalent was 4 cups, so that’s what I put in.

P Frosting3It made a nice thick frosting.  I made sure to put it on the cake while it was still warm so that it would spread easily.

P - WalnutsThe last thing that needed to be added was the nuts.  While the recipe suggests macadamia nuts, it was always served with walnuts at our family functions, so that’s what I used.  Any kind would be fine.  I cut them into pieces and sprinkled them on.

P SliceIt’s a deliciously moist and elegant cake.  One that serves a crowd!

HSCSo if you’re wishing for a little taste of warmer weather, turn your Pandora radio onto tropical, ukulele music.  Jack up your thermostat and put on your grass skirt.  Whip up a Hawaiian Sheet Cake and “get away” from the cold and snow for just a little while!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

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Cake

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Every year at Christmas, we make a birthday cake for Baby Jesus.  I thought it would be fun to find a recipe from Grandma Dora’s recipe box to use for the cake this year.  We have already tried several cakes from the recipe box (brown sugar loaf cake, brown sugar cake, Edna’s butterscotch cake, koffee kuchen, Mrs. Magary’s spice cake, Mrs. Tucker’s short cake and date and nut cake).  When I came across this recipe, it was simply titled “cake.”

Grandma Binger and Dad

Grandma Dora’s mother, Edith, with my Dad.

I noticed that this recipe was copied in the box on two different recipe cards.  As we continue to look through the boxes, we are beginning to wonder if one of them originally belonged to Grandma Dora’s mother, Edith and the other one was Grandma Dora’s own.  Since I found this recipe twice I wonder if both Grandma Dora and Great Grandma Edith had it in their boxes.  So, it must be a good one!  The recipe is very simple to put together – really not much more work than a box cake mix.  I like that about it.

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Cake

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, unbeaten

Sift dry ingredients together.  Add shortening and 3/4 cup of the milk.  Beat 2 minutes, then add rest of the milk, vanilla and eggs.  Beat 2 minutes.

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I mixed the dry ingredients together.  I then added the shortening and 3/4 cups of milk.  I beat these together for two minutes.

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I then added the rest of the milk, the vanilla and the eggs.  I beat this for 2 more minutes and I had cake batter!

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I poured the cake batter into a 9×13 pan, but you could also use two round pans or even make cupcakes.

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There were no baking instructions on the recipe.  I decided to bake it at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.  It turned out very nice and golden.

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I was pleased with the way this cake turned out.  It was simple to make and free of all of the preservatives you would find in a “box cake mix.”  I used another recipe, Dorothy’s Butter Cream Frosting to frost the cake.  I will share that with you in my next post.

Happy Baking!

Amy

Fluffy Icing

Grandma Wichtermans with Dad

The heritage of Grandma Dora’s cooking and baking skills.  Grandma Dora (standing on right), with her Mother (standing on left), her Grandmother (sitting) and my Dad (sitting on her lap).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandmother was always baking up desserts.  And, she made it look like the simplest thing to do.  My mom said she would watch her roll out a pie crust so quickly and perfectly, it was amazing.  So, I’m sure this fluffy icing was something she did quickly and with perfection.

On the back of the brown sugar loaf cake recipe there was the recipe for fluffy icing.  I decided my grandma must have thought this was the right icing for this cake since she put them together.  So, I decided I would try putting them together too.  I’m glad I did because it turned out to be just the right thing for the library bake sale.

Fluffy Icing

  • 2 unbeaten egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4  cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine in top of double boiler.  Place over rapidly boiling water and beat with rotary egg beater until mixture is light, fluffy and holds in peaks – about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Beat until stiff.

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This frosting was tricky for me to make because I didn’t have a double boiler.  I put some water in one pan and set another pan inside it to improvise.

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Once the water began to boil, I combined the ingredients and began beating them with my rotary egg beater (I actually have one of these – my nephews like to use it as a toy.  I think, though that it would have been easier to just put a hand mixer in the pan and let it go.).  I think because I didn’t have a real double boiler, I had trouble getting it to hold in peaks.

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But, eventually I removed it from the heat, added the vanilla, put it in the Kitchenaid with the whisk attachment and beat it until stiff.

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It was important to frost the cupcakes right away before the frosting cooled.  Once it cooled it got a little harder to frost.

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The frosting turned out great for transporting because once it was cooled it hardened enough so that it didn’t stick to the bags when I packaged them up for the bake sale.  Even though it didn’t stick, it was still a soft and fluffy frosting.  It was such a beautiful white color too.

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This frosting was definitely worth the effort!  I hope my friends at the library enjoyed the cupcakes as much as I did!  I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know what you think!

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Happy Baking!

Amy

 

Brown Sugar Loaf Cake

I love our library!  We go to a tiny little library where I never have to use my library card because the librarians know my name (and library card number) automatically when I walk in the door.  They still use a stamper to stamp the date a book is due in the back of the book.  One of the librarians told me she can’t stand to give it up because she just loves the satisfying sound of the stamper clicking down on the page.  When we check out books, we always chat with the librarians and they remember everything about the people in the small town they service.

Well, it was time for the annual library bake sale.  I almost always participate (except last year when I had strep throat – I didn’t think anyone would want to buy the germs I would have been baking into my baked goods if I had even had the strength to bake!).  I thought it would be nice to try out one of Grandma Dora’s recipes for the bake sale.  When I came across this recipe for Brown Sugar Loaf Cake, I decided to give it a try.

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Crisco’s Brown Sugar Loaf Cake

Measure into bowl.  All measurements level.

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2/3 cups Crisco
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Mix vigorously for 2 minutes by hand (or mixer, medium speed)

Add:

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix vigorously by hand or mixer for 2 minutes.  Pour into loaf pan 9x13x2.  Bake in 375 degree oven 40 minutes.  Cool cake on rack 15 minutes.

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This recipe was very simple to put together. I just measured the first set of ingredients into the mixer bowl.

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Then I mixed the ingredients for 2 minutes.

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Next, I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed for two more minutes.  Because the name of the recipe is loaf cake, I was imagining it would go into a bread pan size dish.  After I had stirred all of the ingredients together, I greased a bread loaf pan and started to pour the batter in.  It didn’t even come close to fitting in there!  I looked at the recipe again and noticed that the loaf pan was 9x13x2.  Oh!  They were talking about a 9×13 dish.  Well, that made more sense.  I decided I didn’t want to send my 9×13 pan to the bake sale, so I decided to make the batter into cupcakes.  That would be much easier to package for selling.

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The cupcakes turned out beautifully.  Wendy had recently made a brown sugar cake from the recipe box.  This one was similar, but had it’s own delicious flavor.  I considered using the brown sugar frosting Wendy had made with her cake.  On the back of this recipe, though, there was a recipe for fluffy icing.  I decided to try that instead and I’m glad I did (I will share that recipe with you next week).

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Wendy and I have noticed that a lot of brown sugar is used in these old fashioned recipes.  Maybe that is what gives them such a distinct (and delightful) old fashioned taste.  I hope you give this simple recipe a try.  It doesn’t take much more work than a box cake mix and it is free of all of the preservatives you would find in a box mix.  If you do try it out, let me know what you think!  I think you’ll be glad you did!

The cupcakes all packaged up for the bake sale.

The cupcakes all packaged up for the bake sale.

Happy Baking!

Amy

 

Koffee Kuchen

My brother-in-law, loves coffee cake.  There are several recipes for coffee cake in Grandma Dora’s recipe boxes and he keeps suggesting we try one.  One afternoon I was at Wendy’s house.  She had dinner in the crock pot, so I decided to make muffins to go with it.  Then, I remembered the coffee cake recipes and decided to try one of those instead.  The Koffee Kuchen looked a bit different than the others, so I thought I would try it out.

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Koffee Kuchen

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 beaten egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 stiff beaten egg whites

Cream shortening and sugar;  add egg yolks.  Add flour sifted with salt and baking powder alternately with milk.  Fold in egg whites.  Pour into waxed paper lined 8 inch square pan.  Blend 6 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.  Sprinkle over cake.  Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 40 to 50 minutes.  Cut in squares.

I started out by separating the eggs and beating the egg whites until they were stiff.

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I then removed the egg whites to another bowl and creamed the shortening and sugar.

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I added the egg yolks. Then, I combined the dry ingredients and added them to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.  After that I folded in the egg whites and poured the batter into an 8 inch square pan (I did not line it with waxed paper although it is probably a good idea.).

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Then I blended the topping ingredients.  This was an interesting, a topping with baking soda in it.  I’d never made one like this before and was curious to see what it was like after it baked.

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I sprinkled it on the cake and put it in the oven.

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I baked it in the oven at 350 and after about 40 minutes it came out smelling and looking delicious.

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It tasted different that a traditional coffee cake – there is no cinnamon.  It has it’s own distinct flavor.  Even though it was my brother-in-law’s request, my dad is the one who ended up devouring it!  Give it a try and serve it with coffee or just by itself.  I think you will be glad you did.

Happy Baking!

Amy

Brown Sugar Cake

Edith and Dora

Grandma Dora as a young toddler with her mother.


I have a new niece!  She was born this past Friday.  We got to go to the hospital and meet her.  She’s adorable and tiny.  Besides the fact that she’s my niece, and I get to love her to pieces, she has something else special about her.  Her middle name is Dora, after her Great Grandma.  I don’t know if she’ll resemble Grandma Dora at all, but I pray that she’ll learn to honor God with her life, like my Grandma Dora did.

A celebratory cake, a recipe out of Grandma Dora’s box, was a necessity for this special occasion!  I found a recipe for Brown Sugar Cake, which seemed to suit an October birthday, so I decided to give it a try!

Brown Sugar Cake RecipeBrown Sugar Cake

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sour milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup lard or shortening
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream brown sugar, eggs, butter and shortening.  Mix flour and baking soda in separate bowl.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and sour milk into creamed mixture until incorporated.  Pour into greased baking dish or bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-47 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and frost as desired.

For the frosting recipe, see Brown Sugar Frosting, featured on October 8, 2014.

Brown Sugar Cake creamed ing.I started by creaming the eggs, brown sugar, butter and shortening.  (I used the organic shortening that is pictured in our Hermit Cookies recipe.)

Brown Sugar Cake BatterThen I slowly alternated the dry mixture of flour and baking soda with the sour milk.  (If you aren’t sure how to easily make sour milk, it’s explained in Mrs. Magary’s Spice Cake recipe.)

Brown Sugar Cake Bundt PanI decided to use a bundt pan because it looks so beautiful when it’s baked and it’s super easy, but appears as though you put a lot of work into it!  I greased it GENEROUSLY (I learned my lesson about that the hard way when making Mrs. Magary’s Spice Cake!) and poured in my batter.  The oven was preheated to 350, so I slid my pan into the oven.

Brown Sugar Cake BakedThe recipe card didn’t say how long to bake the Brown Sugar Cake. Actually, other than the ingredients, it didn’t say anything at all, so I was doing a lot of guessing.  I started the timer with 20 minutes and continued to check it and add time until it was done.  Once it got to 47 minutes, I pulled it out.  It was a lovely golden brown.

Brown Sugar Cake FrostedI decided that it HAD to have frosting.  That’s what makes a bundt cake pretty.  AND who doesn’t love frosting!  When I pulled the recipe out of Grandma Dora’s recipe box, I KNEW what frosting I was going to make.  I had recently made Brown Sugar Frosting also, from the recipe box.  It was some of the best frosting I’ve ever tasted.  As my husband’s friend put it, “That frosting should be on EVERYTHING!  I mean, even pot roast and mashed potatoes!!”  With it being a Brown Sugar Cake, what better to frost it with than Brown Sugar Frosting?!

Brown Sugar Cake Sliced

I sliced up the cake at our table and we all tasted it!  Honestly, it tasted like a DOUGHNUT!!  The outside of the cake is thick and is a bit crispy, while the inside is soft.    All I could think of to compare it to was a doughnut, but without it being deep-fried.  So that makes it healthy, right?!

Brown Sugar Cake Slice

The Brown Sugar Frosting was a great pair for the Brown Sugar Cake.  The perfect “Welcome to the World” cake for our new niece!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

 

Brown Sugar Frosting

Grandpa Wichterman Guitar Cropped

My Grandpa in 1938, playing his guitar in front of the log cabin that he and my Grandma lived in as newlyweds. Brownie his dog listens, enjoying the music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year, on the fourth Saturday in September, we attend a Fall Festival held by one of the small towns in our area. It’s such a simple event. Sometimes we laugh because there is so little to do there, but we love it. We like the quietness, the slowness, like we’ve briefly stepped back in time. We walk along and look at the tractors and the small hit and miss engines that are on display. Then stand and watch the cast iron, campfire cooking. After we get our fill of smoke, we wait our turn to go on the horse and wagon ride. The highlight of the day is the dulcimer band, though they play more than just dulcimers. There are other instruments, like the spoons, penny whistle, guitar, upright bass, and mandolin. The same musicians come every year and every year they play the same songs.

HFF Tractors

Tractors on display at the Fall Festival.

The Fall Festival starts at 11:00am.  We always arrive around that time, with a picnic.  We bring the old “Indian blanket” and lawn chairs and sit, eating our lunch, in the shade of the big, Wild Cherry trees. I had talked with Amy the day before about what we were bringing to share for our picnic lunch.  I told her I’d bring some cupcakes.  I’d been dying to try my Grandma Dora’s Brown Sugar Frosting recipe that I’d found leafing through her box.  It sounded “fallish” and what better place to try it, but at our annual Fall Festival outing.

Brown Sugar Frosting RecipeBrown Sugar Frosting

  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for one minute.  Beat with mixer until stiff enough to put on cake, about 3 minutes.  Frost cake while frosting is still warm so it spreads easily.

Brown Sugar Frosting Ingredients

I had already made my cupcakes, caramel flavored, which seemed like they’d make a perfect taste combination with Brown Sugar Frosting!  I gathered my ingredients and got started.

Brown Sugar Frosting PanI simply measured all of the ingredients into my saucepan and began heating it up on the stove top.

Brown Sugar Frosting Boiling Soon everything was melted and mixed together.  I raised the temperature and while whisking constantly, brought it up to a hard boil.  Once boiling, I timed it for one minute. Wait until you smell this while it’s cooking.  If you’ve ever been to Mackinac Island, this smell will take you back!  —  NO, it doesn’t smell like the horses!!  It smells like the rich, sweet fudge shops with the sugary, caramelized scent that pulls you right in their front doors!  Our house smelled wonderful!  With an aroma like that, I knew the taste had to be incredible!

Brown Sugar Frosting Mixing

After it was done boiling, I removed it from the heat and poured the hot syrup into my Kitchenaid.  I used my whisk attachment and beat it on the highest setting for about three minutes.  At that point, the syrup was beginning to thicken.  I knew that it would get even thicker as it cooled, so I turned it off and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes while I got my cupcakes ready to frost.

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It was late when I was frosting the cupcakes that night.  Our boys were in bed and my husband was in reading.  I was thinking and quietly frosting them in the calm.  After some dripped off of my spatula, onto the table, I tasted it.  As I licked my finger, I shouted out, “OH BABY!” which my husband later teased me about, but I couldn’t help it, it was just THAT good! This frosting is kind of delicate. I had to frost my cupcakes when it was at just the right temperature. If it cooled too much, it got rather fudge-like. (Not that it was a bad thing, but it was harder to spread.) I frosted the cupcakes when the frosting was still warm and it went on smooth and hardened with a beautiful, glossy sheen! A couple of times, I could tell that the frosting was cooling and thickening too much, so I popped it into the microwave, for less than 5 seconds to thin it back down. It worked perfectly!

Brown Sugar Frosting Cupcakes3 At the end of our Fall Festival picnic, I got out my caramel cupcakes topped with the Brown Sugar Frosting and placed them on the old “Indian blanket”.   I was excited to see what everyone thought.  I knew what I thought!  Not to my surprise, everyone LOVED it!  My husband has requested it for his next birthday cake.  I was told that it was hands down, the best frosting they had ever eaten!  (It would also be great on Edna’s Butterscotch Cake.)

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Decorating the top of a cupcake, Brown Sugar Frosting looks simple and old-fashioned, but there’s absolutely nothing simple about the taste!

Happy Baking!

Wendy