Monday, March 30, 2015

A gift of "Vintage Cakes"

Some things are just meant to be. About a month ago, I spotted this book, "Vintage Cakes" by Jane Brocket, at a Tuesday Morning store, but I told myself no, I don't have room for any more cookbooks, and I wouldn't even let myself look inside. A few weeks later, I saw the same book at Ollie's in Carrollton, but again, I exercised restraint as I thought of that pile of books I'm trying to whittle down. Last week, I was meeting a friend for lunch, and she walked into the restaurant with this book and handed it to me. "Do you have this?" she asked. I just grinned and said no. She said it reminded her of me so she got it for me at Ollie's in Newnan. So I can only assume I was meant to have this book!

When I looked inside, I realized this is much more than just a cookbook of vintage cake recipes. It's also a visual feast, and those who love pretty china will find much eye candy inside. I especially loved the plate on this chapter's title page. Any idea of the pattern? With all those jonquils, it just screams spring to me, and as a friend of mine says, I'm pretty sure I'm going to need this in order to live a normal life.

I found myself ogling the plates and linens as much as the food, although this yummy looking Genoa Cake is now on my to-try list.

I love that these Welsh Cakes are stored in a lovely vintage tin, and I also enjoyed spying the teapots in the background.

So what did I make for my first cake from the book? This easy and exceptionally delicious lemon-flavored Madeira Cake, which my husband just raved about. I like it because it's a perfect treat for teatime and will pair well with any number of teas. The book's author is British and uses some British terms (but not British measurements), so I thought I'd share the recipe as I made it.

Madeira Cake

3/4 cup softened butter (salted)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1/2 a lemon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray and/or parchment. (I used parchment alone and it was fine.) In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Next, sift the flour and baking powder together into the bowl. Add lemon zest, and use a large metal spoon to combine all ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Yields 1 loaf.


  1. Yes, that book was meant for you! I don't know that daffodil pattern but I like it, too. And the cake you made sounds delicious and certainly looks easy. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. "......and as a friend of mine says, I'm pretty sure I'm going to need this in order to live a normal life."

    Heh. What a classic statement. I may have to borrow that one as well. Hee hee.

    Books gift is serendipity in the making!

    and you picked THE PERFECT CAKE recipe out of that what-appears-to-be-a-must-have for me to bake my hard working husband. We have 15-17 people coming for Easter dinner and he's been getting through a very long honey-do list lately! Thank you for sharing! Lemon cake is hands-down his favorite and this sure looks good! Was it quite moist?

    God's blessings to you this Holy Week, Angela! Hugs!

  3. How wonderful - yes, meant to be! That cake looks delicious, and who doesn't love lemon?! God bless you lovely lady!!! ~Heather Elizabeth

  4. That book was meant for you, and I am glad you now have it. I love the painted flowers on the cake plates, too. I am going to start saying like your friend, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to need this in order to live a normal life" about things I want. I hope you list the books you are no longer wanting and letting us know where to find them. There are several you have mentioned that are on my search list and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need those in order to live a normal life!

  5. Yummy...thanks for sharing recipe - looks like one I'd love to try - love lemon sweets!

  6. One can never have enough cookbooks~in my opinion. I love anything with lemon and definitely want to try this cake recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Now on 'high alert' for this book to jump into my hands! Looks great!

  8. I'm visiting after reading about the lemon bread over at Michele's. Oh dear me, I love cookbooks, Angela. I'm sure if I saw this one, I'd have to have it. I must try the bread recipe. It sounds divine! Happy Easter!

  9. This would tempt me too and your cake sounds delicious.
    I would resist, as I am trying to thin down cookbooks, not add more.

  10. I came over from Michele's at Finch Rest. This looks so delicious, and I love lemon! I am definitely bookmarking this. Thanks.

  11. I am also visiting from Michele's. So glad that you received the book. It was a definite sign. = D Thank you for including the recipe for the Madeira Cake; I want to try it this Easter weekend.

  12. I agree, it sounds like you were meant to have this book.


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