One-Egg Cake (HFF #4)

For the fourth prompt for the Historical Food Fortnightly, “Sweets for the Sweet,” I used a very special recipe. “It’s sugar, and maybe spice, and definitely everything nice. Test out a historic recipe for sweets, sweetmeats and candies – but don’t let them spoil your appetite!

The recipe that I chose to make for this challenge – “One-Egg Cake” – comes from one of my grandmother’s cookbooks,”The Household Searchlight Recipe Book that was published by the Household Magazine in 1940.

When I was over at her house one night last month she pulled out her collection of cookbooks and I had a fun evening looking through them with her. This one, she explained, belonged to her mother who bought it from a traveling salesman. My grandmother grew up learning to cook from this book and one of the recipes that she made most often was the “One-Egg Cake.” It was economical and tasted great.

So I snapped a few photos and went home to test it out!

You can really tell that this was a well-loved page.

One-Egg Cake

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1/3 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons baking-powder

Cream shortening and sugar. Add unbeaten egg. Add flavoring. Beat thoroughly. Sift flour, measure, and sift with salt and baking-powder. Add alternately with milk to creamed shortening and sugar. Pour into well-oiled loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven (375° F.) 35 minutes.


The cake was super easy to make. It was a pretty thick batter which went nicely into the oven. I will say that baking it in a loaf pan did make it seem more like a quick bread than a cake so I did choose to serve it with some butter.


It was delicious! Thanks, grandma!

The Challenge: Sweets for the Sweet
The Recipe: One-Egg Cake from The Household Searchlight Recipe Book
The Date/Year and Region: 1940, American
How Did You Make It: Just mix the ingredients together and bake
Time to Complete: An hour or less
Total Cost: Everything form the cupboard. Less expensive for using only one egg!
How Successful Was It?: Quite.
How Accurate Is It?: Pretty high!