This sad, sad cake is definitely not Mrs Dull’s cake. Mrs. Dull’s version of this cake is delicious and decidedly old fashioned. I’ve made her version many times and it’s wonderful! Back in the day when people ate less sugar overall, cakes were not as sweet as they are now. So relative to a modern cake recipe these old recipes are already an improvement! And if the modern cake is from a box mix, even more so since we’ll be leaving out all the additives and hydrogenated oils. And I think it’s even, even better than buying a cake at the store. I’m not sure why it should be, but these cakes just smell of chemicals to me.
Today, I decided to bump up the nutrition factor a bit by converting Mrs Dull’s recipe to a soaked whole wheat cake recipe, just to see how far I could take it and have it be anything like the original. Things did not go so well as sometimes happens when modifying recipes. I thought I’d share my little cake disaster as a cautionary tale. I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour and soaked the flour in buttermilk, too much buttermilk as it turns out. What’s life without a little adventure ;-). This recipe took double the time of the original to bake and then when I removed each layer from the cake tin, they broke in half! Arrrggghhh! So I did the only thing I could think to do … whip up an icing with way too much sugar, and glop it on to cover up all the cracks. Not a healthy solution, to be sure but it was delicious! So I give you this version, in the interest of education … use at your own risk ;-). I’ll try and post a hopefully more successful version of this in a future post.
Mrs Dull’s recipe is on page 247 of “Southern Cooking”.
- Replaced the water with buttermilk.
- Replaced the white flour with whole wheat pastry flour.
- Soaked the flour for 7 hrs in the buttermilk.
- Replaced the sugar with sucanat.
Whole Wheat White Cake
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – 3 Cups
- Traditional Buttermilk – 2/3 Cup Edit: Forgot to add that I about doubled this by adding just a little more, than a little more till it was a lot more :-O
- Egg Whites – 6
- Sucanat – 1 1/2 Cup
- Vanilla – 1 teaspoon
- Baking Powder – 4 teaspoons
- Butter – 3/4 Cup
- Mixer (optional)
- 2 Bowls and a spoon
- 2 Cake Tins
- Cooling Rack
- Blend the buttermilk with the whole wheat flour and put aside for at least 7 hours. (This is where I went wrong, I’m embarrassed to admit. I added more buttermilk to ensure all the flour was soaked. If I were trying this one again I think would still add more buttermilk, till saturation, then adjust the eggs and baking powder more to allow for it.)
- Mix the butter and sucanat together, then add the egg whites.
- Add in the flour and buttermilk mixture. Mix in the baking powder and vanilla.
- Butter the tins well and pour into the tins.
- Bake about 20 minutes at 425, this was the plan anyway. Ended up taking about 40 minutes until the center was done.
- Remove from tins and place on a cooling rack.