Friday, May 18, 2012


by Sheila Connolly

I discovered this recipe in a copy of Good Housekeeping's Book of Menus, Recipes and Household Discoveries (14th ed., 1926), and I've updated it for our newfangled electric appliances.

As I was wending my way up the Eastern Seaboard this past month, I made a point of stopping in one of my favorite antique places, a three-story barn in a delightful New Jersey town.  I seldom come out of there without a new find, and this year I spotted from across the room an addition to my collection of antique (or maybe semi-antique) cake molds.  I had to have it, even though I realized it might take some explaining to the airport inspectors (it didn't).
To welcome it to my household, I went hunting for a recipe roughly the same age as the pan, which led to the Golden Sunshine Cake.  You will notice there is no shortening in this recipe.  It's made much easier than it would have been in 1926 because now you can use an electric mixer to do all that beating.  The result is a light, airy cake whose flavor and texture reminded me of lady fingers.  The cookbook reported that it was a good cake to serve with ice cream.  I think it would be delightful with fresh fruit as well.
BTW, my new-old cake pan holds six cups, which was exactly the right size for this recipe.
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 Tblsp cold water
1 cup pastry flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

1½ Tblsp cornstarch

1 tsp lemon extract

Generously grease your cake pan (since there are no fats in this recipe, it has a tendency to stick).
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks until thick.  Add the sugar gradually, stirring constantly.  Add the water and mix thoroughly.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the first mixture.  Beat well, then add the lemon extract.
Stiff egg whites
Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the mixture.

Bake in a loaf or tube pan at 320 degrees F for one hour.


  1. You call for pastry flour but show cake flour in the picture. Does it matter?

  2. Wow, it's beautiful! A lot of my old German cake recipes call for cornstarch. And you're quite right, those recipes usually don't contain any butter or oil. Hmm, wonder what cornstarch does in a cake?

    I have to try this. I love light cakes, and this one is lovely.

    ~ Krista

  3. This looks like a perfect cake for summer. It will make for a nice change from the typical strawberry shortcakes and angel food cakes. I like your idea of using fresh fruit as a topping. Of course ice cream would be nice, too. Even better--both!