I’ve not seen this fast and delicious cake in any cookbook dating back to the 1880s, but surely good cooks in that era knew the fastest way to mix a cake was to melt the butter and milk together and add these to dry ingredients.
The first mention of this cake in a cookbook was the 1935 edition of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer. Through the years, many cooks modified the original. The recipe handed down in my family has more eggs, more sugar and more milk, but less butter than Fannie Farmer’s recipe.
Not only is this cake fast, it’s versatile. Double it for a fine layer cake. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Or frost it with butter icing or chocolate frosting. Sometimes I split one cake, add a cream filling and frost with chocolate for a very fast Boston Cream Pie. In summer when the strawberries are ripe, Lightning Cake is a far better base for the fruit than those store-bought bowls made of dense yellow cake.
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
STEP BY STEP:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 8- or 9-inch cake pan.
2) Heat milk and butter in a saucepan until butter melts. Set aside.
3) Beat eggs and vanilla until thick.
4) Add sugar and continue to beat until well blended.
5) Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and stir into egg-sugar mixture.
6) Pour milk-butter into bowl with ingredients above. Beat 1 minute.
7) Pour into cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
One-half of the recipe for Butter Cream Frosting used on Auntie’s Angel’s Food Cake is sufficient. http://ursulalecoeur.com/sweets-post-1/#sthash.AynNC4N