I found this recipe in a vintage World War II book. It is rather enlightening going back in time and finding recipes from another era. It is a simple cake, but it can be dressed up with different fruit condiments and frostings.
If you are a fan of light cakes that are not too sweet, then White Mountain Cake might be your cup of tea. This is the very first vintage cake recipe I have tried from my vintage Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cookbook, Wartime Edition. I love that it is easy to prepare and did not require any ingredient or tool substitutions.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make
- 9 ingredients
- Fluffy white frosting
- Pairs well with any fruit
- Features a low fat, light frosting
Vintage Recipe from the Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cookbook, Wartime Edition
This vintage recipe comes from the 1942 edition of the Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cookbook, Wartime Edition by Ruth Berolzheimer. It is in the “Cakes” chapter of the book.
White Mountain Cake is a classic American dessert with different regional and familial variations. It usually consists of layers of white or yellow cake, separated by a light filling (such as custard or fruit), and frosted with a light, white frosting that resembles snow-capped mountain peaks.
In this book, Boiled Frosting is the icing of choice, which is a marshmallow frosting made using sugar and egg whites. It is also known as “Seven-minute Frosting” because the syrup cooked to create the icing takes seven minutes to simmer.
Fluffy White Cake
This version of the cake is easy to prepare since it does not require you to torte (cut the cake in half). You can simply bake it, allow it to cool, then slather on the Boiled Frosting. It can be as messy or as neat as you like.
The cake itself is standard white cake made with egg whites. The original uses shortening, but, as Berolzheimer explains in her book, “Butter is the first choice with many cooks because of its flavor, but it is the most expensive of fats. Tasteless vegetable or animal oils or hardened fats produce perfect results, aside from the flavor,” (Berolzheimer, 1942).
As a quick tip, you can still brush the top of the cake with simple syrup or honey, as I do in my Best Ever White Cake and other cakes to keep the finished cake moist.
Marshmallow Boiled Frosting
The frosting was my favorite part of the cake since it was super smooth, airy, and marshmallow in flavor. It also produces an attractive shine. It truly does make the cake look like the top of a mountain peak. Since fat was so expensive (and is steadily going up in price today), this frosting makes for an excellent butter frosting alternative.
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Special Tools and Equipment
2 Large Mixing Bowls
Medium Sauce Pan
Vintage Recipe: White Mountain Cake
For the cake
- 2/3 cup (150g) shortening, or butter
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 3 cups (300g) cake flour, sifted
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (200ml) milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 (150g) egg whites, stiffly beaten
For the boiled frosting
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100ml) water
- 2 (65g) egg whites
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Make the cake
Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening or butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla.
In a separate large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
A third at a time, add the flour mixture and the milk, alternating the ingredients and beating smooth after each addition.
Fold in the egg whites.
Line a 10" cake pan with parchment paper and spray the bottom of sides with nonstick spray.
Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when probed into the middle of the cake.
Make the frosting
In a medium sauce pan, cook the sugar and water together, stirring with a silicone spatula until the sugar has dissolved.
Cook without stirring the syrup until it reaches 244°degrees. Alternatively, cook the syrup for 7 minutes.
Remove from syrup from the fire and allow it to cool while you are beating the egg whites stiff.
Pour the cooked syrup in a thin stream over the stiff egg whites, beating the mixture constantly until it is thick enough to spread. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Frost the cake
Use the Boiled Frosting to ice the White Mountain Cake.
Berolzheimer, R., (1942). The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cookbook. Consolidated Book Publishes, Inc., Chicago Illinois.