A Story About Cake: Marie Antoinette and Mom’s One Egg Cake
For as long as I can remember and well before I was born, folks in my family have been baking One Egg Cake. The story is that the recipe originated among the peasants of France, was carried to England and then to America. I don’t know. It is just a story but I tell you true, the cake is wonderfully good and it is versitile.
ONE EGG CAKE
There is a legend and still believed by some that Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI and queen of France on the eve of the French Revolution, uttered the insensitive remark upon hearing peasants’ complaints that there wasn’t enough bread to go around: “Let them eat cake,” but whether she ever actually said this or not in actuality, I have no clue. I really rather doubt it. She was not that callous a woman if history tells the truth and she was much too intelligent to think the peasants could make cake if they could not make bread. However, if she did, I think she may have been speaking of this simple, basic cake: “One egg cake.”
This recipe is the easiest cake shy of a store bought cake mix to make that there is, that I know of. This cake recipe has been passed down from generation to generation to generation in my family for as far back as I know about. My grandmother got it from her grandmother and this cake was my dad’s favorite especially if it had peanut butter frosting on it. My dad loved cake with peanut butter frosting. Mom baked this cake often because it was dad’s favorite and he liked to take it to work with him for his lunch or coffee break.
This is the very first cake I learned to bake when I was first learning to cook. It is the one I use for making shortcake with fruit topping when I am not using biscuit. It is also good just plain or with a spoonful of jelly, jam or preserve. This is the most versatile cake recipe I know. It is plain and simple basic cake.
ONE EGG CAKE
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Lightly grease a 9 inch x 9 inch square cake pan
In a mixing bowl combine and beat until creamy
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
(or you can use just granulated sugar 1 cup)
1/4 cup lard or shortening (I use Crisco*)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat until creamy
1 cup whole milk
Mix until combined
Sift together and add
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Beat until creamy smooth
Pour the cake into the prepared cake pan. Tap pan gently to remove any air bubbles.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cake plate and allow to completely cool before frosting. Use your favorite frosting but peanut butter frosting is really good on this; so is chocolate or maple cream.