Eat what you own: Gran’s white cake

Eat what you own: Gran’s white cake

Gran’s White Cake

This cake recipe has been hanging around the same kitchens as me my entire life. My Gran used to make it.  It was what she made when she wanted a sweet treat in the house. Something to go with coffee. Something to have for dessert… Actually, I cannot remember having any other dessert at her table. Except for shortbread and butter tarts maybe. And jello with fruit salad.

It’s super quick and easy to make and there are very few dishes to clean up afterwards. I love it with Mocha icing, but my family doesn’t, so we just have it with whipped cream and fruit or with basic white buttercream icing.

Gran’s One Pan White Cake – As per Mum

350F Oven  Grease and flour pan.

Makes one 8-9″ square or round cake (one layer)

In a large mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer), combine:

1 cup flour, 1/2 cup white (yes white) sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

(Using a one cup measuring cup)

Take 1/2 cup of milk (whatever milk you have, I use 1%… I have only ever made this cake with cow’s milk)

Add 1 egg to the milk. Mix well.

Fill cup (to one cup mark) with melted shortening. This is where in 2010, I made a change. I began substituting coconut oil for shortening. Everyone loved it. I haven’t looked back.

Mix well. www-seastarshealthyfamilies-ca

Turn wet mixture into the dry. Mix well. Really well. Like 2 or 3 minutes on medium high on your stand mixer.

Pour batter into waiting pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes (it is usually 18 minutes for me, in my Pampered Chef stoneware 8″ round pan). Tester comes out clean, and middle springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10-15 minutes on metal racks. Then turn out onto racks and continue cooling completely.

When completely cool, ice with your favourite icing. We use a simple vanilla buttercream icing. For Canada Day, we double the recipe and make it in a 13×9″ pan, and serve with whipped cream and strawberries.

For birthday cakes, I use a simple buttercream:

Simple Icing for 2 layer birthday cake 

(this is really just made by feel)

4 cups icing sugar

1/2 cups butter (salted or unsalted, whatever you have), softened


1/4-1/2 cups whipping cream. You could use milk or coffee cream, but you’ll wish you’d used whipping cream.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff, not the artificial).

Combine all ingredients in stand mixer. And let her go.  Mix well. Scraping down the sides as you go. If the icing is too dry, add more cream.  If it’s too wet, add more icing sugar.


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