Today’s recipe comes from Watkins Economy Recipes. This little booklet includes 48 pages of recipes and advice on how to deal with rationing and shortages. There are sections on stretching meat and sugar that offer interesting recipes that I want to try soon. Each recipe’s ingredients list includes at least one Watkins product.
The J.R. Watkins Company began when Mr. Watkins began selling liniment door-to-door in southeastern Minnesota in 1868. The company expanded, and by the 1940s, it was the largest direct sales company in the world. Watkins products are still being sold in stores today.
Inside the back cover of this cookbook is a checklist of Watkins’ products. There are spices and medicines, cleansers and veterinarian products. It’s a fascinating, varied list. If a home front housewife had a problem, chances are that the Watkins catalog had a solution.
Today’s spice cake recipe is an example of a dessert that did not require much sugar.
Spice Corn Syrup Cake
- 2 c sifted cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Watkins baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Watkins ginger
- 1 tsp Watkins cinnamon
- 1 tsp Watkins nutmeg
- 1/2 c shortening
- 1 c light corn syrup, preferably extra sweet variety
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c cold coffee
- 1 c raisins
- 1 tsp Watkins vanilla
- 1 tsp flour to dredge raisins
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Melt shortening over hot water, mix with the corn syrup and cool. Cream mixture thoroughly. Add egg yolks and beat briskly. Add egg and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the coffee. Dredge raisins in 1 tsp flour and add those and the vanilla. Mix. Pour into 2 greased layer cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes at 350°F. Test with a cake tester before removing from oven.
NOTE: I kept the Watkins brand name ingredients so you could see how many were in the recipe.
I wish I could say that we liked this cake. It was so dry and didn’t have much flavor. Since it was baked in two layer cake pans, it ended up being thin, as well. We added whipped cream topping to it to try to combat the dryness, but it didn’t help much. Adding a scoop or two of ice cream makes everything better, and this cake is no exception. The raisins were a nice touch. They added a bit of texture.