07 December 2011

earl's favorite cake

Earl is my great grandfather and this is his favorite cake! While on vacation at his house, which I will post the photos from eventually, I found this recipe. I was rummaging through his cupboards finding props to use for photos and I found my great grandmother's old recipe file. All of the recipes were either handwritten or typed on a typewriter. Worn edges, some folded, multiples of many, it was a magical little box.

The only recipe I made from that box on that trip was this cake. It was labeled 'Earl's favorite cake' and only had a list of ingredients, no instructions, type of pan, frosting, nothing. So I showed it to Earl and he said he remembered that cake and his Mom used to make it for him when he was young. When asking him more about it he said, Square! It has to be a square cake, with white icing.

So while he was out in the yard, giving everyone chores to do, I made the cake. My dad had to tell me what 'spry' was, shortening apparently. I would normally make a cake with butter instead, but I wanted to make it just like he had it.

It came out wonderfully! I am a total fruitcake lover myself, and it has a bit of that flavor, given the candied fruit. Its a spice cake with sweet little nuggets of candied fruit laced throughout. With a simple vanilla buttercream, it has become one of my favorite cakes too. The candied citrus peel & cherries is chewy and crunchy, perfect to sprinkle atop the cake too.




My great grandfather, Earl.


35 comments:

athena said...

Oh wow, what a sweet post! Your great grandfather is so cute... and that cake is gorgeous. (p.s. hope you are ok!)

Julie Marie said...

Athena: thanks!
Yeah I'm doing ok, got a lovely coworker who always manages to cheer me up. :)

Sarah vL said...

What an awesome post. I love stories like this. Thanks for preserving his heritage by sharing this cake with the world! :)

Karen | Citrus and Candy said...

What a beautiful post! There's nothing quite like nostalgic baking and these type of recipes are always the best to do. What a find! :)

Soma said...

A heartwarming post and some precious time sealed and preserved!

madhu said...

Beautiful story, beginning to end....love how the pictures unfold and that shot of your adorable grandfather with his precious piece of cake did it for me! This has to be one of my favourite posts!

Lakshmi @Purevegetarian said...

Lucky Earl! His face tells it all :-). As always, I adore your images.

Angela said...

naw aren't grandparents and great-grandparents just the sweetest people? my nan (an amazing baker) had various recipes written down, but all my relatives tell me that she never used them and just made them up as she went! very unfortunate for me :(

Valeria said...

oh he looks so sweet! almost like this cake, that reminds me a bit of stollen for some reason...pretty!

movita beaucoup said...

Gorgeous cake. Gorgeous Grampie. A perfect way to start the day!

Nelle Somerville said...

What a sweet man! Love your photos so much.

Amber, RD said...

I love this post. I inherited one of my grandma's old cookbooks after she passed away. Many of the recipes in her cookbook also have really poor directions, or the directions include an ingredient that wasn't listed with the rest of them. But there are a few little scraps of paper folded in the pages of recipes she wrote herself. I love still having a piece of her with me!

legallydelish said...

The photo of Earl brought tears to my eyes...so amazing that you had the opportunity to make this cake for him!

Christina Topf-Boman said...

how special that you did this cake for Grandpa-you know he has a sweet tooth!! Nice one Julie!

HY said...

This is so sweet! It brought a smile to my face this morning.

A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Absolutely charmed by this cake. As a fan of fruitcake (and,now, also of Earl) this reminds me of precisely what the holidays are all about: tradition, favorite foods, and family!

Anonymous said...

Next time you come to Michigan let me know and I can send you to apple orchards and pumpkin farms!!

Such a sweet story and I know that made his day!

Gloria
glorialadley@yahoo.com
Trenton, Michigan

sami said...

Wow, I loved that story. Thanks for sharing

Sneh | Cook Republic said...

Beautiful cake. Something so lovely about the days gone by .. simple and sweet!

Carmela said...

Great story! Love the photos, too.

jazziefizzle said...

Very sweet story. I love recipes that have a bit of history!

Jo said...

Looks delicious. Would love to have you come and share this with us over at foodepix.com.

theFromagette said...

Earl is awfully cute:)

MyFudo™ said...

The name sounds so elegant and a treat for royalty. True enough, the cake looks so full of flavors. I love the fruit bits that goes into my mouth when I bite into the cake. Yummy!
Such a heartwarming post. Thanks for sharing.

Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen said...

I have to admit, i'm not a big fan of candied cherries. As a matter of fact, I often ate it by mistake and spit it out. But I'm intrigued by the name. "Earl's favorite cake"... Must be awesome to be an Earl's favorite!

Emily - Adeline and Lumiere said...

Awww... thank you for sharing Earl's favourite cake with us! I think it is so important to keep these old recipes alive. I'm visiting my grandmother soon so I'd love to see what her best recipes were.

dejavucook said...

Lovely post and I make many recipes like that. The elders were short on words and techniques/people just knew how to "make it". It is fun to make their recipes/they would not believe all the books now with the detailed directions and photos. Thank you/I will make this one and let you know.

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

such alovely blog and so late in finding you.lovely photos and i hope to take half as nice as you.lovely recipes too lakshmi

Pam said...

A great story and what sounds like a delicious holiday recipe. I had to look up what "spry" was too...

Sue said...

You know what?
I think I fell in love.. with your blog. :)

Caroline said...

I love this!!!! What an amazing recipe!

Alexandra said...

This looks so pretty and tasty in an old fashioned way! I love it! I'm going to try this recipe next Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I love the post....
From one Julie Marie to another:)

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and what a sweet story

Sarah Cherney said...

Earl is so amazing! *^___________^*