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.

earl’s favorite cake

1 cup (200g) sugar
1 cup (150g) raisins
1 cup (236ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (102g) shortening
2 cups (250g) flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (75g) candied fruit (lemon peel, 
orange peel & cherries) minced

1/2 cup (114g) butter, soft
2 cups (250g) powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla
2-4 tbsp milk

Oven 350. 
Butter & flour a 8x8 baking pan.

Sift together the flour, nutmeg,
baking soda & salt. Set aside.
Beat the sugar and shortening together.
Add in the buttermilk then the flour
mixture. Fold in the raisins &
candied fruit.

Pour into pan and bake for 30-40
minutes until center is set.
Cool completely. 

Beat all frosting ingredients together.
Add the additional milk if too thick.
Spread over cake.


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