With the sweltering weather lately, baking is usually the last thing I want to do. But sometimes there is that craving for homemade meals as well as desserts.

We’ve stuck to picnic food for part of our meals this week – hot dogs and macaroni/tuna salads and corn on the cob, along with quick dishes like spaghetti and meatballs and macaroni and cheese. In this humidity we find we don’t eat very big servings and usually have watermelon for dessert. The melon provides a refreshing, yet flavorful end to a meal that has some heavier elements.

Mountain pies or nachoes grande may be next on the menu as they are both quick to make and tasty. But as for dessert once the watermelon is gone, I began thinking back to a recipe I found some years ago called Feather Cake. It was from an old cake booklet put out by the makers of Swans Down Cake Four.

The full recipe is Feather Cake with Pineapple Frosting.” It just sounds so refreshing and light and perfect for a hot, humid day. I mean how can a cake with “feather” in its name be heavy.

The instructions call for sifting the flour before measuring it and then sifting the measured flour three times before using it. No wonder the cake has “feather” in its name. This much sifting would really make it a light cake.

Trying to make cakes like this one, brings back memories of my maternal grandmother. She loved to bake and entertain.

Our old home movies let me to catch a glimpse of those gatherings at my grandparents’s home. I was just a little girl at the time, no more than 3 years old, so I’m very glad those time were caught on film as I can’t really say I remember them.

I’m not sure if this particular cake would have been served but I think it would have been well received.

As the beginning of school nears, this recipe might be one to try for one of the last gatherings of summer.


3/4 cup butter or substitute

1 1/4 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup water

2 tsp. baking powder

4 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. lemon extract

2 1/2 cup cake flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the shortening (butter), add the sugar gradually, then the egg yolks, beaten until thick.

Sift flour once, measure, add the baking powder, and sift three times. Add flour and water alternately to the first mixture, beating batter hard. Add flavorings.

Beat egg whites until stiff.

Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites last., and bake in a sheet or in cake pans for layers at 350 degrees.

Put the layers together and cover cake with Pineapple Frosting.


1 cup crushed Hawaiian pineapple

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Confectioner’s sugar

Add lemon juice to pineapple. Then add enough confectionery sugar to make a frosting that will remain in place on the cake.

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