does this family cake recipe look familiar?

I’ve been asked to make my husband’s grandmother’s cake for our upcoming holiday. Wondering if anyone has heard of cake like this–no eggs? lots of baking soda? Reminds me of soda bread but there’s a lot of sugar. I’ve searched online and in a retro cookbook database and not found much.

I’m including the old-fashioned name for research purposes. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

“dusky maiden cake”

Stir together:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp cloves
.5 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp cornstarch

1.5 cups pineapple in juice
.5 cups melted butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Bake for 40 minutes at 350


Not at all familiar to me, but I have been surprised that pineapple and chocolate together are actually a tasty combination. Very interesting recipe.

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This almost sounds hummingbird-ish. Ill bet its really good!


It looks like a combo of wacky cake and hummingbird cake. I haven’t seen that exact recipe, but I have seen hummingbird and carrot type cakes made with no eggs.

The soda amount isn’t that much and you’ll see that amount often for cakes leavened only with baking soda. It’s most common with chocolate cakes and sometimes banana breads. Typically there’s a little more flour, though. My favorite chocolate cake contains 2 cups of flour and 1.5 tsp soda, and another I made recently had 2 tsp of soda for 2.5 cups of flour. I imagine it’s a bit higher here due to the lack of eggs to provide lift.
The most unusual thing here is the use of butter. Both wacky cake and hummingbird cake tend to use oil. The only recipe I can think of for hummingbird cake that uses butter is Stella Parks’. I imagine a family member knew that butter is better. :joy:


I also wonder if its a Depression-era cake…thrte were some pretty interesting cake recipes that came out of no eggs, although this one has butter, which was also sometimes rationed.

My grandmother used to bake a mayonnaise cake, which sounds bizarre, but is a deliciously moist chocolate cake.


Yeah lots of people love the mayo chocolate cake. I made some for the first time a few days ago.


Depression time, or earlier, is close.
Thanks all!