Whenever I flip through my collection of vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks, I can’t help but stop and marvel at all of the unique cakes. With names like “Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon,” “Pink Azalea Cake,” and “Rememberance Fruitcake,” it’s easy to become enchanted with a recipe by the fanciful name alone. Take the last time I perused Betty’s Guide to Easy Entertaining for instance. Turning slowly through the pages, my eyes paused on a photo of simple round cake piled high with fluffy meringue and topped generously with all kinds of beautiful berries, aptly titled “Berry Basket Cake.” I knew at first glance this was a cake recipe I needed to test out.
The recipe, found on pg. 130, is worded simply (just eight sentences all together) but beautifully. “Pile mounds of meringue around the top edge of the cake for a basket effect.” Mounds of meringue? How gorgeous a description is that! Although I’m not a professional meringue-maker, after reading a few short how-tos, I soon felt confident enough to recreate this classic confection.
To make the cake-baking step a snap, I relied on Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix, but you could also substitute vanilla or yellow cake mix, or bake a white cake from scratch. (Got to love a versatile recipe, right?) When topping the cooled cake with meringue, it felt good to get a bit creative, swooping my spoon along the edges making soft peaks that would brown well in the oven.
After a quick visit to my hot oven, and the cake returned with beautiful browned meringue, stiff to the touch.
And for a fresh-feeling ending, the cooled meringue is topped with honey-soaked berries, making it an impressive, yet easy, dinner party dessert.
Are there any vintage Betty cake recipes you love to bake? If so, leave a comment telling me which ones you love!