Lightning Cake: a fast and easy classic treat


Charlotte Prouost of Lake Worth, Fla., asked for help locating a recipe for "Lightning Cake," which she remembers being in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer dating back to the 1930s.

Many readers, such as Joan Landsberg of Bend, Ore., still had original copies of this classic cookbook that had belonged to them or their mothers. Landsberg says she saved the cookbook because it was filled with recipes that she grew up with and with handwritten notes by her mother.

The original Lightning Cake recipe, as published in the 1935 edition, did not specify a cake pan size, but later versions called for baking it in two 7-inch round pans or one 7-inch-by-10-inch pan. I chose to bake it in a single 8-inch round cake pan and it worked beautifully.

If you were planning on making a traditional layer cake, I would recommend doubling the recipe. It is an extremely easy and fast cake to make, thus the name Lightning. It is also a very versatile cake that lends itself to multiple variations and would certainly be enhanced with a frosting or other flavorings.

However, this classic is also lovely on its own with fresh fruit or ice cream.

Lightning Cake

Serves 6

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat egg and add sugar while beating. Add flour sifted with baking powder and salt. Then add milk, melted butter and flavoring.

Bake 25 minutes in oiled layer-cake pans in moderate oven (350 degrees).

Put together with any desired filling and frost as desired.

Per serving: 210 calories; 4 grams protein; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 33 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 51 milligrams cholesterol; 236 milligrams sodium

Recipe requests

Shirley Frome of Baldwin would love to have the recipe for the crab dish served at Friendly Farms Restaurant. It is not in the form of a cake but rather dishes out on the plate. She believes it includes Dijon mustard and onion.

Bob Kidd of Winfield, Tenn., would like a recipe for date-nut roll that his wife once had.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Names must accompany recipes for them to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad