We have had an exceptionally wet spring this year here in MO.
We had almost 3 weeks of rainy weather and very little sunshine. So last week we decided to bake a Sunshine cake to encourage the sun to come out so we can work outside in the garden.
I occasionally go over to Aunt Ruthie's Sugar Pie Farmhouse. I enjoy her music play list. It features songs I heard on old movies growing up or songs my dad used to sing, play or listen to. One of the songs she plays is Sunshine Cake featuring Frank Sinatra with Paula Kelly. Well the words have been stuck in my head and I had to find out if there was a "Sunshine Cake" recipe. Well there is, or I should say are. I found hundreds from vintage cookbooks to Food Network.
A traditional Sunshine cake seems to be type of sponge cake. They all seem to involve Oranges and or lemons. So I searched around and came up with a version we wanted to try and here it is.
Mama Byrd's Sunshine Cake Recipe
6 eggs (farm fresh of course), room temperature
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp orange zest
2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 C cake flour, sifted **
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Pre-heat oven to 325* F.
Separate eggs, putting whites in a large mixing bowl and yolks in another large mixing bowl. Beat egg yolks until light and foamy. Slowly add the water. Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla, lemon and orange juice and zests. Beat until pale and thick in texture (about 7 minutes). Sift flour again with the salt and baking powder. Return to sifter and fold the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture, sifting in a little at a time.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add a pinch of salt and the cream of tartar. Beat until they form glossy peaks.
Pour the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream over the entire surface of the egg whites, gently cutting and folding with a rubber spatula. Make sure you have them completely folded in.
Pour into a 10" round tube pan with a removable bottom (angel food cake pan). Be sure to remove air pockets.
Bake for 1 hour.
Invert on a rack and let cool in the pan for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove from pan and Ice.
This cake doesn't need much dressing but here is what we put on ours.
Sorry I didn't measure this, I never do. I took about 2 cups of powdered sugar, poured a couple of Tbsp. of orange juice in and some finely chopped zest and stirred adding juice if needed until I hand a runny Icing. I drizzled that over the cake .
** I don't have cake flour, never have and most likely never will. :o) However I do know how to make a good substitute. I mixed 1 1/3 C all purpose flour with 1/4 cup corn starch. It worked just fine.
I also discovered that my baking powder was missing that morning so I made a substitute with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp corn starch. It works great too.
The morning after baking the cake my great nieces Gwenny and Renata and Julia came to spend the day. Jeddie has big sisters so he knows that when girls get together they have tea parties. He saw the cake in the kitchen and pointed to it and said that the girls needed a tea party. He helped me set it up and called them in for herbal tea, cucumber sandwiches, Sunshine cake and fresh fruit. I think they had some fun. They all helped fix up a plate to trot over to grandma's house next door.
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