Packaged cake mixes became very popular in the 1950s. Betty Crocker was the first to get Yellow and White cake mixes to American supermarkets in 1947. In 1948 Pillsbury was the first to introduce a Chocolate cake mix, and in 1951, Duncan Hines got in the act by grabbing a hold of his share in the marketplace. Should the history of cakes interest you, I suggest you go to http://www.foodtimeline.org. I found the information there on cakes (and other foods as well) to be fascinating. So let’s get back to the 1950s, and my mother’s kitchen. All her baked goods were made from scratch. There were no cake mixes in her kitchen, until her good friend and neighbor, Ginny, started sharing her desert recipes that used pre-packaged cake mixes. My mom was not a believer until we tasted these treats. Ginny was forever tearing cake recipes out of magazines and trying them on her family, which consisted of only three (herself, husband and son), so there was always plenty to bring to us. Only one house separated our kitchen door from hers, and lots of food went back and forth. We were always delighted to see one of Ginny’s cake creations sitting on our counter. My mom reluctantly acquiesced, and soon boxed cake mixes lined our pantry shelves.
For a real taste of nostalgia, I love to pull out one of Ginny’s cake recipes, with her very distinct handwriting. They never cease to delight. I sometimes feel that I have pulled away from this simple, yet delicious way of baking, and get all too caught up in deserts that you might see made on TV shows like “The Cake Boss.” I’m not saying that you can compare the two, but there is a true “homemade” taste to this Whiskey Cake recipe (and other Ginny cake mix creations) that takes me back in time to when food food was simple, and so was life. Or so it seemed.
I have so many favorites cake recipes of Ginny’s, but this one is a family favorite, so I thought I would start with this. I promise to share more in weeks to come.
1 Package Chocolate or Yellow Cake Mix (Both are delicious. I used chocolate here)
1 Package apple or lemon Jello
3/4 cup vegetable oil, such as Mazola
3/4 cup water
2 TBSP whiskey
1. Grease and lightly flour an Angel food pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl in order as listed (do not mix jello separately). Mix well with electric beater and put into pan.
3. Bake for 1 hour. Cool and frost. You can frost the entire cake or just mound the frosting on top. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
RECIPE FOR FROSTING:
1/2 Cup Crisco
1/8 tsp salt
2 Cups confectioners sugar
2 TBSP milk
1. Cream shortening and salt.
2. Beat in sugar, alternating with the milk. Add more sugar or milk as needed.