Saturday, August 29, 2009

One-Bowl Blueberry Dinette Cake

My mom has a 1970s copy of the Betty Crocker cookbook, tattered and faded from its original poppy red to a very dingy-looking orange, a testament to its frequent use in her kitchen. I think it was a wedding present.

Some of the recipes are distressingly canned-soup-centric, but others are terrific and (I think) much more practical for the home cook than many modern cookbooks aimed at the average American housewife. Dinette Cake is a cute example of this practicality. It's based on the "economy cake," which excludes both rich ingredients like cream and butter, both of which were rationed during WWII, and time-consuming techniques like creaming and sifting -- Rosie the Riveter didn't have time to be a pastry chef! But it's smaller than the typical cake, scaled down to serve a small family or two couples, so it's perfect as a weeknight treat for the grownups or a coffee accompaniment for unexpected guests.

A dinette cake is meant to be casual, homey, and not-too-sweet. Recipes abound on the interwebs, so I borrowed a little of this recipe and a little of that, combined it with what I had on hand, and came up with a very tasty cake that will work for breakfast tomorrow as well -- plus, I made it low maintenance by using one bowl and one spoon. Simple! Oh, and I used butter instead of oil because I don't have to save up ration coupons to get the Real Deal, you know? You can use oil if you prefer, but it won't be as yummy!
1/4 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. milk
1/3 c. yogurt
1 egg
juice and zest of half a lemon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder

1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit In a large microwafe-safe bowl, melt butter. Add sugar, milk, yogurt, the egg, lemon zest and juice, nutmeg, and salt, and mix thoroughly. Add flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly again.

Grease an 8x8 baking pan or #5 cast iron skillet, pour in the batter, and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool slightly and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


Laura's Dad said...

Have your mother and I ever told you how proud we are of you and your practicality? Well, we are!

And, yes, that cook-book was a wedding present: July 17, 1976, so it is a bit over 33 years old.

ckjolly said...

ugh ... i HATE recipes without pictures.