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I took a break from my Jane Austen frenzy to bake another birthday cake. When I asked my co-worker Andy what kind of cake he wished for, he said, “I’d take one of those vintage cakes.” I could have kissed him.

After much pouring over recipes, Andy settled on this super-delicious cake from “For Luncheon and Supper Guests” by Alice Bradley. The book was written specifically for the modern woman of the 1920’s, without a staff to produce multi-course meals.

The cake was not difficult to make, although it might seem like it from the number of steps. The frosting is the best part-it was incredibly good! The cake received rave reviews from Andy and my other co-workers and one person has already put in his request for this cake at his next birthday. So, it’s a winner!

• ¾ cup heavy cream
• 1 ¾ cup sugar, divided
• 1 cup water, divided
• 1 cup flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 3 eggs, divided into yolks and whites
• 1 whole egg, well beaten
• 3 cups confectioners sugar
• 2 squares chocolate


In a saucepan, place ¼ cup water and ¾ sugar. Mix and cook, stirring frequently, until it forms a dark brown syrup, about 15 minutes.

Add ½ cup boiling water and cook until thick (test by taking a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan. If you can draw a circle and it holds its shape for a few seconds, it’s ready).

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, one minute at a time on 50% power, stirring until fully melted.

Add to the syrup and set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Beat the heavy cream, sugar, and ½ cup water until thick, about 8 minutes on my KitchenAid mixer.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to cream and sugar mixture. Add three egg yolks and the whole beaten egg.

Then mix in two tablespoons of the caramel syrup.

Pour into two 8 inch layer cake pans, greased and floured, bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Watch the layers closely-I find that putting both on the bottom shelf, next to one another, works well with this recipe to prevent burning in such a hot oven. Allow layers to cool before removing from pan.

To prepare frosting, boil the remaining chocolate caramel syrup to soft-ball stage (if you can drop a small bit in a bowl of cold water and it forms a soft ball of caramel, it’s ready). Beat two egg whites until stiff and continue beating while slowly adding the chocolate caramel syrup. Then add the confectioners sugar, a cup at a time, until you get the right consistency to spread.

Garnish with powdered sugar just before serving.