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Confession: I made this cake because 1.) I had literally 1.5 hours until I had to leave for a serious round of holiday parties and 2.) burnt sugar is in the title. How could I resist?

When I’m in need of something unusual, I turn to one of my Local 12 parting gifts-a fantastic cookbook called A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband; The Romance of Cookery and Housekeeping. That’s right ladies… cooking and housekeeping are romantic. Published in 1917, it tells the story of Bettina and Bob’s first year of marriage through a series of special events and the meals that Bettina cooks. (Also found in this cookbook was this Deviled Eggs recipe which was divine. No kidding.)

Cupid in a chef's hat.  That's awesome.

Cupid in a chef’s hat. That’s awesome.

This is fast cake with a mild taste. Turns out that one of the guests at one of the parties I attended that night remembers this cake from her childhood. Her mother baked it for her every birthday. I love when food leads to memories like that, don’t you?

Burnt sugar cake.

Burnt sugar cake.

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla


Pour 2/3 cup of the sugar into a non-stick skillet and heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts into an amber-colored liquid and there are no lumps. Add the boiling water and stir thoroughly. Set aside and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray two full size loaf pans with cooking spray.

Beat the egg whites thoroughly.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the remaining sugar and egg yolks and mix thoroughly.

Next, add the salt, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and the cooled sugar liquid. Beat two minutes. Fold in the beaten eggs whites.

Pour the mixture evenly between the two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Mmm... cake!

Mmm… cake!

Allow to cool and top with drizzles of icing of your choice!