This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
There are only a few cakes which can be made without shortening. These include those of the sponge variety, angel and sunshine cakes, and all of them depend largely for their lightness upon the amount of air that is beaten into the egg whites. In some cases a little baking powder is introduced to lessen the number of eggs, which would otherwise be necessary to make a light cake. But the real, old-fashioned cake of this type contains no artificial leavening.
Quickness in putting a cake of this type together is the first step towards success. If possible, pans should be kept only for these cakes, and should never be oiled, but, if this is impracticable, it will be necessary to oil and slightly flour the pans, if butter cakes have been baked in them. After measuring out the various ingredients, creaming or beating the egg yolks as the case may be, together with the sugar, and making all possible preparations, the egg whites may be whipped stiff by means of a flat wire whisk, which beats in approximately a third more air than the ordinary egg-beater, therefore making the cake rise to greater height. As soon as put together, the cake should be transferred to the pan and slipped into a very slow oven. Some authorities advocate a cold oven in starting the cake; this also gives good results. The heat should be moderated so that it will reach three hundred degrees after the loaf has been in about fifteen minutes. An average-sized loaf of sponge, angel, or sunshine cake should bake from fifty minutes to an hour, and should rise to twice its bulk. Invert as soon as it comes from the oven, and the cake will usually come out by itself, if allowed to stand some little time. If it does not loosen and begin to come out within a half hour, run a sharp knife around the edge, but do not jam the cake.
1 cupful sugar
1/3 cupful milk
1/2 teaspoonful orange extract
1/8 teaspoonful salt
Beat the eggs slightly, add the sugar, mix well, then add the salt, milk and flavoring. Mix the flour, soda and cream of tartar, and beat slowly into the mixture. Spread in a large, oiled and floured dripping pan, bake quickly, and turn out onto a paper dusted thickly with sifted powdered sugar. Cut off the edges (if over-baked), spread with any beaten tart jelly or jam, and roll up quickly.
Bake a sponge cake in a good-sized round tin. After it is a day old, hollow out the crumb, leaving the sides an inch thick, ice it all over with pale-green confectioner's icing, and roll the sides and top in cocoanut. Scald a strip of angelica an inch wide, bend it into handle shape, and insert it in the "basket." Fill the center with snow parfait, frozen stiff, quickly arrange a spray of holly or "violets" in the parfait made of angelica leaves and red candies or candied violets, and place the basket upon a glass plate, covered with a paper doily, and garnish.
Whites 9 large eggs
1 1/2 cupfuls powdered sugar
6 egg yolks
1 cupful pastry flour
1/8 teaspoonful salt
1/2 teaspoonful each lemon and orange extract
1 teaspoonful cream of tartar
Whip the egg whites until stiff. Beat in the sugar, gradually, and add the flavoring. Stir in the egg yolks, well-beaten, and fold in the flour mixed and sifted four times with the cream of tartar. Bake fifty minutes in an angel-cake or long narrow pan in a moderate oven.
3/4 cupful sugar
1/2 cupful sifted pastry flour
1/8 teaspoonful salt
1/2 teaspoonful cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoonful vanilla
Separate the eggs. Whip the whites till frothy, then gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Sift the flour, cream of tartar and salt together four times, fold it in and bake in a round layer-cake pan.
Beat the yolks light, cream in 1 cupful of sugar, add 1/2 cupful milk and a teaspoonful of vanilla. Then mix and sift thoroughly 1 1/2 cups pastry flour, 1/2 teaspoonful soda and 1 teaspoonful cream of tartar. Fold into the yolks, beat well, and bake in two layers. Put together with boiled frosting, the white layer in the middle.