This simple and delicious dessert was made for Father’s Day, and is the third of my dessert recipes to feature butterscotch extract. (Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip cookies being the first and second). I’m not sure how I found this recipe (think it was through some kind of Pinterest investigation) but I am glad I did. It was from a site called chocolatechocolateandmore.com, so you know it’s good! Warning: it contains no chocolate.
The recipe was near-perfect, but as always, I had to go and mess with it. A couple of tweaks were necessary, not least of all was the elimination of the cast-iron pan, as mine recently broke (snapped, really). Of course, increasing the vanilla and salt levels (this worried me at the batter stage, but paid off at the cake stage). Lastly, I added 1/8 tsp of butterscotch extract (Frontier brand), which is a bit of guilding the lily—you can leave it out and it makes for a great, simple dessert. But I thought it needed just a tiny little bit more personality. Also, I found myself wondering what it would be like if I beat the egg whites (to stiff foamy peaks) with the sugar separately and then folded them into the rest of the recipe. I didn’t try it, but that is how egg whites are frequently used in baking this type of light dessert.
My one big deviation from the recipe as written was to add a cup of sugar to the shortening, milk and vanilla combo, rather than add it all to the wet ingredients with the dry. I felt it was necessary. Did it make a difference? I think when you can cream or semi-cream your sugar, you eliminate the possibility of that granular mouth feel.
Despite my track record of putting great desserts on table, my family doubted this would be a dessert they would like. After all, it’s not chocolate, and what is it, really? Plain cake? But no, as its original author contends– it’s melt in your mouth delicious. Might I need to add a streusel layer (one of my other obsessions)? Most likely. This is also a great cake as a base– for covering with strawberries, or strawberry filling (like that from my version of hand pies) or some other kind of sweet confection. If you have a good maple syrup, you might substitute for that for the butterscotch.
As for whether this is better in the morning, it will be hard to tell, since my family of four almost completely cookie-monstered the cake last night, which rarely happens.
So if you have a Father (or Father substitute) that you want to make happy, this a great recipe: simple and quick.
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/8 tsp butterscotch extract
- confectioner’s sugar for covering
- Cream together shortening and milk for about 3 minutes, (it will look like small curd cottage cheese.)
- Add in 1 cup of a sugar and the vanilla. Continue to mix.
- in a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add flour, one third at a time to the milk mixture, blending well after each addition.
- Add in egg whites, beating just until all combined.
- Pour batter into a greased and floured (not sprayed) 9 inch round cake pan.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 40-45 minutes (mine was ready at 43) or test for doneness.
- Let cool on wire rack for at least 45 minutes before serving, cover top with powdered sugar.
After cooling, I ‘heavily dusted’ the top with powder sugar, covering the top like a ski-chalet after a heavy Vermont snow. The original recipe called for a dusting, but I thought it needed more. Some in my house suggested it needed frosting, but I am not among those who agree. However, you can check out this simple vanilla cream frosting recipe (at the bottom of this chocolate cake recipe) if you like. Otherwise, Happy Father’s Day!