Emergency Dessert: Mother’s One Egg Cake

I don’t remember exactly when this photo of my parents was taken, sitting in the swing in the front yard of our house on the farm.  Daddy always wore khaki work clothes to his job at Fort Campbell and also to work around the farm.  Mother thought overalls were low-class, so he never wore them.

Daddy worked hard on the farm, and his job at Fort Campbell in his later years was demanding, too.  I can’t imagine a man in his 50’s unloading frozen sides of beef  and carrying them into the commissary meat locker, but that’s what he did.  Mother felt he needed meat and vegetables every night for dinner, and Daddy felt he needed a dessert as well.

Money was always tight, but we had our own beef and pork, generally one of the yearling calves and one pig that were slaughtered and frozen.  Mother canned and froze vegetables from our garden and apples and pears from various relatives’ trees, and made jams and jellies.  So we always ate well, thanks to her labor (and mine, an unwilling helper!).

The following recipe is the one egg cake she would make when she didn’t have a lot of eggs to spare and not a lot of time.  She generally served it with fruit or ice cream, or made a quick buttercream frosting.  I’ve used  it instead of shortcake with strawberries and whipped cream, or just dusted some powdered sugar on top and called it a day.  It makes a 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ one-layer cake, just right for four people.

One Egg Cake

2 cups flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

2-4 tablespoons shortening

Cream together shortening, sugar, egg, vanilla, and milk, then add dry ingredients and mix.  Bake in greased 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pan in 350 degree oven (325 degrees if using glass baking dish) for 25 – 30 minutes.  It’s done when lightly browned and center bounces back if you touch it lightly.

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