The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Christmas Cakes

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1991

Issue: December, 1991

As the holidays approach, I think back to Christmases long ago when women showed off their very best recipes and baking skills. Preparations were made early to have something special to feed guests that might stop in for a holiday visit.

If fruit cakes were made, they would be made in November and stored away in tin containers in a cool place. One woman, writing about her holiday memories of childhood, said that her mother would bake eight cakes each year, all of the cakes different. It was a point of pride and hospitality to serve food to visitors and every household offered the best they could afford to offer.

The following recipes are cake recipes that could be served over the holidays with pride to anyone whether family, friends or old Saint Nick himself!

Whipped Cream Cake

1 cup thick cream
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Whip cream until thick, add sugar and eggs until well blended, gradually add dry ingredients after sifting all together. Pour in 2 prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Coconut Icing

To make this cake into a coconut cake, a holiday favorite of many, ice between layers with whipped cream and sprinkle an inch of grated coconut on top of whipped cream. Put top layer on and ice cake with rest of whipped cream and press coconut to sides of cake and sprinkle generously on top.

Another coconut filling/icing is this:

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
a few drops of vanilla.

Heat milk, mix dry ingredients, add milk gradually. Cook until thick in double boiler. Cool. Add 2 cups of grated coconut and vanilla. Spread between layers of cake. Very little grated lemon or orange may be added if desired.

German Peach Cake

2 eggs
1 cup peach juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Beat eggs, add peach juice, flour, baking powder and butter. Pour in well greased baking dish. Place peach halves on top of batter, round side up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake 20 minutes in hot oven. Serve while hot with whipped cream.

Graham Cracker Cake

1/2 pound butter
1 pound box Graham Crackers (crushed)
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup sweet milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup grated coconut

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, one at a time. Add baking powder to crumbs. Add milk and coconut. Mix well. Bake in 3 pans 350 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Spread large can crushed pineapple between layers.