Grandmother Higbe's 'A Cake That Never Fails'

“I was going through my recipe files and found this forgotten treasure. It was signed originally by my paternal grandmother, so I believe Grandmother Higbe would have been 4 generations back from me. The recipe was dated '1885'. There is no time or temperature (Who knows what a wood cook stove's temperature would have been?). For cakes I default to 350 deg. F. and test with a toothpick for doneness.”
3 8inch layers

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cream butter, sugar and hot water.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Sift flour once.
  4. Add baking powder to flour and sift again 4 or 5 times.
  5. Add water and flour a little at a time to butter and sugar mixture, beating until smooth.
  6. Last, add the well beaten egg whites.
  7. Bake in large pan.
  8. Makes 3 small layers or 2 large.
  9. If you wish to use other shortening than butter, add a little salt.
  10. Nuts may be added if desired.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a