*Click to read how this depression-era cake put face-cracking smiles on the faces of a bunch of kids in the Christmas of 1933 . . . Christmas in a Sock
Old-Fashioned Version. . . but I suggest the Newer Version Below
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup lard (shortening)
- 3 eggs, separated. Put egg whites in the refrigerator.
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder and salt three times. Work shortening with spoon until fluffy. Add sugar gradually. Continue to work with spoon until mixture is light. Beat egg yolks with a fork until thick. Add to sugar mixture. Add flour gradually, alternating with milk, beating each time until thoroughly mixed. Stir in vanilla.
Bake in two greased and floured 8” round pans at 375° for 25 minutes* Time varies. Stick a toothpick, matchstick, or a broom straw *if you want to be authentically old-fashioned* in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Cool. Remove from pans. Spread meringue between layers, on the sides and on top of the cake. Sprinkle crushed candy on top and sides. Put in stove and watch it. Take out when candy starts to melt. It won’t take long! Remove from stove and cool. To cut cake, put tip of knife in the center of the cake and tap hand to “break through” light crust of candy on top.
My Grandma Woods baked this cake in unreliable wood-burning cook stoves. She had to watch it closely or it would burn, sometimes on just one side. Did all her little younguns mind if it got a little too done? Not one bit!
- 4 egg whites (add one egg to the three whites left over from making the cake)
- 3 Tbls. Sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Beat egg whites until frothy. Add vanilla. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff. Spread inside layers and over the sides and top of cake.
Crushed Candy Topping
Crush with a hammer inside a dishtowel:
- 1 large peppermint stick
- About a cup of ribbon Christmas candy (preferred) or any type of hard candy.
Crush the candy more than what shows in the photo below. The photo is to show variety and placement of candy.
Use any from-scratch or packaged yellow, white or spice cake recipe. Spice cake is extra delicious in this recipe. Bake in two 8” round pans. Cool. Spread New Version Meringue Topping between layers and on outside of cake. Sprinkle crushed candy on top and sides.
Put under broiler or use a kitchen torch (*preferred* How? click HERE) and watch constantly until candy begins to melt. If you leave it too long, you will mess up the Meringue Frosting. Remove from oven and cool.
The candy must be melted to the point it is crackly but not hard (see photo above). Use the torch in spurts or watch v-e-r-y carefully in the oven. To cut, put tip of knife in the center of cake and tap hand to “break through” light crust of candy on top.
Meringue Frosting (new version)
This meringue “frosting” is a delicious, marshmallow-type topping. You can pile it high on pies or on this Christmas Cake. It’s hard not to sneak a few tablespoons for yourself.
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Put sugar, egg whites and vanilla in a double boiler. Cook over simmering water, whipping constantly for 3 or 4 minutes or until mixture reaches 140° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Beat at high speed for 10 minutes or until thick and spreadable. This meringue tastes a lot like creamy marshmallows. The thin crust of melted candy on top is an unexpected treat. Delicious!
Jodi Lea Stewart is a fiction author who believes in and writes about the triumph of the human spirit through overcoming adversity. With an Okie mom and a Texas stepdad, her writing reflects her life beginning in Texas and Oklahoma, later moving as a youngster to an Arizona cattle ranch next door to the Navajo Nation, and, as a young adult, resuming in her native Texas.
Growing up, she climbed petroglyph-etched boulders, bounced two feet in the air in the backend of pickups wrestling through washed-out terracotta roads, and rode horseback on the winds of her imagination through the arroyos and mountains of the Arizona high country. Her lifetime friendship with all nationalities, cowpunchers, and the southern gentry allows Jodi to write comfortably about anything in the Southwest and the South.
Check out Jodi’s news and her latest everything.
What’s next from Jodi? Another epic historical fiction novel catapulting the reader out of Texas into Mexico, Argentina, and China and into the epicenter of another intriguing human drama. Look for it in 2022.
Recent AWARD-WINNING Publications by Jodi Lea Stewart
TRIUMPH, A NOVEL OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT is a 2021 International FIREBIRD First Place Multicultural Fiction Award Winner
If you loved To Kill a Mockingbird, and want a dramatic, different, and sometimes humorous version of New Orleans life, St. Louis, and Texas in the early to mid-century 1900s, all adorned in beguiling plot twists and unforgettable characters, read TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit by Jodi Lea Stewart.
Two children are ripped from their separate homes in 1903, one by a secretive Voodoo sect, the other one hidden out of blind fear. Their uncertain fates set in motion a series of events that reverberate decades later. Opening in the Louisiana swamps and moving into New Orleans and St. Louis—this novel weaves together three vivid storylines featuring two friends of different races defying the odds of their heritage and 1950s bigotry.
TRIUMPH was a finalist in three categories in the 2021 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards contest, won a Readers’ Favorite with Reviewers, and is also a 2021 Firebird First Place Award Winner in Multicultural Fiction.
BLACKBERRY ROAD is a 2020 International CHANTICLEER First Place Multicultural Award Winner
Trouble sneaks in one Oklahoma afternoon in 1934 like an oily twister. A beloved neighbor is murdered, and a single piece of evidence sends the sheriff to arrest a black man who Biddy, a sharecropper’s daughter, knows is innocent. Hauntingly terrifying sounds seeping from the woods lead Biddy into even deeper mysteries and despair and finally into the shocking truths of that fateful summer.
“Beyond the humor and entertaining antics of the main character, Biddy Woodson, BLACKBERRY ROAD has depth and meaning as it explores stirring universal themes that we expect in great literature” ~ D.B. Jackson, acclaimed Historical and Western author
BLACKBERRY ROAD is engaging, entertaining, and a book that is sure to linger with you . . . the trip is well worth the time ~ Cyrus Webb, Host of ConversationsLIVE, president of Conversations Radio Network, tv show host, author, and Amazon top reviewer
THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD is a 2021 NEW MEXICO-ARIZONA BOOK AWARD First Place Adventure-Drama Winner
Kat, a teen, and her mother Take off on Route 66 to escape an abusive home life and stumble into the epicenter of crime peddlers invading Arizona and Nevada in the 1950s. Stranded hundreds of miles from their planned destination of Las Vegas, they land in a dusty Arizona town full of ghosts and tales, treachery and corruption.
Avoiding disaster is tricky, especially as it leads Kat into a fevered quest for the simple things of home and a sense of belonging. Danger lurks everywhere, leading her to wonder if she and her mother really did mess up and take The Accidental Road of life.
It’s so much fun to read Jodi Lea Stewart’s books and to be taken away into the worlds that she creates, mainly because they are not just entertaining, but also teach us a lot about ourselves and life in general. THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD is no different . . . and in true Jodi Lea Stewart fashion there is a solid mixture of fun, adventure and even danger in store for this daughter and her mother . . . which is what makes the book so engaging. This is the kind of book you will want to read slowly so that you can savor the journey.
From beginning to end, THE ACCIDENTAL ROAD has all the ingredients of a satisfying read ~ Cyrus Webb, Host of ConversationsLIVE, president of Conversations Radio Network, tv show host, author, and Amazon top reviewer