WWLP Bake: Betty Crocker’s Custard Chiffon Cake

This recipe comes from a joint advertisement for Betty Crocker and Gold Medal Enriched Flour in 1953. The version shown serves as the back cover for the July 1953 issue of Better Homes and Gardens:

Betty Crocker Chiffon Custard Cake

“New! Custard Chiffon Cake//As rich tasting as butter cake…delicate as angel food//Betty Crocker says: ‘Flour is the most important ingredient in any baking'”

Betty Crocker’s Custard Chiffon Cake (Makes 16-20 Servings)

Blend together and then cool:

  •  3/4 cup scalding hot milk
  • 7 egg yolks, slightly beaten

Preheat oven (see pan sizes and temperatures below). Sift an ample amount of GOLD MEDAL FLOUR onto a square of paper

STEP 1….Measure (level measurements throughout) and sift together into  mixing bowl:

  • 2 cups sifted GOLD MEDAL flour (spoon lightly into cup, don’t pack)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • *3 tsp. baking powder
  • *1 tsp salt

Make a well and add in order:

  • 1/2 cup cooking (salad) oil such as wesson
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • the cooled egg yolk-milk mixture

Beat until smooth with spoon or beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.

STEP 2…Measure into large mixing bowl:

  • 1 cup egg whites (7 or 8)
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Beat until whites form very stiff peaks by hand or with electric mixer on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes. DO NOT UNDERBEAT. Egg whites are stiff enough when a dry rubber scraper drawn through them leaves a clean path.

STEP 3…Pour batter gradually over beaten egg whites–gently folding with rubber scraper just until blended. DO NOT STIR. Pour into ungreased pan immediately

BakeTube pan, 10×4-in.–325*–55 min. then –350*–10 to 15 minutes…or until top springs back when lightly touched.

Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube part over neck of funnel or bottle, or resting edges of oblong pan on 2 other pans. Let hang, free of table, until cold. Loosen from sides and tube with spatula. Turn pan over and hit edge sharply on table to loosen. Frost with Fresh Strawberry Icing (recipe below).

Success Tip: Milk must be hot when poured over slightly beaten egg yolks.

*If you use GOLD MEDAL Self-Rising Flour (sold in parts of the South), omit baking powder and salt.

For altitudes over 2500 feet, use baking powder as follows; 2500-4000 ft. 2 1/4 tsp.; 4000-6500 ft. 1 1/2 tsp.; over 6500 ft. 3/4 tsp. Over 3500 ft. increase oven temp. 25* and use minimum baking time.

Fresh Strawberry Icing…Blend until fluffy and good spreading consistency: 6 tbsp. soft shortening, 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar, 3 tbsp. crushed fresh or frozen strawberries (including juice). Add additional crushed berries if icing appears to thick.



WWLP Read: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

 grayflannelI miss Mad Men terribly. I also love a good look at the American Dream. And The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson has it all–defined gender roles, domestic drama, work drama, a long-term search for the dream, war flashbacks…no wonder the creators of Mad Men used one of the most pivotal and important books from Mid-Century America as inspiration. Due to a few name similarities (Betty in Mad Men and Betsy in TMITGFS) and the aforementioned societal showcase, it’s almost like reading a prequel to the AMC hit…or like reading “The Wit and Wisdom of Roger Sterling”…which is exactly how I’d like to feel while I’m reading something like this. Laura Petrie would most definitely have read The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

Hello world!

Hello everyone!

I’m Caitlin, a social/cultural historian and humanities professor, and this is my blog.

What Would Laura Petrie Do? poses the question of exactly that and hopes to address other issues like, How did women live in mid-century America? How were they supposed to live? And how does that lifestyle apply to us now?

I know…it all sounds so terribly academic and boring, but I promise it won’t be too dull. 

Why Laura Petrie? She’s the quintessential model for femininity and house wifery in Mid-Century America. She represents everything women were to aspire to…women wanted to be her and their husbands wanted them to be her.

She also dressed fantastically.