I love anything vintage...clothes, books, furniture, dishes, cookware, bakeware, paper and maps. Oh, how I love vintage maps. Lately, I've also found myself increasingly interested in vintage recipes and foods. The things I have come across are an equal mix of fascinating and revolting (sometime I'll tell you about coronation salad) and I'm so intrigued by how homecooks used to, well, cook.
This week, while struggling to find a recipe for the letter "U" (no easy task I might add), I came across several recipes for something known as Ugly Duckling Cake. A very popular cake, served at dinner parties in the 1960's, this cake was the cake to make, back then. It was aptly named as such because it was far tastier than it looked. Comprised of yellow cake mix, pudding, fruit cocktail and other interesting foods, the reviews I read about this cake were incredible. Everyone loved it!
While I wasn't too keen on making exactly what I read about it, I thought it might be fun to recreate something similar...a more modern version of the Ugly Duckling Cake. Slightly more healthy (though not much more), kids will love this cake simply for the name. And, how great would it be to read Hans Christensen's story of the same name and then march into the kitchen with your young ones and work on this treat. In fact, I love the idea of pairing books and food together and think I may try to put together a "books and cooks" series.
Has anyone out there made the Ugly Duckling cake before? Was it as good as I've read it was? This version is very sweet for me, and I've reduced all the sweetness by half from the original recipe so I can't even imagine how sugary that was.
Happy weekending friends!
Ugly Duckling Cake, my recipe
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup preserves (I used apricot)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut
~ Pre-heat oven to 350 and lightly oil a 9" springform pan.
~ Combine the oil and butter and mix well.
~ Add the egg and vanilla and once combined, add the flour and baking powder. Stir until the flour is incorporated into the wet mixture.
~ Add the milk, coconut and jam and stir until evenly mixed.
~Pour into the oiled pan and lightly sprinkle the top with the brown sugar and pecans.
~ Bake for 35 minutes and remove from oven.
~ While the cake is cooling, make the topping. Combine the butter, sugar, coconut and evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the stove top and spoon over the cake, distributing the topping evenly.