For Buzz’s birthday cake this year, he asked for a retro recipe… and of course, I was happy to oblige. A search of various sources turned up a number of options, the most interesting of which was “Lady Goldenglow Second Mystery Cake” from my Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook. It’s been mentioned on Kitchen Retro, which thankfully had an authentic picture.
Of course, the name Lady Goldenglow gives you no clue as to what’s in the cake. Taking a look at the ingredients, though…
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1-1/2 ounces baking chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 and butter 2 layer-cake pans.
Cream the butter until soft and light. Gradually add the sugar, beating well and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, and add to the batter in thirds, alternating with the milk. Remove half the batter to a separate bowl. Add the orange extract to the batter remaining in the first bowl, and mix thoroughly. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract to the second bowl and mix well. Divide the batter between the cake pans by tablespoons: first one of the orange mixture, then one of the chocolate, and so on.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
Turns out it’s “orange and chocolate marbled cake”. Mmmmm.
Intriguingly, Lady Goldenglow has changed since the 30’s, morphing from a orange-chocolate marbled cake with orange and/or chocolate icing, to chocolate cake and icing with orange flavoring added. British chef Nigella Lawson has a recipe on her website for “Lady Goldenglow Chocolate Cake,” the most modern version I could find. (I also found a Norwegian version, but I don’t speak Norwegian so I can’t say much more about it.)
The original recipe makes a fairly standard cake, aside from the batter marbling. Separating the batter in half and adding different flavors to each isn’t that hard, and creates a very neat effect.
The frosting suggestions from Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook differ slightly from the Kitchen Retro version; rather than orange frosting on top and chocolate-orange on the sides, it gives an orange buttercream frosting recipe and an orange whipped cream frosting recipe. We put the whipped cream between the layers, frosted the outside with buttercream, and then decorated the edges with plain chocolate (left over from some cupcakes last week).
And wow. These are, well, the icing on the cake. Both frostings are delightfully citrus-flavored, and chocolate accents on top are a wonderful contrast. (Chocolate sprinkles or, even fancier, chocolate shavings would be just as decadent.)
This is by far the best cake I have ever made, retro or not. I admit that I took more care than I usually might with a retro recipe, but the deliciousness is due to the recipe itself. If you’re looking for a cake a step above “yellow”, I definitely recommend a Lady Goldenglow. (Plus the name is a great conversation starter, as everyone tries to figure out why exactly it’s called that.)