Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vintage Recipe: Maggie's Butter-Nut Cake Filling

"Come by for Dessert and Coffee"

Entertaining after dinner is growing fast in popularity. It is an especially pleasant and practical plan for hostesses who hold daytime jobs or have very small children who need to be bathed, fed, and put to sleep in the earlier part of the evening.

It also is the most convenient way to entertain for those living in extremely small quarters, such as a young couple I know.

He is a divinity student. She is working as a secretary until he gets his degree. They have wisely put current comfort second to ambition for their future, and are living in a one-room apartment. It has a tiny range and sink behind a Venetian blind. She is an excellent cook, but obviously cannot ask more than one couple for dinner. There is no place to put used dishes for more.

"But we can take care of ten after dinner — and without the range and sink staring at us," she said. "And we find that many of our friends like the idea of an after-dinner get-together as much as we do. Some with babies like to put them to sleep rather than let a baby-sitter do it, so they much prefer to join us around nine o'clock when everything at home is under control."

This young friend makes a point of choosing a dessert that is dainty in appearance but fairly substantial, such as a warm fruit pie `a la mode, a chiffon cheese cake, or an elaborate layer cake. One with an exceptionally good filling starts with our White Cake Mix and Fluffy White Frosting Mix. She bakes it the night before her party. When the layers are cool she spreads in this filling:

Maggie's Butter-Nut Cake Filling

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp. flour, 3 tbsp. orange juice, 1/2 cup soft butter, 1/4 cup chopped dates or raisins in saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute. Pour half into 2 egg yolks, beaten, stirring constantly, then stir into filling remaining in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Cool before filling cake. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

She spreads the frosting on in big swirls later in the evening, and is all ready to serve it the following night from he small drop-leaf table flanked by coffee cups, sugar, cream, and an electric percolator — with the Venetian blind firmly lowered in front of her cooking facilities.

Taken from Betty Crocker's Guide to Easy Entertaining: How to Have Guests — and Enjoy Them. Published in 1959.


  1. What a wonderful idea, and a wonderful book! I like the idea of the after-dinner get-together, and how sweet to have attended something like this in 1959 with it's Venetian blinds, electric percolators and coffee cups (not mugs!) Bliss!

    Do you have this book Courtney-and have you tried this recipe? It looks scrumptious!

    p.s. Are you on Facebook by any chance? I'm having a hard time keeping in touch with all of my dear blog friends and I'm thinking Facebook might be an easy solution:)

  2. I do have this cookbook: I believe it cost me a whopping $.50 at Goodwill! I haven't tried the recipe yet — there's SO many vintage recipes I want to make! I also want to buy a percolator . . .

    I deactivated my Facebook temporarily — it was sending friend requests to people I didn't know. Embarrassing! Lol. I'll be back on eventually, and I will most definitely let you know :)

  3. Courtney-Please do let me know! I feel so bad to have let my correspondences slide-and I got so overwhelmed I just sort of shut down. I think a piece of cake might make me feel better:) Hugs! And talk to you soon:)