Monday, February 18

My Grandmother's Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake



How many of you own a copy of your moms, grandmothers or great grandmother's recipe books or cards? You know the kind that were hand written in the years before blogs, and ebooks?

My Grandma as a girl

My Grandma passed away when I was 10 of breast cancer, I didn't really know her well. All I know of her, are the stories I hear from my Dad and my Aunts and Uncles. I was lucky enough to get a photo copy of her recipe book. It's filled with TONS of dessert recipes.



I giggle when I flip through the pages because the recipes are clearly dated. The use of jello, instant pudding was huge.... and seriously. What is Oleo? Do they still sell this? I have been told by my Aunts it's like Crisco?

When I first started blogging, I tried her Tomato Soup Cake. It was actually really good. Though I was completely terrified to use canned soup in  a CAKE. It's a thing.... and totally not weird. You should try it some time. You will be pleasantly surprised!

One recipe that has caught my eye for years now and I just never took the time to make it. Was the Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake. Apparently this was a thing back in the day. I did a google search to see what I could find out... and I think it's a vintage classic cake. Ask your mom or grandmothers... I bet they have made it at one point or another!


This cake is easy to whip up. All the ingredients come straight from your pantry. And it is made with oatmeal, so it is practically health food right?

My Grandmother's Handwritten Recipe
The only adaptions I made to her recipe were....

Instead of using "Oleo" I used room temperature butter. I also added 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut on top of the frosting before serving. I think it was best served warm.





 
Photobucket

110 comments:

  1. There is something extra special about hand written recipes from long ago. You're lucky to have those.

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    1. It is special. I am so glad my Aunts saved the book and made copies for us all.

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    2. FYI Olio is a margarine not a Crisco. back in "my day"

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    3. How lucky you are to have these old recipes. Oleo is simply margarine! I am finding her recipe, while her penmanship is quite lovely, I am afraid it is very light, so I am unable to read it. Could you help me with this, please? Thank you....

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    4. I love these old recipes. Especially the ones written by a loved one. Making this by weeks end.

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    5. I have some of my Mom's handwritten recipes which I cherish. I would love to try this recipe but it is so light that I can't make it out. Can you add a type-written version for us who need it? Thanks very much.

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    6. True. OLeo, by the way is not like Crisco. It is margarine.

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  2. I've been amazed to discover how many of my grandma's "famous" recipes use ingredients like instant pudding. That was definitely a big thing at one point (and seems to be making a comeback). This cake looks lovely.

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    1. LOL, I know. People are loving instant pudding mixes these days in recipes. I am not sure I am down with the trend. I should probably try it and see what all the fuss is about.

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    2. I have inherited some of my busia's recipes and came across one for chocolate pudding. It was really fairly simple. Just made muffins last night that have a custard filling so I now have vanilla and chocolate pudding in my recipes. I enjoy making things from scratch though. Tastes so much better.

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    3. mmmmmthose sound yummy, any chance you can share the recipe?

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  3. I'm drooling ver this cake & can't wait to try it! I'm also dying over your gorgeous dishes this yummy cake is sitting on! Please tell me what brand & where you bought them!!!

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    1. Thanks! This plate is one that I picked up on clearance sale at TJ Maxx or Home Goods a couple years ago. I'm not sure of the brand.... the writing on the bottom is worn.

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  4. I have a cookie recipe from my Grandma Mittman which is in her handwriting. So precious to keep these close to your heart! Thanks for sharing her recipe.

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    1. It is precious, I will keep these recipes forever I am sure.

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    2. I love the old recipes, especially the hand written ones! I have a handwritten Applesauce cake recipe dated 1946 from my grandmother. It is priceless! I make it every year for Christmas!

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  5. I have about 3 boxes and 2 books filled with Grandma's recipes ( both sides of family ). The one's with their handwritten notes are extra special. I love this cake and the story behind it, Carrie! And coconut - yum!

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    1. Oh wow! You are lucky to have so many. My Nana (my grandmother on my mom's side) Is thankfully still with us. I do have some of her books as well. She has been giving them to me since I was a little. Such a fun thing to bake the things I know they did decades ago.

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  6. Oh, so you found something. Fun!

    And my grandparents' handwritten recipes look like that, too. Same handwriting. So it appears that people in the 40s / 50s / 60s had the same handwriting. Peculiar. ;)

    I looked up the oleo thing and people say different things. Some say shortening, some say margarine... http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2010/10/historic-recipes-that-make-you-laugh.html

    The cake looks great! I love the name.

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    1. Thanks for that link! I don't know why I never googled it haha. My mom's handwriting looks the same to me as well. It must be a female style or writing ;)

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    2. Charlotte WalkerMay 29, 2015 at 10:13 PM

      Yes girls, we had the same handwriting because we were taught "penmanship." :)

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    3. Yes, imagine a time when children were taught penmanship, deportment (manners and social interaction) and other social skills such as table manners: at school. We went to dancing school not just to dance, but to learn social skills. I remember dressing up in my Sunday best to attend an Saturday afternoon Tea Dance at 10 years old. The little girls were in party dresses and white gloves, the little boys blue suits, white shirts, and ties. We were taught the proper way to talk, drink tea, eat cookies and interact during a social occasion. Seems silly today, but that was how we learned social skills.

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  7. Oleo is Margarine, not shortening. At least that's what it was when I was a kid.

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    1. Yes, Oleomargarine was the original name for margarine. Not surprisingly, the name got shortened in popular use, but eventually "Margarine" came to be the accepted word, probably to the relief of the margarine manufacturers. Originally it was white, because the dairy lobby didn't want it looking like butter. It took awhile for margarine producers to get that prohibition lifted, so now we have artificial coloring to add to the list of additives that make up margarine.

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    2. I remember when the margarine companies bought TV ads, showing a lady sitting down with her recipes, crossing out the word, "butter," and replacing it with "oleo." Now, 50-60 years later, I'm crossing out "oleo" and "margarine" and replacing them with BUTTER! So much healthier for you!

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    3. I remember when "oleo" came in a plastic bag with a yellow bean in the middle. we had to break the bean and mix it through the contents and make it yellow through out. Better be careful and not put s hole in the bag or you would have the oleo all over the place. That was my job every Saturday after dad came home from buying the groceries.

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  8. Your grandmother's recipe sounds good. I do know about "oleo"--short for oleomargarine (what margarine was called during WWII)--I'm a baby boomer who loves to "read" cookbooks, and I've also baked a tomato soup cake or two...these were especially popular when people seemed to like spice cakes more than they do today.

    Enjoy your special recipes!

    Felice

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    1. Thanks Felice! I will remember that next time I look at her old recipes. ;)

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  9. This looks AH-mazing. I just love making my old family recipes. They're not only delicious, they're good for the soul. :-)

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    1. Thanks a bunch! It is fun, I need to do it more often.

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  10. This is why I hope to never own an e-cookbook! I have my grandmas copy of The Joy of Cooking and a few of her other cookbooks that all have recipes torn out of magazine stuck between the pages. I only have a few of her recipe cards, but it makes me feel so much more of a connection to her. This cake looks so beautiful, and I can totally see a resemblance between you and her!

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    1. Thanks Jackie. There is something so special about owning the actual books. I fear that ebooks will ruin that for our kids... I'm glad I at least have this blog so they can somehow go back and read my words.

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  11. Grandma's recipes are always the best! They never taste quite the same as when she made them, though - it's probably the TLC she put into it! :)

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  12. I love looking through old family recipes! This one definitely looks like a keeper!

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  13. Your cake looks wonderful! I love old-fashioned desserts like this!

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    1. Me, too! BTW, neither of my grandmothers ever owned a cookbook, nor wrote their recipes down. I'm thankful to have some of my Mom's, though.

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  14. I am in love with this cake, the handwritten recipe, the flavors, and that it was your grandma's! I have a few vintage cookbooks (none of them have photos) and have seen so many 'lazy daisy cakes' and now I know what they will likely turn out like...thank you!

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    1. Thanks Averie! I feel like I have no idea what some of those old recipes actually are without the pictures lol.

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  15. Its interesting to me that these days with the internet, food blogs will be the new recipe cards. I love the sound of this cake, it's so simple but I am sure taste fabulous!

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    1. They will be for sure. I'm glad my kids will be able to go back and read this. Get my recipes and read them in my "voice"

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  16. Oleo is margerine

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  17. Love this Carrie! Reminds me I really, really want my Nana's recipe book. My grandmother, on the other hand, never wrote anything down! Grrrr. :)

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    1. My other Grandmother (step grandma) was an amazing cook. But she just threw things together... there are no written versions of my favorite dishes! So sad.

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  18. I love family recipes, the caramel frosting sounds delicious!

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    1. I'm so old (82) compared to all of you, probably the age of some of your grandmas. My 96 year old auntie died a year ago. Many of the recipes I use came from her. She used to say that reading and using one of her mother's recipes from her hand written cookbook was like getting a letter from her mother. Btw, I am myself a great grandma and love cooking and baking. My aunt's recipe for this cake has directions to put cake w/topping under broiler for 5 minutes, but watch closely! Think I'll try it without broiling this time.

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  19. My mother-n-law still says oleo! She means margarine and I never thought a thing of it, so I had to giggle reading this. This cake sounds wonderful and you are so lucky to have your grandmother's recipes!

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    1. I don't think they even sold that brand in the N. East because my mom and grandma never heard of it either.

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  20. So lovely, Carrie. I love poking through my mom's kitchen to find my grandmom's old recipe cards. I love family recipes like this. They stand the test of time. I just LOVE the flavors of this cake Carrie!

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  21. That looks wonderful and so comforting! I wish I had even one of my grandmother's recipes or to have her still here to bake and Cook with me.

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  22. Just found your blog through another cooking blog I like.. They are my new favorite thing. This recipe looks fantastic and I pinned it. I don't think this was in my mom's collection, but i know tomato soup cake was! It was a favorite of mine. I have most of her recipes and they are handwritten. She has been gone almost 10 years and still to this day seeing her handwriting brings her memory back to me more strongly than anything. Your grandmother's recipes are really a treasure.
    Can't wait to try this Lazy Daisy Cake.

    Nice to "meet" you"

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  23. My sister took my Grammy's hand written recipes, the family favorites, and asked Grammy about them. Then she photo copied the recipes and added Grammy's words to the page and bound them into a book for all of the cousins. Now we have the stories that go with our favorite foods, it is one of my most treasured cookbooks. Lynne

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  24. Oleo means margarine. Originally margarine was called Oleomargarine. My mom, who is 86, only says oleo when talking about margarine.

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  25. My mother has also preserved hand-written recipes from my grandmother, which she laminated along with photos and put into a "family recipe book" for me. I love it, and treasure it as a keepsake! Funny thing is, your grandmother's handwriting looks almost identical to mine - must have been those years of grammar school handwriting practice! Everything is so high-tech now, I wish our kids still learned these basics!

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  26. I'm probably at least your grandmother's age, or perhaps older, judging by her clothing as a "young lady." Oleo is short for oleomargarine, which is, what we now call "margarine". It was a butter substitute during WWII when butter was being sent to the servicemen, and was rationed to civilians. It started out as a white package of something that looked like lard, or Crisco in a plastic bag, with a bright dot of color, which was kneaded by hand until the whole package was yellow, then shortly after that, was sold in plastic "tubs" with the color already in it. My favorite "cook-books" are still a series of 3 x 5 file cards in file boxes, in the handwriting of dear relatives and friends. ~~

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    1. I remember the butter substitute and as child it was a lot fun to knead that package until it was all yellow..

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  27. Oleo is Margarine, but back then It was in a pound side and white, and they gave us a little package of orange or yellow looking powder that could be added to cause the Oleo Margarine to resemble butter. Now we still have vegetable margarine but its colored like butter as we know from what we buy from the Supermarket.
    At my age as a child I was the one who colored the Margarine, and I was also the one who churned the butter on the farm. During the Second world war we sold a lot of the farm butter to the market in town at a high price during the days of food rationing, and while we ate some of the butter ourselves we also used the margarine to supplement the butter so we could have most of that to sell along with the eggs.

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  28. Oleo is margarine-used to be called oleomargarine. Substitute for butter

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  29. Oleo is simply stick margarine.

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  30. In the directions for the frosting, it says to cook the brown sugar and creme (or milk) until a soft ball forms. I remember doing something very similar when I was young, as my mom was cooking. We would use a spoon and drip some of the sauce into a cup of cold water. When you could form a soft ball with it, then its done. Is that possibly what is meant with your grandma's instructions? It takes about 25 minutes to get to this stage.

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  31. Thank you for sharing! I love old recipes. When my mother in law passed, I photo copied her hand written recipes and made memory books for my sisters in law, and myself. I've added my moms to the book as well. I treasure the recipies and the memories.

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  32. Oleo!! My mom used to use that. How funny to see it in print again. What a great recipe. Looks yummy!

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  33. Oleo!!! That is in all of my Gram's recipes, too! I thought it was Crisco until mom told me it was margarine. I often consider buying margarine instead of butter to see if her recipes turn out differently with margarine instead of butter!

    This cake looks delicious. I think we will try it!

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  34. Love the photo and the handwritten recipe! Plus, the recipe looks delish!
    --Gypsi

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  35. Oleo is margarine it is not "like crisco" at all. not even close. But you can use butter to replace it. Colloquial term for Margarine, aka oleomargarine
    Also just wanted to say Thank You for all your recipes.

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  36. That cake looks awesome and I love oatmeal. I have a few of my mother's handwritten recipes. They somehow make you feel directly connected to that person when making the recipe.

    Is this recipe printed out anywhere on your blog? I'm having a difficult time reading your Grandma's handwritten copy. My eyes are not what they used to be.

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  37. I have the first Betty Crocker Cookbok that was published. In it are notes of various kinds (doubling or halving a recipe plus my mother's adaptations). I'll never get rid of that book and will pass it on to my daughter. Truly an heirloom!!

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  38. When cooking the brown sugar for the frosting, what temp low-med-high? How long does it generally take?

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  39. Have tried to make this cake twice. Although the cake has come out beautiful even with the gluten-free flour I use, I cannot seem to get the frosting right. When you say soft ball forms, are you saying soft ball stage like in candy?

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  40. Oleo is pretty much the same as margarine, parkey, or and of that type of shaped like butter in sticks. It was inexpensive alternative to butter. Not the I can't believe it's not butter type products.

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  41. what kind of oatmeal the quick cooking or the regular longer cooking one?

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  42. I've eaten "Oatmeal Cake" many times as it was a favorite of my mother (who got the recipe from her mother, I'm sure) She still calls margarine "oleo" and said that she and her brother used to fight over who could mix the color into it! "Oleo" was a generic term, not a brand name. Her icing is even easier/lazier than yours (which sounds like the Penuche icing she always used for angel food cake--yeah, it's like a cooked candy concoction) This icing was broiled--you put it on the cake just after it was baked/still hot, and then broiled it. Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup margarine,1/4 cup cream or milk, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, and 1 cup coconut. Spread on hot cake and broil 2-4 minutes until light brown. Watch closely so it doesn't burn. I'm sure that we always used "quick/1-minute" oatmeal when we made the cake. Good stuff/happy memories. Nice moist cake. We kept leftovers in the 'fridge. (Laura in Pennsylvania. This cake is popular with the PA-Dutch.)

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  43. my grandma made a similar cake. However, the frosting had coconut and some chopped walnuts mixed in. After spreading the mixture...it was put under a broiler for just a few minutes to very lightly brown....yummy

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  44. That could be a picture of me in the '50's! Jeans for females were new then and we loved them! We used Parkay margarine which came in plastic bag with a bud of colouring so we'd sit around in the evening listening to the radio - before TV, each with a bag and kneading the colouring into the white margarine, it was almost the colour of butter lol Then it was put the in Ice Box! No fridge then lol I have eaten and made the frosting from the previous post, wouldn't be surprised if I've made the cake too. I am Jean from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm 73 living in Ottawa, Ontario.

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  45. Cool that you have the recipes. I have very few of my mothers. I wish I had her recipe box filled w/ all of the things that she had collected throughout her lifetime.

    I haven't read through all of the comments here but surely someone already stated what oleo is.

    My dad was a baker for a portion of his life (worked in, and eventually owned his own). Oleo was a term for margarine, which at one time was labeled and sold as 'oleomargarine'. Since that time it has become a generic term for all oils, although it doesn't crop up all that much anymore.

    You've obviously never looked through the magazine Tastes of Home, or a few of the other newer magazines. Many recipes still call for things like jello and instant pudding. lol Not the way I personally cook, but certainly a part of how I grew up. I suppose some people still cook that way due to habit/tradition, others perhaps due to the time saving element that using these products affords, and still others, simply to revisit vintage recipes and a childhood favorites.

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  46. My grandmother made a caramel frosting that she use over a German chocolate cake and it was my father's favorite. She showed me how to make it years ago but she didn't use measurements. I have all her old recipes and thought she may have written it down but it was no place to be found. I have tried so many recipes that I have found on the internet...but none of them were like hers. I am hoping this recipe at the bottom of your Lazy Daisy cake is one like she used to make. My father just turned 89 and I would love to make it for him for father's day. My mother used to make a Tomato Soup cake...sounds awful but very good.

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  47. Back in the day oleo was short for oleomargarine. So it's basically margarine--the full fat kind, not the reduced fat ones that are sold these days. For baking you want a margarine that is as high in fat content as butter if you want a vintage recipe to be true to form. Nice trip down memory lane. I got my recipe for Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake back in 1970 when I was a new wife and mother. It is delicious.

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  48. Hi...this sounds delish!! Could I bake it in a 9x13 pan? Maybe a little longer??

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    1. Yes I did it that way for this post.

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    2. I made the cake successfully - the frosting not so much - I possibly cooked the sugar/milk mixture too long - but I used a candy thermometer and it said soft ball stage was 240-245 degrees...couldn't even spread it on the cake it set up so quickly ....I was disappointed. Not very pretty but the cake was good. Probably would make again but won't use this frosting recipe.

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    3. I've never had any issues with it setting too quickly. I'm sorry you did. It's my grandmother's handwritten recipe from sometime in the 70's.

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  49. Looking forward to trying this recipe. I have an old church cookbook that my Grandma had put dozens of her recipes in, back in the mid 70's. She sent me an autographed copy of it for Christmas. Still my favorite cookbook. Thank you for sharing your Grandmother's recipe.

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  50. I have made this recipe for years from my grandma, only we add 1cuo choc. chips/

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  51. I have my Mom's recipe to go with this cake. We used to make it while supper was cooking.

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  52. I have loads of those recipes on cards and varied pieces of paper from one of my aunts. I use them frequently. And oleo was just plain old margarine.

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  53. Takes me back to a wonderful time in my life . . . in the country of Indiana . . .and my family still loves it when I make this "oatmeal cake" with caramel icing. The Amish make this, as well, and we lived with them in the early 50's. They are great cooks, as everyone knows, so this recipe is one that will always be a favorite with so many. Yes, I agree, the plate is perfect for displaying the cake.

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  54. oleo is just another name for margarine. Crisco is a type of shortening. back in the 40s and 50s (when I was a child) that is what we used when we didn't use butter.

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  55. Wow the comments have succeeded in making me feel ancient.

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  56. just one thing. the recipe says 'pour into well greased and floured 9 inch panS. plural. two? and what goes in between the layers, if two? or is this recipe making multiple single layer cakes?

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    1. When I was a girl learning to bake, we always made "layer cakes." Two round layers, stacked when cool, and frosted in between the layers. Today's single-layer cakes were considered a "lazy" way to make a cake. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that we started making 13"X9" single-layer cakes, made with instant pudding added to the mix for richness and moisture. BTW, just to give you a time reference, I just turned 60.

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  57. Just to comment on the the handwriting...that's because back in the day, schools actually taught "cursive" handwriting. It was called the Palmer method. I had a high school girl at her job be given an order to fill, written like that, and she was totally unable to read it. This is what our public school education looks like today. It's only a matter if time before spelling also goes by the wayside.

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  58. Tomato Soup Cake......has been my husband's favorite since I can remember, and we've been married 43 years !!
    I got the recipe from his 'Grandma Fuller', who was the sweetest, kindest Christian woman I've ever known. I loved sitting by her in church because when we sang.....she SANG ! ! To this day, because of her, my favorite hymn is "The Old Rugged Cross". I learned many things from her, baking being one of them. They always had
    dessert after lunch, and dinner.....every day. She said a "Little bite of sweet completes your meal."
    My Mom always baked her chocolate cake in a cast iron skillet.....the best chocolate cake ever !! We didn't even want her to frost it because it was so yummy just plain....warm from the skillet. Her recipe for banana nut bread still receives raves every time I make it, from anyone who is fortunate enough to get a piece of it. She used to occasionally put 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa in it to change it up, but I put a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon as my preference......an extra ugly black banana, and lots of walnuts ! ! Does that mean I can call it MY Banana Bread ??? LOL

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  59. I agree with Bonnie! Oleo is margarine.
    Crisco is lard.

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  60. Oleo became a household word when referring to margarine. It was a brand of margarine. Just like shortening is referred to as Crisco.

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  61. I wanted to know about the pans as well. Is it 2 pans? Also, have you ever just baked it all in a 9" X 13" pan?

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  62. Millie Wright October 18, 2015 at 10:48 PM
    I am 81 years old...grandma and great grandma. When I was a newly wed, this was the ONLY cake I could afford to make, and I made it every Saturday night to serve our card playing friends. They all LOVED it. But, we did not have cake mixes then. It is a yummy dessert (cake). I've just gone through my recipes which I plan to type up for my children, and have had fun reading family/friends recipes they have handed down handwritten.

    After years of being lost, found a lemon chiffon pie recipe that my hubby informed his mother mine tasted so much better than hers. (Oh groan. She hated me until she tried that pie. It won her over.)

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  63. Looking forward to making this cake. But, it does not tell you where to put the 1 cup of brown sugar.
    I just love her beautiful handwriting, reminds me of my mom. Please reply.

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  64. I have my Great Grandmother's Better Homes and Gardens cook book. I has had written notations on what to use during war time Honey instead of Sugar, etc.). I even found an amazing pencil sketch of an Bull Elk drawn by my father as a boy. My nieces squabble of how gets it when I'm gone. I also have all of Great Bobbies recipe card and both my Grandmothers. As the long standing family cook, when each woman passed, the kitchens were given to me. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!! I still use them even though I became Gluten intolerant. I am the proud owner of "Ms. Jones Ketchup recipe. Never tried it because it takes quite a few bushels of Tomatoes! I love these book, cards and notes, every spatter, smudge and lack of amounts (just the ingredients no tsp, cups, etc.) I'm the only one who can make the Sour Cream Sugar Cookies because I cook by taste, not measurements.

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  65. Would it be possible for you to include a printer friendly version of your recipes? I am sure your readers would appreciate it, because printing your recipes wastes a lot of unnecessary paper and ink. Thank you!

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  66. MANY years ago, oleo was a margarine-type product that was very pale yellow, almost white. It came with a package of "color" that was added to it to make it more appealing and to make it look more like butter. As time progressed, it was made with color already added. I have many fond memories of watching my mother add the color to the oleo. It was used to bake, etc, as margarine is used today.

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  67. not sure of how long to cook it 50 mins or longer?

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    1. Like almost all baked goods, bake time can vary depending on your oven. So preheat the oven, and then perhaps check to see if the cake is baked through at 45 min? by inserting a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean or with a crumb, it's done baking. If it's still a batter, then continue baking for 50, 55 min. Continue to check it with a toothpick.

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