1915 1-2-3-4 Cake Recipe
71 Comments


today’s episode is generously sponsored
by Squarespace welcome friends welcome back to Sunday morning in the old
cookbook show we’re going to do another recipe this week out of the five roses
cookbook published in 1915 and we’re going to do a cake called the one two
three four cake because there’s a cup of butter there’s two cups of sugar 3 cups
of flour and four eggs and then it sort of falls apart because there’s a bunch
of other stuff that it just isn’t accounted for so we’re gonna start out
by creaming our butter I’ve got the stand mixer here we’re gonna put it in
and we’re just going to turn this on and soften it up
well the butter softening will deal with the flour so I have flour and I have
baking soda and cream of tartar now I find it very interesting that this
cookbook 19:15 it favors baking soda and cream of
tartar instead of using baking powder and I’m not really sure why that is I
know that baking powder was around already it was already in use it wasn’t
something that was new maybe the people at the five Roses Test Kitchen felt that
the combination of soda and cream of tartar gave a better effect if you do
have an idea on that please put it down in the description now I’ve mixed that
in and you don’t have to mix it in really well we’re using a stand mixer
and the stand mixer is going to do the job better than a wooden spoon so the
whole mixing an end of the flour isn’t as critical and there’s lots of recipes
where the baking soda would just be tossed in on its own without even mixing
it into the flour so it’s not critical what is critical though is you should
wipe down the sides of the bowl of your mixer even if you have one of these
dashes with the rubber on it scrape down your bowl it’s critical so we’ll put
this back on and now we stick in the white sugar and we cream the sugar and
the butter together what’s the butter and the sugar are
nicely creamed together put in our eggs one at a time and wait for each one to
be fully incorporated before adding the next and I put them in one at a time
because I find if I put all of the eggs in at once the batter gets to kind of
loose and they don’t mix in nicely and it really doesn’t take too long for
one to fully mix in before you can add the next one and I found that if you
fire them all in at once the mixture gets gloopy and then you have to keep
mixing it to try to mix them in it actually takes longer than just waiting
what was that 25 30 seconds and then you put the next
one in but of course if you want to fire me all at once go ahead I don’t think it
affects the end cake now the recipe says a cup of water or milk I’m gonna go with
milk because I have it but I can imagine during wartime a cup of water would have
been easier to get I don’t know if rationing had started in 1915 I should
look that up so we you need you need some vanilla so I’m going to put the
vanilla in the milk just to make it easier for the next step great now I’m gonna alternate between
the flour and the milk a little bit at a time put in some of the flour wait for
it to fully incorporate and then add some milk go back and forth for five
times now the directions don’t give me much
information about baking but they do say that the addition of raisins makes for
pleasing variety so I’m gonna put in some raisins I’ve also got some candied
peel hanging around and I’m thinking this is a pretty plain white cake batter
let’s throw in some peel just to add some color and some extra flavor so put
that in as well just give it a stir stir these in completely now I’ve got the
oven preheated at 350 degrees and I’ve got a 9 by 9 cake pan here with a
parchment sling just to make it easier to get the cake out so this might have
needed a bigger pan but we’ll stick it in the oven and see what happens
so just smooth at the top pretty tasty sweet very sweet hmm as mood kick this
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and 10% off your first purchase thanks Squarespace hey Jules hey Glenn
hey friends so I would this this is called the 1 2 3 4 cake and I was going
to sing the song no but you can’t sing that song cuz youtube will claim it I’ll
get a copyright strike because you’re not even allowed to hum the song you
dude should be where I’ll get in trouble right I know so this is the 1 2 3 4 cake
I could make up my own song we could but I it’s not who has time that corner
thank you what’s go through tin it to four pieces of fruit three pieces of oh
I could do that Sesame Street one stick of butter ya
know so it’s it’s one cup of butter 2 cups of sugar 3 cups of flour 4 eggs and
then it goes off the rails because there’s other stuff in it
so it’s closed it’s closed and then it says at the end
raisins makes a pleasing variety so the Easter’s them in so I stood him in and I
and I had some peel hanging around cuz I was using peel for other stuff so I put
some of that into mmm so you went off piste mm-hmm um pretty nice cake mm-hmm
this is butter neck right so this is a great hmm
butter cake this is a great vanilla butter cake like this really is mm-hmm
if you were looking for a cake to do a layer cake with some really nice icing
or frosting you could probably start with this this would be a great base to
work from and there’s enough here to do two layers of round cake pan definitely
at the same time if you’re looking for a really tasty tea cake with some fruit in
it this is good too um you could add dates what I did well I’m and so it says
vanilla and I put vanilla in it but you could put lemon or orange your little
peel like a little yeah or extract or extract extract or what am I thinking of
the outside zest thank you thank you yes zest so that’s a great cake doesn’t make
it to the next addition hmm and wonder what the criteria was was it just out of
fashion I mean it’s a good cake it’s not like it’s a crummy recipe well this one
this room is is really a cross-canada community cookbook like these are these
are submitted recipes by the time you get to the next edition the curate live
roses has completely curated it they have they have tested everything and
they’ve been they’ve made changes so there’s a lot of stuff in this one it
just doesn’t move forward but it’s still it’s still really pretend not to send
you there yeah we’re a stress ephie know so conclusions on this one it’s great
cake there you go more cake it really is a great cake you’ve got choices thanks
for stopping by see you guys soon you

71 thoughts on “1915 1-2-3-4 Cake Recipe

  1. This looks lovely, and the name would have made it easier to memorize the recipe. I’m intrigued by the “Pork Fruitcake” recipe on the same page 😂

  2. If you add together the other four ingredients, it goes to 5, but they aren't all the same scale so it doesn't really work that way, but it is a 2 and three 1's.
    Also, thank you to Squarespace for supporting this show.

  3. I’ve read some criticism of commercial baking powders – the addition of aluminum giving baked goods an off-flavor. Scott Peacock makes homemade baking powder from Edna Lewis’s recipe (which is just baking soda and cream of tartar) and I follow his advice. Maybe even back then, they didn’t like that off-taste.

  4. I make this recipe all the time using one-fourth of each ingredient to make a small single layer snack cake. My favorite adds are re-hydrated dried figs, chopped walnuts, and a spice mix.

  5. The United Kingdom and the US did have rationing during WW1.
    It's the start of the “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” slogans.

  6. PLEEEEAAAASE do that Pork Cake! And thank you for another great recipe – will definitely try this. I would try that pork cake too, just to be able to say I made it out of a porker!

  7. It look lovely and you two make it seem like a very tasty cake. I love when Jules shows up at the end; that's the best part!
    And, oh yeah, that pork cake looks interesting; you should try making it too.

  8. Glen – a crazy idea… What if you started a Patreon account and had giveaways of things you cook/bake to supporters of a certain level? I'd bet a lot of your subscribers would love to experience a taste of some of these recipes. Not sure if it would be feasible or not.

  9. You are a great team, great hosts and great maker/creators/chefs – so a great cake is just in order! 😎👍👍🙏THANK YOU!

  10. Hi Glen, hey friends. Great cake as usual. I would like to make a request to Glen to show us how to make hunter beef from scratch. Thank you in advance.

  11. Perhaps the manufactured baking powders were limited during this time from food shortages and rationing during wartime. WWI may have been consuming the national supplies firstly. My neighbor from a many years ago found an unopened bag of sugar in the attic of his home dating from WWII when rationing was in full effect as well.

  12. I’m sure you’re aware of this technique, but, if you toss the fruit in flour before incorporating it into the mix, they will not settle to the bottom……love your Sunday videos! Thank you so much!

  13. I used to have s recipe for something called bakery flavoring. It was something like a combination of lemon, coconut and almond..or maybe vanilla extracts? I cant remember
    Wish I had that.

  14. Soda and cream of tartar makes single acting baking powder. Not the best option for 1-2-3-4 cake. The cake was originally made as a simple, easy to remember recipe that can be made with any cup. Originally it didn't have milk in it either, or leavener. Variation on pound cake really. Dark pans are the enemy of cakes. Just saying.
    Really good recipe if one learns proper mixing method and doesn't over-bake it. I made this recently with half white sugar and half brown sugar as base for pecan upside-down cake. One of my favorite adaptable cake recipes.

  15. Congrats on the sponsorship!
    From an old podcast I used to listen to, I know for a fact that Square Space is cool with very creative ad reads,
    so you could really tune up that blurb to your taste with all sorts of spices and then arange it beautifully on a plate for your viewers.

  16. I’m really happy that you are being sponsored by square space. You work way to hard and I’m sure this has been very expensive over these 10 years.

  17. 0:42 – forgot to pull focus back to the main shot?
    I'm probably the only one thtat will ever notice it but whatever, filmmaker's quirk.

  18. World War I rationing in Canada was voluntary, according to the War Museum https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/life-at-home-during-the-war/the-home-front/food-fuel-and-inflation/

  19. Some chefs like Edna Lewis felt that most brands of baking powder had a metallic taste and much preferred the flavor of the baking soda/cream of tartar blend. I'd guess that maybe the people at the Five Roses felt the same way.

  20. You did not list the recipe in the description box, so I can’t nab it for my Paprika3 app. Would you say two 8” layers? I think I would like to try this as a layer cake.

  21. Your wife looks like she can kill me in 5 seconds with a secret hidden technique that hasn't be revealed in 1000s of years. >___> or maybe I'm just high on cake.

  22. The reason for baking soda and cream of tartar in a recipe is because single acting baking powder is just that: Two parts Cream of Tartar to one part Baking Soda.
    I always make my own single acting baking powder, rather than using commercial "double acting" baking powder. Single acting baking powder works just fine, and I know what's in it; i.e. NO ALUMINUM.

  23. I think the tartar is an acid, which helps activate the bicarb by speeding up the decarboxylation and might make more lift. Idk how it compares to one without tho. Great vid!

  24. I would guess that the recipe probably reflects the "Baking Powder Wars" from around 1910, which probably extended from the US and over the Canada? (I learned something new today through a little research.) There was so much competition among baking powder manufactures in the early 1900's that some actually produced propaganda, claiming that powders that contained aluminum were lethal. What shocked me is that Missouri actually made baking powder illegal in 1910 over the (false) health concerns. (BTW, I live in Missouri and I never knew this.) See this book review of "Baking Powder Wars: The Cutthroat Food Fight That Revolutionized Cooking" ( https://www.sciencehistory.org/distillations/magazine/baking-up-a-storm )

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