Monday, August 6, 2012

Salad Dressing in a Cake

This weekend we are celebrating my sister-in- law’s birthday out at her lake house.
I am charged with bringing her favorite cake.

Slightly off topic but bear with me, 
 I will confess every once in a while I eat Spaghetti -o's. It is one of those foods that brings me back to my childhood. It makes no sense and I am ashamed to admit it, but every once in a while I just need a spoonful of my childhood. 

I say this because when I got the recipe for this cake I thought that a little of this might be in play here.

The cake is called Salad Dressing Cake and 
it has Miracle Whip in it. I have had this cake at family gatherings before, but I had no idea it had a secret ingredient.

I received the recipe this morning and immediately started doing research. 
Miracle Whip came into production in 1933 and was introduced at the Chicago World's Fair. In a short 22 weeks of advertising it overtook sales of other mayonnaise brands and dressings. The whipping process was a major innovation.
It's success could be due to the economic times of the thirties. It was cheaper than mayonnaise but had the same texture. 
Mayonnaise was a popular substitution in baking during WWII because of egg rationing. I guess if your family was a Miracle Whip family, your grandma used that instead.
I read a blog this morning about Salad Dressing cakes.
The blogger reasoned that eggs, oil and vinegar are present in both Miracle Whip and in a cake. I agree. An oil and egg substitute is a great idea, until I read the label on my jar of salad dressing. I usually don't put dry mustard, paprika and garlic in my cakes! But Miracle Whip does have that tangy zip and a tang is evident in many buttermilk cakes.
 I am skeptical and think that the love for this cake is partially food memory driven.  
We will see.
It is not about me, so I am 
baking the cake for my dear Sis-in-law.
Here is the recipe.
Salad Dressing Cake

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 teas. baking soda
1 1/2 teas. baking powder
4 Tab. cocoa

Mix above dry ingredients, then add:

1 C. cold water,
1 C. miracle whip (not light)
2 teas. vanilla

Mix well. Bake 20-25 min. at 350.

Fudge Icing

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 stick butter
1 Tab. Karo
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

This cake was easy to put together. 

The ingredients are also readily on hand. The 25 minute baking time is a bonus.
The cake came out perfectly.
The fudge icing needs to be poured on the cake immediately. 
Other wise it will harden and look a little imperfect. (Just like mine)

 Here are a couple of tips.

I found out after the cake came out successfully that the frosting can be somewhat of a bear. I'm sure it has something to do with melting the sugar. 
Don't turn on the burner until you have all the ingredients in the sauce pan. Stir the mixture constantly until it reaches that soft boil stage. I kept the cold water next to me and checked the fudge frequently.

To me this cake was best after sitting for a day. 
It was moist and rich. 
So, food memory driven or not it was a yummy cake!
It made a perfect breakfast the next morning.
If you can't get past the idea that your cake has the tangy zip of Miracle Whip, try this icing on your favorite cake. It is amazing!

P.S. This is a preview of the kitchen at the lake I always talk about.
Amy my Sis-in-Law has been collecting the cutest stuff for it.
Happy Birthday, Amy!!
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style


  1. Looks so yummy! I just made a very similar one for my grandma's birthday, and just posted about it today! So rich and yummy!!!
    XO Kris