An Old-Fashioned Fourth of July

hat is it about the Fourth of July that evokes thoughts of past Independence Day celebrations? Perhaps it’s the sounds, smells and warmth of midsummer mixed with memories of Grandma’s German potato salad and Dad’s special burgers.

This butter cake recipe is in keeping with that theme. It comes from a Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1960s. If you are transporting it, a 9×13-inch pan might be the way to go. Or as a layer cake with raspberry filling, surrounded by raspberries and blueberries, it may become a memory in years to come, as in, “Remember that butter cake?”


2/3 cup soft butter1 3/4 cups sugar2 eggs1 1/2 tsp vanilla3 cups cake flour or 2 3/4 cups white flour (sift both)2 1/2 tsp baking powder1 tsp salt1 1/4 cups milk


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two layer pans (9×1 1/2-inch) or an oblong pan (13×9 1/2×2-inch). Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Beat 5 minutes with the mixer on high. Blend flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Mix in alternately with milk using low speed on mixer. Pour into pan(s). Bake layers 30 to 40 minutes, oblong 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tests as done. Cool. Frost with favorite cake icing.

Nancy Lynch is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies. She teaches cooking classes at Orange Tree Imports and All Through the House in Stoughton. E-mail your questions, comments or recipe requests to .