Poor Dutchman’s Cake

ImageYesterday we returned home from a wonderful camping trip on Cape Code.  The intent of the trip was to ride the Cape Cod Rail Trail  on our bikes.   Originally, we planned to do it as a bike trip, camping along our way, but, instead, we decided to camp at Nickerson State Park and then do daily rides from there.   This turned out to be a wise decision.  We enjoyed the added comforts of car camping while still riding all but one very rainy day.   I can’t say enough about what a neat resource the rail trail is and, Nickerson State Park is a great place to camp, providing an affordable way to enjoy the area. 

Staying with friends in Rhode Island on the way to the Cape and then again on the way home was an added bonus.  We got to explore Newport and we enjoyed laughter and the joys of friendship on each leg of the journey.   A bit of “local knowledge” was helpful as our hosts steered us to a wonderful coffee shop that served as the final splurge on the way home yesterday morning..

In addition to celebrating my older step-daughter’s graduation from high school,  the trip also overlapped her birthday.   One of her favorite baked goods is  Poor Dutchman’s cake which is a recipe that has been passed down from my grandmother.   During the drive home, I planned on surprising her with the cake upon her return from a  much anticipated birthday dinner date with her boyfriend. 

It was a significant disappointment, therefore, when I opened the recipe box and could not find the card containing the recipe!   I asked my wife to search as well, but she also came up empty handed.    Although I had never encountered anyone with a recipe going by the same name, I assumed that an internet search would turn up something, but  that ended in failure.   I took some delight in the fact that not everything  can be found on the internet!

I called my Aunt Sue and said ” I have a dilemma ,  and you might be one of a handful of people in the world who could help me out”!   She laughed and remarked that it has been years since she made Poor Dutchman’s cakes, but she found the recipe and mentioned that it was one written in my grandmother’s hand.   I was struck by the significance of that..  The recipe could easily have been passed down 50 or more years ago from mother to daughter and saved for all of these years, and thankfully so!  And how could I  hear that story and not instantly recall memories of  visiting my grandparents in Tamaqua PA,  entering their apartment, the evidence of freshly baked Poor Dutchman’s cakes permeating  the air.   I can still see them sitting on the cooling racks in the kitchen.. 

I want to end this story as a ” happy ever after” kind of story..   to tell you that, just as planned, my step daughter came home and smelled the cakes and smiled with appreciation..  but it did not quite turn out that way..   she had a bit of a disagreement with her mother on the phone before arriving home..  and went immediately up stairs without talking..  😦    no happy birthday..   no ” thank you  , jason”   hmm..  so.. i went into the kitchen and cut a piece, still warm from the oven..  and enjoyed it – but not quite as much as if I had been sharing it with her…!   And, although I was not around this morning when she got up, I expect that she awoke refreshed, and was very appreciative when she walked into the kitchen and found the cakes..    Such is life when living with teens! 

just in case.. here is the recipe.. i would love to hear if anyone gives it a try!

4 cups flour

2 cups milk

2 cups sugar

one and one half sticks of butter

4 teaspoons Baking Powder

2 eggs

cream the butter and sugar. add eggs to butter/sugar mixture.   add the milk and flour ( alternating).  add Baking Powder

fill two pie plates that have been buttered and floured.

sprinkle tops with mixture of cinnamon and sugar  ( half cup sugar / 3 teaspoons cin.)

dot top with butter   then sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.    I don’t think that you can use too much butter or too much cinnamon / sugar  🙂Image

bake 40 minutes at  350 degrees..    goes great with a cup of tea!



8 comments on “Poor Dutchman’s Cake

  1. basktcakes says:

    I want to try this but you say to add milk and there is no milk listed in the ingredients. HELP!

  2. basktcakes says:

    Also doesn’t say when to add the eggs. I am guessing after creaming butter and sugar but just want to be sure.

    • lifeat6mpg says:

      Well, this is what I get for sitting in the car repair waiting room, thinking that I can do this from memory 🙂 I edited the page, but here are the answers that you need! i add the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture. the recipe calls for 2 cups of milk.

      thanks so much for replying. and for taking a chance with the recipe . When I moved to north east Pennsylvania 13 years ago I was totally dismayed to learn that there were folks who would never share a recipe, and, in fact, I was told stories of people who, if pressed, would intentionally change the recipe before giving it away.. not that I want to give NEPA a black eye, but I still can’t get over this type of mentality.

      I think that the true power of the internet is that the sharing of ideas ( and recipes) across the world is now possible. In fact, the guys at NSA have figured this out.. when all of the information comes out about them storing emails and phone calls.. we are going to find out that they were really just after recipes with the mission of preparing an NSA cookbook so that they could supplement their budget… 🙂 jt

  3. basktcakes says:

    Thank you for correcting. Will be making this tomorrow.

  4. marymaryone says:

    Hope you didn’t get caught in the torrential rains during your bike trip.

    • lifeat6mpg says:

      thanks for the kind thought.. we had one scary night in the tent.. but survived just fine.. had 3 glorious days for exploring the cape on our bikes.. and then left a day early to avoid the next system coming in.. all in all.. a wonderful trip and a nice way to usher summer into our lives!

  5. lifeat6mpg says:

    We had one verg exciting night in the tent..thought that it was going to collapse on us a few times..other than that, we were lucky to e joy three wonderful dayz of cycling..left the cape with great impressions..

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