As I’ve been trying to bake my way through my Grandma Anna Vee’s recipes, I try to ask my dad if he has any memories of the recipe before I make it. When I asked him about this Dinette Cake, he didn’t remember it by the name, but he said he did remember having cake with strawberries and cream quite often, so that’s what I chose to do with this cake and it turned out delicious. My Aunt Cynthia also said that she remembers eating this cake with a brown butter sauce, so I’ll have to try that the next time I make it!
I’m not really sure why, but I have never really been a huge a cake person. It’s not that I don’t like cake, I just tend to prefer other desserts like cookies and brownies before I go for cake and for that reason I’d never actually made a cake from scratch before I made this one, which is sad because my other Grandma makes wedding cakes! I’ll have to keep practicing my cake skills so I can get up to her level and make one of her cakes someday.
I haven’t been able to figure out why this is called a dinette cake, but if you google the word dinette it means “a small room or part of a room used for eating meals” so I’m guessing this is a vintage cake recipe that lovely ladies of old would probably snack on during their afternoon tea. It has a wonderfully light, buttery vanilla taste and a nice moist texture, without being super hefty like a rich birthday cake.
And since I am a relative novice when it comes to making cakes, I am glad I chose this one first because it is super easy to make. I followed the directions exactly as they were on my Grandma’s recipe card, putting all the ingredients in at once and using a timer to mix for exactly as long as she says to. And then all I had to do was pour it into a 9×13 and let the oven do the rest!
The only thing I did change on this recipe was that I used butter instead of shortening. I’m sure the taste would not be that different using shortening and I’m sure the cake would turn out the same – I just prefer to use butter when I can.
While I was making this cake I think I discovered why I usually like to make cookies instead of cake…it’s so I can eat the cookie dough. The whole reason I learned to bake when I was about twelve was because I got tired of my mom making cookies and telling me to get away from the dough – if I made them myself then I could eat as much as I wanted :).
You can’t really eat a scoop of cake batter like you can cookie dough, but I will say that when I licked the spoon for this cake, the batter did taste amazing. But it’s probably better that I can’t eat batter like cookie dough, so that there is more cake to enjoy at the end :).
After it came out of the oven, I let it cool for about half an hour before I topped it with some berries and whipped cream and it tasted amazing. I think I actually like this cake better as a pairing for berries and cream instead of angel food cake because it is more light and flavorful and not quite so spongey as an angel food cake.
I’m discovering that most of my Grandma’s recipes are really great if you are feeding a crowd, and this cake is no exception. It would be a great dessert to make for a summer party – just cut the cake and set out some berries and cream and let people go to town. I can imagine my Grandma making this cake for a summer evening after everyone came home from a long day of working on the ranch…I’m sure it didn’t last long!
Thanks so much for stopping by to read about this recipe! I hope you enjoy! If you’d like to follow along as I work my way through my Grandma’s recipes, you can follow on Instagram @daisyfarmrecipes!