I am so sorry to say that I have no picture of the Lazy Dazy Cake I had at market Saturday! Those of you who tasted or purchased it probably have the lingering after effects of the overwhelming gastronomical goodness seared into your soul, but that does not help those who were less fortunate (like my husband!). I do have to remember to get a picture before we eat or sell out of something I want to blog about - even if my photography and plating skills are seriously lacking!!! I found a really nice, well displayed picture of my favorite cake of all time here, so those of you who did not see or taste it can get an idea of how amazing this cake looks and then know that it is even MORE amazing in your mouth!
Lazy Dazy (Daisy) Cake was one of my Great-Grandma's "go-to" recipes and was one I made sure I added to the recipe journal she gave me. It is a simple classic "milk" cake with warmed milk as an ingredient in the cake. I find it similar to a coffee cake or a mix between a sponge and pound cake - you cannot find this flavor or texture in a cake out of a box!! This It is excellent alone or with berries (strawberries, YUM!) and it is exquisite with the broiled coconut topping added to the top! It is a simple and quick cake to make and I do not find it any harder to make than a box cake and I know exactly what went into it!
The history I could find on the Lazy Dazy Cake is fairly limited online. I found references to the early 1900's without the topping then the topping being added in the 1930's or 1940's. Most of the recipes are similar with a little more or less butter, vanilla, salt or milk used with the exception of one on an advertisement for Birds Baking Powder from the 1950's being completely different.
Cakes used to all be made from scratch with ingredients sourced locally from farms, mills, and merchants - boxed cake mixes did not become popular until after WWII. I remember my Grandma telling me of a friend whose husband refused to let her make a box cake - after tasting this Lazy Dazy you will know why!
I like to source good quality, grass-fed butter and whole (full fat) cream-line milk like that from Hartzler Family Dairy - I buy mine at the Meadville Market House but the East End Co-op, Frankferd Farms or Whole Foods are options. Old Time eggs are from free-range, pasture-raised hens that are supplemented with a custom, nutrient dense, non-GMO feed. I do not use bleached flour and try to source good quality, local flour like is milled at Frankferd Farms or Weatherbury Farm. I only use pure cane sugar (minimally processed is better, IMHO) and I use only pure vanilla extract, not imitation. Nutrient density (nutritional quality) is possible in sweets by using good quality, wholesome ingredients!! (say that 3 times!) I do not mean quantity of energy or calories by "nutrient density" but the richness of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients included in a food. Sweets, like most foods, should be consumed in moderation but it makes one feel less guilty to know that there are actual whole foods, with names I can pronounce, or "good things" that my body needs in the deliciousness tantalizing my tastebuds!
Grandma Ruth's Lazy Dazy Cake
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring to a boil then mix with the mixture from above:
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons butter
Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish and bake in a 350 degree (pre-heated) oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out "clean".
1 stick or 8 tablespoons of butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons milk or cream
1 cup coconut
(Optional to add 1/2 cup nuts)
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil and add coconut when all the sugar is melted and the mix is hot. Spread over hot cake and place cake under broiler in the oven for about 4 minutes or until the coconut is starting to brown and the topping is beginning to caramelize.
Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy!!
Old Time Farm