My spouse’s mom again! She herself was not impressed by her ability to bake from scratch; it was just the way one did things. Over years of baking this cake for various occasions, she had a couple of simple variations on the basic recipe, which I have included below.
It is one of the old family recipes that we inherited, and concept of the word “light” as a signifier of reduced calories did not exist when this recipe was named. It produces a cake which is light golden in color. Her recipe now has lived on into another generation.
2 ¼ cups sifted flour
½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
1 cup milk
½ teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease the bottoms of two 9.5" x 1.5" layer pans, or grease and flour a 9" x 3" deep horn pan.
Sift together the first four ingredients in a large mixer bowl. Drop in the shortening, pour on ¾ cup milk and the vanilla. With mixer at medium beat for 2 min., scraping bowl and beaters as necessary. Add the rest of the milk and the eggs; beat 2 min. longer.
Turn into the pans, bake layer pans for 25 min., and the horn pan for 45 min. Cool for 10 min.
Orange: reduce vanilla to 1 teaspoon; add 1 teaspoon orange extract.
Spice: add 1 tablespoon molasses with the shortening; mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon cloves, and ¼ teaspoon allspice to the flour.