Mimi’s Butternut Cake

I remember Mimi making this recipe every fall. Uncle Bill would faithfully bring Mimi a basket of butternuts he’d collected, and they would spread them out in the cellar on some newspaper to dry by the furnace. Later, the nuts would be cracked, and the nutmeats retrieved, although I never saw this part of the business! To this day when I think of fall, I remember the butternut tree in Marion Mason’s yard, which always seemed to be filled with butternuts, and the newspapers in the cellar with their treasure spread out to dry.

2 c sifted flour
1½ t baking powder
½ t soda
1 t salt
½ c shortening
1 c sugar, added gradually
¾ c buttermilk or sour milk
1 t vanilla
1 t almond extract

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Cream shortening and sugar. Combine milk, vanilla, and almond extract, and add alternatively with dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Beat 4 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add ¼ c sugar gradually to egg whites. Fold whites into batter. Finally, add chopped butternuts (about ½–1 c). Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. Frost with fluffy white frosting. (Mimi uses a small angel food cake pan, about 6-8″).

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