Feather Cake Recipe from 1877

I’d never heard of feather cakes until stumbling across this recipe in an 1877 cookbook. After I made it, a quick search on the Internet showed that this old-fashioned recipe can still be found—and it’s baked in a loaf pan. I baked it in a springform pan—whoops!

Oh, well. You will know before baking. 😊

Since I simply wanted to try the recipe, I halved the ingredients. Double the ingredients for a larger loaf.

Cream ¼ cup butter with 1 cup sugar. Add 2 eggs. Add the zest of 1 lemon.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder. (The recipe doesn’t call for salt but add ½ teaspoon of salt if using all-purpose flour.)

Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, alternating with ½ cup milk.

As mentioned above, I baked this in springform pan but it is traditionally baked in a loaf pan.

Bake at 350 until done, about 25 to 30 minutes.

I served this cake with a glaze drizzle (powdered sugar mixed with a little water.) Yummy!

I expected a “feather cake” to have a lighter consistency. It was dense and sweet with a nice hint of lemon.

This recipe is from Mrs. E. I. C. of Springfield.

I’d love to hear if you try it.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Compiled from Original Recipes. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Applewood Books, 1877.