almond | cake | coconut | cupcakes | recipe | vanilla

Vintage cupcakes, part 2: basic white cake.

July 8, 2010

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember that last week I posted about my newest kitchen acquisition: a 1968 Sunbeam Mixmaster, mint condition. I’ve been completely obsessed with vintage items since junior high (vintage jeans, vintage handbags, vintage furniture, vintage aprons… you get the idea), and this little baby has re-focused me on to the world of vintage kitchen appliances. I now have a wishlist including a pink 1950’s French press, a vintage pink KitchenAid stand mixer and a vintage pink Westinghouse pop-up toaster. But you’re not here for the appliances, I know that. You’re here for the cakes.

Today I’m giving you another “vintage” Sunbeam recipe, from the instruction manual that came with the Mixmaster. This time for “Basic White Cake” using what they call the “Short-cut method;” which to me, from what I gather by reading the rest of the recipes, basically means there’s no creaming involved. I know, the Beavis & Butthead fans out there are probably snickering right now… *sigh* Anyway, I have another white cupcake recipe that I adore, but I have to say this one was pretty delicious. Light, airy and fluffy.

The recipe calls for almond flavoring, which is divine, but coconut would also work very well. Also, just as I did last week, I swapped out the shortening for butter. I prefer the taste of butter in my cake as opposed to shortening, not to mention the texture.



  • 2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup soft shortening (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature


  1. Set oven to 350 F to preheat. Line 24 cups of muffin tins with cupcake liners (or grease two 8″ cake pans, or one 13″x9″x2″ pan).
  2. Sift together, into a deep mixing bowl, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, ¾ cup of the milk and flavorings. Beat on low until blended, then beat on high for another minute or two.
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the remaining ¼ cup milk, and egg whites, and beat ½ minute longer on high. Scoop into muffin tins to fill them about ¼ or ½ way (or into greased cake pans, about 1 ½ deep) because they rise a lot. Bake for 15-20 minutes if making cupcakes, 30 minutes if making a cake (or 40 minutes for oblong pan). Cool completely.

I frosted these with a plain vanilla buttercream, and used some edible pearls on top. The liners and matching toppers are from Michael’s, not sure of what brand. I just thought they were so cute and summery, but also retro-looking, so I felt they were appropriate. Retro Bakery would be proud *wink*

Happy summer!

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  1. Alright I love this post so so very much that I am going to give away a bottle of rose water and a packet of baby pink liners to the 15th comment on this post.And with any luck the winner will try this recipe with rose water and show us the results! Big hugs to Marilla xox

  2. Are there vintage pink Kitchen Aid mixers? I’ve seen the newer ones – especially the breast cancer pink ones.

    And yea, I want the liners and rose water, but it looks like I’m a little early.

  3. Yes there are! The vintage Sunbeam ones come in avocado, aqua, pink, a coppery color and a color called harvest, as far as the KitchenAid ones, I’m not sure exactly how many colors they came in but I know there was a green, pink and yellow. I have the new KitchenAid pink stand mixer, and a slight obsession with the color pink (my camera and laptop are both also pink), so I tend to find these things, haha.

    You could always come back and try again 😉

  4. I love stand mixers. Even my plain white one named Mary.

    Ok April. One comment closer to 15. If I get #15, we’ll share!

  5. I have a red one….I am sure it is a “he” but we just haven’t come up with the right name for him….for now he is just “Big Red”…


  6. For some reason, its the utter cuteness of those pearlescent candies that do me in! Everything looks wonderful without them, but its like a classic black evening dress with subtly sexy pumps…lovely on their own, but a strand of pearls ALWAYS makes one a vision to behold! Same with these cupcakes 🙂

  7. I love love love the idea of the vintage appliances. I love Betty… but I do want to find a vintage Aqua stand mixer for the new place. I can’t WAIT to outfit a new kitchen!!

  8. Paige- having a snake named big red is pretty awesome. Haha.

    Thanks Ashley & babyvtec!

    Krissa- I agree, I think those little pearls really make the cupcakes. They just add something.

    And we have a winner! Brianne!! LOL

  9. HAHAH go me! I had no idea. I was just reading the post and the comments and I got all dreamy about decorating a new kitchen with new towels, aprons, and appliances! yay me!

  10. I’m new here. I found your site while searching for a recipe. I have to say…your recipes look so good! I have already saved some to try. Do you have your vanilla buttercream recipe posted on here? Also, is your basic white cake moist or dense? I have yet to find the perfect basic white or yellow!! Thanks. 🙂

  11. Hi Lisamaria! I have quite a few vanilla buttercream recipes on here… and a few vanilla / white cupcake recipes too. I’ll get some together here for you.

    Here’s a basic buttercream recipe:

    Some of my favorite vanilla cupcake recipes can be found at these links:

    And my favorite “white” recipe is:

    Thanks for reading, I hope you come back and continue to enjoy the site!

  12. Thank you, Marilla (great name btw) for the welcome. And thanks for the recipes. Gonna check them out now. I really appreciate it!! 🙂 I will definitely be back. 🙂

  13. Marilla..thanks! I just checked them out and I am excited to try the vanilla cake recipe. I keep hearing about Magnolia Bakery too (but not from SATC). Funny cos we have a Magnolia here in NJ, and that’s what I thought of. You make me laugh when I read your recipes and all your inserted comments. I like it cos I can tell you are down-to-earth like me. 🙂

  14. Hi Marilla,
    In case you’re still looking for that special toaster, I will be posting my vintage 1950’s pink Westinghouse toaster on ebay tonight or very soon, if it doesn’t work tonight. Happy Holidays!
    Amy :O)

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