N – NANNY’S Recipe

This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.

“On our back porch 1959. Kris 13 & Nannie. She’s just turned 13.” Nanny was 71.

When I was growing up in Detroit, my birthday was often celebrated at my grandparent’s house because it fell on August 30, during our school vacation. My grandmother, Nanny, would make my birthday cake. When we celebrated at home, my mother made one using Nanny’s recipe.

The recipe below was written on the back of a picture in the ‘frosting’ section of my mother’s falling apart cookbook.

Click to enlarge or read recipe transcribed below.

Mother’s Cake

A stand in for the real thing.

1 1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 c. cake flour, unsifted
4 large eggs
1 c. milk
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. lemon extract
1 t. vanilla “
1/2 t. nutmeg

Sift dry ingredients together. Proceed as usual.

Easy Chocolate Frosting

Melt 2 or 4 sq. unsweetened chocolate and 3 Tb. butter over hot water.
Measure 1 lb. sifted confec(tioner). sugar, add 1/8 tsp. salt, 7 Tb. milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend. Add hot chocolate mixture and mix well. Let stand. Beat until of right consistency to spread on cake.


My mother’s memories of her mother.
Fannie Mae Turner Graham 1888-1974 Part 1
Fannie Mae Turner Graham 1888-1974 – Conclusion

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter N

24 thoughts on “N – NANNY’S Recipe

  1. That looks like a lovely cake… but four eggs! They were so cheap then. I have my Mum’s recipe book, falling apart, too. Yes when I examine it further, I can see someone else had it first as that is not my Mum’s handwriting in the front. And the main reason for keeping it is written on paper and inserted…
    I might just take up the challenge from the decluttering blog and copy the recipes I actually use into a file, and make them into a kindle book for myself! I might come back for this frosting recipe, too!

    1. My grandparents kept chickens for years. Right in Detroit. I’m not sure when that stopped. Everything was cheaper back then. And wages were lower too.

  2. Love seeing your grandmother and 13 year old you! I have a birthday near yours, and also celebrated end of summertime…soon back to school. That recipe is wonderful!

  3. I love that you have your grandmother’s cookbook. I inherited a box of recipes from my maternal grandmother, some clipped from the paper and others handwritten. Like this recipe, they are a so evocative of a place and time.

    1. It’s my mother’s cookbook. I don’t think my grandmother had a cookbook. She did have some recipes stuck in her scrapbook, which I need to locate!

  4. OMG, Kristin, I am drooling. Almost a pound cake but better! I treasure my mother’s and grandmother’s hand written, splotched with love and spills, recipes. I should give them to my daughter, along with the handmade recipe box they are in, But I can’t part with them just yet.

    1. I haven’t made any cake in years. I have two daughters who are expert cake bakers and they do cakes for family events. I think my husband made this cake before 2019.

  5. I love the photo of you and your grandmother. And I always love seeing people’s family recipes, written in their own handwriting, and attributed to the family member who first made them. Handwritten recipes have been one of the places where women give and get credit for their creations. There seem to be two different people’s handwriting on that one page, or were they both your mother’s?

    1. My mother did both. I think they look different because the first one is written and the second is printed.

      I like seeing family recipes too.

  6. Love your photo with your grandmother.
    That cake picture is making me hungry for cake 🙂

    Handwritten recipes are such treasures.

  7. It’s so weird. Not only could that recipe be a page out of my mother’s recipe book, it actually looks just like her handwriting! That brings back a weird wave of nostalgia.

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