Oscar’s $100 Cake

Gram liked this recipe so much she wrote it out twice. The funny thing is that the first one, on the blue paper, has a seafood casserole recipe on the back of it. Maybe she was planning a dinner? It’s interesting to note that the second recipe has increased quantities of the ingredients and makes a large and small cake pan full, maybe for a tiered cake? Oscar’s $100 Cake is a favorite in our family because it is so moist and flavorful.

This recipe is great because it doesn’t have any eggs. A friend of mine has a child with an egg allergy but who also loves cupcakes. This would be a perfect recipe for him if egg-free mayonnaise were used.

The story of Oscar’s $100 Cake goes that one of Gram’s friends went to New York City and enjoyed a delicious cake at the Waldorf Hotel. After she returned home, she wrote to the chef and asked for the recipe, indicating that she would be happy to pay for it. When she received a letter back in the mail, it included the recipe and a bill for $100, which at that time was a shocking amount of money. She decided that if Oscar was going to charge that much money for his recipe, she would be happy to pay it…but also share the recipe with her friends. Of course this is an earlier version of the Neiman Marcus and Mrs. Fields’ cookie recipe stories, but one would hope the story started out in truth at some point. I like the Oscar’s story because it significantly predates the modern stories.

Oscar’s $100 Cake

Sift together:

1 c sugar

2 c cake flour

4 tbsp cocoa

2 tsp soda

pinch salt

Add:

1 c mayonnaise

1 c water

1 tsp vanilla

5 thoughts on “Oscar’s $100 Cake

  1. Interesting that there were 2 recipes. The second one is not in Gram’s handwriting – so a friend must have given it to her. Use the first one – I think 9×13 pan is right.

  2. Interesting that there were 2 recipes. The second one is not in Gram’s handwriting – so a friend must have given it to her. Use the first one – I think 9×13 pan is right. Also, it is OK to use regular flour – cake flour not a requirement in today’s flour market.

  3. Looks YUMMY! I’d like to try it but how much time in the oven for cupcakes, how much for the cake? I would hate to mess them up!

    • Since these are old recipes they often don’t include the cook time, because women just “knew”. For the cupcakes I’d say 20-25 minutes depending on your oven and for the cake 30-40 minutes. Check it with a toothpick. :-). Thanks for your comment!

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