Here’s a clipping from a Betty Crocker leaflet – the type that were included with bags of flour. The leaflet generally included several recipes, baking tips, and usually a coupon for something like a piece of silverware. The “New Method” being referred to here is sift all the dry ingredients together, add your fat & liquids into the dry ingredients, then beat all together for 2 minutes. Finally, add the eggs. I have no idea if this is better, worse or no different from creaming butter & sugar first. The “General Directions” include bringing the ingredients to room temperature, flour sifted, all ingredients measured accurately, preheating the oven, preparing pans with grease and flour, and to scrape the batter from the sides of the bowl while mixing. These don’t seem like terribly novel instructions, but I suppose for a brand new baker they would be helpful.
Read General Directions. Preheat oven to 350 (moderate)
Prepare two 8″ round layer pans (1 1/4″ deep)
Sift together in a bowl:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp sifted Gold Medal Kitchen Tested enriched Flour
4 tsp double-action Baking Powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar*
1/2 cup high grade vegetable shortening
1 cup skimmed milk
1 tsp flavoring
Beat vigorously with spoon for 2 minutes by clock (150 strokes per minute). You can rest a moment when beating by hand; just count actual beating time or strokes. OR MIX with electric mixer on slow to medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 to 2/3 cup unbeaten eggs (2 large)
Beat for 2 more minutes. Then pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes; in moderate oven (350). When cake is cool, frost with your favorite chocolate icing.
*Sugar Saving Suggestion: use 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup white corn syrup. Reduce milk to 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. Add syrup with milk to dry ingredients. (Syrup adjustment not applicable in high altitude areas)
What’s the flavoring (1 teaspoon)? Is it vanilla or almond extract or something different?
They are giving you the choice – I would probably use vanilla.