Use only the best material in making cake.
Gather together all ingredients and utensils that are required. If tins are to be greased, do so the first thing; some cakes require greased or buttered paper, if so, have paper cut the size that is needed and butter the paper.
All measurements are level.
Use pastry flour. Sift flour twice at least and measure after sifting.
Measure or weigh the sugar, butter, milk and flour. In measuring butter always pack the cup so as to be sure to get the proper quantity. Use the half-pint measuring cup.
If fruit is to be used, wash and dry it the day before it is needed. Dust with flour just before using, and mix with the hand till each piece is powdered so that all will mix evenly with the dough instead of sinking to the bottom.
A few necessary implements for good cake making are a pair of scales, a wooden spoon, two wire egg-whips, one for the yolks and the other for the whites of eggs.
A ten-inch mixing-bowl, and two smaller bowls.
Two spatula or leveling knives.
A set of aluminum spoons of standard sizes.
For convenience, cakes are divided into two classes: Those containing butter or a butter substitute and cake containing no shortening.
The rules for mixing cakes with butter are:
Break the eggs, dropping each in a saucer or cup. If the whites and yolks are to be used separately divide them as you break the eggs and beat both well before using; the yolks until light and the whites to a stiff froth, so stiff that you can turn the dish upside down and the eggs will adhere to the dish.
Rub the butter to a cream which should be done with a wooden spoon in a deep bowl, add the sugar gradually. In winter set the bowl over hot water for a few minutes as the butter will then cream more easily. Add the yolks or the whole eggs, one at a time, to creamed butter and sugar. Sift the baking-powder with the last cup of flour, add flour and milk alternately until both are beaten thoroughly into the mixture, add beaten whites of eggs last to the dough and then set in the oven immediately.
Sponge cakes and cakes that do not contain butter and milk must never be stirred, but the ingredients beaten in, being careful to beat with an upward stroke. Separate the yolks of the eggs from the whites, and beat the yolks with an egg-beater until they are thick and lemon-colored. Then add the sugar, a little at a time, beating constantly. Now beat the whites until they are stiff and dry; add them; the flour should be added last and folded lightly through. Every stroke of the spoon after flour is added tends to toughen the batter. Bake at once. All sponge cakes and torten should be baked in ungreased molds.