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Magnolia Petal Cake a sweet find

Thursday, August 16, 2001

What's in a name? We've tested recipes with some really unappetizing names -- such as sauerkraut cake and mayonnaise cake (both turned out delicious).


But how does Magnolia Petal Cake sound? When we received the request, we had visions of mint juleps and sweet Southern confections. We weren't far off. Our research indicates that the cake is probably a version of Magnolia Cake, which is from the cookbook "Magnolia Bakery," by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey. The cookbook is a collection of recipes from a popular Greenwich Village bakery called Magnolia Bakery.

We received two requests for Magnolia Petal Cake; one from Helen Moore, food writer for the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, and one from Norine Hanson of Sacramento, Calif.

Magnolia Petal Cake is a deliciously moist white batter cake with subtle hints of orange, vanilla and almond flavoring. The recipe we received didn't specify a particular icing so we used a buttercream icing. This icing is sweet, but it went well the cake.

Magnolia Petal Cake was sent in by Helen Lamison of Carnegie.


2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk less one tablespoon
1/2 cup water less 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
2/3 cup shortening
5 egg whites, unbeaten
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Sift first four ingredients into bowl. Add water, milk and flavorings. Drop in shortening and beat three minutes. Add egg whites and beat three minutes. Bake at 375 degrees until it tests done.

You can use two 9-inch round pans for 25 to 30 minutes, or a 13-by-9-inch pan or cupcake pan.

This recipe for Buttercream Icing was sent in by Chris Draft of Whitehall.


6 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla

In large bowl, combine 3 cups powdered sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla and 4 tablespoons of milk. Beat until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Add more milk as needed to reach spreading consistency.


Janet Necessary of Bethel Park is looking for a salad dressing recipe similar to the Oriental sesame dressing dry mix that Good Seasons used to make. Janet says, "They have discontinued it and the bottled dressings don't taste the same."

A letter from Tom Malinzak of North Carolina: "I grew up in the Pittsburgh area, went away to college and now I call North Carolina my home. I often return to your town to watch a Pirates game or see the Steelers kick butt. But I also look for good local foods like a Primanti's or pizza. I often leave your area with a load of breads, pickles, herring etc. I'm in search of a recipe for pickled herring. If you have one, I would appreciate a copy."

Marie Knetzer of Baldwin writes: "Years ago, I had a recipe for confetti slaw. Some of the ingredients were shredded cabbage, green peppers and carrots, cider vinegar, sugar, celery and mustard seed." Readers?

Adrinja Pinyot of Penn Hills lost her recipe for zucchini lasagna. The ingredients included a cottage cheese filling layered with slices of zucchini and topped with either tomatoes or spaghetti sauce.

Anyone been to Ireland recently? Rita Holzer of Baldwin hopes someone will have a recipe for brown bread similar to what they serve at pubs and bed-and-breakfasts in Ireland.

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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