In this recipe (frosting included!) from 1933, I only used one egg and 5 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Because I buy organic butter and organic free-range eggs, this helps with my grocery bills!
adapted from All About Home Baking (General Foods Corporation, 1933)
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon hot cocoa mix**
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
about 3 1/2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee (I just refrigerate the coffee that's left after breakfast.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8x2 cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and mix well. Alternate adding the flour and milk, beating after each addition. Add about 1/3 of each at a time. You can add the baking powder and salt with the flour and the vanilla with the milk. Pour batter into the cake tin and level out with a spatula. Bake 45 to 50 minutes in the middle of the oven until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan for approximately 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is absolutely completely cool, mix up the frosting by creaming the butter and slowly adding the powdered sugar. Add the hot cocoa mix and salt and beat. Next, add the vanilla and beat again. Add coffee until the frosting is a good spreading consistency. Using your offset spatula, spread frosting over the top of the cake. Enjoy!
*This is the scoop method. The original recipe asks for 2 cups sifted cake flour. For more information, please refer to this previous post.
**Use a quality cocoa mix (like Ghirardelli or Godiva). Even though there is only a tablespoon of it in the frosting, it will be very noticeable!
Also from 1933, when many in America believed the economy was returning to a pre-Depression "normal":