A delicious cake known by many names, Snow Drift cake was initially thought to have similarities to a sponge cake and, later, the Angel Food Cake. Louisa Macculloch’s recipe is similar to the one listed in the 1871 edition of Mrs. Porter’s New Southern Cookery Book for Frugal and Economical except her recipe does not include butter. Angel Food cake is lower in calories because it does not have butter or egg yolks. Fresh fruit can be added as a topping for the cake.

Mrs. Macculloch does not provide instructions about the type of pan to use or even a temperature to bake her Snow Drift cake. A tube pan is recommended because of the hollow cone, or tube, through the center, which allows heat to come up through the cake like a chimney. By 1896, a cook book references a tube pan by a new name, an “angel cake pan”. Today, a similar alternative to tube panes are Bundt pans, which were invented in the 1950s.

Original Recipe Snow Drift Cake:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
Whites of 5 eggs, beaten to a stiff froth
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
½ teaspoon of soda
Flavor with vanilla. This never fails.

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Adapted Recipe for today:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened*
5 eggs, egg whites only
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven 325 degrees. Do not grease the tube cake pan. Cream butter and sugar. Alternately, add a little whole milk and a little sifted flour and baking soda at a time to the creamed butter and sugar until all incorporated. In a second mixing bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Beat on high until soft peaks form. It should look glossy. Gently fold the flour mixture into egg mixture. Put mixture in ungreased cake pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

*Butter was added to Mrs. Macculloch’s recipe. It may have been a transcription error that butter was eliminated from recipe.