I came across so many ladies lunch menus in earlier decades with not one but two desserts. Invariably one was a frosted cake of some kind. I don’t really care all that much for typical frosting. Too sugary. My favorite cake actually is the one my mother used to make for our birthdays. So simple, so deliciou and it would work fine for a two-dessert ladies lunch, #11 on my list of “13 Classics for Retro Ladies Bridge Lunch” menus (page 220 in Bridge Table or What’s Trump Anyway?
She made what she called a 3-egg layer cake, but baked it in a 9 x 12 single-layer rectangle. Then, when cool, she spread it with a jar of her homemade strawberry preserves and then topped it with sweetened and vanilla-flavored whipped cream! Couldn’t be simpler, and so much better (to me) than frosting.
In all my long 90 years, I’ve never ever come across using strawberry preserves and whipped cream as a cake-topping except my mom’s. Just wanted to get it out there as a dessert idea before I die.
If that were one dessert, what could the other be? How about Lemon Sherbert topped with raspberry liqueur. A tangy contrast to all that whipped cream.
As to making cakes. I’m simply not a baker, but I once experimented making a very simple one-bowl cake (didn’t have to cream the butter and sugar first) in a mixer that was far better-tastin g than a cake mix.
My mother, of course, did that creaming and adding ingredients one by one process that most cakes require.