Julia Cakes with Mango Custard Sauce — A Lovely Vintage Vanilla Tea Cake Made Modern

Julia Cakes hot from the oven #Bake This #Cake

Welcome to the wonderful world of Julia Cakes — lovely little vanilla tea cakes made moist with sour cream and baked in muffin tins or in small bread pans. Serve slices of the cake on a bed of our chilled Mango Custard or use our old-fashioned buttermilk frosting recipe to frost them vintage style. These little cuties will remind you of sunshine and all things yummy. But don’t forget the tea (or champagne)! πŸ™‚

Julia Cake on a vintage mini cake plate #Bake This #Cake

Food Writers’ Camp! Just stoked to be able to break away for the week-end to hang with food writers in a beautiful mountain setting. Just getting out of the city was a transformation!

LA Traffic to San Bernarndino Mountains Collage BakeThisCake

What a fun getaway at Camp Blogaway (haha!). The classes were awesome! The sponsors were amazing. I learned skills in: photography, recipe writing, food styling, food prep and, of course, I learned to taste specialty foods and wine. heh heh~~! The sponsors were incredible and included: Cutco Cutlery, Melissa’s Farm Fresh Produce, North Denver Sausage, Wente Vineyards, KerryGold, The National Honey Board and The National Mango Board , Gourmet Garden , Idaho Potato Commission and Paper Chef — just to name a few.

Joshua Tree at Camp Blogaway Bake This Cake

Joshua Tree

It was so fun to be up in the mountains for early morning nature walks and nighttime fireplace cozy-up chats!

Fireplace at Camp Blogaway Bake This Cake

Here I am (on the left) being trained by the National Mango Board on how to cut and slice a pile of incredible mangoes. So easy when someone shows you how!

Cutting mangos with the mango board at Camp Blogaway

Here’s the handsome knife I was using from Cutco Cutlery (it stays sharp forever cause they sharpen it for free for the life of the knife). Disclosure: Cutco gave all the food writers a knife to take home (wow!) but I had a set at home so I was a “believer” before the gracious gift. πŸ™‚ They’re awesome kitchen tools!

CUTCO Cutlery Knife BakeThisCake

The National Mango Board set up taste testing samples for us to try with sweet and savory methods of preparing mangoes at unripe, ripe and very ripe stages. I thought the testing tray was loverly…

Mango Tasting Tray 2 National Mango Board BakeThisCake

And the Mango folks sent every food writer from camp a box of fresh mangoes! whoo hoo! Aren’t they pretty on my doorstep? I gave one to the UPS guy when he came running back to my porch to find out why I was hollering…It was a joyful whoop-dee-do holler. πŸ™‚

Mango Board box of mangoes #Bake This #Cake

Now its time for Cake! We’ve been on the hunt for the perfect moist homemade cake to pair with mango custard and I think we’ve found it in a charming vintage cook book (condensed American version of 1936) from Sweden called “The Princesses Cook Book” by Jenny Akerstrom (you can see it gets good use). The author had a famous school of domestic science for girls in Stockholm and was the author of many popular cooking books in the 30’s. πŸ™‚

vintage cookbook Princess Cook Book #Bake This #Cake

And we landed on this cute recipe for “Julia’s Cup Cakes”! That’s not Julia Child but more likely Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands — which would be Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina (1909–2004), the only child of Queen Wilhelmina. But I’m not sure about this — so let me know if you have a better guess about the namesake for our little cakes. πŸ™‚

It’s a simple recipe made moist with sour cream. We had to increase the quantities of ingredients and we added fine quality vanilla extract but mostly we left the recipe pristine during the 3 tests we baked for this post. πŸ™‚

Julia's Cup Cakes vintage recipe from Princess Book #Bake This #Cake

Size DOES matter! Bake these cakes super mini, medium or kinda small in a mini muffin tin, a regular sized muffin tin or small bread pans. You could also whip up one of these babies in Bake And Give Wooden Bakers from our sponsor King Arthur Flour. I think they’re SO cute (course you could fill them higher (batter half full is a good choice for a less dainty cake slice). πŸ™‚

Julia cake overview LifeForcePhotos BakeThisCake

Tools Needed:
Butter or cooking spray or paper liners
12 or 24-cup Muffin tin or 11″ x 2.5 x 5.2 inch bread pan or two 7″ x 2-1/2 pans
Small cup or bowl (for warming eggs to room temp)
2 large mixing bowls (for dry ingredients & batter)
Electric mixer
Measuring cups and spoons

2 large eggs
1/3 cut butter, unsalted
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, fine quality

Okay, get out your vintage tea cups and let’s have a tea cakes baking party!

Vintage Tea Cup with Tea and Lemon Bake This Cake

Julia Cakes Directions:

Set your oven rack to center position and pre-heat oven to 350.

If you’re using muffin tins, smear them with butter or line them with paper.
Disclosure: We tested these awesome parchment cups for Paper Chef — and they worked wonderfully! They left no “wax” on the cake and they pull away nicely after baking.

Test of Paper Chef Parchment Baking Cups by #Bake This #Cake

We’re also testing Bake and Give WOOD baking pans for King Arthur Flour. They’re too cute for words! Measuring in at 7″ x 2-1/2 inches tall, they come lined with paper and they bake in the oven and then they become darling instant cake gifts from the kitchen. haha! No more lost bread pans never returned to sender. πŸ˜€

Bake and Give Wood Pans with paper liners #Bake This #Cake

Egg warmer tip-o-the-day! Warm em up before before beating them up and your cake will rise higher and maybe even become a fluffier wonderland. Just place your cold eggs in a cup or bowl of warm water while you prep for your kitchen project. Give em 5 minutes to take the chill off instead of waiting around all day (or at least 20 minutes) with eggs on the counter coming to room temp. πŸ˜€

Cold Eggs in Warm Water Tip #Bake This #Cake

Melt in the microwave (but not hot) and set aside:
1/3 cup unsalted butter

Melted Butter for Juilia Cakes Vanilla Tea Cake #Bake This #Cake

In an electric blender, beat until creamy (about 3 minutes on high-speed):
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
prepared room temperature eggs

Sugar and eggs #Bake This #Cake

Tip: The creamed butter-sugar mixture should be creamy and lightened to a pale color.

Creamed butter sugar and eggs #Bake This #Cake

Bring to room temperature in the microwave for a few seconds (just take off the chill):
2/3 cup sour cream

Sour Cream for Julia Cakes Vanilla Tea Cakes #Bake This #Cake

Beat into the creamed butter-sugar mixture on medium-speed for about 1 minute:
the room temperature sour cream

Sour Cream beat into batter of Julia Cakes Vanilla Tea Cake #Bake This #Cake

Now let’s gather up our dry goods. πŸ˜€

Flour with a copper measuring spoon BakeThisCake

Place the following dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Dry Ingredients for Julia Cakes Vanilla Tea Cakes #Bake This #Cake

Whisk together the dry ingredients until fully incorporated (too lazy to sift). πŸ™‚

Whisking Dry Ingredients #Bake This# Cake

Add the dry ingredients to the batter and beat on low-speed until just blended no more than 1 minute in the mixer at this stage if possible.

Dry ingredients beat into Julia Cakes batter #Bake This #Cake

Pour the melted room temperature butter on the top of the batter and, using a spatula, fold the butter thorough into the batter.

Folding Butter into the batter #Bake This #Cake

Using a spatula, fold into the batter:
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, fine quality

Folding Vanilla into Julia Cakes Batter #Bake This #Cake

I used an ice cream scooper for the batter to fill the muffin tins half full.

Using an ice cream scooper for Julia Cakes Batter #Bake This #Cake

The batter is somewhat thick so smooth out the top of the batter.

Batter Half Filled in Cups BakeThisCake

Pop them in the oven at 350 for between 10 minutes for mini cakes up to 20 minutes for muffin-sized cakes.

Julia Cakes in vintage muffin tins long #Bake This #Cake

If you’re baking a tea cake in a small bread pan, pop the in the oven at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes until lightly golden brown on top, with a toothpick coming out clean.

Julia Cake Tea Cake Top Close up  Bake This Cake

The cake has the consistency of a light pound cake.

Tasting a bite of Julia Bake #Bake This #Cake

Our testers rated it A+ as a tea cake without frosting but we want to ratchet that up a tad.

Julia Cake on plate with a bite gone BakeThisCake

*****Now on to the mango custard sauce!*****

From the White House Cook Book “Cream For Fruit” recipe! (1887), printed 1899, modified a wicked bit to thicken it slightly and then adding in one pureed fresh mango for some pizazz!

Here’s how we tested the very last bites of Julia Cakes with Mango Custard… πŸ™‚

Julia Cake with Mango Custard Testing2  BakeThisCake

Taste Testing Julia Cakes with Mango Custard Sauce

Tools for Mango Custard:
1 Small sauce pot
Fork or Whisk
Food Processor or blender (we used a mini food processor)
Soup-sized bowl
Measuring Cups & Spoons

Ingredients for Mango Custard Sauce:
2 teaspoons unsalted butter (or…”a piece of butter the size of a nutmeg”) πŸ™‚
2 egg whites (from large eggs, no yolks)
1 cup milk (we used 2%)
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 Tablespoon sugar

We’ll start with room temperature butter.

Set out on the counter or nukerize for a few seconds in the microwave:
2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Butter cube BakeThisCake

Separate whites and yolks and set out to come to room temperature:
2 egg whites (using large-sized eggs)

Egg whites for Julia Cakes Vanilla Tea Cakes #Bake This #Cake

In a small sauce pot on low to medium-low heat, combine and stir well to dissolve any trace of lumps:
1 cup milk (we used 2%)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon sugar
prepared room temperature butter

Cornstarch for custard Bake This Cake

Add slowly to the mixture while stirring briskly:
the 2 egg whites

Cook over low heat, stirring to prevent lumping, about 5 minutes.
Tip: According to the original recipe, you should not let this concoction boil. So let’s follow that rule to make a perfect creamy sauce.

Custard smooth in pot BakeThisCake

Remove the sauce when it begins to thicken to the consistency of a light pudding.

Stirring Tip: As it cools on the counter, you MUST stir it from time to time to prevent lumping. (At the worst, you can strain out any lumps but if you keep it stirred during the cooling process, you should be fine.)

Thickened custard Bake This Cake

Cut off the sides and scoop out the fruit of:
1 large fresh mango

If you want to dice it first, watch this video on how to slice and dice a gorgeous hunk of tropical fruit.

Sliced for diced mangoes #Bake This #Cake

Puree the mango fruit in a mini blender or mash to a fine puree.

Mango puree BakeThisCake

In a soup-sized bowl, combine the white custard and the mango puree and refrigerate.

Mango Custard Swirling in Bowl #Bake This #Cake

Now you have a lovely custard sauce. If the sauce consistency changes over time, you can just whip it into shape by stirring it vigorously with a fork. If you want it thinner, add a touch of cream. If you want it thicker, chill it a little longer

Wood Bake and Give Baking Pan #Bake This #Cake

Now find an old flowered dessert plate, spoon a circle of mango custard sauce over the center and set your darling slice of cake right on top of the custard. Yo! Goodness gracious, its tea time now!

Julia Cake slice close up 2 side plated  over mango sauce LifeForcePhotos BakeThisCake

You can also frost the cupcakes style cake with an amazing cooked custard frosting called heirloom frosting. Β You can add fruit to this frosting custard, like pureed banana or strawberry jam or peach jam.

I hope you’ll let me know what you think of this recipe (or any of our vintage cake recipes) and let me know what’s on your wish list for an upcoming vintage cake recipe.

It’s so fun to hear from you!

And don’t forget to send in tea party photos (my favorite!)…

Tea Time Collage BakeThisCake

Hope you’re following us on Facebook, Pinterest! πŸ˜€

Happy vintage baking!


Leslie Macchiarella photo by Julie Macchiarella

Camp Blogaway After Hours Wente Brothers Wine Lounge

Wente Brothers Wine Lounge

Camp Blogaway Lecture

Camp Blogaway Photo Class

Camp Blogaway Lecture

Camp Blogaway Lecture

group photo camp blogaway 2012 food writers

2012 Camp Blogaway Food Writers

8 thoughts on “Julia Cakes with Mango Custard Sauce — A Lovely Vintage Vanilla Tea Cake Made Modern

    • Thank you Jeff! Our little helpers have clarified the recipes with the egg whites! Be sure to stir thoroughly to prevent lumping. Egg whites begin to thicken at 145 degrees so keep it low and slow. πŸ˜€

  1. I love everything about this delightful post Leslie! what a fun event , and the little tea cake looks so sweet , would love to try it, I don’t bake much so we’ll see, it looks easy, and I would love to eat it that’s for sure! . Love your fancy muffin tin, and OMG the Princess Book is classic!

    Have you read the book “Will Write for Food” ? you probably have, great book on food writing and blogging. I also picked up the book “Plate to Pixel”, not too long ago, excellent book on food photography πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the great post, really enjoyed reading it!
    katreece @ The Chocolate Addict

    • Hey Katreece! Thanks for stopping in and for your comments. πŸ™‚ I’ll have to pick up those books (they sound great). With 50 photos on this post I think I got a little carried away (ha!) — so now I made a little video. I’ll be over to The Chocolate Addict to get some tips for a vintage chocolate cake next. πŸ˜€

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