Guilty Comfort Foods




by Lisa Bick

One Egg Cake

This is one of the recipes written in "grandmother code." It calls for two lumps of butter the size of eggs. She wrote "sweet" milk, which is whole milk (as opposed to sour milk, which is buttermilk).  My personal opinion about eggs is that you should use large brown eggs (and make them free range, if you want to be politically correct) because simply by their color, you look like you know what you are doing…and that never hurts. One Egg Cake is blameless with a few fresh berries, or you might purée some fresh or frozen raspberries in your food processor or blender. Toss in a little Grand Marnier and elevate it beyond the farm.

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract


for the topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)

3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar

grated nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 350.

Beat the softened butter and the sugar together until creamy.

Beat in the next six ingredients.

Lightly butter and flour an 8" cake pan, and pour in batter.

Mix softened 2 tablespoons of butter with about 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar and a grating of nutmeg and crumble that on top of the cake.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Serving Size: 6


Oatmeal Cake

By virtue of having been raised Catholic, I harbor guilt about everything. The health benefits of fiber are very real, so I drop the guilt while eating half of this all by myself. It's good for me! It is sticky and sweet and I love it absolutely plain. I eat it with a silver spoon.

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup oatmeal (not quick)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt



6 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup cream

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup shredded coconut


Preheat the oven to 350.

Bring the butter to room temperature. Boil the water and add the oats. Remove from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes. Cream the butter and add the sugars, beating together. Beat the 2 eggs separately, and add to the butter mixture. Stir in the oatmeal.

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and stir it into the batter.

Grease and flour a 9" square cake pan. Pour the cake ingredients into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Now you can make the topping by simply beating together the 6 tablespoons of butter with the cream, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in the coconut. Spread mixture on the cake and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.

Serving Size: 8



Excerpted Guilty Comfort Foods by Lisa Bick. Copyright © 2002 by Lisa Bick. Excerpted by arrangement with Sweet Pea Press. $19.95. Available in local bookstores or click here.