Lazy Daisy Cake

Sunday 6 August 2017

I wanted to bake a cake today but I wasn't really wanting anything too fancy, just a good old fashioned cake.  I didn't want a large cake either. There are only two of us,  and there is one of us who really shouldn't be eating cake, so a smaller cake was what was needed.  
I started looking through my various baking books and then I remembered this Lazy Daisy Cake recipe that my Aunt Freda gave to me years and years ago! I have it in my Big Blue Binder, written out in her very own hand-writing.  
It's basically only ingredients, size of pan and oven temp/timing.  That's the way old cooks passed their recipes on.  They took it for granted that anyone who they passed them to would know what they were doing when it came to cooking or baking.

(Aunt Freda age 14)

Freda was my mother's youngest sister.  I loved her very much.  She was my favourite Aunt. We were very close and very much alike in a great many ways.  Sadly we lost her to lung cancer about 11 years or so ago.  
She was so beloved by so many people that they had to open up a second building and relay her funeral service to it by video as so many people had turned up to pay their respects. She was just a special person, a person with a huge heart and broad shoulders.  
 You could talk to her about anything and many did.  You knew it was not going to go any further.  She was a great listener and a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, friend . . .  and a fabulous cook. 

Lazy Daisy Cake

 I love recipes like this . . .  family recipes with a history. I love them because every time I make one of them, I have the opportunity to think special thoughts about my dear ones, and to remember happy times spent together.

 Every time I bake this cake, it is like getting a nice warm hug from my Aunt Freda.  I can almost feel her looking down at me with approval . . .

Lazy Daisy Cake

Its just a simple cake, very much like my mother's Hot Milk Cake . Hot milk cake and this care are  a plain vanilla sponge cake.

Both are baked in a square pan . . . nothing fancy or out of the ordinary . . . 

The special touch is the broiled coconut topping. You melt brown sugar, butter, milk and coconut together in a saucepan while the cake is baking.
You must take care not to let the mixture boil.  You just want the ingredients melted together.

This almost caramel-like mixture then gets spread onto the warm baked cake, which you then  pop under a hot grill where it turns into a coconut-candy-type of coating.  It is quite simply scrumptious!  
You do need to watch it really carefully when it is under the grill because it can turn and scorch/burn in a flash. Don't ever be tempted to walk away and leave it. 
 This process really only takes a few minutes, so it's not much of a problem to stand by and watch while you do it.

Lazy Daisy Cake

I like to give it a little turn every 30 seconds or so.  That way the coconut topping grills fairly evenly . . .  oh but it is some good.  

 All caramelised . . .  kind of like a creme bruleed cake, except there is no cream involved. Just one plain, moist, and very delicious cake.

Lazy Daisy Cake

This went down a real treat, served still slightly warm, with a glass of cold milk. It would be equally at home with a nice hot cuppa or with some fresh fruit or berries on the side, or even a dollop of whipped cream.  

 My heart, as I ate my very tiny piece (I promise!) was filled with love for my Aunt Freda with every mouthful. Family recipes . . .  they're the best!

*Lazy Daisy Cake*
Makes one 9-inch square cake
This is an old family recipe that is simple and never fails to please.   

For the Cake:
120ml milk (1/2 cup)
1 TBS butter
140g plain flour (1 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large free range eggs
190g granulated sugar (1 cup)
1 TBS vanilla extract 

For the Coconut Topping:
100g soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup, packed)
40g flaked sweetened coconut (1/2 cup)
3 TBS butter
2 TBS milk  

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 inch square baking tin really well.  Set aside. 

Heat the milk and butter for the cake in the microwave for about 60 seconds until hot and steaming and the butter melts. (In the old days this would have been done in a small saucepan.) Set aside. 

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.  Set aside. 

Whisk the eggs with an electric beater until frothy.  Slowly whisk in the sugar on a high speed until thick.  Beat in the vanilla.  Stir in the flour mixture just to blend and then stir in the hot milk until incorporated.  Pour into the prepared pan. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown, risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

While the cake is baking make the topping. Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan and cook, stirring over medium low heat, until the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved.  Take care not to let the mixture boil. 

Preheat the grill/broiler to high. 

Remove the cooked cake from the oven and carefully spread the topping mixture evenly over top. Pop under the heated grill for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the topping is bubbling.  Remove and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Cut into squares to serve. 

Note - When you are broiling the topping, using oven mitts to protect your hand, rotate the pan a bit at a time to make sure it browns evenly.  Take care as the topping can scorch and burn really easily if you aren't careful!  You can also use chopped nuts (pecans, almonds or walnuts) instead of the coconut, or a mix of both.
Lazy Daisy Cake

Why not spend the afternoon with my Aunt Freda yourself and bake this tasty cake???  You can tell her I sent you.  I am sure she would be well pleased and give you a very warm welcome!! Bon Appetit! 

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  1. I have been readings your posts for a few years now and saved many of your recipes, but this one so touched my heart. I will be making your Aunt Freda's cake in the morning(Sunday here in the states) to go with my morning coffee. I make a family breakfast for my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and grandson every Sunday morning. Being a southerner who moved to Vegas 10 years ago we have bacon, sausage, or country ham with eggs, grits, and sometimes homemade biscuits. Just got back from visiting SC with a 49 lb suitcase with the before mentiond goodies. Anyway tomorrow morning your Aunt Freda's cake will join the menu. Family recipes are the best. Thank you for sharing yours.

    1. Aww thanks so much Lynne! I just know that my Aunt would love that you are going to make her recipe and approve! You and your family are in for a real treat! Your breakfast sounds gorgeous! With I could be there! Thanks for your sweet comment!xo

    2. I have had a similar reminds me of my Queen E cake too..she reminds me of your mom:)

    3. They looked very much alike Monique! Mom has lost both her sisters, her older one Thelma and also Freda who was about 12 years younger than she. They were especially close. Mom's heart is still broken. She talks about her to me every week. xo

  2. Sounds delicious and the family memory is precious.

  3. I also made this cake from my mothers notes years ago. When there was kids and family at home this was enjoyed. The fragrance was amazing floating around the house. Am on my own and don not do baking unless it is to go somewhere. Do not want it floating around the apartment. Miss those days. Thank you for sharing. I will make again. Love your blog. Thank you for all the hard work and the memories.

    1. It does smell amazing! That's for sure! Thank you very much for your very kind comment! I hope you do make it, even if only for nostalgia sake. xo

  4. I saw this on Instagram and had to come for the recipe :) It sounds wonderful, Marie! Your aunt must have been a very special lady.

    1. Thanks so much! It's a really great cake! Yes, she was a really special person! Xo

  5. Looks wonderful! I'm gonna make this for my husband and kids. Thinking about topping it with vanilla ice cream. ;-) Thanks Marie!

    1. You're welcome Jeannine! I just know you will all enjoy it and vanilla ice cream on top is a fab addition! xo

  6. This was my great grandmother's go to weekday dessert. She had 4 children, 3 of them boys, and my grandmother says she always made dessert first, then planned the rest of the meal. The only difference in the recipe is that our topping called for cream, not milk. It was pretty commonly passed around through church cookbooks and such, and even has appeared in commercial cookbooks, although often the name changed to Busy Day Cake.

    1. Thanks very much for your sweet memory Willow Caroline! I reckon there is a Lazy Daisy Cake in every family tree! xo

  7. I am like you in that I love to cook things that have warm memories attached to them, whether they be from friends or family. You are right in that it feels like they are somehow there with you and its a way to keep them alive in your heart.

    This is a terrific cake. I haven't ever made a cake with a topping like this. I've made caramels before (as in the Queen Elizabeth cake we love so much) but never mixed the coconut in and then grilled it to make a kind of toffee topping. But it works beautifully and is a lovely cake to eat.

    To celebrate the solstice, I had a little whipped cream and strawberries with it. :)

  8. I just recently received the Lazy Daisy cake recipe from a friend and I have made it twice now, it’s soooo good & yet easy to prepare. Thank you for sharing this recipe!


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