Golden Cake from The Women’s Institute


With an orange zest finish, Golden Cake brightens up any picnic plate


This cake really lives up to its name. Thanks to a whopping eight egg yolks, it’s golden in colour and feather-like in texture – making a delicious addition to summer picnic spreads.

In March 1969, it featured in the recipe pages of the Women’s Institute Home and Country, celebrating the magazine’s 50th anniversary. ‘Golden dishes’ from cookery expert Margaret Ryan also included syrup tart, golden fish cutlets and sweet corn chowder; all fitting tributes for the exciting Jubilee celebrations.


  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ lb granulated sugar
  • 6oz butter
  • 10oz plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ teacupful milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Beat the butter until soft, add the sifted sugar and beat in until the mixture is white
  2. Beat the egg yolks until very light and add them to the creamed mixture
  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder, add the salt and add it to the first mixture alternatively with the milk
  4. Add the vanilla and the lemon juice and stir in
  5. Turn the mixture into a buttered and floured 9-inch tin and bake for 45 mins in a moderate oven, 350ºF, gas mark 4
  6. When cool, spread with orange icing

Orange icing

Add the juice of an orange and ½ tsp lemon juice gradually to ¾ lb icing sugar well-sieved. Spread with a knife.


I found my icing a bit on the runny side but it easily thickened with more sugar. A sprinkling of orange zest on top makes for a tangy finish.

For an extra picnic treat, use surplus egg whites to whip up a batch of meringues…

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dearest Jessica! I am looking at these cakes from Hong Kong and always sigh. It instantly wants me to come back to England. As this is not going to happen until I look as golden as your cakes, have you got any recipes for me that do not require an oven? I have: two induction hobs, a wok and a bbq…any ideas?
    It would be greatly appreciated. Big kiss and keep on baking, Liz xxx

    • Hi Liz,
      Lovely to hear from you. I’m on the hunt for oven-less sweet treats! Stay tuned for traditional sweeties from a 1920’s recipe coming soon – coconut ice and chocolate butterballs – no heat required!

  2. Hi Jessie,

    Thanks for visiting Recipe Rifle! Gorgeous looking photo of a really gorgeous looking cake! I wish my husband/sisters/friends weren’t so frightened of carbs otherwise I’d just make cakes all the time xxx

  3. Golden Cake from the Women’s Institute

    Cake sounds delicious but is it 3 tablespoons baking powder to 10oz flour? I don’t want to waste all those eggs if it’s not right!

    Thanks, Marie

    • Hi Marie,

      Thanks so much for visiting the cake spot. I’m so sorry it IS 3 teaspoons of baking powder and not tablespoons. Good luck – let me know how you get on. Jessica x

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