After some baking and lots of deliberation, we are delighted to announce our 20th Birthday Cake Contest Winners. The following four stood out for their taste, presentation, and maritime link:
First Prize: High Seas Lemon Cake by Willard & Jo Thompson (prize: Ranger Cruise for six)
Second Prize: Kaisa’s Famous Blue Velvet Cake by Kaisa Taggart (prize: 1-year SBMM Crew Family Membership)
Third Prize: Moist Chocolate Chip Date Cake by Linda Tappeiner (prize: $50 certificate to SBMM store)
Honorable Mention: Carrot Cake by Linda Stirling
First Prize: High Seas Lemon Cake by Willard & Jo Thompson
Comments from the SBMM Judges: This cake was light, very flavorful, and surprising given the ingredients, specifically its lack of butter, milk and eggs, all things we automatically assume will be in a cake recipe. It is a pretty strong likelihood that 18th and 19th century ships would have prepared cakes and many other things without those ingredients because of the difficulty in keeping them from spoiling…and the role of the vitamin C in lemons in preventing scurvy is well-known. As the first prize winners, Willard and Jo will be able to take four friends out for a cruise on SBMM’s classic wooden yacht Ranger.
“Lemons have an important role in maritime history. All sailors know that lemons are the antidote for scurvy which caused so many deaths among sailors until the end of the 18th century. This cake is made without butter, milk or eggs, so all the ingredients can be stored aboard ship and made whether on the high seas or in your own kitchen at home.” – Willard & Jo Thompson
To make this easy and delicious cake:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup of cold water
2 Tablespoons of lemon zest
Prepare a Bundt cake pan with a vegetable spray or butter and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, along with 1 tablespoon of lemon zest… then add the oil, vanilla and lemon juice and water. Mix well using a whisk or rubber spatula. The lemon juice will activate the baking soda and start forming bubbles. Mix thoroughly and pour immediately into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla…start adding the lemon juice slowly until you have the right consistency to pour over the cake. Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
Turn the cake out of the pan when cool, and glaze with a lemon glaze.
Second Prize: Kaisa’s Famous Blue Velvet Cake by Kaisa Taggart
Comments from the SBMM Judges: This cake topped everything with its nautical theme, appearance and humor. The puns (Seas the Day!), the blue coloring, and the addition of the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice gave it an edge…and the fact that it was baked by a young person to share with her family enchanted the judges. And in case you are wondering, Kaisa’s mom assured us it tastes like a red velvet cake. Kaisa and her family win a Family Membership to the Museum and we definitely hope to “sea” them around when we can reopen!
“Seas the Day. Ahoy! My name is Kaisa and I am 10 years old. I love the ocean, baking and surfing. I chose to bake a Blue Velvet Cake for the Maritime Museum’s 20th Birthday! I had so much fun baking my cake and even more fun eating it with my family. I added a special ingredient, 1/8 teaspoon of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice to celebrate Santa Barbara Maritime’s 20th birthday and all that is special in the “Ocean”. I hope to “sea” you at the museum soon. “-Love, Kaisa
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Servings: 8-10 (depending how big a slice you want to eat!)
2 cups of sugar
3 sticks butter at room temperature and divided
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 ounces blue food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup of melted marshmallows
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
Directions for Cake:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round pans. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and 2 sticks butter, mix well till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together, then add sugar and mix well. Sift together, flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the cream mixture – alternate with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to the mixture. Pour batter into pans – evenly distributed. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.
Directions for Frosting
Blend cream cheese and 1 stick butter together in a mixing bowl. Add marshmallows and sugar to the blend. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake. Decorate.
Third Prize: Moist Chocolate Chip Date Cake by Linda Tappeiner
Comments from the SBMM Judges: This cake reminded the judges of growing up eating date nut bread with cream cheese for breakfast! The maritime presentation was well done and, once again, dates would have helped avert scurvy. In fact, dried fruit and nuts were frequently taken on long voyages for that reason, dating back to the early 16th century and Juan Cabrillo’s San Salvador if not even earlier. Lard or vegetable shortening (Crisco) was also commonly used in place of butter, as in this recipe. It was also not uncommon for ships to take on smaller livestock like chickens for their eggs! For Third Prize, Linda will receive a gift certificate to the Museum Store.
1 cup chopped dates
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda-divided
1 ½ cups boiling water
¾ cup shortening (Crisco solid in the blue can is the best)
1 ½ cups sugar-divided
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans
- Place dates and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in boiling water. Cool completely.
- In another large bowl, cream shortening and 1 cup sugar. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, salt and remaining baking soda, add to creamed mixture alternately with date mixture.
- Pour into greased 13 x 9 banking pan. Sprinkle with remaining sugar; top with chocolate chips and nuts.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Honorable Mention: Carrot Cake by Linda Stirling
Comments from the SBMM Judges: This cake was delicious…a favorite of the carrot cake aficionados among our judges…so we decided to include it here. The currants in the recipe would also have helped ward off scurvy among the crew. One of us made it with raisins instead of currents, which also worked well.
3/4 cup walnuts (toasted)
3/4 lb carrots
1 1/4 cups unbleached plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt and baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup currants
4 oz. cream cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange juice
zest of 1 small orange
Lightly toast the walnuts (350 degrees for about 8 minutes), cool then chop coarsely. Peel the carrots and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, (10-15 min.) Drain and let cool. Puree the carrots in a food processor. There should be 1 cup of carrot puree. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, or line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together on a waxed sheet of paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the milk and melted butter. Whisk in the dry ingredients and then the carrot puree. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts and currants.Pour the batter into the prepared pan or muffin cups. Bake until lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. For the cake approx. 45-50 minutes, for cupcakes, 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. For the cake, invert onto a platter and peel of the parchment paper. To make frosting, using a mixer (preferably a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla with the paddle until all ingredients are combined. Using a straight frosting spatula, spread the frosting on top and sides of cake. For cupcakes, spread very thickly on top. Due to the cream cheese frosting, if the cake is not eaten immediately or the same day, it will need to be refrigerated. Remove 30 minutes before serving if it is refrigerated. Serves 9 as a cake or one dozen cupcakes.