Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Answer Cake

Answer Cake 2 Life Sept 17 1956

Answer Cake was a 1950s Betty Crocker invention which gave you all the this-and-that you needed to make when people started asking you difficult questions like, Didn't you make any dessert, Gertrude? And Gertrude had been busy washing all the sheets and cleaning the fridge and maybe getting to play a little bridge if she was lucky. And she wasn't about to start in with the creaming of sugar and butter and the whipping of the egg whites and the folding in and never mind all the extra dishes. Susan Marks writes in Finding Betty Crocker (2007) that Answer Cake first appeared in 1954 and came with cake mix, frosting and a baking tin. It served up to 12 people who needed to answer the casserole that had just landed in their stomachs with a little (or rather a lot) of sugar.

All signs point to cake!
I love the name Answer Cake because all I can think of is that when you bake it, it will sit in the pan and answer all your questions - like a delicious Magic 8 Ball. The tag line even says "You'll have fun with Betty Crocker Answer Cake" - which is good, because I certainly like to have fun. And if I had the wherewithal (which I am running a little low on today) I'd write the fairy tale about the Answer Cake that sits out in front of  Hansel and Gretel's witch's gingerbread house (in some magic Tupperware that allows it never to grow stale) on a little golden cake stand, telling passersby what to do. "Say you, ask me a question! Seriously, I know all the answers to everything. But the witch put me under a spell so I couldn't run away and go on Jeopardy!" How it got out of her oven, I don't know.

Actually, I will write this. I've been reading a lot of fairy tales and writing some stuff based on them...also I'm working on a fiction project and a non-fiction project and...maybe I'll activate my writing blog if I can figure out what sort of things to post regularly - not the actual book projects but maybe some of what George Eliot called quarry, the jumble of things that inspire you. And goodness knows that's what all my blogs seem to be, jumbles of things. So that could work.

September is sort of like New Year's for me, so things will get stirred up a little! And I mean to start commenting/visiting and interacting with you all again. As soon as it gets cooler and my brain cells wake up. They are not much good when it is hot, you know.


Kathy said...

Love those old Betty Crocker ads! Thanks for sharing this one. I had forgotten about the Answer Cake!

Caroline said...

I'd never even heard of answer cake before. But like you say, it does sound like something from a fairy tale.

Unknown said...

This reminds me of the microwave cakes that I fell in love with in the 80's, that came with the pan and took 3 minutes! I made them nightly for a while, until my father read the ingrediants and told me they were only one ingrediant different than styrofoam. Never ate one again...

Plano Joan said...

I told my Mom that I would be able to find answer cake on the Internet. Thanks RK for having a picture of the box! I plan to make a 58th anniversary version for a 3 generation Girls weekend. It will be the final course for my patio party, tuna blah is cast as the main entree. Think of us wearing our pearls and heels while stuffing all the correct answers into our mouths.