A mix of baking powder, baking soda and buttermilk makes this bread rise. Bonus: It doesn't require any time-consuming kneading.
Bakers of all stripes want this classic in their collection – as well as their freezer. A true pound cake relies on beating each egg thoroughly since there's no baking powder. This is a good time to use imitation vanilla extract, because there is less flavour evaporation than with pure vanilla extract.
Thought to be the precursors to today's pancakes, johnnycakes (also called hoecakes) are made with cornmeal. They date back to the early 1700s, when frontiersmen cooked the unleavened batter over an open flame on the base of a metal hoe. Unlike the originals, these johnnycakes include eggs and baking powder, which help yield a puffy cake. Serve with maple syrup.
These bars, from 125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes (Robert Rose, 2003, $19.95) by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, are a tasty treat the whole family will enjoy. Look for xanthan gum, gluten-free baking powder, potato starch, rice flour and tapioca starch in health food and bulk food stores. Potato starch and rice flour are also available in most supermarkets.
Invented to cheer up a queen and still the star of the tea party, this featherlight cake is an all-around crowd-pleaser.
Sponge or sandwich?
There’s some debate over the correct name for this British teatime classic, with some experts pointing out that a true sponge contains no fat. What’s sure is that the Victoria sandwich, doyenne of the village fête, was named in honour of Queen Victoria. In mourning after the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, The Queen retreated to her Isle of Wight home, where she was encouraged to give tea parties, and the Victoria sandwich was born. It was a new invention, baking powder, that gave the cake its heavenly rise.
The mother of Darlene Schmidt of Edmonton received this recipe from an aunt in the 1930s. Her mum changed the base and the squares have been a family favourite ever since.
Baking with this mix is all fun and no fuss. Give it in a big jar, with the recipe, baking sheets, parchment paper, a metal rack and oven mitts.