Period Wellesley Tea Room Fudge Cake

Fairfield

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Sisters Alice (Wellesley '93) and Grace (Wellesley '94) Coombs ran the Wellesley College Tea Room for many years. The recipe for this wonderful cake, usually dated circa 1898, appeared in a cookbook that was published to raise funds for the college's 75th anniversary. Alice Coombs wrote that she had found the recipe in a Boston newspaper--so there is no telling how old it may be. It is still popular among Wellesley College alumnae, residents of the town of Wellesley--and anyone who enjoys a delicious dessert. This is the original recipe as it appeared in Favorite Recipes of Wellesley Alumnae (compiled for the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Fund, 1875-1950):

2/3 cup butter
2-2/3 cups brown sugar, well packed
1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks, well beaten
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2-2/3 cups sifted pastry flour
2/3 cup thick sour milk
1 1/4 teaspoons soda. dissolved in milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Salt

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs. Dissolve chocolate in boiling water;
stir to consistency of thick paste and add. Add baking powder to flour; add
alternately with milk (and soda). Add vanilla and salt. Bake in two 9-inch
square pans in moderate oven. Fill and frost with chocolate frosting and
chopped nuts. (Serves 24.)

Alice G. Coombs, '93 (1893)
 

Georgia

Sergeant
Sisters Alice (Wellesley '93) and Grace (Wellesley '94) Coombs ran the Wellesley College Tea Room for many years. The recipe for this wonderful cake, usually dated circa 1898, appeared in a cookbook that was published to raise funds for the college's 75th anniversary. Alice Coombs wrote that she had found the recipe in a Boston newspaper--so there is no telling how old it may be. It is still popular among Wellesley College alumnae, residents of the town of Wellesley--and anyone who enjoys a delicious dessert. This is the original recipe as it appeared in Favorite Recipes of Wellesley Alumnae (compiled for the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Fund, 1875-1950):

2/3 cup butter
2-2/3 cups brown sugar, well packed
1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks, well beaten
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2-2/3 cups sifted pastry flour
2/3 cup thick sour milk
1 1/4 teaspoons soda. dissolved in milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Salt

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs. Dissolve chocolate in boiling water;
stir to consistency of thick paste and add. Add baking powder to flour; add
alternately with milk (and soda). Add vanilla and salt. Bake in two 9-inch
square pans in moderate oven. Fill and frost with chocolate frosting and
chopped nuts. (Serves 24.)

Alice G. Coombs, '93 (1893)
Do you also have the chocolate frosting recipe? If not, how do you think the Hershey’s Cocoa label boiled frosting might work?
 

Fairfield

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
May I copy and share with a dear family friend who is a Wellesley graduate? I’m thinking her daughter might want to surprise her with it.
Well, of course! If we simply let these recipes sit on the Internet, it would be a loss. I love this cake and think everyone ought to try it. And, I suspect, your Wellesley graduate friend may already have the recipe!
 
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