Great- great-grandma Nellies notes in her journal that this cake "was wonderfully creamy" and "it was perfect texture". I agree with her description - and my heart loves that she describes her recipe in this way.
Nellie has two recipe variations for Gold Cake. The first is a printed recipe for Gold Cake that has the year 1912 handwritten next to it. The second variation of the Gold Cake recipe is a typed recipe dated April 20, 1981. The recipes are very similar with the exception of the 1912 variation using water as the liquid as well as a dash of lemon extract. The 1981 variation uses milk as the liquid and no lemon extract. I'm certain that a hint of lemon (or almond for that matter) would make for a delicious twist to the cake recipe.
In this recipe I will use milk for the liquid and no flavoring extract, following Nellie's 1981 version of the recipe. Mostly because she describes the recipe with such fondness. I can't help but think she considered this the superior of the two recipes.
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar (divide this into three 1/2 cups)
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
4 level teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk (or less - see directions below for details)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter an angel food pan.
In your first bowl mix 8 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until the mixture turns a lemon yellow color.
In a second bowl combine the butter and sugar. Then add it to the eggs and sugar mixture. Mix together until the batter becomes so stiff that you can't get it off of the whipper.
Grab a third bowl. Before measuring out the flour, sift it once. Then sift it again two more times after measuring. To the sifted flour add the last 1/2 cup of sugar, the baking powder and salt. Slowly add this mixture to the batter in the first bowl, adding a little milk at a time - only until the the batter comes easily off the whippers (ends up being about 2/3 cup milk...but sometimes less!).
Pour the batter into the angel food pan and bake on the bottom oven rack.
Bake for about 45-60 minutes. Nellie notes that for her it often took 45 minutes or less.
Allow to cool, invert, and serve on a platter. She recommends cutting the cake into 20 equal slices.
I like to serve this cake with whatever berries are in season and a spoonful of fresh whipped cream.
Serving size: Slices not eaten can be individually wrapped, placed on a large plate, and covered with aluminum foil and frozen to serve later.