The Cake Historian Podcast: Jessie Sheehan

Photo via

Photo via

Where to find Jessie and her books:

The Cake of the Episode!

Silver Cake with Pink Frosting from   The Vintage Baker  . Photograph by  Alice Gao .

Silver Cake with Pink Frosting from The Vintage Baker. Photograph by Alice Gao.

Recipe HERE

Cartoon mentioned at the beginning of the episode.

Cartoon mentioned at the beginning of the episode.

A few booklets from my collection.

A few booklets from my collection.


“Collecting: Vintage Baking Pamphlets.” Martha Stewart Living, August 2011

New Party Cakes for All Occasions. (1931). General Mills Inc

Cake Secrets. (1953). General Foods Corp.

This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last. —O. Wilde


Episode One of The Cake Historian Podcast is now live, and available via your favorite podcast directory (or at least, all the ones I know of)! It ended up being a rambling last minute thing due, frankly, to crippling anxiety and fear, but, like pulling off a band-aid, sometimes you just have to do it.  And I'm doing it right here:

studio shot.jpg

I got so, so lucky (thank you Angie) with the immensely talented composer Alejandro Pinto-Hernández (website forthcoming) who kindly supplied original music at the last minute, and sent me files that I could use here. He and I will be working closely on the episodes to come, so expect more of his lovely, moody sounds. 

Speaking of moody, here's a shot of the "Cake of the Episode," a Lemon Raspberry Upsidedown:


The plan is to have one "Cake of the Episode" with each show, some by me, some by others. 


Here's the recipe:

Lemon Raspberry Upsidedown Cake
Oven: 350°
Pan: 9" round cake pan


11 TBS (155 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 c (267 g) granulated sugar
12 oz (350 g) raspberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost)
1 2/3 c (168 g) cake flour, sifted
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 T lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/2 c (120 g) sour cream
1 t lemon extract

Preheat the oven, then prep the pan by smearing 3 T (42 g) of the softened butter onto the bottom and sides of a 9" round cake pan. Go ahead and use it all, even if you leave some clumps. Over the butter, sprinkle 1/3 c (67 g) of the sugar, creating a thin layer, then spread the raspberries over that. NOTE: I used frozen and waited until the batter was ready before doing this, but it's up to you.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

Put the remaining 1 c (200 g) of sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer, and rub in the 1 T of lemon zest. Add the remaining 8 T (113 g) butter and cream on medium-high speed until lighter in color and fluffy, about three minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well for 30 seconds between each egg. Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl!

Add the lemon extract and sour cream, and beat until all traces of sour cream have been incorporated. 

Stop the mixer and fold in the dry ingredients gently, but thoroughly, until no streaks of dry are apparent. 

Spread the batter on top of the prepared pan and slide into the oven.

Bake for 45–50 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, the top springs back lightly when touched, and a toothpick inserted into the center (but not all the way down to the fruit) comes out clean. 

Remove pan to a rack and let cool 10 minutes, then turn the cake out to cool completely.

Gorgeous on its own, the cake keeps well, and gets a bit better with age, for a few days. Luster fades around day three. 

Thank you to Jes Baker for her wonderful book Landwhale, from which I adapted a quote used in the episode. I originally learned of her via Instagram and, her handle being @themilitantbaker, naturally thought that it was about baking. But when I started following I discovered how amazing she is, even with no cake pictures. You can learn more about her via her website, her aforementioned Instagram, and, of course, through the book:

Landwhale memoir Jes Baker the Militant Baker.png

Finally, here is an outtake from the Podcast image shoot. It encompasses how I feel about cake and how I am approaching my work as The Cake Historian. Have a cake story to share? Don't hesitate to reach out!


Until we bake again.