Janet Elwin of Walpole submitted this recipe for her mother’s Sunshine Cake, which has been an ongoing tradition in her family for generations.

Elwin’s mother, Mabelle Burr Beres, probably got the recipe from her aunt, who was “an excellent cook,” Elwin says. The cake is a cross between sponge cake and angel food cake, and goes with just about everything. Drizzle it with chocolate sauce, or serve it with some ice cream. Drizzle it with lemon glaze and serve with raspberries. Make a custard or whipped cream frosting, and decorate the cake with daffodils for Easter or to celebrate Spring.

The cake has typically been used by Elwin’s family as “shortcake” for strawberries and cream.

“Now it is our grandchildren’s favorite birthday cake, and we have a special candle holder that fits right into the center of the cake,” Elwin shared in an e-mail. “But the all-time favorite is to serve it with a great big bowl of strawberries and an equally large bowl of whipped cream. We always let everyone slice off whatever size piece of cake they want and then just heap on the strawberries and cream. Yummy – I can hardly wait.”

MABELLE BURR BERES’ SUNSHINE CAKE
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

4 eggs
3 teaspoons cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cup unsifted flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Separate the four eggs, saving the whites. Beat the yolks with the 3 teaspoons of cold water. Add the sugar about a half-cup at a time and beat well. Add the vanilla, salt and boiling water. Add the flour and beat well. Beat egg whites until they form peaks and add the cream of tartar. Fold in the egg whites.

Put mixture into an angel food pan and bake for 1 hour.