Just Cake was "written and made up by Lucie Olmstead". An original!
This one pretty much sums up my Midwestern upbringing. Get it done, make it good, then move on because there's a lot of work to do. When you have 6-7-8 mouths to feed and firewood to get and cows to milk and bills to pay, there is no time to fuss over the food. Be thankful you have some.
The original was light on instructions and listed the flour as "more or less", so this recipe is clearly something to make on the fly and open for interpretation. Don't let that intimidate you. Remember to have fun with it! And if you feel like adding a little orange peel or chocolate chips to change it up, have at it.
So here's your Just Cake: no expensive ingredients, no complicated techniques.
Set oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9” square pan or round cake pan.
Cream sugar and shortening together. Mix in the egg. Separately, sift together dry ingredients. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to the sugar mix. Stir in vanilla. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.