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Aunt Ellen’s Man’s Cake

Aunt Ellen's Man's Cake

Aunt Ellen’s Man’s Cake

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Aunt Ellen's Man's Cake
4.6 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.6/5 (5)
Course: Cakes, Grandma Evelyn’s RecipesDifficulty: Medium



My Great Aunt Ellen was known for bringing her famous “Man’s Cake” to every family gathering. It is a moist, coffee-flavored bundt cake (she used an angel food cake pan, according to my grandmother’s hand-written recipe card) with walnuts and an optional simple glaze.

I asked my cousin Jim if he knew why she called it the Man’s Cake. This is what he told me: “I remember asking my Mother that exact question one time, just after she made one. I was probably eating a piece of it when asking the question. Her answer was “Because your Dad loves it!” Which was certainly true, but I think the lack of sweetness and texture of the cake had a lot to do with it.”


  • 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 6 large eggs, separated

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 4-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift first, then measure)

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups very strong coffee, cold

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a tube cake pan such as a bundt or angel food cake pan. Add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until stiff but not dry. In another bowl, blend egg yolks, shortening, and sugar thoroughly. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with coffee. Add nuts and vanilla. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in prepared cake pan for 45 minutes or until a bamboo skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Frost with a thin layer of powdered sugar icing or brown sugar icing (pictured) — the glaze recipes are mine, not Aunt Ellen’s –, sift with powdered sugar or simply leave plain.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)
very good and awsome would make a crowd go wild
- hey hey hey
i love the cakes... they tasted delicious and very soft and tasteful. btw you have the same name as my sister..lol love the cakes!!!!! keep up the good work...
- Fiona Man
Very good cake because it is very moist and soft! We have the same name, Ellen.
- Ellen Man
I remember the Man's Cake being the high point of Aunt Ellen's smorgasbords. It was high, dense, and not too sweet. I must confess I haven't had the same results that she had, and I gave this cake a '5' rating based on my memories, not on the results of my baking.
- Rita Cummins in Las Vegas
This was a nice, moist cake, and everyone liked it. I might try it again with a chocolate icing to make a mocha cake.
- A Baker
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