My Grandmother's Pink Cake Plate

The pink cake plate (center).
I am the proud owner of my grandmother’s cake plate. It’s made of pink Depression glass with a flower pattern, probably from the Jeannette Glass Company. 

Many of my grandmother’s relatives worked for the company, located outside of Pittsburgh, in the 1930s and 40s and often gave her pieces of the glassware. My mother remembers seeing the plate in their china cabinet for as long as she can remember.

For Easter, I made my grandmother’s specialty that she made for so many holidays and birthdays -- lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. 

My grandmother made delicious desserts. Pies of every flavor, sometimes from apples and berries picked from the trees and brambles in her backyard. Pumpkin cookies, light as pillows, full of sweet deliciousness. Nutrolls bursting with a sweet mixture of honey and walnuts from a recipe from her Czech heritage.

My grandmother Evelyn in the 1920s.
But cakes with cream cheese frosting were her specialty. Her recipe always blended cream cheese, sour cream and a few spoonfuls of marshmallow cream for the perfect balance of sweet and tart. 

No overly sweet buttercream frosting for my birthday cakes, growing up. I loved the zesty, creamy icing. She even made a chocolate version of it. 

The cakes always arrived for my birthday perched on the pink cake plate, which my grandmother cradled on her lap on the drive over to our house.

My mother gave the plate to me since I inherited my grandmother’s love of baking. 

It has a special place of honor, perched on top of my white cabinet filled with vintage dishes and glasses. Except for the special occasions when it is called into service. 

To carry on the tradition. To hold yet another cake with creamy frosting. To let the next generation discover the joy of lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. 

My niece and nephew -- her great-grandchildren who she never met, can’t wait for the cake to be cut and sneak a lick of frosting from the pink cake plate.

Somehow I feel sure my grandmother knows. And smiles.


  1. Another great article - what wonderful memories to have of your grandmother!! have her favorite recipes!!! Any chance of sharing the one for lemon cake w/cream cheese frosting? Made me want a slice while reading the article!

    1. Hi Sharon!
      Even though it is a tightly-held family recipe, I'll see what I can do! :)

  2. Your Grandma was a wonderful Christan woman. I looked up to her and just loved her. Love the story about the pink cake plate.

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Thank you for your kind comments! I'm so glad you shared your thoughts about her. I love hearing how she impacted those whose lives she touched!

  3. Yum -- I want a piece of that cake please...:)

  4. Val- your post was very inspirational- made me feel like I was actually sitting in your sun room with cake and lemonade. Now THAT'S a good thing. Deb


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