Feather Cake, Madeira Cake and Canteen Biscuits

Where are they from?

Evatt Collection, Flinders University Library

What's the story?

The Evatt Collection was presented to the Flinders University Library by Dr H.V. Evatt's widow, Mary Alice Evatt, in 1970. The collection includes private and official correspondence covering Dr Evatt's private and public life mainly for the period of his term as Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs and as Leader of the Opposition; a collection of newspaper cuttings; printed matter relating to ALP, Federal elections 1940-1959, United Nations 1943-1949, the Petrov Affair; books, journals, pamphlets, photographs; manuscripts of books and articles published by Evatt; some legal material and a carbon copy of a typescript with 128 pages of recipes, plus handwritten recipes in two different hands. Some of the annotations to the typed documents appear to be in H V Evatt’s handwriting.


Let's make them

Feather Cake 


2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

0.5 cup butter

Tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs beaten separately


Flavour with lemon. Bake from 45 minutes to one hour.


Madeira Cake 


2 cups flour

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

Grated rind of an orange

Same of lemon

8 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder


Put butter, sugar and flavouring into a basin, work to a cream, gradually add eggs (not beaten), mix the baking powder with the flour and add. Beat all together 10 minutes, put into greased tin and bake from 1.25 to 1.5 hours.


Canteen Biscuits 


1.5 cups shortening (butter or lard)

2 cups white sugar

1 cup rolled oats

4 cups flour

1 cup raisins

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons baking soda

3 tablespoons sour milk


Cream sugar and shortening together. Add three eggs, well beaten. Stir in the dry ingredients, and lastly add the sour milk. Roll out. Sprinkle chopped nuts or a little sugar on the surface. Cut out, and bake in moderate over.

This mixture makes 50 biscuits.