1900s history

Jam Cake

Caramel icing


The ladies of this era were determined to raise money both for the building of their own church and to aid those in mission.

A big time was always anticipated when the circus came to town.  With so many people around, it would be a grand opportunity to make some money.  The ladies determined to put on a big dinner on circus day.  Without a church building big enough to house the crowd, they secured the use of a building under construction by Dr. Wilson on Broadway.  By using planks on sawhorses for table and benches, meals were served.  Dishes and other items, as well as food had to be brought from home.  Dinner was served for several days and the project was huge success.

One of the biggest dinners in the early years was a Boy Scout dinner served to 500 at one sitting.  Electric heating plates were brought to keep the coffee hot and dishes were borrowed from the Presbyterian Church, silverware from the Elk’s Club and Tilford’s Cafe.  Each item had to be marked with paint or thread so it could be returned to its rightful owner.  

When the Eleanore Hotel was on Broadway, a group of Trinity ladies served lunch there each Wednesday to the Rotary Club.

100 Year Old Jam Cake

1 ½ cup butter (or margarine)

2 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons soda

2 teaspoons ground allspice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons buttermilk

2 cups strawberry jam

Sift all purpose flour and measure.  Then sift again with soda and spices.  Cream soft butter.  Add sugar slowly, beating until creamy.  Add eggs (room temp) one at a time.  Beat well after each egg.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.  Mix to blend well.  Mixing this cake requires 25 to 30 minutes.  Last of all fold in strawberry jam.  If berries are quire large, chop fine.

Generously grease and flour four 8 inch layer pans 2 inches deep.  Level the batter with a spatula.  Drop pans several times on the counter to break bubbles.  Bake at 375 degrees about 39-40 minutes until cake tests done in the center.  Cool on rack 5 minutes, turn out onto rack to cool completely.  The secret to this cake is aging.  Make it, wrap it and let sit for two days.  Serve frosted with uncooked caramel icing or not.

Uncooked Caramel Icing

1 ½ stick butter

½ cup cream

2 cups dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

Confectioner’s sugar - enough to make a spreadable consistency.

Melt butter and cream together.  While hot, stir in brown sugar.  Cool and stir in vanilla.  Stir in salt and sifted confectioner’s sugar, as needed or leave looser to drizzle over top and sides of each cake.

In 1896 the city’s newspaper of that era, The Idaho Register, proclaimed Idaho Falls (then known as Eagle Rock) as one of the better theologically served communities in Idaho.  The Mormon, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, Swedish Mission and Baptist churches had established churches in the community.  Trinity is listed on the national register of historic places.

      Trinity United Methodist Church; 237 N. Water Ave. Idaho Falls, ID 83402                   208-522-7921        TrinityUMCIdahoFalls@gmail.com