Iva Nace’s Sugar Cakes


Photo credit: Carnel Shimmel

“Me, do a blog? What would I blog about?” These were my first thoughts when I was asked to do a blog as a member of the Nathan Krotzer Team. “Now wait, I like recipes, & I’ve been cooking & baking since I was a kid. Let’s do something with that.”

I think it might be fun to share recipes with a story, or one that has been in a family for years. I’m going to start with my Sugar Cake recipe, then maybe some of you might be willing to share a recipe & a story that I can blog about in future months.

My late mother, Iva Nace, passed this Sugar Cake recipe down to me, & I can still remember the sweet smell in the kitchen while she baked them. The Sugar Cake tradition continues with me, often giving them away, as others seem to enjoy them so much. (Someone once told me that they were my ticket to wealth, that I could sell them & become rich. Yeah, right.)

When my sons, Nathan & Austin, were members of the Eastern York Track Team I would make a few batches for the guys to eat on the bus when there was an away meet. Two young men decided that they were in charge of the sugar cakes, & they made their teammates beg for them. They changed the name to Sugar B*#ches, & to this day we still refer to them as that. If these two young men (and you know who you are) contact me I will make you a batch of Sugar B*#ches.

When Nathan continued his track career at York College, I decided to make Sugar Cakes for that team. The response that I got was interesting, as a lot of the team was not from this area & were unfamiliar with this type of cookie. They really didn’t seem to be all that enthralled with them, so I guess it just might be a Central Pennsylvania “thing.”

The Sugar Cake Recipe follows, but I just want to give a few helpful tips.

  1. I am not a fan of margarine, & I never use it unless I am baking these. I have tried butter, but they just didn’t turn out right.
  2. Even if you want to make a double batch, mix separately. The dough tends to thicken as it sits, & the cookies will not be as light & fluffy as you want.
  3. Some people like to put icing on the cookies instead of sprinkled sugar. That is good too. My Aunt Bets always had chocolate icing on hers.
  4. Instead of buttermilk I put 1 T. vinegar in a measuring cup & add milk to make 1 cup.


2 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 2 sticks margarine, 1 T. vanilla, beat until smooth.

Add 4 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 tsp. baking soda.

Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for about 9 minutes or until lightly browned.

Hopefully you will try this recipe, maybe it can be one that you pass down. And if you have a recipe that I can blog about, please contact me, teamkrotzer@gmail.com