In search of the "Golden Rod cake pan"
August 24, 2010 7:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm searching for a cake pan that was apparently common in the early 20th century: the Golden Rod cake pan (also sometimes called a Waldorf Triangle cake pan). You can see an illustration one in the lower left corner of this picture, and here is a photograph. Here's another one (the pan on the right). Does anyone know of a current source for these pans?

I stumbled on the illustration while browsing Google Books a while back. It intrigued me, so I did some research on the Golden Rod cake, and it eventually turned into a couple of blog posts (I'm not here to shill for my blog, so I'll just say that it's the blog I posted about in Projects last November). I've found a bunch of recipes for Golden Rod Cakes and Waldorf Triangles, so I'm not really looking for more, but what I want is the pan so I can actually try the recipe!

Of course, I don't need the pan to try the recipe, but when I try old recipes like this, I like to get them as close to the original as possible. So I want the pan.

Does anyone know of a source for these? Someone on my blog said that this is the closest he has been able to find, and I haven't found anything else. It is difficult to create search terms that don't bring in a ton of random triangle-shaped cake pans that are nothing like this one. I would like one that's not outrageously expensive, incidentally.

It sounds as if the pans were reasonably well-known right up into the 20s if not later, since cookbooks just refer to "a golden rod cake pan" without explaining the term, just as we'd refer to a "bundt pan" today. But they seem to have dropped off the face of the earth.
posted by litlnemo to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Can you find a metal shop that would make one to order?
posted by Ideefixe at 7:52 PM on August 24, 2010

I found a few things that look promising by looking for "cake mold" instead of any of the pan or whatever words. Do these look any closer than the one you linked to?

1. NonStick Triangle Cake Mould with Feet
2. Triangle shaped bread pan

There are over 2000 cake pans circulated by the libraries in the state of Iowa and it's possible that someone there is a cake pan expert.
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 PM on August 24, 2010 [5 favorites]

The idea that there are over 2000 cake pans circulated by libraries in Iowa just made me shoot cartoon hearts out of my eyes.

Maybe check with pastry shops in your area to see if they've got ideas or inside sources? Or let antique shop owners know what you're looking for so that they can set it aside for you if they see one?
posted by corey flood at 8:03 PM on August 24, 2010 [6 favorites]

Here's a long, single version of the pan. Sort of.
posted by jenny76 at 8:08 PM on August 24, 2010

Oh, duh. That's the link you already have. Sorry about that.
posted by jenny76 at 8:13 PM on August 24, 2010

Here's an "inverted triangle cake" mold but it's not quite the same thing.
posted by barnone at 8:15 PM on August 24, 2010

A quick search around the Wilton site turned up nada, but the people on their forums are very knowledgeable. You might consider posting your question there too.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:29 PM on August 24, 2010

This inverted pyramid pan is not quite the same shape, but it might work for your purposes. Pic

at Fante's
posted by redfishbluefish at 8:48 PM on August 24, 2010

I think you should emphasize the "antique" angle more than the "cake pan" angle in your search. I agree with corey flood that an antiques dealer might be the best person to help you out with this—preferably, but not necessarily, someone with a specialization in kitchen items or bakeware.

This mold is vaguely similar in layout (the multiple parallel "logs") but is a two-piece mold and obviously produces a very different shape. Your pan reminds me strongly of antique corn bread pans (not all of which use the corn cob shape) and I wonder whether somebody who has a goldenrod pan but doesn't know what to call it might be selling it as a corn bread pan.
posted by Orinda at 8:57 PM on August 24, 2010

This antique loaf pan isn't quite right either, but getting there!

And Orinda is right - there are lots of corn bread pans that aren't shaped like corn cobs. Could be a useful search term. I've also seen them called "stick pans" but those are difficult search terms because everything comes back for non-stick!
posted by barnone at 9:05 PM on August 24, 2010

Response by poster: The second link that Jessamyn found is the closest thing I've seen so far, but it doesn't look as if it would be something I could easily buy a single one of.
posted by litlnemo at 1:53 AM on August 25, 2010

This looks like what you want, however, you'd apparently have to buy it from a tinsmith in Serbia.
posted by KathyK at 6:04 AM on August 25, 2010

Again not exactly what you're looking for but a search for triangle mold on Ebay brings up some possibilities and the thought that searching for a candle or silicone soap mold might help?
posted by ceri richard at 7:05 AM on August 25, 2010

Fante's might still be able to help. They've been around since 1906 and seem to have everything under the sun, including stuff that somehow doesn't seem to make it onto the website. They might be able to order the one found that looks like it might work.
posted by sepviva at 8:25 AM on August 25, 2010

1. Triangle loaf pan, with lid at Fantes, photo

2. "Buche Cake" mold, triangular (note that it's also available in 'rounded', you obviously want triangular), see manufacturer's page here--note specific product number, SKU 340622, for triangular vs rounded shape

3. Amazon (they show the shape as triangle but looks a bit rounded to me--but far cheaper than the other options)

Above were found by a google shopping search.
posted by flug at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2010

Response by poster: The plastic mold seems unlikely to be oven-safe, flug.

As far as the metal ones go, I might need some advice here -- are those likely to work well for baking? They seem designed for molding already cooked material, but they look as if they might be ok for baking. Is there any reason I should know of not to use them for that purpose?

I would still prefer to find something closer to the original, though.

That Indian wholesaler Jessamyn linked to has something that is basically identical to the original -- they can't be the only ones, can they? I may have to write and see if they have any North American retail clients, but I can't order directly as they have a 100-unit minimum.
posted by litlnemo at 4:09 PM on August 25, 2010

Response by poster: The log molds are, as far as I can tell, the same basic thing as the pan I linked to in the original question. I have found tons of them while searching but would like to find something more like the original if possible.
posted by litlnemo at 4:14 PM on August 25, 2010

Not an answer, rather a suggested strategy or two for getting what you want.

I collect a particular type of rare kitchenware that isn't generally thought of as collectible or valuable. There's no developed market for it, and searching for it directly on the internet brings up only half a dozen hits.

So I pursue four main avenues to get my... preciousssssessss. I think they might be relevant and useful to you:

a) Thrift stores - hit em as often as possible, and make sure everyone you know who shops at them knows that if they see what you want, they need to buy it for you...

b) Antique shops - talk to the owners, tell them what you're looking for (ie the cake tin), tell them you'll cheerfully pay over the odds for it, and give them your phone number. Dealers often buy whole deceased estates, bulk lots, at junk auctions, and so on. But I'm guessing very few would recognize an old tin cake mold as worth buying and selling. They will if you tell them it's valuable to you.

c) eBay - just keep searching "cake mold" and "cake tin" (and other broad terms) and there's a good chance that (sooner or later) it'll turn up. You'll be waiting for the odd inspired seller who recognizes your mold as unusual but doesn't necessarily have any idea what it is. Also regularly check etsy, shopgoodwill, and other online sales/auction sites.

d) Collectors - There will be cake mold/tin collectors out there and there's a good chance they'll want to help you - part of collecting antique/vintage kitchenware is cooking historical recipes. But finding them might be hard. So start on a broad front and narrow it down by asking. Contact or join groups that collect
antique/vintage kitchenware,
antique/vintage appliances (I've got a soft spot for the yahoo group WACEM - "We Actually Collect Antique Mixers". They may be able to help you, many of them do use their mixers to make vintage cakes),
and (eg) antique /vintage cookie cutters (throwing this one in because they're kind of close in focus, but also because they have links on their page to members who are copper and tin smiths.)

Good luck. :)
posted by Ahab at 10:03 PM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you, Ahab. The suggestions in d) are particularly interesting, I think. I wouldn't have thought of the two groups you mentioned.
posted by litlnemo at 1:33 AM on August 28, 2010

You might send your request to Rose Levy Beranbaum. She's quite the pan collector herself.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:27 PM on August 30, 2010

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