Sphere Magazine, September 1972

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Now that I have all my cookbooks up on their shelves, I saved a special area for my Sphere Magazines.  Now it will be even easier to share the recipes with my readers who love and remember this 1970’s publication with fondness.  Tell me which recipe you remember and I’ll look it up for you!  Hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear from a Sphere Magazine fan.

Sphere binders

This 1972 issue is filled with apple recipes, the latest fall fashions, vegetable cooking, easy skillet dinners, recipes from the Amana colonies in Iowa, and canning recipes along with a page of labels to use on your jars.

Sphere September 1972

But the article that helped put Sphere Magazine on the map, and one that I get requests for more than any other issue, is the country wedding, that is titled, “A Heritage Wedding for Today.”  I have had readers write to me to say that they made this  their wedding, from the dress to the food, to the decorations.  And the cake.  Well, it’s the cake that takes the cake. The layers of the cake can be baked three weeks before the wedding and frozen, and the entire cake assembled and frosted the day before.  It stands 12 layers high, with a date-nut and lemon pound cake layers staked alternately, each layer covered with a cranberry, apricot, or plum filling, then sprinkled with a fruit liqueur.  The frosting is coffee buttercream.



The cake has four pages of instructions, and the ingredients alone take up half a page.  Unfortunately, one of the ingredients called for, a date bar mix, is no longer on the market.  (It called for 6 boxes!)  Since so many people have requested the cake recipe, one of these days I am determined to figure out how to substitute the mix.  The cake is decorated with meringue mushrooms, with extra being made for the bride to hand out to the guests.  According to an old European tradition, the meringues are piled in a basket and distributed as a good luck wish.

This do-it-yourself wedding even includes making the bridal gown:


The crewel work on the dress is an art that was practiced a thousand years ago, when women working under the wife of William the Conqueror created the treasured Bayeux Tapestry.

The wedding food is simple and old-fashioned, and served in earthenware pots, antique bowls, and wicker baskets.  This outdoor wedding is truly of the 1970’s and would be lots of fun to duplicate even today.  Back then, you could order the bridal dress pattern for $2.25.

I wish I could have baked the wedding cake for you, but instead decided to offer one of the vegetable dishes from this issue.  Corn is in abundance right now and this simple stove top au gratin corn is easy, creamy, and delicious, with toasted bread crumbs as a garnish.  We loved it!

Sphere corn 1

5.0 from 6 reviews
Au Gratin Corn
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Rich and creamy au gratin corn made on the stove top.
  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Colby cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Toasted bread crumbs for garnish
  1. Cut corn from cobs. Heat corn, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 7 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together cheese and flour; stir into corn mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper. Spoon corn into a serving bowl and garnish edges with toasted bread crumbs. Serve immediately.


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35 Responses to Sphere Magazine, September 1972

  1. October 2, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    I am trying to find out how I can get a copy of this issue (Sept, 1972) I was subscribed to this magazine and had this issue, but lost a lot of them during moving through the years. I am now a cake decorator and I do embroidery and sewing; so I would love to duplicate the cake and everything in the featured wedding. Thank you!

    • December 18, 2018 at 5:59 am #

      Julia, I have a copy. I don’t want to part with it, as my wedding featured the cake, the meringue mushrooms, a dress my mother and I made together….it’s all there. I will copy you the pages if you like. But not right now…pre-Christmas. E-mail me in January and remind me! [email protected]

      I’m looking for a Sphere recipe for Swiss cheese and ham soup I used to make every Christmas Eve…now can’t find the recipe!

      • December 20, 2018 at 6:59 am #

        Francie, that is so kind of you to copy the pages. In the New Year, I will be in the process of making changes to my site, including having a link to the wedding cake article since so many people ask for it frequently. It’s my most requested article and recipes of all the Sphere issues. My question to you is, do you still have the pattern for the wedding dress?

  2. August 28, 2019 at 1:04 pm #

    Would you be able to email me the pages of this wedding, please? I saved these photos from you a few years ago yet haven’t been able to track down the issue – and now I’m planning my own mushroom-themed wedding! I would greatly appreciate them.

    [email protected]

    • August 29, 2019 at 12:01 am #

      Hi Laura – I will email you soon concerning the wedding pages. I have other people asking about it too. It’s probably my most requested Sphere recipe!

  3. August 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm #

    I’m trying to get the recipe for the wedding cake as it was what we had at our weddin in 1974. Is there a way you might send me copies. Greatly appreciated.

    • August 21, 2020 at 11:27 am #

      Hi Deborah- I love hearing from those who actually made the wedding cake! Did you make anything else from that article? I have been trying for a long time to find someone who may still have the pattern for the wedding dress. I would be happy to send copies of the article to you. I have to mail them as my scanner is not working. You can email me with your address if you like. [email protected] If you remember, the cake layers started with a pound cake mix and date bar mix, both which I have not been able to find those specific sizes and brands. I have had a longtime goal to figure out homemade versions to fit the recipe, which I hope to finally do one of these days! Thanks so much for writing.

      • February 23, 2021 at 4:44 am #

        I have the pattern for the dress if you would like me to forward via mail….it will be copies. I embroidered the dress for our wedding, made the MOH dress too. Took a long time, but still have it hanging for display. Wish I could figure out how to attach picture, but possibly I could email. Today happens to be our 47th anniversary.

        Maybe we can correspond via regular email?

        • February 23, 2021 at 5:08 am #

          Linda, I am more excited than you can imagine! I’ll send an email. Thank you, and Happy Anniversary!!

        • June 17, 2024 at 2:12 pm #

          Hi Linda,

          My name is Marge Heshelman and I also made the wedding dress from the September 1972 issue of the Sphere magazine by Betty Crocker Magazine. I have the original magazine and I sent for the pattern using the coupon that was provided in that issue. However, I’m unable to find the pattern in my home now after all these years and I’m wondering if you still might have a copy that you could forward to me. I’m not sure if this inquiry will reach you because I don’t have your email address, but if you do receive this message, reach me at my email address:

          [email protected]

          Hopefully, I will be hearing from you shortly.


          Marge Heshelman

  4. October 30, 2020 at 4:40 pm #

    I, too, had that wedding cake at my 1975 wedding and it was spectacular. Am I correct in that there is a scaled down recipe version of the cake in the Oct. 1973 Sphere magazine.? I would be interested in getting that magazine edition. Thank You. Sally Schreck

    • November 4, 2020 at 8:35 am #

      Hi Sally- I am always so thrilled to hear from readers who made that iconic wedding cake! I have the scaled down version that I will send you in an email as it is very long. Recreating both cakes is on my bucket list, but first I have to experiment with the layers because those required products are no longer available on the market. Did you make anything else from the wedding article? I have received so many emails and comments from readers who recreated the entire wedding including the dress, or some just want the cake recipe. Check your email soon!

  5. November 5, 2020 at 7:57 am #

    I did not actually do the making of the cake, but a hired baker did it and it was spectacular. Making this scaled down version will be a good winter quarantine project. I noticed that Amazon has quick date mixes. Did not do anything else, but that dress was awesome also. l What an article!

    • November 11, 2020 at 7:26 pm #

      Sally, I would love to hear how it turns out! So cool that you had the full-size cake at your wedding.

  6. May 17, 2022 at 1:58 pm #

    I made this cake, in 1972 for my father’s 50th birthday. It took all day to make! I scaled down the recipe, but it turned out so beautiful and tasted as good as it looked. It was a hit! The mushrooms were so fun to make. The sprinkling of cocoa on the tops made them look so real! I wish I could find a copy. I found my handwritten copy today while cleaning out some old recipes. I even drew the cake! The paper is so fragile. Maybe I’ll make it again. it will bring back some fond memories!

    • May 19, 2022 at 12:44 am #

      Alicia, I would be happy to send you a new copy of the article and recipes if you like. Let me know. I get requests all the time. I’m so impressed you made the cake!

  7. May 19, 2022 at 5:54 am #


    I would love it! Since I posted about the cake on FB, so many friends want the recipe. There is no way they could read the hand printed copy after all these years.

    Thanks so much.

    • May 20, 2022 at 12:12 am #

      Alicia, please check your email.

  8. October 29, 2022 at 6:39 pm #

    Hello Debbie,

    A good friend made this cake for her wedding in the seventies. I was so impressed with the design and most of all, the wonderful blend of flavors. I went ahead and made it for my second wedding in 1989 and scaled it down for our small group. Now my daughter would like me to make for 30 attendees for her wedding. If you could please send me a copy of both versions as any email copy will probably be more legible than what I have. Since both the golden pound cake and the date bar mix are no longer, would you suggest substituting the Betty Crocker scratch recipes for them?

    Thank you!


    • October 29, 2022 at 9:53 pm #

      Hi Ellen- I will be happy to send the recipes to you. The email ones might be a little choppy since they are lengthy, or if you prefer I would be happy to make copies and snail mail to you; whichever you prefer. (I’ll send you a message.)
      For so long I have wanted to figure out a from-scratch version of the two mixes. I have some ideas and will get to it one of these days. I love hearing from those who actually made the original version at their weddings! Since starting my blog over a decade ago, I have received SO many requests for both versions that I really need to figure it out. Watch your email for a message from me. Thank you for writing!

  9. October 30, 2022 at 4:52 am #

    I too, would like to remake this cake for our 50th wedding anniversary, but as you know, can not obtain any date cake mix. So when you figure it out, let me know!

    • October 30, 2022 at 10:16 pm #

      I will let you know for sure, Sally!

  10. October 31, 2022 at 12:42 pm #

    I made this for a Friendsgiving this past weekend. I made this long ago (actually in 1972).
    Anyway, I was unable to find any, even though, when you google it, it shows it’s out there to buy, but it isn’t available. I found this Betty Crocker recipe. https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/date-bars/4b716ead-523c-42eb-b589-e48dc5240c3d

    I first decided that I would just make an applesauce cake for the other layers, along with pound cake. Long story short, it wasn’t as good as the original.
    Started over and just made pound cake throughout. My friends loved it and it was cute, but not like the original one (50years ago).

    • October 31, 2022 at 9:53 pm #

      Thank you for this, Alicia!

  11. January 16, 2023 at 1:45 pm #

    I made this cake for a cousins bridal shower a long time ago. I have been searching everywhere for the recipe. Is it possible to get a copy of it? Is it available somewhere?

    • January 16, 2023 at 8:04 pm #

      Bea, the wedding cake recipe has been one of my most frequent requests over the past thirteen years of writing this blog. I am always happy to send the recipe. I will be sending you an email soon with info.

  12. April 21, 2023 at 6:50 pm #

    I obsessed about this very cake when I first spotted it in Sphere magazine in the 70s, and eventually made my own wedding cake 8 years later. Unfortunately, I no longer had the original recipe so we settled for a typical white cake but I would love to make the original date and lemon pound cake for our upcoming anniversary. Any chance you could share the recipe? I’d be so appreciative!

    • April 21, 2023 at 8:45 pm #

      Hi Lori- Please check your email for a message from me about the cake.

      • November 16, 2023 at 7:03 pm #

        Oh my, my mother made the scaled down version of this cake for a gathering when I was a teenager & I’ve never forgotten it. Tonight I’ve been searching the Internet to “finally track it down” & now I have! I would love to please get a copy of any version of this entire article, the memory of the taste is still fresh for me after all these years. I’ve always been delighted from the memory of helping my mother make the meringue mushrooms, dusting the cocoa on top. 🙂

        • November 16, 2023 at 10:24 pm #

          Suzanne, check your email. I’ll be sending it to you soon!

          • November 17, 2023 at 12:43 pm #


  13. July 7, 2023 at 7:20 pm #

    I am so excited to see this issue! I also made this wedding dress for my August 1974 wedding. We had a cake made to match the photo. My daughter just got married in June and she surprised me and wore the dress to her rehearsal dinner! She even wore flowers in her hair like I did. I wish I could attach the pics. It was remarkable.

    • July 8, 2023 at 11:04 am #

      I’m thrilled you wrote about the wedding dress, Andrea! I love hearing from those who made that wonderful dress. I have received so many emails over the years about people wanting the pattern, but of course it is no longer available. What a treasure and great memories for you. Thanks for writing!

  14. July 18, 2024 at 4:00 pm #

    I would love to have anything pertaining to the wedding cake — directions on how to make the mushrooms and other piped details. I am a baker and have a request for this cake for a 50th anniversary for a couple who had this exact cake for their wedding. Their daughter sent me her mom’s photocopy of the cake itself, and there’s a page that shows how many sunflowers, mushrooms, leaves, etc. (Page 23) but I was hoping to have more details such as how to make the mushrooms and anything else that would be helpful. The cake is due 8/10/24. If you can help, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much!

    • July 19, 2024 at 12:32 am #

      Teresa- check your email!

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