© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Pink Champagne Cake Lingers on the Tongue

Celebrating a birthday in the 1960s and 70s in Southern Oregon was always special if you got a pink champagne birthday cake from the Rogue Bakery in Phoenix, Ore.  The shop along South Pacific Highway was owned by Dick and Lillian Hendrix, who had operated bakeries from Alaska to Wyoming.

Lillian, a descendent of Shasta County pioneers, was born in Oak Run, Calif.  Her son Gary described her as one of 11 children and said she had an “adventurous spirit.”  After getting married in the 1930s, the Hendrixes ran a bakery in Burney, Calif., but during World War II moved to Alaska. They had a variety of other bakeries in Alaska before moving to Phoenix and starting the Rogue Bakery. 

Lillian used food dyes to create images that looked like watercolors for cake decorations.  President Lyndon Johnson received one of her cakes when he visited the Grand Teton National Park. 

Lillian’s wedding and sheet cakes were works of art, but the pink champagne cake’s white chiffon layers, cream filling and pink buttercream frosting topped with pink and white chocolate shavings was a masterpiece with a taste that lingers forever.

Sources: "Pink cake recipe hasn't been replicated." Since You Asked, Medford Mail Tribune, 18 May 2017, www.mailtribune.com/news/./since-you-asked-pink-cake-recipe-hasnt-been-replicate. Accessed 5 July 2017; "Pink Champagne Cake mystery solved, readers share memories of cake shop in Phoenix." Since You Asked, Medford Mail Tribune, 10 June 2017, www.mailtribune.com/article/20150610/news/150619979. Accessed 5 July 2017; Darling, Dylan. "Lillian Hendrix, descendent of Shasta County pioneers, dies at 96." Record Searchlight, 2 Mar. 2010 [Redding, CA] , www.redding.com/./lillian-hendrix-descendent-of-shasta-county-pioneers-dies-at-96. Accessed 5 July 2017.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.