1920s recipes Feed

Let them eat chiffon cake

I love chiffon cakes. They're light and rich at the same time.

According to Wikipedia, "The chiffon cake was invented in 1927 by Harry Baker, a California insurance salesman turned caterer."

His name was BAKER! 


Chiffon Cake
Old recipe from 1948 Mazola advertising

1 1/8 cups sifted cake flour, plus 2 tbsp.
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup salad oil
3/8 cup water (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp.)
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. each, vanilla and lemon extract
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4)

Mix and sift first four ingredients. Make a well and add oil, water, egg yolks and flavorings. Beat until smooth. Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat until egg whites form very stiff peaks. Gently fold first mixture into egg whites until well blended. Fold, do not stir. Turn batter into ungreased 9-inch tube pan. Bake in moderate oven (325˚ F) about 1 hour or until cake springs back when touched lightly with finger. Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube pan over neck of bottle. Let hang until cold. To remove from pan, loosen with spatula.

Strawberry Icing: To 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar add 1/8 tsp. salt and 3 1/2 tbsp. juice from crushed berries. Mix until smooth. Spread over the top and sides of cake. 

Orange Icing: Substitute orange juice for berry juice in above recipe. Add 1 tsp. grated orange rind.



I know I've said this before but it's worth repeating. If you're used to using cake mixes, do make your next cake from scratch. It's just a tiny bit more work, but the flavor is so much better — you'll never go back to cake mixes.


Image via Suburban Soul

Retro Apple Dumplings

When I read "hard sauce," I thought alcohol-spiked sauce. No such luck.

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Apple Dumplings
recipe from 1920 KC Baking Powder advertising

2 cups sifted pastry flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
about 3/4 cup milk
4 apples
cinamon or nutmeg

Sift together, three times, the flour, baking powder and salt; work in the shortening and mix to a dough with milk as needed; roll into a square sheet one-third inch thick and cut into four pieces. Lay a cored and pared apple on each piece, fill the center with sugar and cinnamon, then draw up the paste to cover the apple, make smooth, and bake on a buttered dish. When nearly baked, brush over with milk, dredge with granulated sugar, and return to the oven. Serve hot with hard sauce.

Hard Sauce recipe

Beat half a cup of butter to a cream, gradually beat in one cup of sugar. Grate nutmeg over the top.


In my grandmother's day, being called a "little dumpling" would have put a smile on her face.

Today it sounds like fat-shaming. 

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Image via Chatham Ho Treasures on ebay

1928 Recipe: Chocolate Chip Coconut Carrot Cake

"Men-folks certainly like coconut." All the reason a 1920s mom needed to inspire her to make this cake.


Chocolate Chip Coconut Carrot Cake
recipe from 1928 advertisement for Baker's Coconut

1 cup sweet butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 tbsp. dark cocoa
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups shredded carrots
3/4 cups chopped nuts
1/3 cup coconut
3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients together; add to creamed mixture alternately with water and vanilla. Fold in carrots, nuts, coconut and chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate pieces) Pour into 9" x 13" baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes.  Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting (see recipe below).


8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 
1/4 cup sweet butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla and mix until blended. Scrape down bowl and add sifted powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. 
This mom is canning pears. Look how starched and perfect those curtains are.

Retro Recipe for Homemade Doughnuts

At least once in your life, you really should try a homemade doughnut. Trust me.

I found a doughnut recipe in this Delightful Cooking booklet. I'm guessing it's from the 1920s.

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Here is the doughnut recipe. Click the image to enlarge it.

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3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. Mazola
1 cup sour or buttermilk
5 cups sifted pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. mace or nutmeg

Thoroughly mix first five ingredients. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and spice, and add to first mixture. Mix thoroughly but lightly and roll out on slightly floured board. Cut with doughnut cutter and fry in deep hot Mazola.

If sweet milk (that is, whole milk) is used (instead of buttermilk), eliminate baking soda and use 4 tsp. baking powder.

Crullers may be made by using above recipe — after rolling out the dough, cut in strips, twist and fry in deep Mazola.

Click here for a recipe for easy muffins.

Via Shelf Life Taste Test

1928 recipe for molded Jell-O salad

This recipe is from a 1928 recipe booklet.

Retro jell-o salad


Salad Supreme

1 pkg. lemon Jell-O
1 pint, minus 2 tbsp., boiling water
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of cayenne
2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup tart apple, finely chopped
8 stuffed olives, finely chopped
Crisp lettuce 

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add vinegar, salt and cayenne. Chill. When slightly thicked, add cabbage, apple and olives. Turn into individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold on lettuce. Garnish with Hellmann's mayonnaise. Serves 6. 

Click here for another retro molded Jell-O salad.

Fancy-schmancy Jell-O dessert recipe from 1926

The recipe for Pineapple and Raspberry Neapolitan comes from this 1926 Jell-O recipe booklet. It's easy to make and looks nice enough to serve to company — the highest praise, according to my mother.

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Here's what the Pineapple and Raspberry Neapolitan looks like when finished.

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Dissolve a package of Lemon Jell-O in one-half pint of boiling water and add one-half pint of juice from canned pineapple. When cold, whip and then fold in two or three slices of canned pineapple, finely chopped. Turn into round or square mold, filling half full. Chill.

Dissolve a package of Raspberry Jell-O in a half pint of boiling water, add half a pint of of juice of canned or fresh raspberries, whip, and fold in the berries. Pour into the mold after the Lemon Jell-O has hardened. Note that fresh pineapple should not be used.

Click here for an easy trick using lime Jell-O.

Via Shelf Life Taste Test

Easy-to-make salad dressings

Homemade salad dressing is easy to make — and tastes sooooo much better than bottled.

Here are two salad dressing recipes from this vintage Delightful Cooking booklet. I'm guessing the booklet was published in the 1920s.

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First, French Dressing. This is really more of a vinaigrette. If you want to make it more like what we call French dressing today, add ketchup. Click the recipe to enlarge it.

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And here is a Mayonnaise Dressing. It's kind of a creamy Italian. (If you're concerned about the raw egg yolk, you can substitute a pasteurized egg.) Click the recipe to enlarge it.

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Click here for an even simpler French Vinaigrette recipe.

Via Shelf Life Taste Test

French Vinaigrette recipe from the 1920s

How beautiful is this Art Deco style ad for Wesson Oil?


The above 1920s ad refers to this recipe as "French Dressing" but it's really for what we would today call a vinaigrette.

3 parts Wesson Oil
1 part vinegar or lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix well.

Click here for a classic Caesar's Salad recipe from 1993.

Via Art Deco Blog

Original recipe for Rice Krispies Treats

According to Wikipedia:

Rice Krispies Treats were invented in the 1920s or 1930s by Mildred Day and the staff at the Kellogg Company home economics department as a fund raiser for Camp Fire Girls. 


Here's a closeup of the Rice Krispies Treats recipe from this 1950 ad:

Rice krispies recipe

Via Community Livejournal