1970s recipes Feed

Forgotten Torte

You start making this cake the night before, put it in a hot oven, immediately turn the oven off and the cake bakes overnight as the oven cools — hence the name.

Don't open the oven door until it's done baking!

UPDATE: If your oven has a fan that goes on automatically when you turn the oven off, this recipe won't work. Big thanks to reader Shelley — who supplied me with this recipe, BTW — for pointing out the potential problem.

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Forgotten Torte
1971 recipe from old Wrigley's advertising

1. About 2 hours before the overnight baking, place 6 egg whites in a large bowl and let stand to reach room temperature.

2. Start heating oven to 450˚. Butter only the bottom of a 9" tube pan.

3. Add 1/2 tsp. cream or tartar and 1/2 tsp. salt to egg whites. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until egg whites are foamy. Gradually add 1 1/2 cup sugar, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp. almond extract and a few drops of red food coloring. Continue beating until meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks. Spread mixture evenly in tube pan.

5. Place pan in oven. Turn off heat immediately. Let stand overnight. Next morning, loosen edge of torte with a sharp, thin knife and turn torte onto serving platter. Cake will settle a bit.

6. To serve, frost cake with 1 cup heavy cream that's been whipped. Top with 1 package of defrosted raspberries or strawberries. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


You can try, but it'll be hard to look as awesome as this retro babe waiting for her cake to bake.


Don't know which I envy more, her gorgeous black cat or her gorgeous turquoise oven.

Recipe via Shelley's mom
Image via Memories

Retro Sizzle: Idaho Fritters

Batter-fried potatoes.

Pretty sure they serve these in heaven.

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Idaho Fritters
1971 recipe from old Idaho Potato advertising

2 Idaho potatoes
2 egg yolks
1 cup cold water
1 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. each: salt and paprika
2 tsp. curry powder
salad oil or shortening in deep fat fryer, heated to 375˚

Peel potatoes and slice thin. Spread on towel to dry. Mix remaining ingredients lightly. Batter should be a little lumpy. Dip potatoes in batter and fry in a comfortable amount of time, turning until fritters are puffy and golden. Serve right away. Makes 4 or more crunchy servings.


Bet this 1940s farm family ate a lot of fritters.


Recipe va Shelley's mom
Image via Shorpy

Retro Holiday Happy Hour: Athole Brose

According to this 1971 advertisement, Athole is a small town in Scotland. And Brose is the Scottish word for brew.

Athol Brose is something like egg nog without the eggs. 

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Athole Brose
1971 recipe from old Dewar's advertising

1 cup honey (heather honey from Scotland, if you want to be 100% authentic
1 1/2 to 2 cups heavy sweet cream
2 cups Dewar's White Label Scotch Whisky

Heat honey and, when it thins slightly, stir in the cream. Heat together, but do not boil. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the whisky. It may be served hot or cold. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

For complete authenticity, soak 1 cup of oatmeal (not the instant kind) in two cups of water overnight. Strain and mix the liquid with the other ingredients. (Still want to be 100% authentic?)


"No, Grandma, I swear Athole is not a cuss word!"


Recipe via Maria

Retro Happy Hour: More Egg Nog

 Here's another 70s recipe for egg nog from Bacardi.


Spirited Egg Nog
Old recipe from 1972 Bacardi advertising

Chill one quart container of Borden Egg Nog. Stir in 12 oz. Bacardi Dark Rum. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon and serve. Makes 11 4-oz. servings.


Someone's had a little too much egg nog.

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Recipe via Classic Film

Retro Holiday Entertaining: Fondue

Holiday fondue


Holiday Fondue
1970s recipe from old Lipton advertising

1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2 cups dry white wine
1 pound Swiss cheese shredded
French bread, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. kirsch

In medium saucepan, combine Lipton Onion Soup Mix and wine; heat slowly.

Combine cheese and cornstarch. When wine begins to simmer, add cheese gradually, stirring until completely melted after each addition. Stir in kirsch.

To serve: Remove to fondue pot or chafing dish. Spear bread cubes; then dip and stir into the fondue.

Variation: Substitute 2 1/4 cups apple juice for wine and kirsch.


There isn't a middle-aged woman alive who didn't get one of these for Christmas as a child. I loved mine.

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Recipe via Shelf Life Taste Test

1970s Happy Hour: two quick egg nog recipes


Egg Nog
Old recipe from 1979 Bacardi advertising

Quick Recipe
Stir half bottle (about 10 oz.) of Bacardi rum into a quart of dairy eggnog mix. Fold in one cup of whipped heavy cream. Chill. Stir. Sprinkle with nutmeg.* Makes 12 servings.

Quickie Recipe
Just blend (in a blender or use a mixer or immersion blender) 5 oz. of Bacardi and a pint of vanilla or egg nog ice cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg* and serve immediately.

*If you're not already doing so, get yourself some whole nutmeg and a nutmeg grater. Freshly grated nutmeg is so much more flavorful and fragrant that bottled ground nutmeg. It's also easier to control when used for decorative sprinkling.


This young woman is patiently waiting for her cup of egg nog.



Remember, the drinking age was only 18. During the Viet Nam era, the drinking age all over America was 18, the thinking being, if 18-year-olds are going to be drafted to fight, and possibly die, in Viet Nam, they should at least have the right to drink.

In the late 70s, the drinking age started creeping up. MADD had a lot to do with it. And drunk driving deaths did indeed decrease after the drinking age was increased. 

Recipe via Classic Film
Velvet Tangerine

An American classic for your Thanksgiving table

New England Yam Bake. Not to be confused with the Sunburst Yam Bake or Apple Mallow Yam Bake.

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New England Yam Bake
1975 recipe from old Kraft advertising

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple slices 
2 cans (17 oz. each) Yams 
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. margarine (I would use butter instead)
1/4 cup Chopped nuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows


Drain the pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup of the syrup.

Line sides of a 10 × 6-inch baking dish with pineapple slightly overlapping. Arrange yams in center. Pour pineapple syrup over yams.

Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in nuts. Sprinkle over yams.

Bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes. Top with marshmallows. Broil until lightly browned.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


I not only remember making these, I remember EXACTLY what school paste tasted like.


Recipe via Click Americana

Retro Happy Hour: Sour Ball


Hiram Walker Sour Ball
1978 recipe from 1978 advertising for Hiram Walker

Pack your glass with lots of ice, pour in 1 1/2 ounces of Hiram Walker Apricot Flavored Brandy, top it off with the juices of half a lemon and half an orange and stir.


You may not have more fun drinking your Sour Ball wearing feather-trimmed pajamas but your guests definitely will if you do.


Recipe via Old Advertising
Image via Buzzfeed

Rice-A-Roni Meatballs

"Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat."

Remember that jingle? Here's a reminder.

1970s recipe from old ad

Beef Porcupines
recipe from 1971 Rice-A-Roni advertising

Combine 1 pkg. Beef Rice-A-Roni with 1 lb. ground beef and 1 egg, beaten. Shape into polpette or small meatballs (approx. 20). Brown on all sides in skillet. Combine contents of Beef seasoning packet with 2 1/2 cups hot water. Pour over meat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Thicken gravy, if desired.


1970s moms were kind of laid back. And they really liked the color orange.  


Via Classic Film

Bundt cakes look so wonderfully old-fashioned

Bundt cakes beg you to eat them on the good china, while sipping Earl Grey from a delicate teacup.  

1979 apple swirl bundt

Saucy Apple Swirl Cake
1979 recipe from old Pillsbury advertising

1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 pkg. Pillsbury Plus Yellow Cake Mix
15-oz. jar (1 2/3 cups) applesauce
3 eggs

Heat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube or 10-inch tube pan. In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In large bowl, blend cake mix, applesauce and eggs until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at highest speed. Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Cover with remaining batter. Bake at 350˚F for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool upright in pan for 25 minutes; turn onto serving plate. Cool completely. If desired, dust with powdered sugar. Makes 16 servings.

HIGH ALTITUDE — Above 3,500 feet: Add 3 tbsp. flour to dry cake mix. Bake at 375˚ for 35 to 40 minutes.


Many 1970s moms cooked with avacado green appliances and mushroom-themed pots from Sears.