Desserts Feed

Make this Halloween cake with the kiddos

This is such a fun little recipe. I wish I'd come across it when my stepkids were little.

Pumpkin face cake

Pumpkin Face Cake
Recipe from 1950s Betty Crocker advertising

Bake a layer cake as directed on box of Betty Crocker Honey Spice Cake Mix.

Put layers together and frost with Butter Icing (see below) tinted orange (mix red and yellow food coloring for a pumpkin color).

Make a Jack-O-Lantern face with flat black jelly candies and candy corn.

Butter Icing

Blend together:
    1/3 cup soft butter
    1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    3 tbsp. cream or milk

Then stir in:
    Beat well to make icing fluffy.

    Add a little more milk or sugar if you need it to make the icing just right to spread.


 Look at this Halloween-themed political advertising from 1968. Nixon/Agnew campaign workers would leave them on people's doorknobs.

Nixon Agnew pumpkin advertising

I have no idea if Charles Schultz, creator of Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin, sanctioned the use of his cartoon special's name. 


Recipe via A Nostalgic Halloween
Image via Alan Mays

Grape-Nuts Puff Pudding

This recipe was clipped from a 1950s cereal box. The clip says that this is one of Grape-Nuts' most popular recipes — at least it was in the 50s.


Grape-Nuts Puff Pudding
Recipe from a Grape-Nuts box from the 1950s

1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar (1/2 cup honey may be substituted for sugar)
2 egg yolks, well beaten
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup Grape-Nuts
1 cup milk
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Cream the lemon rind and butter together until well blended. Add sugar gradually and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add lemon juice, flour, cereal and milk, mixing well. (Mixture will look curdled, but this will not affect finished product.) Fold in egg whites. Turn into greased baking dish and place in pan of hot water. Bake in slow oven (325°F) 1 hour and 15 minutes. When done, the pudding has a cake-like layer on top with custard below. Serve warm or cold, with plain or whipped cream. Serves 6.

Click here for another "Grape-Nuts greatest recipe," Grape-Nuts Bread.


Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 2.48.47 PMClick here to watch an old Grape-Nuts TV commercial featuring Don Knotts and Andy Griffith in character as Barney Fife and  Andy Taylor.


Recipe via Recipe Curio

Three boozy desserts from 1970

Proof you can have your cocktail and eat it, too.

1970 dessert recipes

Two Striper Parfait
Pour 1/2 oz. Hiram Walker Green Creme de menthe in parfait glass, spoon in some ice cream. Add 1/2 oz. Hiram Walker Brown Creme de Cacao, more ice cream, and so on, until the glass is full. Put in freezer.

Melon Balls Deluxe
Scoop out 2 different kinds of melons with ball-shaped cutter. Marinate balls in opposite shells, using 2 to 4 oz. Hiram Walker Orange Curacao. Chill and serve.

Hawaiian Parfait
Place pineapple ring in a solid stem champagne class and top with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Pour over 3/4 oz. Hiram Walker Green Creme de Menthe. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, dust with crushed pecans and top with a cherry.


 No, this young woman did not raid her parents' liquor cabinet. This is how short we wore our skirts in 1971.


Image via ozfan22

There's always room for coconut

I love coconut, don't you?

Recipe coconut jello 1970

Jazzed-up Jell-O Gelatin
Old recipe from 1970 Jell-O advertising

Prepare one package (3 oz.) Jell-O, any flavor, as directed on the package. Chill until thickened, not firm. Stir in 1 cup drained sliced or cut-up fruit (just no pineapple — I don't know why) and 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut. Pour into serving bowl, chill until firm, spoon in dessert glasses. Sprinkle with additional coconut. Serves 6.


Since Jell-O's a relatively guilt-free dessert, I thought I'd share with you these groovy weight scales from 1970. They're very cool — except for the one that says, "Hey, fatso." Bite me, Hey Fatso scale.


Image via Sweet Jane

Simple, sinful cheesecake

What's better than an amazing cheesecake? A cheesecake that's amazingly easy to make.

  Baked cheesecake 84 (1)

Creamy Baked Cheesecake
Recipe from 1984 Borden's advertising

1/4 cup butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 14-oz. can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup ReaLemon Juice (or real lemon juice — see what I did there?)
1 8-oz. container sour cream

Preheat oven to 300˚. Combine butter, crumbs and sugar, pat firmly on bottom of buttered 9-inch springform. In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, eggs and salt until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool to room temperature; chill. Spread sour cream on cheesecake. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Peach Melba Topping: Reserve 2/3 cup syrup drained from 10-oz. package thawed frozen red raspberries. In small saucepan, combine reserved syrup, 1/4 cup currant jelly and 1 tbsp. cornstarch. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and glossy. Cool. Stir in raspberries. Drain 16-oz. can peach slices; top cake with peaches and sauce.


This 1855 photo is a lot older that the retro stuff I typically post but it caught my eye because, well, the woman looks like she's picking her nose. In fact, she's using snuff.


Remember, you can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your friend's nose.   ; )

 Image via Inner Optics

Rosey Grier's fudge sauce recipe

Rosey Grier is a former NFL player, actor, singer, Christian minister and needlepoint enthusiast. In fact, in 1973, he published Rosey Grier's Needlepoint For Men. I remember him as a panelist on game shows when I was a kid.

His fame and popularity in the 70s may explain why the creators of this 1972 ad didn't feel the need to identify him by his last name.


Fudge Sauce a la Rosey
Recipe from a 1972 as for Carnation evaporated milk

1 large can undiluted Carnation evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix Carnation, sugar and chocolate in saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring vigorously (don't even think of stepping away from the stove, just keep stirring). Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Beat with rotary beater for 1 minute. Serve hot or chilled on ice cream or cake. If sauce seems a bit too thick, just add a little undiluted Carnation and blend before serving. Makes 2 1/2 cups.


Here's Rosey with his handiwork.

Hey my mom sued to make that

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Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 11.12.41 AM

Recipe via Classic Film
Images via Garth Johnson

Old recipe for German kuchen

According to Wikipedia, kuchen is "the German word for cake... used in other languages as the name for several different types of sweet desserts, pastries, and gateaux."


Apple Kuchen
Recipe from old Betty Crocker advertising

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pckg. Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
2 1/2 cups sliced, pared baking apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup sour cream 
2 egg yolks or 1 egg
Heat oven to 350˚.

Cut butter into dry cake mix until crumbly. Mix in coconut. Pat mixture lightly into ungreased oblong pan, 13 x 9 x 2 inches, building up slight edges.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Arrange apple slices on warm crust. Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle on apples.

Blend sour cream and egg yolks; drizzle over apples. Note that the topping will not completely cover apples.

Bake 25 minutes or until edges are light brown. Do not over bake.

Serve warm. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

PEAR KUCHEN: Substitute 2 (16 oz. each) cans sliced pears, drained on paper towels, for the apples and 1 package of Betty Crocker devils food cake mix or German chocolate cake mix for the yellow cake mix.

PEACH KUCHEN: Substitute 1 can (29 oz.) sliced peaches, drained on paper towels, for the apples and 1 package of Betty Crocker white cake mix or sour cream white cake mix for the yellow cake mix.



According to Libby Hall, this woman is sitting in a German kitchen. Such a sweet scene.

Recipe via Extra Crispy One

Show someone you love them. With Jell-O and bananas.

As you may have guessed, I haven't had a lot of luck in procuring vintage Valentine's themed recipes.


The desserts in this ad look like something my mother-in-law might have served her guests. She hated cooking and was a big fan of convenience foods. 

She's still living — she's 93! — but she's now in an assisted living situation where someone else does all the cooking. And she couldn't be more pleased.


This is my mother-in-law, Dorothy Reynolds, on her wedding day in the 1940s. She was, and still is, very beautiful.


Vintage Valentine Strudels

These heart-shaped strudels are a lot easier to make than my grandmothers' apple strudel recipes.


Valentine Strudels
1976 recipe from Betty Crocker

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup dairy sour cream
3 tbs. butter,melted
Cherry Filling (below)
Pink Glaze (below)

Cut butter into flour and salt with pastry blender. Stir in sour cream until a soft dough forms. Wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hrs.

Heat oven to 350°. Divide dough into 3 parts. Roll 1 part dough into rectangle, 15" x 10", on lightly floured cloth covered board. Refrigerate remaining dough.

Brush butter lengthwise over about 2/3 of rectangle. Gently spread 1/3 of the Cherry Filling over butter. Roll up tightly beginning with fruit side. Place on greased baking sheet, bringing ends together to make a heart shape as pictured. Repeat with remaining 2 parts of dough.

Bake until light golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; drizzle with Pink Glaze. Makes 3 strudels.

Cherry Filling

Mix 1 jar (12 oz.) cherry preserves, 1/4 cup orange marmalade, 2 cups thinly sliced almonds and 1 cup golden raisins.

Pink Glaze

Mix 1 cup powdered sugar (I would sift it first), 1 to 2 tbsp. milk, 1 tbsp. butter, softened, 1/2 tsp. almond extract and 1 drop red food coloring.


Apparently, the connection between food and Valentine's Day is a long one.







Recipe via Vintage Recipe Cards