The ad promises this cake is as dazzling as a Christmas tree.
Christmas Belle Cake 1952 recipe from old Swans Down advertising
2 1/2 cups Swans Down Cake Flour 3 1/4 tsp. Calumet Baking Powder 1 tsp. salt 1 1/3 cups sugar 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup milk 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1/4 tsp. almond extract 4 egg whites, beaten to meringue with 1/3 cup sugar
Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt and 1 1/3 sups sugar in sifter. Stir shortening just to soften. Sift in dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup of the milk and the flavorings and mix until all the flour is dampened. Then beat 2 minutes (or use electric mixer for 2 minutes on medium). Add meringue and remaining milk and beat 1 minute longer.
Pour batter into two round 9-inch cake pans, lined on the bottom with wax paper or parchment paper. Bake in moderate oven (350˚F) 30 minutes, or until done. Cool, then frost.
Yuletide Frosting and Filling
Cream together 6 tbsp. butter, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add 1 unbeaten egg white. Then add 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, alternately with 2 1/2 tnsp. lemon or lime juice, beating well after each addition. Add 2 1/2 tsp. grated lemon or lime rind and beat until of right consistency to spread. Tint a delicate green.
To 1/2 cup of the frosting, add 2 tbsp. each chopped raisins, nuts, candied cherries and citron; spread between layers. Then cover top and sides with remaining frosting. Decorate with silver dragées and tiny red candies.
Here's a 1950s living room. With a linoleum floor and I Love Lucy on the TV set.
This 1940s recipe uses very little sugar — which was rationed during wartime.
Honey Nut Cake 1940s recipe from old advertisement
2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour 2 tsp. Calumet Baking Powder 1/2 tsp. salt 2/3 cup butter or shortening 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup honey 3 eggs 1 cup finely shopped nuts 1/4 cup milk 1 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, sift together three times. Cream butter or shortening; add sugar gradually, and cream thoroughly; then add honey in thirds, beating well after each addition. Add 1/4 of flour and beat until smooth and well blended.
Beat eggs until thick enough to pile up in a bowl; add to cake mixture and beat well. Add nuts. Add remaining flour in thirds, alternating with milk in halves, beating very well after each addition. Add vanilla. Bake in greased 9-inch tube pan in slow oven (325˚F) for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until done. Spread Honey Butter Frosting on top and sides of cake. Decorate top of cake with wreath made of candied cherries and angelica or citron.
Honey Butter Frosting
Cream 2 tbsp. butter; add 2 tbsp. honey and blend. Add 1/3 cup sifted confectioners sugar and cream thoroughly. Add a dash of salt. Then add 1 egg white, unbeaten, alternately with 2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar, beating well after each addition. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla. If necessary, add more sugar until of right consistenct to spread. Makes about 1 cup of frosting.
This is what a World War II ration book looked like. Among other things, the cover warns that violating Rationing Orders and Regulations is punishable by $10,000 in fines and/or 10 years in prison.
When a fudge recipe tells you to stir constantly, it means STIR CONSTANTLY.
Ribbon Fantasy Fudge 1981 recipe from vintage Kraft advertising
3 cups sugar 1 1/2 sticks butter 6-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces 2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 1/3 oz.) 7-oz. jar Kraft marshmallow creme 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy style) 1 tsp. vanilla
Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 tbsp. butter and 1/3 cup milk in heavy 1 1/2 quart saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate pieces until melted.
Add 1 cup marshmallow creme and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour into greased 13×9 inch pan. (Personally, I line the pan with aluminum foil and grease that; makes it much easier to get the fudge out and cut nice neat pieces later.)
Repeat above steps substituting peanut butter for chocolate pieces. Spread over chocolate layer. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.
When keying in recipes for this blog, I use the term aluminum foil. But when speaking, I give away my age and call the stuff tin foil.
Betty Crocker claims this recipe is "easy double-quick." Why don't I believe her?
Peppermint Stick Cake 1951 recipe from old Betty Crocker/Gold Medal Flour advertising
Have ingredients at room temperature (70˚ to 75˚). In hot weather, use milk and eggs directly from the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ (moderate).
Grease generously and dust with flour 2 round layer cake pans, 8" x 1 1/2".
Sift the flour, then spoon lightly into cup and level off. Do not pack.'
Sift together in a bowl 1 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. of sifted flour; 1 1/2 cups sugar; 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda; 1 tsp. salt; and 1/2 cup cocoa.
Add 1/2 cup shortening; 1 cup milk; and 1 tsp. peppermint extract (not peppermint oil).
Mix with your electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, constantly scraping bottom and sides of bow.
Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup unbeaten eggs (2 medium).
Continue beating 2 minutes more, scraping the bowl constantly. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in moderate over (350˚) or until top of cake springs back when lightly touched. When cake is cook, frost.
Candy Mountain Icing
Stir until well blended in a small saucepan 1/2 cup sugar; 2 tbsp. water and 1/2 cup white corn syrup. Boil rapidly to 242˚ (or when mixture spins a 6- to 8-inch thread or a few drops of mixture form a firm ball when dropped into cold water). When mixture begins to boil, start beating 1/4 cup egg whites. Beat until stiff enough to hold a peak. Pour hot syrup slowly in a this steady stream into beaten egg whites, beating constantly with electric mixer until mixture stands in very stiff peaks. Blend in 1/3 cup crushed peppermint stick candy (or you could crush these or 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract.
Kugelhof Vintage recipe from old Diamond Walnuts advertising
1 (13 3/4 oz.) pkg. Pillsbury hot roll mix 1/4 cup warm water 1/3 cup each butter and sugar 1/4 tsp. mace 2 tsps. grated orange peel 1 tsp. grated lemon peel 2 eggs beaten 1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled 1 cup Diamond walnuts powdered sugar
Soften yeast from hot roll mix in warm water. Cream butter, sugar, mace and peels together. Beat in eggs. Then add yeast, milk and flour from mix; beat smooth. Cover, let rise in warm place (cold oven is perfect for this) until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir down. Finely chop 1/4 cup walnuts; sprinkle into well-buttered 9-inch bundt pan. Coarsely chop remaining walnuts and stir into dough. Spoon into pan. Let rise until doubled (in the cold oven again), about 30 minutes. Bake in preheated 375˚F oven about 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Turn out; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Walnut Coffee Strip
2 1/2 cups Bisquick 1/2 cup milk 1 egg, beaten 3 tbsp. soft butter 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped Diamond Walnuts 3/4 cup diced mixed candied fruits powdered sugar frosting
Stir Bisquick, milk and egg to a soft dough. Knead lightly on floured board. Roll to 9 x 12-inch rectangle. Mix butter, sugar and cinnamon; spread over dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and candied fruits. Roll up as for jelly roll. Cut in 8 slices and overlap on greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400˚F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting while warm.
Powdered Sugar Frosting
Mix 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar with 2 tsp. hot water and 1/4 tsp. vanilla.
This 60s mom very graciously poses with the housewife-y gifts she got for Christmas.