Newspaper articles

Baking cakes in the 1880s

I have a jar of mincemeat that’s been sitting in my fridge since Christmas. Wondering what to do with it, I searched a newspaper database and found this cake recipe from the 1880s. I thought I’d share.

This is called a Swiss cake – and I love the pointers: Cream the butter and sugar with your hand for that body temperature touch, put in a quite hot oven (how did people cook before temperature dials) and test with a broom splint (the days before toothpicks). I can also flavor with any preferred flavoring – no measurements given on, say, adding cocoa powder. And I can add mincemeat!

Should I give it a whirl? What could possibly go wrong?

Thank you to the “Tensas Gazette” for this gem.

1 thought on “Baking cakes in the 1880s”

  1. Doing some research, I see it was learning the temperature from experience, and testing with morsels of food. Seems they could throw in some bits of flour and count how many seconds it would take to turn golden brown. Seems thirty seconds for flour would indicate a good temperature for baking.

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