5 Classic Cookbooks Every Home Baker Should Own

These five classic cookbooks belong on the shelf of every home baker. They are filled with the classic treats of our childhoods and perfect recipes for delighting everyone. These wonderful books are the ones we reach for all the time when baking treats. They also make fantastic gifts for home bakers.

Baking – From My Home To Yours

This is baking at its best. Over 100 full-colour photos. Recipes like Perfection Pound Cake and All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie. In addition, this book will take your baking to the next level with a base Recipes section at the end of the book, which includes pointers for making key ingredients such dough, pastry cream, lemon curd and faux crème fraîche.

The Baking Bible

From simple everyday crowd-pleasers (Coffee Crumb Cake Muffins, Gingersnaps, Gooseberry Crisp) to show-stopping stunners (Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart, Mango Bango Cheesecake, White Christmas Peppermint Cake) to bakery-style pastries developed for the home kitchen (the famous French Kouign Amann), every recipe proves that delicious perfection is within reach for any baker.

Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection

 For a home baker, the five chapters of this book contain a wealth of knowledge. Each recipe is nicely written, and the steps are easy to follow. This compendium of cake recipes will earn a very special place on your cooking bookshelf.

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

Filled with 250 foolproof recipes of every variety, this comprehensive cookbook is packed with delicious baking ideas. Tempting muffins, scones, and breads are included along with Marry Berry’s famous cake recipes, including Victoria Sponge, Very Best Chocolate Cake, and Hazelnut Meringue Cake. Full-color photographs and illustrations that detail trickier steps are accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions and handy tips, making this an ideal resource for kitchen novices and more experienced cooks alike.

Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book

Now, with this authentic reproduction of the original 1963 edition, you can relive those moments, taste the cookies you grew up with and share them with your loved ones. All the charm of the original and all the great recipes are here. Turn to Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book to find:
* An authentic facsimile of the classic 1963 edition packed with all your favorite cookie recipes
* Over 450 recipes, dozens of nostalgic color photographs and charming how-to sketches
* Scrumptious recipes for Holiday Cookies (dozens of Christmas specialties), Family Favorites (for lunchtime, snacktime, anytime), Company Best Cookies (fancy enough for company) and much more

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Pink Marshmallow Slice

When you feel the need to inject a little sweetness and joy into your day, this fluffy pink slice is sure to make you smile. It is pink and fluffy and has the perfect combination of sweet marshmallow with a crumbly shortbread base. This is one slice that is hard to decline a second serving.

This recipe is a childhood favorite that we remember our mothers and grandmothers baking for birthdays and celebrations. It was the treat that we all wanted to eat first!

Ingredients for the base:
125g butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour

Ingredients For Marshmallow topping:
1 cup of water
3 drops of pink food coloring
1 Tablespoon of gelatine
1 cup fine sugar
1 white of an egg
1 cup icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F)Grease and line a 17 x 27 cm baking tray.

Cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the egg and vanilla essence. Sift in the flour.
The dough will be a little crumbly. Press it into the tray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool.

To make the topping, place the water and food coloring into a saucepan.
Sprinkle in the gelatine and the sugar.
Bring to a boil.
Stir continuously to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil on a lower heat for 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Beat the egg white into peaks.
Add in the icing sugar.
Slowly pour in the warm gelatine mix.
Beat until thick and fluffy.
Spread this pink marshmallow over the cooled base.
Set aside to set – about an hour.

If you like this recipe you will love our other recipes.

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Louise Cake Slice – A Royal Treat

You may not have heard of Princess Louise, the 6th daughter of Queen Victoria. But, we are certain you are going to love this old-fashioned cake slice, that was named after her.

Louise Cake is one of our favorite recipes for serving at Afternoon tea.

Louise cake recipe
Photo credit Cloudy Kitchen

This delightfully easy-to-bake treat has a thin layer of cake that is topped with raspberry jam and coconut meringue and then baked in the oven to make a sweet crisp coconut-flavored slice.


For the Cake Base:

125 grams (4.4 ounces) of unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar (fine)

3 egg yolks (at room temperature)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the Coconut-Meringue Topping:

1/4 cup castor sugar (very fine)

3 egg whites (at room temperature)

1 1/4 cups desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

3/4 cup raspberry jam


Preheat the oven to 150 C / 300 F.

Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch (30cm x 20cm) rectangular cake tin.

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold into the creamed butter-sugar mixture. (The dough will seem quite crumbly)

Press dough into the bottom of the greased cake tin.

Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven to cool for 5 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 180°C.

To make the coconut-meringue topping:

In a clean bowl, beat the three egg whites until soft peaks appear.

Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar while continuing to beat the whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks.

Gently fold in the desiccated coconut and vanilla essence.

Spread a thin layer of jam over the slightly cooled base in the pan.

Spoon and spread the coconut meringue over the jam, making sure the meringue completely covers the jam.

Return to the oven on a lower shelf and bake for 15 -20 minutes or until the meringue top is a soft eggshell color.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove and cut into squares.

Serve on a pretty tiered cake plate with other special treats for afternoon tea. We love this Royal Albert 100-year Celebrations plate.

Want more Afternoon tea recipes?

Try our delicious Carrot Cake with crushed pineapple and Cream Cheese Icing.

The Best Books For Afternoon Tea Lovers

It is that time of year to start thinking of gifts for those we love. We have found the best books of the season for our friends and family members who also love Afternoon tea or high tea. These books are perfect for inspiring new baking, sharing ideas for tea party events and showing someone you are thinking of them.

The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea: The Art and Pleasures of Taking Tea

The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea captures the essence of this traditional British occasion and provides the reader with all the Ritz expertise in the ceremony as well as over 50 recipes, illustrated with passages from Dickens to Oscar Wilde and charming drawings.

Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook

Afternoon tea is a revered and treasured English tradition—and no one knows better how to prepare and enjoy a proper tea than the residents of Downton Abbey. With this alluring and vibrant cookbook, fans of the PBS series and anglophiles alike can stage every stylish element of this cultural staple of British society at home. 

Sample page from the Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook

Christmas Teatime Book

With more than 70 delectable recipes for scones, savories, and sweets, this book will inspire anyone who is planning a Christmastime celebration. Included are unique Tea pairings, along with a tea-steeping guide.

The Art of Tea

The editors of Victoria magazine invite your to savor the pleasures and possibilities of the cherished ritual of tea shared by people the world over in this beautiful gift book.

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook presents over 100 recipes that showcase the cookery and customs of the Crawley household—from upstairs dinner party centrepieces to downstairs puddings and pies—and brings an authentic slice of Downton Abbey to modern kitchens and Downton fans.

Christmas At Highclere

Highclere Castle, known as “the real Downton Abbey,” bustles with activity all year round, but it is never more alive than at Christmas. This book is a look behind the scenes at the routines and rituals that make the castle the most magical place to be throughout the festive season.

London’s Afternoon Teas

The Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook

This elegant coffee table cookbook highlights the luxe and elegance of the Christmas at Downton Abbey and features a collection of traditional British holiday recipes, from appetizers to desserts, that were popular during the Edwardian period.

The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking

A beautiful, fully photographic cookbook of 120 original recipes from both the judges and the bakers of the much-loved BBC1 series 

Christmas and Other Winter Feasts

A joyous celebration of Fortnum & Mason’s love for extraordinary seasonal food, Christmas and Other Winter Feasts is filled with flavoursome recipes for Christmas and New Year’s Eve

We also wanted to add a few of our favourite tea-inspired gifts. Like this sweet little teacup and teapot necklace.

And finally, the most exquisite tea sampler gift sets, as found on Oprah’s list of favourite things.

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1920s Cocktail Recipes

What better way to add some authenticity to a 1920s party than to use some of the original recipes from the roaring 1920s?

We are here to help with 10 of the most fabulous prohibition cocktails from the 1920s and 30s. Cheers!


Into a small Bar glass pour ¾ of a Wine glass of Water and stir in 1 heaping teaspoonful of Bar Sugar.

Bruise 3 or 4 sprigs of Mint in the Sugar and Water with a Muddler until the flavor of the Mint has been extracted.

Then withdraw the Mint and pour the flavored Water into a tall Shell glass or large Goblet, which has been filled with fine Ice, and add:

1 jigger of Brandy.

2 dashes Jamaica Rum.

Stir well.

Decorate with few sprigs of Mint by planting the sprigs stems downward in the Ice around the rim of glass; dress with Fruit and serve


Fill large Bar glass ¾ full Shaved Ice.

2 teaspoonfuls Bar Sugar.

3 dashes Lemon or Lime Juice.

3 dashes Seltzer or Apollinaris Water.

1 jigger Brandy.

Stir; strain into Sour glass; dress with Fruit and serve.


Use a large Mixing glass; fill with lump Ice.

Juice 1 Lime.

Drop squeezed Lime in glass.

1 jigger Old Bourbon Whiskey.

Fill with Sweet Soda.

Stir well and serve.


Fill medium size Shell glass ⅓ full Cracked Ice.

2 teaspoonfuls Bar Sugar.

2 sprigs bruised Mint.

Pour Champagne slowly into the glass, stirring gently at the same time.

Dress with fruit; dash with Brandy and serve with Straws.

Traditional Champagne – Tattinger


Fill large Bar glass ½ full Shaved Ice.

2 teaspoonfuls Bar Sugar.

3 sprigs Mint pressed with a muddler in 1 jigger aerated Water.

1 jigger Whiskey.

Stir well; strain into Sour glass; dress with Fruit and serve.


Use a large Mixing glass; fill with Lump Ice.

Juice ½ Lime.

1½ jiggers Burnette’s Old Tom Gin.

½ teaspoonful Bar Sugar.

Stir well and strain into Cocktail glass.


Juice of ½ of a Lime.

1 shot Cusenier Grenadine.

1 jigger Sir Robert Burnette’s Old Tom Gin.

Serve in a Mug with Lump Ice; fill with Seltzer.

Stir well and decorate with the skin of the Lime and fresh Mint and serve with Straws.

LADIES’ DELIGHT—Thursday Luncheon Punch

1 quart of Orange Pekoe Tea (cold).

1 quart of Old Country Club Brandy.

1 pint of Lemon Juice.

1 pint of Orange Juice.

½ pint of Pineapple Juice.

2 quarts Berncastler Berg.

1 pint of Bar Sugar.

Use a large Punch bowl with one Lump of Ice.

Pour in mixture; add one quart of Cook’s Imperial Champagne.

Stir well; decorate with fresh Mint, Fruit in season, and serve.

MINT JULEP—Kentucky Style

Use a large Silver Mug.

Dissolve one lump of Sugar in one-half shot of Water.

Fill mug with Fine Ice.

Two jiggers of Old Bourbon Whiskey.

Stir well; add one bouquet of Mint and serve.

Be careful and not bruise the Mint.


Use a Toddy glass.

1 lump of Ice.

2 dashes of Angostura Bitters.

1 lump of Sugar and dissolve in Water.

1½ jiggers of Bourbon Whiskey.

Twist a piece of Lemon Skin over the drink and drop it in. Stir well and serve.

Want more inspiration for a fabulous 1920s style party? We have more….

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11 Unique Afternoon Tea Drinks

Never feel limited to only serving tea or coffee at an Afternoon Tea, High Tea or Garden Tea Party. We have lots more ideas that you can delight your guests with.


Mix three heaped tablespoonfuls of grated chocolate into a paste with cold water. Pour it into a double boiler with four cups of hot milk. Add sugar to taste, and let cook for five minutes. Beat the whites of two eggs to a stiff froth and put them into the cups. Put a teaspoonful of vanilla into the chocolate after taking off the heat. Pour the hot chocolate very slowly upon the beaten whites of the eggs, stirring constantly with a silver spoon or a wooden stick. This makes delicious, frothy chocolate. The cocoa which comes in packages may be used instead of grated chocolate.


Select perfect lemons and roll until soft. Extract the juice, using a glass lemon squeezer, and rejecting the seeds and pulp. Rub sugar over the peel of the lemon to extract the oil, and add to the lemon juice. Fill a glass pitcher one-third full of broken ice, pour the lemon juice upon the ice, and add granulated sugar and water to taste.

Libbly Iced Tea Goblets


Make tea according to the directions given above, using two or three extra teaspoonfuls of tea. Fill a glass pitcher half full of broken ice, and pour the tea, scalding hot, upon the ice, being careful that the stream strikes the ice and not the pitcher. Serve with sugar, and slices of lemon.


Put into a bowl the juice of three lemons, two oranges, sliced and seeded, one grated pineapple, and one cup of sugar. Let stand an hour to extract the juice, then strain through a fruit press. Add to the juice as much cold water as desired, and two slices of pineapple, shredded. Pour into glasses half full of cracked ice.


Mash and strain two cups of currants stripped from the stems. Mash also an equal quantity of raspberries. Mix the juices, sweeten to taste, and serve in glasses with cracked ice and cold water.


One cup of sugar, one cup of canned pineapple, one cup of water and the juice of two lemons.

Boil the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Put the pineapple through the fruit press and add to the syrup with the juice of the lemons. When ready to serve, add water and sugar to taste. Serve ice cold.


For every cup of fruit juice add half a cup of apple cider vinegar and two cups of sugar. Heat the fruit, sugar, and vinegar stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves, and it boils into a thick syrup. Skim if necessary, strain, and bottle. When served, allow one-fourth cup of syrup to half or three fourths of a cupful of ice water.


Use ripe red raspberries, and prepare according to directions given above for Blackberry Shrub.


Fill the tumbler half full of cracked ice. Add one tablespoonful of sweetened raspberry juice and one tablespoonful of cream. Fill the glass with soda water.


Crush two or three sprays of mint with a lump of sugar. Put into a glass half full of cracked ice. Add four tablespoonfuls of grape juice and fill the glass to the brim with charged water. Shake thoroughly and strain into another glass.


Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a tall glass, add two inches of shaved ice, two heaping teaspoonfuls of sugar and fill the glass with seltzer or Apollinaris.


Upon a tablespoonful of good tea pour two quarts of boiling water. In the meantime have ready the juice and peelings of three lemons and one orange in a pitcher. When the tea has steeped for five minutes, strain through a fine strainer into the pitcher. Add a cup of sugar and cool slowly. At serving-time put into glasses with plenty of ice.

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THIRTY-FIVE CLASSIC CANAPÉS Recipes from the late 1890s.

Anchovy and Egg

Cover thin circles of fried or toasted bread with chopped hard-boiled eggs, lay a curled anchovy in the centre of each piece and serve either hot or cold, garnishing with minced parsley or capers.

Pimola and Anchovy

Cut thin slices of bread into fancy shapes, toast, spread with butter, and lay a curled anchovy in the centre around half a pimola. Fill the spaces with the minced whites and sifted yolks of hard-boiled eggs and border with minced capers or parsley.

Anchovy and Olive

Serve pitted olives on rounds of fried bread with an anchovy curled around each olive. Fill the space to the edge with chopped olives or rings of hard-boiled eggs. Garnish with cress.

Anchovy and Cheese

Fry small rounds of bread in clarified butter, sprinkle with grated cheese, season with salt and cayenne, and put in the oven until the cheese is melted. Fillets of anchovies may be laid on these canapés and they may be served hot or cold, garnishing with minced parsley.

Anchovy and Cayenne

Pound anchovies to a smooth paste with butter and season with cayenne and lemon juice. Spread on strips of toast or bread and lay strips of anchovy on each piece. Fill the spaces between with hard-boiled eggs chopped separately.

Watercress and Egg

Chop watercress and pickles with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs and rub to a smooth paste with butter. Spread on strips of fried or toasted bread and lay an anchovy on each one.

Tomato and Anchovy

Slice large tomatoes, cut circles of bread to fit, and toast or fry the bread. Lay a slice of tomato on each piece, put a pimola in the centre, curl an anchovy around it and border with stiff mayonnaise, using the pastry bag and tube. Serve ice cold.

Anchovy Sauce Toasts

Beat together two eggs, a tablespoonful of melted butter, a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce, and salt and cayenne to season. Add three tablespoonfuls of grated cheese and one tablespoonful of flour wet with cream. Spread thickly upon small slices of toast and bake until brown.

Anchovy Essence Toasts

Chop two hard-boiled eggs fine, mix to a smooth paste with melted butter, season with anchovy essence, and serve on small circles or squares of buttered toast.

Caviar and Watercress

Spread strips of toast with caviar rubbed to a smooth paste with butter, sprinkle with chopped watercress, and serve cold.

Caviar and Egg

Heat caviar with enough cream to moisten, spread on rounds of fried or toasted bread, and sprinkle with hard-boiled egg-yolks rubbed through a fine sieve. Garnish with cress.

Caviar on Rye

Spread thin rounds of toasted rye-bread with caviar, seasoned with lemon juice. Lay a slice of hard-boiled egg on each one and serve with a garnish of parsley.

Caviar Lemon and Parsley

Spread thin squares of toast with caviar seasoned with lemon juice, sprinkle with minced parsley, and border with chopped hard-boiled eggs. Garnish with lemon and parsley.

Olives and Pickles

Chop fine, olives, pimentos, and cucumber pickles. Season caviar with lemon juice and spread upon circles of fried or toasted bread. Cover with a thin layer of the chopped mixture.

Caviar on Boston Brown

Spread butter upon thin round slices of rye-bread or Boston brown-bread and lay a thin slice of cucumber, which has been dipped in French Dressing, on each piece. Remove the yolk from slices of hard-boiled egg, lay the ring of white on the cucumber, and fill the centre with caviar.

Caviar and Oysters

Season caviar with lemon juice and spread upon rounds of toasted bread. Lay an oyster on each piece and serve on a plate with a garnish of cress and lemon.

Caviar Cream

Mix caviar to a cream with lemon juice and spread on buttered toast cut into squares or diamonds. Garnish with hard-boiled eggs, chopped finely, and sprinkle with minced onion. Skinned and boned anchovies may be used instead of caviar.

Caviar Toasts

Heat a can of caviar with a little melted butter, season with lemon juice and cayenne, and serve on small squares of hot buttered toast.

Caviar Watercress Toasts

Fry small rounds of bread in butter, drain and cool. Chop watercress very fine, rub it to a paste with butter and spread on the toast. Sprinkle with salt and paprika, cover with caviar seasoned with lemon juice, and serve with a garnish of cress.

Crab and Green Pepper Toasts

Spread thick rounds of fresh bread with butter and anchovy paste, cover with crab-meat, sprinkle with minced green pepper, press firmly, and serve with a garnish of cress.

Sardines and Egg Toasts

Rub to a smooth paste the yolks of hard-boiled eggs and an equal quantity of skinned and boned sardines, seasoning with lemon-juice. Spread on narrow strips of buttered toast and serve either hot or cold.

Sardine Toasts

Drain and skin boned sardines. Sauté in butter, season with salt, cayenne, and lemon-juice, and serve hot on small strips of buttered toast.

Sardine Lemon Toasts

Drain, skin, bone, and mash sardines. Rub to a smooth paste, moistening with melted butter and lemon juice. Spread on small circles of bread, lay a ring of hard-boiled egg-white in the centre, fill the space with minced olives and surround with the sifted yolk. Serve with cress or parsley.

Sardine on Rye

Toast small slices of rye-bread and spread with sardines, pounded to a paste and rubbed smooth with butter. Arrange alternate rows of chopped hard-boiled egg yolks and whites, garnish with parsley and serve.

Sardine and Pickle

Rub boned and skinned sardines to a paste with butter and the yolks of hard-boiled eggs, seasoning with chopped pickle and parsley, lemon-juice, and mustard. Spread the paste on rounds or strips of fried bread, lay a skinned and boned sardine on each piece, heat thoroughly and serve.

Salmon and Caper Toasts

Spread rounds of fried bread with chopped smoked salmon and cover with mayonnaise to which has been added chopped capers, olives, and onion. Garnish with cress and serve cold.

Anchovy and Tomato Toasts

Fry small rounds of bread, spread with anchovy paste, lay a slice of tomato on each and serve ice-cold, garnishing with cress or parsley.

Chese Toasts

Sprinkle rounds of fried bread with grated cheese, heat until the cheese melts, and serve very hot.

Fried Bread with Caviar

Spread rounds of fried bread with caviar seasoned with lemon-juice, lay a slice of hard-boiled egg on each one, and sprinkle with chopped cress.

Ham Toasts

Rub chopped ham to a smooth paste, moistening with cream, milk, or melted butter. Spread on small rounds of fried bread, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and cayenne, and brown in a hot oven.

Cheese and Paprika Toasts

Spread small strips of bread with butter and sprinkle with salt and paprika. Cover with grated cheese, bake until the cheese softens, and serve immediately.

Excerpt from CANAPÉS by Eric Treuille 

Swiss Cheese Toasts

Butter small rounds of toast, cover with thin slices of Swiss cheese or sprinkle with grated Swiss cheese, brown in the oven, and serve hot.

Cheese and French Mustard Toasts

Spread grated cheese on small rounds of bread seasoned with salt and cayenne, and bake until the cheese is melted. The bread may be spread with French mustard before the cheese is put on.

Pate Toasts

Rub two chicken livers to a smooth paste with butter, seasoning with salt and paprika, spread on rounds of fried bread, and serve hot.

Mixed Meats Toasts

Mix equal quantities of minced cooked chicken, ham, or tongue with a little very thick cream sauce. Season with curry powder and lemon juice. Spread on small rounds of toast and serve hot, or make sandwiches of toast with the mixture between.

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Easy Afternoon Tea Cakes

Perfectly easy afternoon tea cakes that will impress your guests.


Take a fresh layer of sponge-cake, and while it is still warm cut off the edges, spread it with jelly, and roll it into a cylinder.

Then roll it in a stiff paper and tie it with a string. If the cake is not over-baked and is rolled while hot it will not crack. The paper will keep it in shape.

Dust with icing sugar.

Image from Serious Eats

Daisy cakes

Drop separate spoonfuls of sponge cake mixture at intervals on a baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven for a few minutes only, and watch carefully that the edges do not burn. The cakes will spread, rising in the center, and be thin on the edges.

Spread the flat sides with green colored icing. Blanch some almonds, split them, and cut them in strips. Arrange them in a circle, and place in the center a little yellow icing, or use white icing to create the daisy petals.

Daisy Cakes by Decorated Treats

Medallion fruit-cakes

Use a sponge- or a cupcake mixture and bake it in gem-pans. If they rise in the center cut off the tops to even them out.

Invert them, and with a small cutter stamp a circle in the center of each one and take out a thin layer of the cake. Cover the rest of the cakes with icing, or the cakes may be moistened with water and then rubbed over with powdered sugar to whiten them.

Place a piece of preserved peach or other fruit, in the small hole you have made and serve.

Gems fresh out of the oven

Cherry Cakes

Cut a layer of any kind of cake into pieces three inches long and two and a quarter wide.

Ice the pieces and decorate with candied cherries cut in halves with small strips of angelica imitating stems, and angelica cut in diamond-shaped pieces imitating leaves.

Domino Cakes

Cut a layer of cake into two pieces. Cover one with chocolate icing and the other with white icing. While the icing is still soft cut the cake, using a sharp knife, into pieces three inches long and one and a half inches wide.

Put a little decorating icing into a pastry bag with a plain tube with a small opening, and press it through on to the cakes in dots and lines to imitate dominoes. Use white icing for the chocolate pieces, and the same icing mixed with cocoa powder for the white pieces.

Domino Cakes by Taste


¼ cupful of butter

¼ cupful of powdered sugar

¾ cupful of pastry flour

½ teaspoonful of vanilla

Yolks of two eggs.

Cream together the butter and sugar, add the yolks and flavoring, and then the flour. Make it into balls one inch in diameter, by rolling small portions of the mixture between the hands.

Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place them on a hemisphere tin. Bake them in a moderate oven for ten to fifteen minutes.

Remove and cool. Cover the flat sides of the cakes with icing of different colors and ornament with decorating icing.

Small Cake Domes By Talking Tables

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Vintage Secrets For Baking Perfect Cakes

We love the advice that many vintage recipes have for baking beautiful cakes. In this post, we have collected the best secrets for baking perfect cakes.


The freshest eggs make the lightest cakes. You can also get lighter cakes by beating your eggs in a warm dry place. A small pinch of baking soda sometimes has the same effect.

In making cakes it is particularly necessary that the eggs should be well beaten. When beating the surface should look smooth and level, become as thick boiled custard.

The whites of eggs should be beaten until they become stiff, with no liquid in the bottom. You can check if it is stiff enough by seeing if it will stick to a fork without dropping off.

Creaming Butter and Sugar

Butter and sugar should be beaten (creamed) until it looks like thick cream, and it stands up in the pan. It should be kept cool. If too warm, it will make the cakes heavy.

Baking Pans

If large cakes are baked in tin pans, the bottom and sides should be covered with sheets of baking paper before the mixture is put in.

Sponge cakes and Almond cakes should be baked in pans that are as thin as possible.

If the cakes should get burnt, scrape them with a knife or grater, as soon as they are cool.

Always be careful to butter your pans well. Should the cakes stick, they cannot be removed without breaking.

For queen cakes, the small tins of a round or oval shape are most convenient. Fill them just a little more than half full with batter.

When the cake is baked, let it remain in the tin until it is cold. Then set it in the oven a minute, or just long enough to warm the tin through. Remove it from the oven; turn it upside down, tap the edge of the tin on the table and it will slip out with ease, leaving it whole.


Water can be used in place of milk in all dough.

Where any recipe calls for baking powder, and you do not have it, you can use cream of tartar and soda, in the proportion of one level teaspoonful of soda to two of cream of tartar.

When the recipe calls for sweet milk or cream, and you do not have it, you may use in place of it sour milk or cream, but not sour enough to whey or to be watery.

More Secrets For Baking Perfect Cakes

Flour should always be sifted before using it.

Eggs should be well beaten. For the best results whisk the whites and yolks separately, the yolks to a thick cream, the whites until they are a stiff froth.

Customize your own stand mixer with Kitchenaid

Always stir the butter and sugar into a cream, then add the beaten yolks, then the milk, the flavoring, then the beaten whites, and, lastly, the flour.

While the cake is baking avoid opening the oven door, only when necessary to see that the cake is baking properly. The oven needs to remain at a moderate heat, not too cold or too hot. A cake is often spoiled by being looked at too often when first put into the oven.

If, after the cake is put in the oven, it seems to bake too fast, put brown paper loosely over the top of the pan, while being careful that it does not touch the cake, and then do not open the door for five minutes at least. Then quickly check the cake and the door shut carefully, or the rush of cold air will cause it to fall. Setting a small dish of hot water in the oven will also prevent the cake from scorching.

To check when the cake is done, run a wooden skewer into the middle of it; if it comes out clean and smooth, the cake is ready.

Never stir cake after the butter and sugar are creamed, but beat it down from the bottom, up and over; this laps air into the cake batter, and produces little air cells, which cause the dough to puff and swell when it comes in contact with the heat while cooking.

When making most cakes, especially sponge cake, the flour should be added little by little, stirred very slowly and lightly, for if stirred hard and fast it will make it porous and tough.


Before you ice a cake cover it all over with flour and then wipe the flour off. This will enable you to spread the icing more evenly.

Before you cut an ice cake, cut the icing by itself with a small sharp penknife. The large knife with which you divide the cake, will crack and break the icing.

Spread the frosting with a broad knife evenly over the cake, and if it seems too thin, beat in a little more sugar. Cover the cake with two coats, the second after the first has become dry, or nearly so. If the icing gets too dry or stiff before the last coat is needed, it can be thinned sufficiently with a little water, enough to make it work smoothly.

A little lemon juice, or half a teaspoonful of tartaric acid, added to the frosting while being beaten, makes it white and more frothy.

The flavors mostly used for frosting are lemon, vanilla, almond, rose, chocolate and orange.

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