Grandma's home ec cookbook

This is a treasure I picked up while visiting my grandmother. She gave my pick of her cookbook collection, since she doesn't cook anymore. This is called All About Home Baking, and it was published by the General Foods Corporation in 1933. A note written in the front by my grandma says it was given her by her home ec teacher in 1937. There are little notes all over from my grandma: "good," "27 cookies," "1/2 is enough."

Wednesday, after flipping through the book, I just had to make this when I saw it. I'll copy it as written, with my notes in italics. It was really yummy although it ran over; next time I'll take some batter out or use a bigger pan. I'll definitely make this often.

Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

2 cups Swans Down Cake Flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour with no problems)
2 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter or other shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup raisins
2 apples, pared, cored, and thinly sliced

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, soda, spices, and salt, and sift together three times. (This was fun!) Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses; then flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time. Beat after each addition until smooth.

Melt butter in an 8x8x2-inch pan (I used a 9" square and it ran over . . .) Add molasses and raisins. Heat over low flame. Blend and arrange apples to cover surface of molasses mixture. Pour batter over contents of pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 50 minutes, or until done. Serve upside down.


  1. This sounds just fabulous! I love finding old recipes. Have a great day!

  2. Ooooh, wouldn't my dad LOVE this recipe. Hmmmmmmm.... :D Thanks for sharing - what a great book that sounds like. When my paternal grandmother passed away, I inherited her handwritten spiral notebook with recipes. I'll treasure it always!
    Thanks for sharing! Have a BLESSED day!

  3. Oh what a treasure to have this book with all her little notes. I'm thinking of looking around for some more vintage recipes. They just sound so good, so homey, and so comforting.

  4. How sweet to have the cookbook with her personal notes. I have one of my mothers like that. Makes it extra special.

  5. What a wonderful treasure! And aren't those little notes written by your grandmother precious!

    RYC, I love the Miss Potter movie!


    Sorry I have to post as anon because my URL never works with blogspot.

    Have a blessed day!

  6. Very cool! I love the old cookbooks that were written by corporations. My grandma has given me several. I'm still not sure where she keeps them all, but last time she came up from Mexico she had a small stack. She also put in the same notes.

    I'm glad you have it and can enjoy it! Oh and I've seen that wierd tomato and lemon gelatin recipe in a book before. Not planning to try it!

  7. My mom has a old cookbook also, I need to look at it and bake some of her favorite things from it..thanks for sharing with us.

  8. Oooohhh, yummy! When POP's mom (Mimi) passed away he gave me some of her things. Canning jars, pressure canner and cookbooks. I use her recipe for my most often requested dish: MIMI'S FRIED CHICKEN. I love having the hand written notes in there!

  9. This recipe sounds so good. I can't wait to try it.

  10. You must treasure this cookbook! Some of the recipes from old tried-and-true cookbooks are the best.

  11. Sounds wonderful. I really love older recipes. Have a great day.


  12. oh, my dear... i must ask your forgiveness, because i am really struggling with envious feelings right now:-O i *want* a cookbook just like that one... notes and all!

    i do take solace in the fact though that you really appreciate its wonderful-ness, and are therefore a most worthy owner of such a treasure;-)

  13. Sounds yummy. I think I will try it, but I will have to do something about those raisins. I love them out of the box, but never in cereal or cooked. I'm sorta weird that way. Thank for visiting my blog.

  14. Cookbooks are great helps and the old ones with family notes just make it better because she made a comment about the good recipes.

    Looks like a yummie recipe!

  15. Diane, I will be sure to share more, notes and all, just for you.

  16. A good heirloom and cookbook all in one. Useful, sentimental, and ornamental. Can't beat that!

  17. aww.... thanks honey!


  18. What a lovely treasure to have...notes from your grandmother...make sure to add your own notes so that someday new homemakers can learn from you:)I found you through your comment you left on my blog, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, April.

  19. I love old cookbooks. Thanks for sharing.


  20. I am still having trouble
    with a gingerbread right
    side up cake! LOL! :)
    Have a great day!

  21. I have some handwritten recipes from my husband's great-grandmother. One is for a jello salad w/ fruit in it... the funny thing is that it says to find a cool place for it to set. In other words, they probably did not have a refrig! I collect vintage cookbooklets. You can have a peek here: http://flickr.com/photos/21597066@N08/sets/72157603735257543/

    you can check out my show & tell at http://anapronaday.blogspot.com

  22. sounds fab!!! makes my mouth water too. lol =P would have been awesome if you had a pic of that cake too. :D i'm a sucker for desserts, what can i say?? :P

  23. I just discovered one of these old home ec books at the thrift store today. I don't think mine is quite that old but I am anxious to thumb through it! That recipe sound delicious but I am the only one in my house who likes gingerbread. :(

  24. What a special thing to recieve from your grandmother! I love old cookbooks, too. They tend to come from a time when homemaking was still a prized art.

  25. How fun to have an old recipe book of your grandmothers and to make the very same things!

  26. That sounds like such a neat cookbook. The recipe sounds delicious! I make gingerbread waffles that have similar ingredients. I bet this tastes a lot like that.

  27. What a treasure! And it having your grandmother's handwriting is a real keepsake!

  28. That cake looks delicious; just perfect for autumn, and it's nearly autumn here now.


  29. I am catching up on blog reading today and had to comment on the cook book. I collect old.vintage cookbooks. What a treasure you have recieved.

  30. How neat that your grandmother gave you that cookbook! What a treasure!

    Your gingerbread upside-down cake recipe sounds fantastic!

    Thanks for participating in my Favorite Ingredients Friday- Side Dishes edition recipe exchange. I do appreciate it.

  31. I am a collector of cookbooks, too. They are treasures, especially when from a beloved granny with her very own notes!