Vintage Baking:  Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is not so much ‘vintage’ as ancient!  It dates back to Medieval times when it was thought to be named carrot pudding.  Although today’s incarnation of carrot cake came about around the 1960s when cream cheese icing appeared.  The earliest print references to frosting a carrot cake were in America around this period.

Before the carrot cake of today, it had previous incarnations such as carrots baked in pastry, or like plum pudding baked in a pan and served with icing.

So since the carrot cake we know today emerged around the vintage sixties, then I have decided to include it in my vintage baking recipes.  If you would like to buy the Old Country Roses vintage tea cup or vintage china used in the photo, head on over to my Etsy store for this and more vintage tea cups as well as vintage jewellery.

What you will need:

250g self-raising flour

400g caster sugar

300ml vegetable oil

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 eggs

350g grated carrots (4 medium sized)

100g chopped walnuts


Cream Cheese Icing

225g cream cheese

110g soft margarine

350g icing sugar

100g chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 180C or Gas 4.

Grease two round cake tins (23cm or above)

Stir flour, cinnamon and sugar together before adding oil and eggs, mix until blended together.

Stir in carrots and nuts.

Divide cake mixture between your two tins.

Bake for 30 – 40 mins until a knife comes out clean.

Allow to cool thoroughly.


To make the icing

Cream butter and cream cheese together.

Add sugar and cream well.

Stir in vanilla.  You can add nuts at this stage or leave to top your cake – your choice.

When cake has cooled use icing for middle and to top the cake.


Sit down with a cuppa and enjoy J


Elf x





Vintage Baking: Irish Wheaten Bread

It has become a pleasure to research vintage recipes and to attempt baking them.  I am not the best of bakers but will certainly give it a go.  I do hope you liked my vintage recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Custard Kisses?

With the Great British Bake Off now on our screens it has spurred me to continue baking and researching a new recipe each week.  Since it is bread week on GBBO I have decided to make a good old Irish favourite – Wheaten Bread.  It is extremely easy and quick to make – no waiting about for it to prove!  It has been a favourite in my family for many years, it can be eaten with butter and jam or with cheese on top to make it a savoury treat.

Wheaten Bread has been a staple of Irish baking for many years, with Irish bakers bypassing yeast and instead using Bicarbonate of Soda which brings us to the other name for Wheaten Bread – Soda Bread.  The reason why Soda Bread was so popular was the fact it could be baked at the open fire.   I’m sure you have seen the pictures of the iron plate resting directly on the fire embers?

Vintage wheaten breadOriginal photo can be found here.

Less of the history lesson please, I hear you say.  So, let’s get down to it, here is my basic Wheaten Bread recipe.


 What you will need:
200g of wholemeal flour

100g of plain flour

400 mls of Butter Milk (if you can’t find butter milk you can sour regular milk with vinegar)

25 g butter

2 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda

2 heaped teaspoons of sugar (as an alternative to the sugar you could use honey or maple syrup)

1 small teaspoon of salt.


Heat oven to 180 C

Grease and flour a round sandwich tin or a loaf tin

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together, then cut the butter in to small pieces and rub the mixture through until it is like breadcrumbs.

Start to add the butter milk, just a small drop at a time, you don’t want a runny mixture but is should be a soft dough.

Knead the mixture lightly, then shape in to a round (if you are using a round sandwich tin) and place in your tin.

Cut a deep cross on top of the bread.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.

I highly recommend you sit down and relax with your wheaten covered in butter and jam and a lovely cup of tea, if you like the vintage tea cup and vintage plate featured here, go on over and visit my etsy shop where you will find more lovely vintage tea cups and vintage tea cup trios.  Perfect for treating yourself!


Elf x


Vintage Baking: Custard Kisses

So as another week of Great British Bake Off comes to our screens I thought it would be an idea to whip up an old school favourite – custard kisses.   This is another one in my vintage recipe box!

So why not give this vintage recipe a go, I can guarantee they will taste delicious.

Ingredients for biscuit:

175g softened butter

50g caster sugar

50g icing sugar

2 egg yolks (or 1 full egg if you want to avoid waste!)

2 tsp vanilla extract

300g plain flour

Ingredients for the custard filling:

100g softened butter

140g icing sugar

2 tbsp of custard powder (I recommend Birds!)


Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.


Mix the butter, caster sugar and icing sugar, egg yolks (or full egg) and vanilla with a wooden spoon until creamy, then mix in the flour, I recommend you do a bit at a time.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface, then cut, I use a round small scone cutter to ensure they are all the same size.  Once you use up all the dough, transfer to a non stick baking tray or sheet. It will take approximately 10 mins to cook.


Leave the biscuits to cool.

Meanwhile, mix the butter, icing sugar and custard powder. Spread a little icing onto a biscuit, then sandwich with another biscuit. Dust with a little more icing sugar.


Sit down, relax and enjoy.  If you like the vintage tea set I am using or would like to purchase a vintage cake stand then head over to my Etsy shop.


Elf x




Below I tell you how in 4 simple steps you can make vintage pineapple upside down cake.


I am just so excited that the Great British Bake Off 2016 is finally here.  The programme gives me so many great memories such as Brendan from Series 3 and his baking that just looked like something out of the 1950s. What about Howard when Deborah accidentally used his Crème Anglaise?  Who could forget “bingate” when Iain dumped his Baked Alaska?  And finally the heart-warming and passionate winning by Nadiya in season 6.


So, in celebration of the GBBO 2016, I have decided to share my favourite vintage recipes, this week it is Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  You will need to keep coming back each week to see what vintage recipe I will be sharing with you!


I hope they take you back down memory lane and bring back some happy memories, as they do for me.  If you’d like to make some of these recipes head over to my related posts:

Making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Making Vintage Carrot Cake


Alternatively if you’d like to order ingredients to make these desserts head over to Tesco Groceries for the items.


What you will need for the topping: 

50g softened butter

50g light brown sugar

Tin of pineapple rings in syrup (drain them and put syrup to one side)

Tub of glace cherries


What you will need for the cake:

100g self-raising flour

100g softened butter

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)



Heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas 4.

Start with the topping.  Beat the sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon until creamy; spread this on the bottom of the cake tin (I use a 20cm tin).  Take the pineapples and arrange them at the bottom of and place the cherries in to the centre of the rings.  You can also add more cherries to fill the gaps left by the pineapple rings.  Put this to one side.

For the cake, put all the ingredients in a bowl; add about 3 tablespoons of the pineapple syrup together with the lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly.  I use an electric whisk for this as it’s quick but you can use a wooden spoon or hand whisk too.  When all the ingredients are mixed to a soft consistency, spoon it over the pineapples and cherries.

Before putting in the oven I recommend putting the cake tin on a baking tray to catch any of the juice in case it bubbles over.

Bake for 40 minutes and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.


I hope you give this recipe a try.  After making this one, I just couldn’t resist the vintage tea cup  and vintage cake stand and sitting down to have a slice of the delicious cake with a lovely cuppa.   Let me know how you get on or what over vintage recipes you like.


Elf x





My latest Vintage Find: 1950 recipe tin

There are some vintage items I come across that I can’t seem to part with.  This cute little 1950s recipe tin is one of them.  I mean just look at it – it is so cute!  Made of tin, it has some dishes on it that I wouldn’t know how to describe they just look so awful but that’s the charm for me.  Surprisingly,  inside there is a recipe for home-grown children – have a look at the photo to read the full description.

1950 vintage recipe tin

1950 recipe tin 1950 recipe tin

With this latest vintage find I decided to research what food families made in the 1950s.  I was surprised to learn that rationing continued in the early 1950s.  Sugar, butter, cheese, margarine, cooking fat, bacon, meat and tea all still on the ration books which didn’t actually finish until 1954.

It is of no surprise then that the meagre choice of ingredients limited what could be made and how dishes tasted.  Of course on a positive note, all ingredients used were seasonal, fresh and local.  I have a confession to make, while the 1950s was the age of spam, spam has won a place in my heart!  Why not give Spam another go? Have a look at my recipe here for Spanish Omelette – I can highly recommend it.

The staple diet for many families in this period was of course meat and two veg.  Families didn’t eat out that often.  However, things started to change around 1954 with the American influence and the first Wimpy burger fast food outlets opened.

I don’t know about you but there are days when all I want to eat is simple home-made food, the meat and two veg seems like the perfect option.  I do love to cook but maybe that’s because I don’t have to do it all the time but I do feel there is something satisfying about creating a delicious meal with simple ingredients, a no fuss meal just plain home cooking.

There is a good argument to be made that meal times should be family time, I do agree with this and it is the simple cooking and sitting down to a home-made meal that is enjoyable for me.

I would love to know what you do at family meal times?  Also, let me know what your favourite vintage recipe is or if you have decided to give Spam a go!