Posts Tagged '1920'

On Your Marks, Get Set…..BAKE!!!

Amateur bakers (myself included) rejoice! For in the archives of Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery is the key to all your baking woes in the form of ‘A Collection of Recipes’, courtesy of The Darwen Division Conservative and Unionist Association. In this charming pamphlet you’ll discover incredibly short, simple and very easy recipes for all manner of sweet and savoury treats from Queen Cakes, Rock Buns and Rice Biscuits.

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And did I mention that these were all written in the 1920s?

These recipes are so easy and uncomplicated because half the ingredients obtainable for bakers nowadays weren’t nearly as readily available for those baking in 1920s Blackburn. For example a regular sponge cake made today would have around three or four eggs in the mixture, whereas those in the pamphlet often only have one, and they were all made without the help of fancy electric whisks or food processors!

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Each recipe has been sent in by a member of the association and is only about four or five lines long. With no pictures, these straightforward and uncomplicated recipes are surprisingly straightforward. I know this as I tried some out for myself. I tackled D. Newbold’s Iced Chocolate Cake, Mrs Ballantyne’s Empire Biscuits and Mrs Counsell’s Rock Buns. Although I faced some challenges, such as guessing what temperature to turn my oven to, as none of the recipes provided this, the end results were all deliciously sweet, if a little dry due to the lack of egg. But by baking 1920s style, I found that these simple and straight to the point instructions made it a lot less fussy and a lot more fun!

So next time you fancy putting your oven gloves on, think back to those bakers baking in the 1920s, making the most out of the ingredients available, except maybe don’t hold back on the egg!


Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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