Plain Cake

Constance Talmadge


1 cupful of brown sugar

3 teaspoonfuls of boiling water

4 eggs

1 cupful of flour

¼ teaspoonful of cinnamon

pinch of cloves

Dash of allspice

2 teaspoonfuls of baking powder

Beat the yolks of the eggs and sugar well. Add spices, mixing well. Add boiling water. Sift flour several times, adding the baking powder. Then add the flour and baking powder to the mixture and bake in layer cake tins ten minutes in a hot oven.  This cake is very delicious if made with a date filling between the layers.

White Cake

Norma Talmadge. Sarah Baker Collection.

Norma Talmadge


6 eggs

1 cupful of sugar

1 cupful of flour

1 teaspoonful of vanilla

1 teaspoonful of boiling water


Separate the yolks of the eggs from the whites. Beat the eggs well, adding the sugar, and beat again for five minutes. Add a teaspoonful of boiling water, then add flour, sifted six times. Beat the whites of the eggs until they are very stiff, then fold into the mixture, adding flavoring. Cook in moderate oven for fifteen or twenty minutes.


Old-Fashioned Cranberry Pie

Mrs. Edna Woolman Chase (Editor of Vogue)


The pie is baked in a deep earthenware dish with a top and bottom crust. After the dish has been lined with the bottom crust, it is filled with whole ripe cranberries over which is sprinkled a liberal quantity of brown sugar, and about half a cupful of New Orleans molasses is poured over the berries before the top crust is put on. A large opening is cut in the center of the pie and it should be baked in a slow oven. While it is baking, a mixture of hot water and molasses should be kept on the stove and occasionally some of this mixture should be poured into the pie through the opening in the top crust. This makes the pie very sweet and juicy, and when the cranberries are thoroughly cooked they will be found to be in a delicious—almost a candied—state.


Recipes courtesy Favorite Recipes of Famous Women by Florence Stratton.  New York: Harper and Bros. 1925.