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Victorian Cooking: Cakes, Puddings & Desserts

Anyone who has traveled in England today knows of the British love of cakes, pastries, scones, and a host of other delicious sweets. "What's for pudding?" is the British cry at the end of a meal. It's nothing new; Victorians delighted in recipes for every sort of sweet treat imaginable. All you need is a few dozen eggs, a pound or two of butter, and lots and lots of sugar...


Bread and Cakes (GOP 1899)
Cake Decorating, by Lina Orman Cooper (GOP 1900)
Home-Made Wedding and Birthday Cakes: How to Make and Ice Them, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1885)
Swiss Cakes, and How to Make Them, by L. Stanton (GOP 1892)
Toffee and a Cake (GOP 1902)


Different Ways of Making and Serving French Pastry and Cakes (GOP 1900)
Fancy Pastry, and How to Make it, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1886)
Includes such treats as fruit tarts, tartlets, pastry fingers, turnovers, and more.
Pies & Tarts, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1881)


A note to American readers: Today, the term "pudding" simply means "dessert" in Britain, as in "what's for pudding?" However, a pudding is also a specific type of sweet dish -- usually made with suet and breadcrumbs, often prepared in a special mould and/or pudding steamer, and somewhat softer and richer than a cake. What Americans call "pudding," Brits refer to as "custard."

Broken Bread and What to Do With It, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1883)
This includes a couple of lovely pudding recipes.
Farinaceous Foods, and Some Recipes (GOP 1901)
Soups, puddings and pastas from grains and potatoes.
A Few Nice Moulds and How to Make Them, by E.J. Jones (GOP 1902)
Mould with cherries, milk jelly, apple jelly, chocolate cream, custard-cheese mould, beef mould and chicken mould.
Home-Made Ices, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1891)
Ice-cream-makers were just becoming available at the time this article was written; however, apparently there were many ways to make "ices" without such a device!
Some Charming Dishes (GOP 1888)
A variety of fruit desserts and puddings, with a recipe for beef olives thrown in.
Some Foreign Sweet Dishes, and How to Make Them (GOP 1891)>
Some Nice Ways of Using Up Stale Bread, by Susan M. Shearman (GOP 1897)
These include bread puddings, tea cakes and fritters made of leftover sandwiches!
Souffles/Cheese Souffle, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1881)


Apples, and What to Do With Them, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1884)
Cheap and Pretty Sweets (GOP 1891)
A variety of fruit dishes.
Fruit Salads, by Lucy Yates (GOP 1892)
New Dried Fruits, by Dora de Blaquière (GOP 1899)
How to cook with various dried fruits.
Oranges: The "Poor Man's Fruit", by Lina Orman Cooper (GOP 1897)
In addition to recipes, this article shows how to make an orange into a water lily, and the rind into a dish for sweets.
Rhubarb, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1884)
Tinned Fruits (GOP 1891)
Treats especially useful in winter when fresh fruits are not available.
Two Recipes for September (GOP 1901)
Pickled onions and preserving lettuce stalks (as a dessert!)

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Moira Allen.
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Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
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