Victorian Recipes

These recipes are from the late 19th Century and are thus truly Victorian.

A very good sponge cake

Four eggs, one cup of flour (sifted), one cup of sugar (granulated), the juice of half a large lemon, or that of a small one; the grated rind of a lemon. Beat the whites of the eggs until they are stiff and dry, then add the sugar, beating well; then add the well-beaten yolks; then the rind and juice of the lemon; then stir in, very lightly, the sifted flour. Bake in a moderate oven.

Nutritious corn cake

One and three-quarters cup of Indian meal, one pint of sour milk, one teaspoonful of soda, a little salt, one tablespoonful of sugar, one egg beaten light. Soda dissolved in sour milk, beaten until it foams, and baked in two shallow pans; quick oven.


Two and one-half cups of graham flour, one-half cup of water or milk, one cup of molasses, one egg, a little salt, one heaping teaspoonful soda. Steam two hours. Eat with a sauce.

White cake

One and a half-cup sugar, one-half cup of butter, one-half cup of sweet milk, two cups of flour, whites of five eggs, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder.

Black cake

One cup of sugar, one cup of butter, one-half cup of molasses, one-half cup of buttermilk or sour milk, one cup of raisins or English currants; all kinds of spices to taste; two eggs, one teaspoonful soda; flour enough to make it stiff like cake.

Graham gems

One cupful of graham flour, one tablespoonful of butter, one tablespoonful of sugar, two-thirds cup of buttermilk, one egg well beaten, scant teaspoonful soda; beat well; grease tins and have them hot when you add the batter. Bake in a quick oven.

Orange cake

Beat the whites of three and the yolks of five eggs, separately. Stir to a cream two cups of sugar, and one-half cup of butter, then add beaten eggs, one-half cup of cold water, two and one-half cups of flour, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, grated rind of one orange and all the juice, except one tablespoonful. Bake in two large square biscuit pans.

Filling for orange cake

Whites of two eggs saved from the cake, one tablespoonful of orange juice, two small cups of pulverized sugar.

Fig cake

One cup of sugar, on-half cup of butter, two eggs, one-half cup of milk, two tablespoonfuls of baking powder, two cups of flour; this makes three layers.


One pound of figs, one cup of water, stew gently until soft, then chop fine, add two tablespoonfuls of pulverized sugar, spread between layers and frost the top.


White of one egg, two tablespoons of cold water, one-half teaspoonful of vanilla; pulverized sugar stirred in until stiff; do not beat the egg.