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Object of the Week: 1917 Recipe Booklet

During the shelter in place, Associate Registrar Jadeen Young tackled a new baking project—from a 1917 recipe booklet called 55 Ways to Save Eggs.


Every week, OMCA staff—from curators to gallery guides—reflect on an object from the Museum’s extensive collections that shares insights and inspiration for our present moment. 

From Jadeen Young, Associate Registrar

While we’ve been sheltering in place, I, like many others, have jumped on the baking train. I’ve found that it gives me something to look forward to as well as a change of scenery after a long day of working in my living room.

I know that many of us are struggling right now to find ingredients for our stress bakes, which is why I was so excited to stumble upon this little booklet from OMCA’s History collection called 55 Ways to Save Eggs. Inside, you’ll find recipes the “old way” side-by-side with the “new way,” that uses less or sometimes no eggs at all.

This booklet was distributed in 1917, making it one of the first advertising cookbooks in circulation in the United States. You may be familiar with other mainstream brands releasing similarly branded cookbooks, magazine inserts, or even those recipes on the backs of cans that have become staples in our grandparents’, parents’, and now our own kitchens.

I actually tried one of the recipes from 55 Ways to Save Eggs, the Lemon Apple Filled Cake. As you can see, I did the Lemon Apple as a topping instead of a filling, but it’s delicious and I will absolutely be incorporating it into my future bakes.

If you’re at home baking right now too, we would love to see you try this recipe out for yourself!

Lemon Apple Filled Cake

Old Way

New Way

5 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 ⅔ cup flour
2 ½ teaspoon Royal Baking Powder

4 tablespoons shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
⅔ cup milk
1 ⅔ cup flour
3 teaspoons Royal Baking Powder

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually. When mixture is very creamy add well beaten egg and milk. Mix and sift flour and baking powder and add slowly to first mixture. Bake in loaf tin in moderate oven [350 degrees Fahrenheit] 35 to 40 minutes. Cut in half and put together with Lemon Apple Filling (see recipe below).

Lemon Apple Filling

⅔ cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold water
1 egg
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 apple

Mix sugar and flour in saucepan; add lemon juice, cold water, beaten egg, salt and apple which has been pared and grated. Heat to boiling point and boil two minutes, stirring constantly. Cool before spreading.