Holiday Cakes, Great Gadgets, and Vintage Recipes

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Tis the season for holiday cakes flavored with maple, pumpkin, gingerbread, chestnut and chocolate. How can you chose just one? I certainly can’t.  Make them all.

Holiday Cakes, Great Gadgets, and Vintage Recipes


Maple Cake

Pumpkin Pie

Gingerbread Cake 

Chestnut Cake

Chocolate Brownie Cake

Deciphering Vintage Recipes: Cooking Measurements and Temperatures 

Ever wonder when reading an old recipe what a tad, pinch, dash, smidgen/ shake or nip/ drop means; or the correct temperature for a cool, slow, moderate or hot oven?

I’ve deciphered most except for my Nana’s add a glass of water!

Here are the accurate measurements and temperatures:

Splash = 1/5 teaspoon

Tad = 1/4 teaspoon

Dash = 1/8 teaspoon

Pinch = 1/16 teaspoon

Smidgen / Shake = 1/32 teaspoon

Nip / Drop = 1/64 teaspoon

Vintage recipe oven temperatures:

Very Cool oven = 200°F/ 90°C/Gas mark 1/4

Cool oven  = 225°F/ 110°C / Gas mark 1/4

Very Slow oven = 250°F/ 120° C / Gas mark 1/2

Moderate Slow oven = 275°F/135°C/ Gas mark 1

Slow /Low oven = 300°F / 150°C / Gas mark 2

Warm oven = 325° F / 160°C/Gas Mark 3

Moderate / Medium oven = 350°F/ 180°C/Gas mark 4

Moderate Hot oven  = 375° F/ 190°C / Gas Mark 5

Fairly Hot /Quick oven = 400°F / 200°C/ Gas Mark 6

Hot oven = 425°F/ 220° C/ Gas mark 7

Very Hot oven= 450°F / 230°C/ Gas mark 8

Very, very Hot oven =475°F/ 245°C/ Gas Mark 9

Can’t Live Without Gadgets

A few of my, I can’t live without them in my kitchen, tried and tested gadgets available on  A wonderful gift for anyone who likes to cook or bake.
Holiday Cakes, Great Gadgets, and Vintage RecipesAvailable on Amazon.


Holiday Cakes, Great Gadgets, and Vintage Recipes

Available on Amazon.


Holiday Cakes, Great Gadgets, and Vintage Recipes

Available on Amazon.


Angel Food Gingerbread Log

Recipe and Photo ©Ellen Easton

Holiday Cakes, Great Gadgets, and Vintage Recipes

  • 1 Box Duncan Hines Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger; 1 tsp. ground cinnamon;
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/16 tsp. each of black pepper, clove, fennel, ground nutmeg, star anise.
  • 2 TBS. brown sugar; 1 TBS. molasses
  • 1 tsp. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 and ¼ cup of water
  •  Filling: 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract,
  • Topping: Confectionery sugar for dusting


You’ll need a Rimmed Jellyroll pan, tea towel

  1.  Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place all ingredients into an electric mixing bowl.
  3. On a high-speed blend all of the ingredients together for a minute or two.
  4. Pour the batter into an ungreased, rimmed jellyroll pan.  Tap a few times to release air bubbles.
  5. Bake approximately 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and turn upside down on a tea towel to cool ten minutes. Using an offset spatula or flat knife gently loosen the edges of the cake.
  7. Turn the cake onto a tea towel and gently roll tucking the edges of the towel under the cake.
  8. Place into the refrigerator to set.
  9. Prepare the whipped cream.
  10. Remove the cake from the refrigerator, place on the counter and unfold the cake.
  11. Using a flat knife or spatula spread the whipped cream over the entire inside of the cake.
  12. Gently re- roll, wrap tightly with cellophane and place back into the refrigerator to set.
  13. When ready to serve remove from the refrigerator and dust the top with confectionery sugar.

Text and Photos ©Ellen Easton


  • Ellen Easton

    Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions(RED WAGON PRESS), an afternoon tea authority, lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included the Waldorf=Astoria, the Plaza and Bergdorf Goodman. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.

3 Responses

  1. Polly Hill owner Slapdash Gourmet says:

    Wonderful and informative article! Can’t wait to try out the gingerbread log for a change from the same old Thanksgiving desserts!

  2. Mercedes Serralles says:

    Ellen makes you feel at home with delicious teas and cakes. You can almost taste and smell the cinamon and maple. Warm colors pretty decor. What is there not to like. Simply lovely comforting exquisiteness!

  3. Marilynn S. Zeljeznjak says:

    I want to make them all! Thanks for the links as well!

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