Baking in the Archives: puds, pies and towers of sugar

We’re celebrating the welcome return of the Great British Bake Off by showcasing some of the lesser-known, baking-themed items from our collections!

SC&A houses thousands of children’s books, including a few featuring cakes, pies and puddings, such as this gem of a picture book: A Apple Pie (1886), by highly influential  illustrator Kate Greenaway.

The first spread from Kate Greenaway's A Apple Pie

The first spread from Kate Greenaway’s A Apple Pie

Her amazing artistic abilities complement this tale of various children trying to get their hands on a tasty apple pie, with each letter corresponding to a different activity, for example:

Oldham 791 A Apple Pie (F and M)

Beatrix Potter’s The Roly-Poly Pudding (1908) recounts the (rather terrifying) tale of a mischievous kitten who attempts to hide from his mother and ends up in the chimney. Here he bumps into some nefarious rats who roll him up into a pudding. Thankfully he’s saved before things take an even darker turn.

JUV.188.10 The Roly-Poly Pudding

Our collection of children’s books also contains guides for the aspiring cook and baker. The Little Girl’s Cooking Book (1923) exhorts grown-ups to ‘Let the Little Girl try her hand at Cooking, if she wants to do so. Knowledge gained in this direction will be of practical worth to her throughout her life, no matter what her calling or position.’ It’s full of useful information, such as how to lay the table, clear away the breakfast things (‘Do everything with as little noise as possible!’) and make lunch for mother. It also contains numerous recipes, including those shown here, deemed suitable for when friends come round for a birthday tea.

Oldham 495 Little Girl's Cooking Book (Lemon Dream Cake)

Oldham 495 Little Girl's Cooking Book (Cocoanut Buns and Chocolate Cakes)

The Liverpool School of Cookery Recipe Book (1911) compiled by E. E. Mann covers everything from broiling to larding and is packed with recipes, including this intriguingly-named offering.

JUV.1401.1.2 Liverpool School of Cookery Recipe Book

It’s just not cakes the Great British Bake-offers have to create, of course, but savoury pies too. Recipes for a multitude of sweet and savoury dishes can be found in Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (1755). Gibblet pie anyone?

Art of CookeryFrom the amateur, aspiring cooks and bakers, to the professionals. The following are just a few examples of the spectacular sugar work created by chefs aboard Cunard liners in the 1950s.

Cunard sugar work: the leaning tower of Pisa and a BBC camera!

Cunard sugar work: the leaning tower of Pisa and a BBC camera!