Baking Yesteryear: Delicious Decades Unveiled

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Indulge your taste buds and transport yourself to the past with “Baking Yesteryear,” a culinary masterpiece comprising 101 expertly curated recipes.
This delightful bake book takes you on a captivating adventure through the decades, allowing you to savor the flavors of yesteryear.
With a big pinch of fun and a full cup of humor, Dylan Hollis, the acclaimed mid-century baking specialist and social media sensation, guides you through a mouthwatering exploration of the past.
Drawing inspiration from countless antique cookbooks, Dylan has meticulously handpicked the finest recipes for this remarkable collection. From the rich and decadent chocolate potato cake of the 1910s to the tantalizingly unique avocado pie of the 1960s, each recipe encapsulates the essence of its respective era. Baking enthusiasts and history buffs alike will delight in Dylan’s ability to capture the culinary spirit of bygone times.

Baking Yesteryear
Baking Yesteryear

But that’s not all—Dylan’s baking journey hasn’t been without its share of failures. Alongside the shining stars from each decade, he fearlessly includes a selection of the most disastrously strange recipes. Are you brave enough to venture into uncharted territory and try these intriguing creations? If you dare, prepare yourself for unexpected twists and quirky combinations that will pique your curiosity and satisfy your craving for culinary adventures.
Behind the scenes, Dylan has garnered an enormous following on both TikTok and YouTube, where he shares his baking endeavors with the world. His infectious passion for resurrecting forgotten recipes and his talent for adding his own unique flair has earned him millions of fans. Originally from the picturesque island of Bermuda, Dylan’s path to social media fame took an unexpected turn in 2020 when quarantine boredom led him to film an investigation of an old cookbook he had acquired. Little did he know that this simple act would spark a baking revolution that would captivate audiences across various platforms.
Within the pages of “Baking Yesteryear,” you’ll find a treasure trove of timeless treats that have been carefully vetted by Dylan to offer a realistic glimpse into the baking traditions of each decade. As you explore the meticulously tested recipes, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what baking was like in the average household throughout history. Allow yourself to be swept away by the enchanting stories behind each creation, and let your imagination run wild as you embrace the flavors of the past.
Some of the delightful snippets from this extraordinary book include the heavenly “Food for the Gods” from the 1900s, the comforting “Dutch Apple Cake” that brings back memories of the 1920s, and the intriguingly delicious “Tomato Soup Cake” from the 1950s. These tantalizing glimpses into the past are just a taste of the culinary wonders awaiting you in “Baking Yesteryear.”
So, prepare your mixing bowls, preheat your ovens, and get ready to embark on a scrumptious adventure through time. “Baking Yesteryear” is not just a cookbook—it’s a nostalgic journey that will tickle your taste buds, ignite your imagination, and leave you with a newfound appreciation for the delightful flavors of the past.

Dutch Apple Cake

UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE • 9-inch cake

1920s Dutch Apple Cake

When many think of old-timey baking, the pineapple upside-down cake invariably comes to mind. So much so that other varieties of upside-down cake are forgotten and left on read. This is worth mourning, as this classic Dutch Apple Cake waits patiently to share its warm, caramelized apples set atop a fluff y spiced crumb with you, and you should feel very bad about denying it the opportunity. Oft-associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch who have long settled on the East Coast of the United States and are well-known for their apple cakes and pies, this recipe harkens to the broader adoration of fruit-topped “breakfast cakes” during the mid-1920s. When care is taken to arrange the apple layer in a delightful pattern, those seated at your table will sing its praises long before it even reaches their mouths.

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 35 minutes


2 tbsp butter, softened

½ cup (110g) packed dark

brown sugar

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

2 cups (215g) thinly sliced apples (Granny Smith, Gala, or Honeycrisp)


2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup (100g) granulated sugar ¼ tsp ground mace (substitute 

with nutmeg)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup (115g) butter, cold

¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk

1 large egg


1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

2. Liberally rub a 9-inch (23-cm) cake pan with the softened butter. Combine the brown sugar and nutmeg, and sprinkle into the pan. Decoratively arrange the sliced apples over this sugar mixture.


3. In a large bowl, combine the fl our, baking soda, salt, sugar, mace, and cinnamon. Cut the cold butter into small cubes.

4. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, mash the butter into the dry ingredients until a crumbly consistency is achieved.

5. Beat together the buttermilk and egg, then add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix lightly to form a lumpy batter.

6. Spoon evenly into the cake pan atop the apples, before smoothing the mixture by pressing gently downward while spreading, so as to not unseat the bottom layer.

7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center can be removed cleanly and the top reaches a golden brown.

8. Immediately free the sides of the cake with a sharp knife if needed, and invert onto a serving plate. Serve immediately with Chantilly cream or vanilla ice cream.


This cake is best when served right out of the oven and eaten warm, as when it cools it will tend to become more moist in the center.

Tomato Soup Cake

CAKE • 9×5-inch loaf

1950s Tomato Soup Cake
1950s Tomato Soup Cake

You might think something has gone terribly awry in a society when condensed tomato soup finds its way into a cake. Perhaps you think of it as an indicator of the beginning of the end, and that we should put a stop to things before it all goes to the pits. I shared this sentiment as I recoiled from the sound of soup entering my batter upon making my first Tomato Soup Cake. But the truth is, tomato soup has been the secret ingredient in countless spice cakes even before the 1950s, and the Campbells company jumped on the opportunity and began promoting recipes for soup cakes on their products. The 1950s saw the height of this tomato cake craze, and when paired with a cream cheese frosting, it is unusually and uncomfortably good. Unlike other wild, wacky, and wonderful bakes, I cannot tell you why it works. It is one of the unanswered questions of life. I can only tell you that it does, and you should try it.

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 55 minutes


2 tbsp butter, softened

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar 2 cups (280g) all-purpose fl our 1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

1 (10.75oz/305g) can 

condensed tomato soup

1 tsp baking soda


3oz (85g) cream cheese, 


3 tbsp whole milk

3 cups (360g) powdered sugar 1oz (30g) bitter chocolate, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease a 9×5-inch (23×13-cm) loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until crumbly.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the fl our, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

4. In a third bowl, combine the condensed soup and baking soda.

5. Working quickly, alternate adding the fl our and soup mixtures to the creamed mixture. Mix until barely combined.

6. Turn into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center can be removed cleanly. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


7. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with which an electric hand mixer is to be used, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the milk.

8. Beat in the powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well.

9. Beat in the melted chocolate, vanilla, and salt. Beat until smooth.

10. Frost the completely cooled loaf using a spatula or a piping bag.

Food for the Gods

TORTE • 9-inch torte

1900s Food for the Gods
1900s Food for the Gods

This unorthodox dessert is sure to raise a few eyebrows and garner questions akin to: “What is it?” To which you might answer: “Very good.” Besides being good, classifying Food for the Gods is an unusual task as it bears very little resemblance to any modern dessert with which we are familiar, and the flamboyant name is hardly helpful. The dish supposedly acquired its name due to its use of expensive dried fruits and black walnuts. Many disparate modern desserts use this same name to indicate any and all that is good, and I choose to believe this century-old instance is no different. Notwithstanding, you might imagine this as a marshmallowy, fruited meringue with an amazing graham cracker nuttiness. My favorite way to make this is using dried apricots, though the call for “dried fruit” in early 1900s recipes would have certainly been answered with either dates or raisins. Served with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, it is a distinctive dessert winner.

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 40 minutes Cool: 20 minutes

Whites of 3 large eggs

½ tsp salt

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar ½ cup (60g) fine graham 

cracker crumbs

½ cup (75g) chopped, dried apricot (any dried fruit may be used: dates, figs, currants)

½ cup (60g) chopped walnuts


1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC).

2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan or pie pan with a circle of parchment paper. Lightly grease both the parchment and the sides of the pan.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fi fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with which an electric hand mixer is to be used, beat the egg whites and salt to stiff peaks.

4. Gradually beat in the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until stiff and glossy.

5. Gradually fold in the graham cracker crumbs, then fold in the dried fruit and walnuts.

6. Turn into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The top should be a pale gold color when done.

7. With the pan remaining in the oven, turn the oven off and leave the door ajar for 30 minutes to dry the meringue. After which, transfer to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 20 minutes.

8. Free the sides of the pan with a sharp knife and invert onto a serving dish or cutting board. Remove the parchment paper before serving.


Use a springform pan if you have one, as it will allow the dessert to come out more easily, without breaking.
An edited extract of Baking Yesteryear (Alpha, $49.99) by B. Dylan Hollis comes out today and is available for purchase at all major bookstores in Australia.

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