1946 Chocolate Cupcakes (Totally Vintage Recipe)

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts you know that I LOVE vintage everything. Anything from the 1920’s to the 1950’s I absolutely adore (I’m also in love with the 90’s but that’s another story for another day).

My love for vintage extends itself into my love for baking. Luckily the two kind of go hand in hand. I have day dreams of myself in my cozy (pink) 1950’s kitchen, wearing a circle skirt, sweater and heels while baking dessert every night for my family… Remember, this is a day-dream though. Not something I necessarily want to come to pass. The kitchen I DO WANT!!! The outfit I could definitely do, but I would switch the heels for some cute 90s  Doc Marten boots and would definitely be living in this day and age because, let’s admit it, as picturesque as the 50’s seem… It wasn’t the most progressive time period.

With this little quirk of mine comes my passion for collecting vintage recipes and recipe books. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a few books and magazines from my collection. I plan on adding to that… On Instagram as well as here on the blog. I think it’s important to see the progression of where all of the dishes we make come from. Some are surprisingly similar to what we bake today. Others, especially recipes that come from the era during and right after World War II are completely different. Mostly because of the mandatory rationing of the time.

So today I wanted to share a dessert that is still incredibly common in 2016… super yummy, not overly sweet chocolate cupcakes!!!!

Chocolate cupcakes made from a 1946 recipe

But this recipe comes from the 1946 edition of the Household Searchlight Recipe Book! The cupcakes are a little more like muffins and use the tiniest bit of chocolate, since chocolate was rationed and hard to come by around that time.

Now, this book I don’t physically have, but I was able to find a downloadable copy a few years ago. I recently went back to see it was still online and I couldn’t find it!! Thank goodness I saved my copy to my computer!! Now to put it on USB so that I can always have it!

Like I said, since this is an older recipe, the suga and chocolate in it are minimal. So that means they don’t look anywhere near as brown as the chocolate cupcakes we love today are definitely don’t have a strong chocolate flavor. The recipe also doesn’t come with an icing or frosting of any kind. They were typically served with cream.

So if you’re feeling up to trying something different… try them!! And if not then save the recipe and start a vintage recipe collection of your own!!! And ummm… leave the stand mixer tucked away. I’m sure everything was by hand in 1946, unless your family came from big money.

*TIP* I changed a bit of the recipe wording to make it easier to understand for today’s cooks… I tried to keep it mostly authentic. Use pure vanilla for the vanilla flavoring… Of course they didn’t use the pure stuff much in 1946. Especially if you were a home cook.  AND go ahead and preheat the oven to 375. That was not in the original recipe.


1946 Searchlight Recipe Book Chocolate Cupcakes

2/3 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Shortening

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Flavoring (go for the pure stuff)

1 Egg well beaten

1 1/2 Cups Flour

1/2 Cup Milk

2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Square Unsweetened Chocolate

Melt chocolate over hot water. Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg, chocolate and vanilla. Beat thoroughly. Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Add alternatively with milk to sugar mixture.

Fill well-greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake in moderate oven ( 370 degrees) about 35 minutes.




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