Eggs, in great numbers were used with much beating to try to obtain a light cake. A recipe for a wedding cake called for 12 dozen eggs and the batter was mixed in a wash tub.
Several women must have taken part in beating a cake of that size, for hours of beating was necessary before the advent of baking powder.
Measurements were vague. Most old-time cooks knew by instinct when to “hurtle in a good quantity of raisins” or just how much “a few blops of molasses” meant.
The above taken from: Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale