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

War Cake

War Cake (Mabel Banks)

2 cups white sugar
2 cups cold water
2 cups raisins
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. shortening
2 tsp. soda
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups flour

Boil together for 10-15 minutes sugar, water, raisins, spices, salt and shortening. Cool, then add soda which has been dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water; mix well. Add sifted flour and stir thoroughly until blended. Bake in loaf pan or tube pan in moderate oven one hour or until done.

Drop Doughnuts

Drop Doughnuts  (Mildred Shand)

3&1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3 Tbsp.shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat eggs well. Beat in shortening and sugar, milk and the vanilla. Add to flour mixture all at once. Beat just until the mixture is smooth. Dip spoon in hot fat and then drop off batter into hot fat. Turn the puffs as soon as they come to the top. Fry only 3 or 4 at a time.



Old time puddings were boiled, steamed, or baked, and we’re not always intended as the dessert, but often preceded the main course. All kinds of berries and fruits were used in the batter and the puddings were served up with a variety of delicious sauces.
A type of dumpling that has long been popular in Nova Scotia is called “Grunt”. The odd name is said to have come from the noises made by the fruit as it stewed in the pot. Blueberry Grunt is the best known, but strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb and apples were also used. In many homes Grunts were not considered to be desserts but were dished up in large portions as the main course.

The above taken from: Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale

Cottage Pudding

Cottage Pudding   (Gladys Banks)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream margarine and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, add vanilla. Bake in a moderate oven until done. Serve with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
Piece of butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 cups hot water
1 tsp. vanilla

Boil the sauce ingredients together until thickened.

Cranberry Duff

Cranberry Duff   (Marion Greenwood)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups flour
1 cup cranberries
1 cup milk
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream butter, add sugar. Add milk and dry ingredients alternately. Lastly add cranberries and milk. Steam for 2&1/2 to 3 hours. Serve with butter sauce.

Butter Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cream

Melt butter and brown slightly. Add sugar and cream. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Blueberry Fungi (Grunt)

Blueberry Fungi (Grunt)   (Dena Banks)

Cook on stove:
1 quart blueberries with water up over berries
Sugar 1/2 cup or more
When starts to boil, add dumplings( recipe below)
Cover and cook 10 minutes


1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. shortening
1/2 cup milk
Put dry ingredients in bowl. Cut in shortening. Add milk. Drop by tablespoon into boiling blueberry mixture.

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding   (Beatrice Cameron)

1&1/2 cups flour
1&1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup suet or shortening
1 cup raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup molasses

Put dry ingredients in bowl. Add suet ( if using shortening, cut in with a pastry cutter). Add raisins. Combine other ingredients, add to flour mixture. Put in greased pan ( a bunt pan works well). Cover with foil. Steam 2-2&1/2 hours. Serve with nutmeg sauce.

Nutmeg Sauce

Beat 1/4 cup margarine until creamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture is light. Blend in 1 egg yolk, 4&1/2 tsp. flour and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add 1&1/4 cup boiling water. Cook until thickened. Remove and add 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Add 2 or 3 drops yellow food colouring. Makes 1&2/3 cup.
( may want to double, according to amount of sauce desired)


Candy was a very rare treat for the children of the early pioneers. and pennies too precious to be squandered and sweet treats were something everyone could do without.

So the children lived in anticipation of the time when the sap would run again in the maple trees for early spring was the time for Candy on the Snow.

When the sap was collected and in the process of being boiled into maple sugar, the older folk always made sure that a little of the boiling liquid was poured on the snow where it hardened into delicious candy.

As time passed molasses candy began to be made more and more frequently until finally it became an almost

weekly treat. Half the fun was in the making and taffy pulls became a much-loved pastime with the younger


The above taken from: Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale