From the late 19th to the mid-20th century, culinary ephemera, including recipe booklets and appliance advertising pamphlets, were published by the US government, farmers’ organizations, and food companies. These were mostly mailed or given out free at grocery stores, and they serve as a historical record of the way we cooked and ate at the time.
The recipe below is from Modern Recipes for the Modern Hostess, a 1950s publication by the Brer Rabbit Molasses Company. I find searching out recipes in these little “time machines,” cozy and comforting.
Brer Rabbit Gingerbread
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter,
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
Sift together the flour and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar, add the beaten egg, then alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk (or buttermilk) and molasses.
Pour the mixture into a buttered, shallow 8×8 pan. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
The cake is done when it starts to pull away from sides and a cake tester comes out clean.
A dollop of whipped cream on top is a wonderful addition!