Tomato Soup Cake, Tea Biscuits, Lemon Squares and More – Heritage Baking

Tomato Soup Cake 053While reminiscing with my great friend Colleen about growing up and all the things that mean so much to us as kids and how our families are so important to us growing up and how memories of food and home is so important, brought us both to thinking about all the amazing things our mothers, next-door neighbour mothers, great-aunts and grandmothers so loving prepared for their households and us.

Talking about all the amazing food these beautiful ladies and homemakers prepared so lovingly for us brought instantly to mind the smells and tastes of our heritage and home.  Recipes passed down from a long chain of women from generation to generation, with nary a variation or substitution.  All expertly executed because these recipes were real, hearty and simple, using the very basics that every well-stocked kitchen had back then.

In my effort to bring some of my childhood back into my kitchen, I went through my old cook books and found some hand written recipes that I copied from my mother’s recipe file.  I do certainly hope you try at least one of these recipes and perhaps start your own tradition of handing down from your own mother to your loved ones, the homemade simple goodness from to your own heritage family recipes; the ones that helped shape and make you who you are.  You really are what you eat.


This sturdy cake was always a hit.  Prepare this spice cake for a special after school snack or tucked into a lunch box.

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • cream ingredients together
  • Add:
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Sift and add:
  • 2 cups flour (spelt use 2 1/2 cups)


  • 1 tin tomato soup
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Stir well, put in cake pan and bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

*may ice with cream cheese icing or serve as is.


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon and rind

Cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Add sugar until icing is spreading consistency.  Add lemon juice and rind.  Frost the cake.


creamy-lemon-crumb-squaresLEMON SQUARES

A delightful treat served at picnics and social functions.  Quite yummy.  Our church cookbook had this awesome recipe.

crumb mixture:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour (spelt is my choice)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • filling:
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 can eagle brand condensed milk

In a greased pan put 1/2 cup of crumb mixture and pack well, then pour all of the filling over evenly. Top with the rest of the crumb mixture spreading evenly.  Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool and cut.



A real hit recipe.  I can remember being “snowed in” with only my mom and little sister and there was no bread and I think no hydro, so my mom made these biscuits for us in the wood stove.  We hoped to be snowed in for a very long time, they were so good.

  • 1 3/4 cups flour sifted ( 2 cups spelt)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup milk, (sour milk is best or buttermilk)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender.  Add milk until dough just comes together. Put dough on cutting board and cut in circles using a large drinking glass dipped in flour, or shape in a square and with a knife cut into biscuit sized pieces.  Bake 425 degrees for 20 minutes until biscuits are golden.  Serve with butter and preserves if you have some.


New-Year-2011-583-1024x682DATE & NUT BREAD

Yumm, this bread is like banana bread only way better. 

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dates
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (can use whole wheat) or (2 1/2 cups spelt)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine dates and water and let stand until cooled.  Stir in nuts, sugar, egg, butter and vanilla.  Combine remaining ingredients and add to date mix.  Pour into loaf pan and bake 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

My apologies to all those dads, granddads, uncles and all those male influences we had in our lives who also had their own special recipes that so wowed us all growing up. (My childhood best friend, Julie’s dad made the best potato soup, and the only potato soup I have ever remembered and enjoyed.) You too were also an important and integral part of our lives, and your recipes were so cool too. I thank you. L.L

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