My collection of vintage cookbooks published from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s and now in the public domain was a source for many old fashioned dessert recipes published on this site. However, most recipes were gleaned from recipe cards, handwritten recipe books, and scrapbooks stuffed with recipe clippings and dessert illustrations.
Some of the oldest recipe books referenced are out of print, yet most are still preserved in online libraries and digital archives, and some have been reprinted and are again available for purchase.
I'll share the places where you can find copies of the vintage cookbooks at the bottom of this page.
Mom loved to collect recipe clippings and food illustrations in her teen years and carefully pasted them in her scrapbooks. After marrying my father, she often traded proven dessert recipes with her sisters, friends, and neighbors.
Mom collected vintage cookbooks that she found at church rummage sales, and she also enjoyed listening to cooking shows on the radio. I can still remember her sitting at the kitchen table, pencil in hand, copying down the recipes.
My Grandma McIlmoyle preserved recipes of her mother's and collected favorite recipes from friends and family. These were all carefully transcribed into small booklets and note papers in her own handwriting.
She also had several vintage cookbooks in her collection, the oldest being "Miss Leslie's Seventy-Five Receipts," published in 1827.
You can download a gift copy of one of Grandma's handwritten recipe books when you subscribe to my FREE newsletter.
My Grannie Bell learned how to cook when she was a young girl in Scotland. She was a wonderful cook but rarely followed recipes, mostly cooking by memory, so there are only a few of her handwritten recipes that survived. Some I obtained from her two daughters who had faithfully kept their mother's recipes.
Grannie had little interest in vintage cookbooks, so I have only one of hers in my collection: Dr. Chase's Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book, published n 1891.
"The Art of Living in Australia" by Philip E. Muskett and Mrs. H. Wicken, published by Muskett in 1893.
"Aunt Babette's Cook Book, Foreign and Domestic Receipts for the Household" by Aunt Babette, published by Bloch Publishing and Printing Company, Chicago, in 1889.
"The Belgian Cook-Book" edited by Mrs. Brian Luck, in 1915.
"The Book of Household Management" by Mrs. Isabella Beeton, published by the author in 1861.
"The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book" by Fannie Merritt Farmer, Principal of the Boston Cooking School, published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, in 1896. (Also 1916 edition and later.)
"The Bread and Biscuit Baker's and Sugar-Boiler's Assistant" by Robert Wells, published by Crosby Lockwood and Son, London, in 1890.
"Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping" published by Buckeye Publishing Company, Minneapolis, in 1877.
"California Mexican-Spanish Cook Book" by Bertha Haffner-Ginger, published by author in 1914.
"The Calumet Cook Book" published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., Chicago, Illinois, in 1916.
"The Canadian Farm Cookbook," circa 1912.
"The Carbondale Cook Book of Tried and Tested Recipes" by the Young Lady Workers of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, published by the International Textbook Press, Scranton, PA, in 1924.
"The Chinese Cook Book" by Shiu Wong Chan, published by Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York, in 1917
"Chinese-Japanese Cook Book" by Sara Bosse and Onoto Watanna, published by Rand McNally & Company, New York and Chicago, in 1914.
"Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes by Miss Parloa and Home Made Candy Recipes by Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill" published by the Walter Baker & Co., Ltd., circa 1910.
"The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-Cook, and Baker" by Eleanor Parkinson, published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, in 1864.
"The Cook's Decameron: A Study In Taste: Containing Over Two Hundred Recipes For Italian Dishes" by Mrs. W. G. Waters, publisher unknown, circa 1905.
"Cookery" by Amy G. Richards, published by E. M. Renouf, Montreal, in 1895.
"La Cuisine Francaise" by Francois Tanty, late Chef de Cuisine of the Emperor Napoleon III and of the Imperial Family of Russia, published by Baldwin, Ross & Co., Chicago, in 1893.
"Dainty Desserts for Dainty People" published by Charles B. Knox Co., in 1915.
"Dainty Dishes for All the Year-Round" by Mrs. Sarah T. Rorer, published by North Brothers Mfg. Co., Philadelphia, in 1900.
"Dishes & Beverages of the Old South" by Martha McCulloch-Williams, published by McBride, Nast & Company, New York, in 1913.
"The Dispenser's Formulary or Soda Water Guide" compiled by the editorial staff of The Soda Fountain, published by D. O. Haynes & Co., New York, in 1915.
"The Dominion Home Cook-Book" by A Thorough Housewife, published by Adam Miller, Toronto, in 1868.
"Dr. Chase's Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book, Memorial Edition" by Dr. Alvin Wood Chase, M.D., published by F. B. Dickerson Company, Detroit and Windsor, in 1891.
"The Enterprising Housekeeper" by Helen Louise Johnson, published by The Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, in 1900.
"The Eta Cook Book" by the Boston Alumnae Chapter of Alpha Phi Fraternity, Brookline, Mass., in 1914.
"Fancy Cookery: A Collection of Reliable and Useful Household Recipes" published by F. Jordan, Goderich, Ontario, circa 1890.
"Frozen Dainties" by Mrs. D. A. Lincoln, author of "The Boston Cook Book," published by The White Mountain Freezer Co., Nashua, NH, in 1899
"Fruit and Candies" published by Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Co., circa 1920.
"The Great Western Cook Book, or Table Receipts Adapted to Western Housewifery" by Mrs. A. M. Collins, published by A. S. Barnes & Company, New York, in 1857.
"Home Helps: A Pure Food Cook Book" by Mrs. Mary J. Lincoln, Lida Ames Willis, Mrs. Sarah Tyson Rorer, Mrs. Helen Armstrong, and Marion Harland, published by The N. K. Fairbank Company, New York, in 1919.
"The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book" by Victor Hirtzler (Former Chef of St. Francis, San Francisco), published by The Hotel Monthly Press, John Willy, Inc., Chicago, in 1919.
"Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings Together with Refreshments for All Social Affairs" by Mrs. S. T. Rorer, published by Arnold and Company, Philadelphia, in 1913.
"The Inglenook Cook Book: Choice Recipes Contributed by Sisters of the Brethren Church, Subscribers and Friends of the Inglenook Magazine" published by Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, Illinois, in 1909.
"The Italian Cook Book: The Art of Eating Well" compiled by Mrs. Maria Gentile, published by Italian Book Co., New York, in 1919.
"Italian Cooking" by Dorothy Daly, published by Spring Books, London, in 1900.
"Key to the Pantry," published by the ladies of the Church of the Epiphany, Danville, Virginia, 1897.
"Khaki Kook Book" by Mary Kennedy Core, Bareilly, India; published by The Abingdon Press, in 1917.
"Mary at the Farm and Book of Recipes Compiled During Her Visit Among the Pennsylvania Germans" by Edith M. Thomas, printed by John Hartenstine, Norristown, Pennsylvania, in 1915.
"Miss Beecher's Housekeeper and Healthkeeper: Containing Five Hundred Recipes for Economical and Healthful Cooking..." by Catharine E. Beecher, published by Harper & Brothers, New York, in 1873.
"Miss Leslie's Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, Twentieth Edition" by Miss Eliza Leslie, published by C. S. Francis and Company, New York and Boston, in 1827.
"Miss Parloa's New Cook Book, A Guide to Marketing and Cooking by Miss Maria Parloa, Principle of The Boston School of Cooking," published by Estes & Lauriat, Boston, in 1880.
"Miss Parloa's New Cook Book: A Guide to Marketing and Cooking" by Maria Parloa, published by C. T. Dillingham, New York, in 1882.
"Mrs. Beeton's Every-Day Cookery" by Mrs. Isabella Beeton, published by Ward, Lock & Co., Limited, in 1912. (And updated editions published after 1912.)
"Mrs. Goodfellow's Cookery as It Should Be" by Mrs. Elizabeth Goodfellow, published by T. B. Peterson & Brothers, Philadelphia, in 1865.
"Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book" by Sarah Tyson Rorer, published by Arnold and Company, Philadelphia, in 1902.
"My Pet Recipes Tried and True" contributed by the Ladies and Friends of St. Andrew's Church, Quebec, published by Daily Telegraph Printing House, Quebec, in 1900.
"The Neighborhood Cook Book" second edition published by the Council of Jewish Women, Portland, in 1914.
"One Hundred Picnic Suggestions" by Linda Hull Larned, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, in 1915.
"The Oriental Cook Book" by Ardashes H. Keoleian, formerly of Constantinople, published by Sully & Kaleinteich, New York, in 1913.
"Pan-American Recipe Book" published by the Ladies Aid Society of the Riverside Methodist Episcopal Church, Buffalo, in 1899.
"The Perry Home Cook Book" compiled by the Ladies of Perry, Kansas, and vicinity, published by The Independent Publishing Company, Oskaloosa, Kansas, in 1920.
"Practical Cooking and Dinner Getting" by Mary F. Henderson, published by Harper & Brothers, New York, in 1876.
"Practical Housewifery" by Marion Harland, published by Scribner, Armstrong & Co., New York, in 1874.
"Recipes Tried and True" compiled by the Ladies Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Ohio, published by The Press of Kelly Mount, Marion, in 1894.
"The Settlement Cook Book," compiled by Mrs. Simon Kander and Mrs. Henry Schoenfeld, published by The Milwaukee Settlement House, Milwaukee, Wis., in 1903.
"The Times Cook Book, No. 2: 957 Cooking and Other Recipes by California Women; Brought Out by the 1905 Series of Prize Recipe Contests in the Los Angeles Times" published by Times-Mirror Co., Los Angeles, in 1905.
"The White House Cook Book" by Hugo Ziemann, Steward of the White House, and Mrs. F. L. Gillette, a celebrated 19th-century cookbook author, published by The Saalfield Publishing Company, New York, in 1913.
"The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, Second Edition" published by Mrs. Hattie A. Burr, Boston, in 1890.
"The Queen-like Cloſet or Rich Cabinet," Second Edition, by Hannah Wolley, published by Richard Lowndes, London, in 1672.
"The Queens Closet Opened: Incomparable Secrets in Phyſick, Chyrurgery, Preſerving, Candying, and Cookery" by W. M., published by Nathaniel Brooks, London, at the Angel in Cornhill, in 1658.
"With a Saucepan Over the Sea," Quaint and Delicious Recipes from the Kitchens of Foreign Countries, Selected and Compiled by Adelaide Keen, published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, in 1902.
"Art Recreations: Guide to Decorative Art" edited by Marion Kemble, published by J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, in 1884.
"The Book of Knowledge and Sure Guide to Rapid Wealth" published by Hurst & Company, New York, in 1873.
"The Girl's Own Annual" by Phyllis Browne et al, published by Pinn, London, in 1891.
"The Household Cyclopedia of General Information" by Henry Hartshorne, M.D., published by Thomas Kelly, New York, in 1881.
"Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary" by Edward H. Knight, published by Hurd And Houghton, New York, in 1877.
"Lee's Priceless Recipes: A Valuable Collection of Tried Formulas and Simple Methods, Etc." by Dr. N. T. Oliver, published by Laird & Lee, Chicago, circa 1895.
"Milch Cows and Dairy Farming" by Charles L. Flint, published by A. O. Moore, New York, in 1858.
"Popular Science Monthly" Volume 98 - No. 8, published by the Modern Publishing Company, New York, in August 1921.
"Scientific American Supplement No. 483" published in New York, April 4, 1885.
"Wright's Book of 3000 Practical Receipts" by A. S. Wright, published by Dick & Fitzgerald, New York, in 1869.
“Young’s Demonstrative Translation of Scientific Secrets” by Daniel Young, published by Rowsell & Ellis, Toronto, in 1861.
It's still possible to find used, vintage cookbooks that have gone out of print — sometimes reprints, sometimes first editions. And often at very low cost. By knowing the secrets of where to look for Out of Print Cookbooks, you can add wonderful works by famous cookbook authors to your collection.