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Kerry, I have gone through my commercial cookbooks and found several possible formulas. None say they are from A&P, but, they are from widely used professional sources from the 1920's and 1930's. I am posting them here:


It will take me a while to get them all up, so, please be patient -one book has at least five things of interest. I looked around online and all the so-called A&P recipes I saw had no crumbs and use volumetric measure for dry ingredients, so, IMO, they are fake.

Also note that any sort of stale crumb product will have variations from batch to batch.

Thanks Lisa - that will be great. It was a cake I quite loved as a child and the one I have made from the online recipes isn't quite right for sure.

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The following are from 'Cakes for Bakers' by Paul Richards, published by Baker's Helper Company 1921. Ingredients are his, my notes are in parentheses. Instructions are mine.

Note: where it calls for 'crumbs' I think any bakery crumb will do, as long as it is somewhat sweet. (not all bread crumbs from rye, or sourdough, ok?) If it says 'cake crumbs' then it needs to be from cakes or cake-style doughnuts.

Spiced Molasses Cup Cake with Crumbs

2.5 lbs Cake Crumbs (dry)

2 lbs Flour (cake)

1 qt Molasses

1.25 qts Water or Milk

1.5 oz cloves (dry, ground)

1.5 oz cinnamon (ground)

2 oz baking soda

Add Soda to water, then pour water over crumbs. Mix in molasses, flour and spices. Bake in greased or papered cups in a medium oven.

Crumb Layer Cake #1

.75 lb Sugar

.5 lb Lard

1 oz Mixed Spices (? They are not listed anywhere!)

.5 oz Soda

8 Eggs

12 oz Mixed Fruit, chopped fine (candied, I am guessing)

2 lb Cake Crumbs

1.5 lb Cake Flour

sufficient Milk to mix

No method given, creaming method, I think...

Crumb Layer Cake #2

.5 lb Brown Sugar

1.75 lbs Shortening

10 Eggs

1 qt Molasses

2 qt Milk

3.5 lb Cake Crumbs

5 lb Flour

2 oz Soda

3 oz Mixed Spices (? No clue here, have fun!)

1 oz Salt

2 lbs chopped raisins

No method given, bake in layers or sheets. Cake improves when a day old.

Oriental Fruit Crumb Cake (more like a pie)

Shortbread or pate sucre dough

1.5 lb sugar

.5 lb shortening

4 lbs crumbs (I am guessing this can be a mix of cake and bread, all sorts of doughnut)

1 lb ground Almonds or other Nut Meats

1 lb seeded Raisins

.5 lb chopped Citron

Milk (quantity not given)

Line pan with dough. Cream sugar and shortening, add eggs then crumbs and fruit with a little (?) milk.

Molasses Crumb Cake -Washington Cake

5 lbs crumbs

5 qt Water

4 oz Soda

1 qt Molasses

.5 lb Oil or Melted Lard (oil will increase tenderness and shelf life)

.5 oz Salt

1.5 oz Mixed Spices (? your guess is as good as mine!)

3 lbs Mixed Fruit ground fine (candied, I think)

7 lbs Cake Flour

Soak crumbs in water. Add soda, molasses, oil/lard, salt spices, fruit and flour. Mix until just combined. Bake in large slabs or in pans lined with pie crust.

Chop Suey Cake (no eggs, not certain if that's a typo or not)

5 lb Cake Crumbs

5.5 lbs Cake Flour

1.5 qt Molasses

3 qt Water

4 oz Soda

.5 lb chopped Nut Meats

1 lb Mince Meat

1 lb Brown Sugar

.75 lb shortening

No method given. I would cream sugar and shortening, add molasses, nuts and mincemeat. Mix soda in the water and add alternating with crumbs and flour.

Chop Suey Cake #2 or Tutti Frutti Cake

1.5 lbs Brown Sugar

.75 lb Lard

1 qt Molasses

10 Eggs

1 oz Mixed Spice (?)

3 lb Cake Crumbs

5 pints Water

2.5 oz Soda

1 Pint Water

4 lb Cake Flour

1 chopped Nuts

1 lb seedless Raisins

Soak cake crumbs in first amount of water, add soda to the second water. Creams sugar and lard, add eggs then molasses , nuts and fruit. Alternate adding soda water, crumbs and flour. Mix well. Bake in well dusted oval 3.5" rings.

Crumb Cake, Fruit or Cup Cake

.75 lb Cake Crumbs

.75 lb Compound Shortening (lard & shortening mixed)

1.5 qt Molasses

1 qt Water

2 eggs, may be omitted

1 oz Soda

1 lb small raisins or currants

3.5 lbs flour

cinnamon or vanilla or lemon

a little Vinegar (?)

No method. I would add soda to water and add crumbs to that. Cream shortening and molasses, add eggs, fruit, flavorings. Alternate adding crumbs and flour until well mixed.

(edited for typos)

Edited by Lisa Shock (log)

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Fabulous Lisa - I shall work my way through them to get the best. Now to find some stale crumb!

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I may cheat and pick up a box of Entenmann's glazed buttermilk doughnuts and stale them in the oven just to get going more quickly. I'm kind of curious about the recipes that call for a crust.

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I made the Oriental Fruit Crumb Cake tonight. One quarter of the recipe filled a 9" cake pan nicely. I used oven-dried crumbs from plain cake doughnuts (it took almost all of the crumb from a dozen to make the one pound), butter instead of shortening, and some 'yuzu tea'* instead of citron. I wound up using a quarter cup of buttermilk to help the mixture move in the mixer. BTW, this recipe has no leavening beyond eggs and creamed fat & sugar.

I added milk until the mix was just slightly looser than peanut butter cookie dough on a warm day.

I would up baking it for an hour and ten minutes, and originally had some cracking on top, but, it fell a little as it cooled and the cracks shrank away to nothingness. The crust pulled away from the filling, but, it's probably necessary to keep things together.

Overall, this came out like a fairly firm pie: moist, and easy to cut. The yuzu flavor was surprisingly strong, making this a sort of citrus pie -although not acidic. The raisins added a nice chew, but the flavor was eclipsed by the yuzu. The doughnut flavor was subtle, but, you could definitely taste the contribution of the browned outer crusts.

I don't know if I would make it again. The almond flour means that it's not incredibly cheap to make. That said, it was tasty and different without being too unusual or bizarre. I think that a lot of people would like it, it's got a safe flavor profile. I don't know if anyone would ever call it their favorite dessert, but it could have a place on a buffet.

* Yuzu tea is just finely sliced rinds of yuzu and sugar. It comes in a jar, and has the consistency of marmalade. One usually adds some to hot water to make a drink in wintertime. It's more watery than candied citron.

Oriental Fruit Crumb Cake.JPG


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Lisa, that looks like it would be perfect to serve at an afternoon tea.

I always have plenty of almond flour because I make a lot of almond milk and the solid stuff that remains is too nutritious to discard so I dry it and grind it finer and use it in baking. It works out to just a fraction of the cost of commercial almond flour and I get two products from one batch of almonds...

I will have to dig through the thousands of recipes I have in Word documents. I know there is one that uses cake crumbs with very fine pasta (angel hair) in an eggy tart with cheese and I think it contains chestnut puree. I remember making it once and it was very good but sort of "fiddly" and I don't remember repeating it. I was still working then and didn't have the time that I now have.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

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It would be good with tea, and probably very nice made into tiny tarts. It did have a pleasing, soft texture. It's also something that your guests have never had before. Some whipped cream would improve the appearance.

I'd also like to point out that once you have made crumbs (evenly crumbled and gotten them nice and dry in the oven) you can freeze them to use later. I did this with my doughnut crumbs because I was afraid of rancidity.

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Update on Oriental Fruit Crumb Cake. I labelled it Oriental Fruit Pie, took it to work, and didn't tell people what was in it beyond raisins and almond flour. People liked it enough to hunt me down and thank me for it. One fellow, a diabetic, noted that his blood sugar barely moved after he ate a slice on an empty stomach -so he is now a huge fan, because he can't eat a lot of desserts.

(edited for typo)

Edited by Lisa Shock (log)

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Rebooting a dormant topic:

I've been practising my pie dough recently - for pies and quiche.

I've always got a little leftover, and was wondering what others do with it.

I usually just roll it out and spread some jam on it, make it into a pocket and bake it. This week I made a 'PB&J' sandwich out of it for my daughter that worked well (as long as you have a BIG glass of milk at hand).

What do you like to do with your dough scraps?

Edited by jjahorn (log)

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What do you like to do with your dough scraps?

My mom would always make something similar called "Pinwheels". Roll out the dough, spread butter on it and sprinkle on sugar and cinammon. Roll it up into a cigar shape and slice into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces. Bake until browned and flaky. It was something us kids could eat (as soon as they cooled) since the pie would be for dessert later that night.

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As you say, little jam tarts. Cut into strips, twist, sprinkle with sugar. Cut into little shapes with cutters or free-form with a knife, freeze on a sheet pan, store i a ziplock bag for later use to decorate pies or to garnish fancy first courses. If you have enough and make pastry frequently enough, you can do the same thing with little tart or barquette pans and make shells for the freezer.

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I've suggested this in another thread (somewhere here on eGullet) but the cake scraps can be used in trifles. If you're a bakery making something to sell, you can use small clear plastic cups and make mini trifles. Cake-custard-whipped cream layered and if fruit is in season, add a layer of glazed strawberries (raspberries go well with chocolate cake scraps...sort of a Black Forest trifle which normally uses cherries).

As for cookie crumbs, topping ice cream or yogurt was my first thought. If you have a lot, I can see them processed into a crumb topping for an apple brown betty or topping a quasi-linzer type torte or cookie.

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I made Crumb Layer Cake #1, with crumb from yellow cake doughnuts, and the soda was not enough leavening. I used the creaming method, which was apparently also a mistake. Oh yeah, I halved the recipe, and added 1.25 cups milk and had a stiff batter which probably should have been more liquid, next time I will go up to 1.5cups. It came out like a crumbly cookie. It didn't taste bad, several people commented that it was like a deluxe graham cracker or halfway between a graham cracker and fruitcake.

Spice-wise I added .3 grams each of cinnamon and ginger and tossed in a heavy-handed dash of allspice and a quick grating of nutmeg.

Once I get more crumbs I will try it again. (I got a lot of candied fruit on huge markdown in January, including a large tub of chopped mixed fruit.) I think I will separate the eggs and whip the whites in one bowl, then cream the butter & lard and add yolks/etc. (with more milk) and fold whites in at the end.

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