Vintage Baking Terms Conversion

Table of equivalent oven temperatures
Description = °F = °C
Cool oven = 200°F = 90°C
Very Slow oven = 250°F = 120°C
Slow oven = 300–325°F = 150–160°C
Moderately Slow = 325–350°F = 160–180°C
Moderate oven = 350–375°F = 180–190°C
Moderately Hot = 375–400°F = 190–200°C
Hot oven = 400–450°F = 200–230°C
Very Hot oven = 450–500°F = 230–260°C
Fast oven = 450–500°F = 230–260°C


Oven Temperatures
C (Celcius) F (fahrenheit)
Very Slow 120 250
Slow 150 300
Moderately Slow 160 320
Moderate 180 355
Moderately Hot 190 375
Hot 200 390
Very Hot 230 445
NOTE: These oven temperatures are a guide only. Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual.


Temperature Celsius Fahrenheit Gas mark
Very cool 95 200 0
Very cool 110 225 ¼
Very cool 120 250 1/2
Cool or slow 135 275 1
Cool or slow 150 300 2
Warm 165 325 3
Moderate 175 350 4
Moderately hot 190 375 5
Fairly hot 200 400 6
Hot 220 425 7
Very hot 230 450 8
Very hot 245 475 9

Ration Cake

This World War II vintage cake — it’s egg- and dairy-free, reflecting the rationing of those times — is dark, moist, and delicious, despite being only about 138 calories per serving. Over the years, this has been one of King Arthur Flour’s most requested recipes. And, even though the “stir it all together in the pan” method is traditional, go ahead and stir everything together in a bowl, if that feels more comfortable.

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa or natural cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tablespoon vinegar, cider or white
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

NOTE: Can sub 1.5 tsp baking powder for the baking soda and vinegar
NOTE2: Can sub lemon juice for the vinegar


1) Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ square or 9″ round pan that’s at least 2″ deep. If you don’t have a 2″-deep pan in either of those sizes, use a 9″ square pan.

2) Traditional method: Measure all the dry ingredients into the prepared pan. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations. Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third. Take the cup of water and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until well blended.

3) Updated method: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

4) Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

5) Serve the cake right from the pan; warm from the oven, it’s wonderful with a big glass of milk.

6) Or, once cool, frost the cake with this simple chocolate frosting: Heat 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips with 1/2 cup half & half (or 1/3 c water or 1/3 c coffee) until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake.

Yield: about 16 servings.

Tips from our bakers
While the original, non-dairy version of this recipe calls for water as the liquid, feel free to substitute milk, for a slightly richer cake. Or try cold coffee, for a mocha version; or even 3/4 cup water mixed with 1/4 cup rum, for an “adults only” cake!

NOTE: You can sub out the oil with applesauce and the cake works out fine.

Prince of Wales Spice Cake

Makes one two-layer cake

Cake batter Ingredients

1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ Tbsp molasses (NOT blackstrap)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves
¾ tsp nutmeg
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups sour milk

Sea-foam icing Ingredients

½ cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp strong coffee
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp baking powder

White Mountain Cream

Ingredients for White Mountain Cream Recipe

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cold water
White of 1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla or
½ tablespoon lemon juice

Put sugar and water in saucepan, and stir to prevent sugar from adhering to saucepan; heat gradually to boiling-point, and boil without stirring until syrup will thread when dropped from tip of spoon or tines of silver fork.

Pour syrup gradually on beaten white of egg, beating mixture constantly, and continue beating until of right consistency to spread; then add flavoring and pour over cake, spreading evenly with back of spoon.

Crease as soon as firm.

If not beaten long enough, frosting will run; if beaten too long, it will not be smooth.

Frosting beaten too long may be improved by adding a few drops of lemon juice or boiling water.

This frosting is soft inside, and has a glossy surface.

If frosting is to be ornamented with nuts or candied cherries, place them on frosting as soon as spread.

Chocolate Potato Cake


2 c white sugar

1 c butter

1 c hot mashed potatoes

1 c chopped walnuts

1/2 c sweet milk

2 c flour

4 eggs well beaten

5 tsp melted chocolate

1 tbsp cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg

2 tsp baking powder


Bake in layers and use marshmallow filling.

Mrs Farmer’s Chocolate Nougat Cake

1/4 c buttter

1.5 c powdered sugar

1 egg

1 c milk

2 c bread flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 squares chocolate, melted

1/2 c powdered sugar

2/3 c almonds blanched and shredded


Cream the butter, add gradually 1.5 c sugar, and egg unbeaten.

When well mixed, add 2/3 milk, flour mixed and sifted with baking powder, and vanilla.

To melt chocolate add 1/3 c powdered sugar, place on range, add gradually remaining milk, and cook until smooth.

Cool slightly and add to cake mixture.

Bake 15-20 min in round layer cake pans.

Put between layers and on top of cake White Mountain Cream sprinkled with almonds.

Cocoa Marble Cake

1/3 c butter

1 c sugar

1 egg

1/2 c milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 c flour

2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp baker’s cocoa


Cream butter, add sugar, vanilla and egg, beat thoroughly, then add flour (into which is mixed the baking powder) and milk, alternately, until added.

To 1/3 the mix add the cocoa, and drop the white and brown mix in spoonfuls into small, deep pans, and bake 40 min in moderate oven.