Angel cake, Banana bread, Date loaf and Vanilla sponge... traditional baking never falls out of favour. Popular shows like The Great Australian Bake Off highlight recipes from bygone eras and the simple pleasures like the smell of a freshly baked sponge cake, making us feel nostalgic for childhood birthdays and family get togethers.
Australia's first food guru, Margaret Fulton, has been writing about baking and cooking for magazines since the early 60's, when it was considered far from a glamorous vocation, even though she flew first class all over the world to bring back recipes to the Australian dinner table. In 2012, a musical was made in tribute to her and her Pavlova prowess, appropriately named 'Queen of the Desserts.'
Recently I acquired a second hand copy of Margaret Fulton's, Book of Home Baking. Many recipes are traditional Country Women's Association-style cakes like Boiled Fruit Cake and Madeira Cake.
I use this Margaret Fulton cookbook and a vintage 1950's muffin tin when running nostalgia and reminiscence based art and craft around the theme of baking. The gift package 'Felt Muffin Keeper' is a craft activity that encourages conversations about baking for family get togethers and dinner parties, from the preparation to the types of foods cooked. It's always interesting to hear stories told as I assist making the muffins with a paper mache box, beads, felt and imitation icing flowers.