Time Travel Kitchen

The Joy of Cooking, 1931 - Part 1

I’m downright giddy to be able to share this recipe for Peach Cake (Kuchen) with you from the 1931 edition of The Joy of Cooking. I have a facsimile copy of the first edition and I baked from it last night. I was so happy with this cake (thin crisp base, a tender center and sweet, juicy peaches on top) I wanted to share it with you now so you can grab some in-season peaches and go to town.

The talented, determined and witty iconoclast, Irma S. Rombauer, changed the landscape of cooking forever when she self-published (you read that right—self-published) the first edition of her recipes in 1931. I’ll be writing more about the wildly interesting and truly inspiring 90-year history of Joy in a second newsletter later this week.

But for now, here’s the recipe. I want to thank Scribner Books, Simon & Schuster, and especially The Official Joy of Cooking for permission to share it.

(I’m going to try it with plums, next.)

Some notes:

  • I used a 9-inch ungreased round baking pan, but when I make it next, I’m going to use an 8-inch pan for a bit thicker base. (It was delicious thin, though.)

  • As I’ve mentioned before, my oven runs fast/hot so the cake baked in 20 minutes with one spin of the pan 10 minutes in.

  • I ran short on yellow peaches, so I filled the center with white peaches. When I bake again, I’m going to use all white peaches, they were sweet and perfect. I used 4 peaches in total.

  • The dough is beautiful - handle with care and don’t overwork- really delicious.

I’ll see you later this week with more Joy!


photo 📸: Jolene Handy