The Dessert Book

A Complete Manual from the Best American and Foreign Authorities

Published in 1872 in Boston by “A Boston Lady,” this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection is a treasure trove of over 400 economical recipes for every conceivable dessert category, “from the best American and foreign authorities.”

With almost encyclopedic detail, The Dessert Book supplies precise, easy-to-follow recipes for desserts of all kinds, including puddings, pies, cakes, soufflés, “jumbles,” wafers, biscuits, meringues, nougats, bouchées, glaces, ice creams, fruit ices, coffees, teas, chocolate drinks, liqueurs, creams and wines, jellies and marmalades, brandied fruits, compotes, and much more—over 400 recipes that describe many favorite sweets of the day. Although economy was a factor in her recipe selection, the unknown author had high standards of presentation for desserts, asserting in her Introduction, “In arranging the table, the greater number of handsome dishes and high stands that can be available the better, as glaces, fruits, compotes, and confectionery look much handsomer when so displayed.” Clearly, she set an elegant dessert table in her own home.


This edition of The Dessert Book was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.

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