14 Vintage Recipe Collections That Cooks and Bakers Will Love to Explore


Vintage Recipes

(Updated: 01/25/21)

Collecting vintage recipes and cookbooks has become a popular hobby. Many blogs, websites, and social media groups are dedicated to preserving, discovering, and sharing the tastiest and even the weirdest vintage recipes. This list will help you find many of the best free vintage recipes and cookbooks online. If you've got retro food cravings, you're going to love these online vintage recipe collections.

Top Vintage Recipe Online Collections

Click Americana
This website is a labor of love by founder and editor Nancy J. Price. Find retro recipes for desserts, appetizers, drinks, bread, poultry, and more. Learn how to make the lightest, airiest cake. Impress your guests with old-fashioned party hosting tips and recipes that will delight them. Here are a few things that might interest you:

  • 7-up recipes
  • Tantalizing cocktails
  • Surprising ways to cook, chill, and pickle ordinary foods

Community Cookbooks: An Online Collection
This is a collection of early charity and community cookbooks from across America. Explore by place or time. Reading community cookbooks can bring insight into aspects of American culture and public history. Most of these cookbooks were compiled by women to raise money for a cause. Some of these cookbooks were successful in raising a lot of money and went through multiple printings over the years.

Cookery and Culture Digital Collection
This digitized historical cookbook collection dates from the 1700s to the 1900s. It holds mostly American and British cookbooks.

Feeding America
Feeding America is an online collection of some important and influential American cookbooks. They're from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive, housed at Michigan State University Libraries, also includes searchable full-text transcriptions.

The Henry Ford Historic Recipe Bank
Get inspired by recipes from America's past. The focus of the Historic Recipe Bank is on American cuisine. Recipes are organized by type and era, starting with the 1700s. The collection includes books like:

  • The Settlement Cook Book (1936), the most successful fundraising cookbook of all time.
  • Macy's Cook Book and Kitchen Guide for the Busy Woman (1932).
  • Mrs. Rorer's Sandwiches (1912), the first American cookbook of its kind.
  • Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes Revised (1931), from a hit radio show featuring "Aunt Sammy," a beloved character created by the USDA.

Historic Recipe File
Peruse the growing historic recipe collection of the Milwaukee Public Library Digital Collections. Find local and ethnic recipes popular decades ago. Dare to try unique retro food combinations like Bacon' N Egg Cookies and Best Ever Banana Cheese Pie.

Imperial Sugar's Vintage Recipe Collection
Imperial Sugar supplies sugar products to millions of American households. Over the years, the company has developed and published recipes and cookbooks. Many of the vintage recipes are available on Imperial Sugar’s website. Get fun, tasty recipes for these treats and more:

  • Animal Crackers
  • Jam Pockets
  • Old Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge
  • Grandmother's Graham Crackers
  • Bavarian Potato Coffee Cake

The Iowa Cookbook Collection
Iowa State University Library is preserving the history of Iowa's people through cookbooks. The Iowan cookbooks date back to the 1800s. Also, you'll find historical American cookbooks dating back to the early 1700s.

Katherine Golden Bitting Collection
Katherine Golden Bitting (1868-1937) was a food chemist for the Department of Agriculture and the American Canners Association. She authored almost fifty pamphlets and articles on food preservation and related topics.

The Bitting Collection has many English and American publications on food preparation from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There's also a sampling of notable French, German, and Italian cookbooks.

Lost Recipes Found
This is a beautiful blog where you'll find updated vintage recipes. This blog's creator is Monica Kass Rogers, who started as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. She shares recipes she has developed and recipes inspired by vintage cookbooks. Every post has an engaging narrative, beautiful visuals, and detailed instructions.

Old Recipe Book
Find easy-to-make vintage recipes from the 1920s through the 1970s on this website. Simplicity is the essence of this compilation of tasty and timeless treats. Learn how to use three or four ingredients to make things like:

  • Vermont Maple Custard
  • Pudding Batter
  • Beer Bread
  • Mayonnaise Rolls

Recipe for Victory
The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a fascinating vintage recipe collection. Read books and pamphlets written to help home cooks support the war effort. Forty-five publications (1917–1919) in all come from the United States and England.

Szathmary Recipe Pamphlets
Louis Szathmary (1919-1996) was a Hungarian-born chef, restaurateur, and food writer, best known as The Bakery restaurant's proprietor in Chicago. Szathmary amassed one of the most extensive culinary archives in the United States. A part of her collection is housed at the University of Iowa Libraries. The University's collection includes more than 4,000 promotional recipe pamphlets, published mainly by food and appliance manufacturers and trade associations. This advertising ephemera dates from the late 19th century to the present. It gives a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of the modern American diet.

Vintage Cooking
This is a good place to find "good old-fashioned comfort foods" online. Laura Warnke started this website to share the best of her family's recipes. Most of these vintage recipes are from the Depression-era, and the 1960's to the 1980s. Go to this retro food blog for dishes and desserts like:

  • Mouth-watering southern fried chicken
  • Breakfast casseroles
  • Coffee cakes