Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tea Room Recipe #18 - Pauline's Tea Room (Troy, Ohio)

Don't you just love coming across a tasty, healthy new dessert recipe that's also low in fat and calories? Me too! Unfortunately, this is not it. But if you want a cobbler-ish, pudding-y new dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth for weeks, maybe months, then this Chocolate Chip Date Cake, my friends, is it!

I found this recipe in the most charming old (but undated) tea room cookbook, "Sprigs of Parsley." Now I have to tell you this is one of my favorite little cookbook finds. I love the yellowed edges, the bent corners, the stains on the cover, the thoroughly homemade look and feel of this book. Love. It. I even love how Pauline Tate in the introduction thanked her husband Carl, family members Susan, Rick, Jeff and Randy (the kids?) and her 80-year-old Mother, who helped out in the tea room several days a week! Don't you just know this would have been a fun place to visit? And based on this recipe, it was a *tasty* place to visit as well! This cake recipe sounded so unusual I had to give it a try, not expecting it to turn out at all, to be perfectly honest with you. I was quite surprised with the unusual texture of this cake, and yes, I'd happily make this one again. I might even spoon it up in pretty glass sherbet dishes next time!

Chocolate Chip Date Cake

1 cup pitted chopped dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups boiling water

Stir and let stand until cool.

Next: Cream 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup shortening and 2 eggs.

Add this mixture to the date mixture when cooled. Then add 1-1/2 cups sifted flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Mix and pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. (Note: Mixture will be very thin and won't seem like batter at all.)

Finally, sprinkle over the top (just sprinkle--don't mix):

3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 cup chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream. Mmm mmm mmm.


  1. What a precious little cookbook! Reminds me of some of the earlier publications my mother late 60's when she first opened her business. Dates always amaze me with their transformation into something delicious when baked in a recipe! Looks yummy!

  2. The dessert looks delicious! You always amaze me with your tea room book finds. I never take the time to look through books and magazines at antique stores, so I've probably passed up treasures.

  3. This looks yummy - I am so enjoying this series you are doing! Great job!

  4. Wow, Angela, that looks fantastic! That little cookbook is a treasure. Are you familiar via the blogs with Miss Spenser's Special Teas in New Virginia, Iowa? It is an authentic English tea room. I have visited quite a few tea rooms and it's by far my favorite. I have two of Donna and Miss Spenser's cookbooks and have tried and loved many of their recipes. You would enjoy her cookbooks, and also Miss Spenser's blog. If you ever get to Iowa, let me take you there. We'd have a great time.
    xo Beth

  5. Oh boy, decadent and calling to me! Another cute recipe book, thanks for sharing.

  6. This cookbook sounds like a delight and one I would love too. Now that recipe looks and sounds totally delicious and decadent! It definitely has the look of a vintage recipe.

  7. Oh, this looks delicious! Another recipe to try - thank you, Angela! Joanie

  8. I grew up in Troy & now live in South Carolina. I loved going to Pauline's Tea Room as a kid! Does anyone know where I could get a copy of this cookbook? I remember my mother had it at one time, but she passed away several years ago. I am looking for several recipes, one in particular I want to make for my grandchildren. The lemon jello dessert w/ white the topping/frosting.

  9. Hello! I was searching for info on a tea shoppe and came across this post:). Pauline is my grandma! I grew up helping her in the tea room and then with her catering after she closed the tea room. We actually have the cookbook printed regularly to have on hand to sell. Your copy appears to the be of the oldest copies (or just well-loved:)). Since the earlier edition Pauline has added recipes and of course updated the family information as her family has grown:). To this day she continues to bake her pies and treats for friends and acquaintances as well as makes her delicious homemade noodles! If anyone is interested in the cookbook, "Sprigs of Parsely" I may be contacted at

  10. Hello! I came across this post looking for info on a new tea cottage in Troy. Pauline is my grandma! I grew up helping her in her tea room and then would earn "allowance" by helping her with her catering jobs after she closed the tea room. To this day she continues to bake her pies and treats for loved wells as well as make her delicious homemade noodles to have on hand to send to grandchildren when they are under the weather! She continues to print the "Sprigs of Parsley" cookbook to have on hand to sell to those looking for her recipes from the tea room. If anyone is interested in a copy they are $8, just let me know:).


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