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Recipes that Bring American Girl Stories Alive


Like a good story, baking with your girl never goes out of style. Creating these recipes from the American Girl archives is a great way to connect with history and create new stories with your girl.

Rosanna Pansino partnered with American Girl to feature these recipes on her cooking series Nerdy Nummies. Check out Molly’s recipe here, Samantha’s recipe here and Blaire’s recipe here.  

Molly cooking studio

Did you know?

During World War II, ingredients like sugar and butter were hard to find, so Molly’s family had to work with what they had. These cupcakes use applesauce instead of sugar and butter, which was a common substitute at the time. Not only does this swap-in give these cupcakes a delicious apple-pie aroma—it also makes them dairy free!

Molly’s Applesauce Cupcakes

Makes 16 cupcakes


  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • ¼ broken walnut pieces
  • Your favorite frosting (for dairy-free cupcakes, be sure to use frosting without milk, cream, or butter) 


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners for 16 cupcakes.

Put a sifter into a medium mixing bowl. Measure the sifted flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt into the sifter. Sift these dry ingredients into the bowl.

Measure the shortening into a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the shortening until it’s fluffy.

Add the honey to the shortening and continue to beat the mixture for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer once or twice and use the rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add half the applesauce and half the sifted dry ingredients to the honey and shortening mixture. Mix at medium speed until all the flour disappears. Stop once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula.

Add the remaining applesauce and dry ingredients. Mix again until everything is blended.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in the raisins and walnut pieces.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each about  ⅔  full (about two tablespoons of batter).

Bake the cupcakes for 25 to 30 minutes.

Poke a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Set them on racks to cool.

After 10 minutes, take the cupcakes out of the pans and let them cool completely on the racks before frosting them. 


Samantha's cooking studio

Did you know?

In the early 1900s, many people believed that even girls from wealthy families like Samantha’s should learn how to cook, as well as how to become proper hostesses. When Samantha helped make jelly biscuits, she loved using the sifter, rolling out the dough, and cutting the biscuits into round shapes. Sometimes she even snuck a small piece of dough to eat!

Samantha’s Jelly Biscuits

Makes 18 biscuits


  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Flour for cutting board and rolling pin
  • ½ cup jelly or jam



Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

Put a sifter into a mixing bowl. Measure the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into the sifter. Then sift them into the bowl.

Add the shortening. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to blend the shortening and flour mixture until it becomes a coarse meal.

Add the milk and blend with a fork until the mixture forms a soft ball of dough.

Sprinkle a little flour on a cutting board. Spread it evenly with your hands.

Put the ball of dough on the cutting board and knead the dough 12 times. To knead the dough, press down on it with the palms of your hands. Then fold it in half. Press it and fold it again. Add a little more flour if the dough sticks.

Put more flour on the cutting board and rolling pin. Roll out the dough from the center to the edges until it is about ¼ inch thick.

With a large cookie cutter or glass, cut circles close together out of the dough.

Use the spatula to move half the circles to a cookie sheet. Place them 1 inch apart.

With a small, round cookie cutter or bottle cap, cut a hole in the center of the remaining circles. Lift these rings onto the top of the biscuit circles on the cookie sheet.

Form a ball with the remaining dough, roll it out, and continue forming circles and rings until all the dough is used.

Put a teaspoon of jelly or jam into each ring.

Bake the jelly biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove the biscuits from the oven to cool. 

blair's blog image

Did you know?

People with lactose intolerance, like 2019 Girl of the Year™ Blaire Wilson™, don’t have enough lactase in their small intestine to digest milk sugar, which means they feel awful after eating foods that contain dairy. In Blaire Cooks Up a Plan, Blaire feels isolated by her new diagnosis because she can’t eat the same snacks as everyone else in her class. Blaire’s friend Eli makes a huge difference in her day by baking these special dairy-free brownies, just so Blaire can enjoy them too. These brownies are guaranteed to make people smile, even if they can eat milk products!

Eli’s Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Brownies

Makes 24 brownies


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)



Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine the oil, maple syrup, soy milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the baking pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the pan from the oven. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into squares.

Adapted from American Girl Pastimes: Molly’s Cook Book ©1994, American Girl Pastimes: Samantha’s Cook Book ©1994, and Blaire Cooks Up a Plan ©2019.

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