This time of year, baking is more than popular — it’s a requirement. It’s not just the delicious food, but nostalgia which drives us. But this year, more than any other, vintage baking items and other vintage kitchenalia are hot. From vintage aluminum cookie cutters and vintage cookbooks, from vintage mixers to the old glass bowls the beaters spin in, vintage baking collectibles are flying off antique store shelves and going for high prices at auction. And none are hotter than those bearing the name of the original vintage kitchen Bettie herself, Betty Crocker.
Betty Crocker is the practical kitchen pitch-woman of General Mills who was created by the home economist and businesswoman Marjorie Husted. Betty Crocker’s been serving for 91 years, and as such her signature and the red spoons are as iconic as Rosie the Riveter. Betty Crocker’s as American as, well, the apple pies she instructs you how to make.
Vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks, especially those with spiral bindings or, most coveted of all, the snap-ring binder styles are fetching higher than usual prices. Most of these, especially those focused on cookies and pies, can bring double what they did even last year.
Betty Crocker’s Cookbook from 1969, the one with the “red pie cover,” has always sold well; but another Betty book seems to be in hot pursuit. Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book copyrighted in 1961 is the iconic aqua blue and pink covered binder cookbook that many of our mothers and grandmothers had used. Because everyone wants to make those traditional feasts, cakes, and cookies for their holiday meals, everyone wants a copy. Being that most of us only have one mom, there’s only one copy to pass down; the rest of us with short straws must buy another used copy. This is driving the price of clean copies with sound covers up to and even past $100. Even shabbier copies can bring $50.
But Betty Crocker and her corporate husband, General Mills, didn’t just stop with recipes and cookbooks. Loyal customers who clipped Betty Crocker Points off packages of General Mills products could save and use those points for all sorts of things, from Oneida flatware to Fiesta dishes. Pretty and practical — but even more popular are the Betty Crocker biscuit bakers, mixing bowls, and electric mixers.
This vintage electric stand mixer by Hamilton Beach proudly bears both the Betty Crocker and the General Mills names. General Mills is impressed in the handle; Betty Crocker’s name is in a “sponsored by” decal on the side.
It works and if it were complete, with original beaters and original vintage milk glass bowls by Pyrex, it could easily fetch over $125. As it sits now, it still has the potential to find the right home and be put to work this holiday season for $50.
Betty Crocker also signed off on items for little girls, such as dolls and junior baking kits. While those hold fond memories, it’s the practical stuff that our mothers and grandmothers used which are so hot right now that they require collectors to put on the oven mitts to try to grab ‘em.