A Chef Updated Our 1950s Frosted Sandwich Loaf with Delicious Results

Watch how chef Alexis deBoschnek creates a 1950s frosted sandwich loaf recipe and transforms the same retro recipe into modern tea sandwiches.

Frosted sandwich loaves were a staple in 1950s kitchens, usually served up as a tea party centerpiece. For part of our Then & Now video series, we challenged chef Alexis deBoschnek to make the original version from a vintage Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and compare it to her modern take. The final consensus? Colorful, visually appealing—and a lot of cream cheese.

Frosted Sandwich Loaf
Shirley Cheng

Then: Frosted Sandwich Loaf

The frosted loaf recipe offers ideas for three fillings: mayonnaise and crab, pimento cheese and olives, and cream cheese and watercress. "This feels like maybe a salt bomb waiting to happen," Alexis says. "It's just so unlike recipes we have today, which are maybe just less cream cheese heavy."

After trimming the loaf on all sides, Alexis divides it into four pieces and spreads on some butter. She then adds a thick layer of each filling. "You know I do think aesthetically, it looks pretty nice," she says. The decorations, which include radish roses, parsley, olives, nuts, and kumquats, take it a step further. To finish it off, she stacks the layers, coats all sides in about two tubs of whipped cream cheese, and adds the decorations.

Tea Sandwiches
Shirley Cheng

Now: Tea Sandwiches

Alexis then prepares her own version: a tower of tea sandwiches. For the fillings, she goes with egg salad and chives, spreadable cheese and cucumber, and butter and radishes—so cute for a brunch, she points out.

The Taste Test

When it's taste test time, Alexis goes for the frosted sandwich loaf first. "That was a wild ride that I hope I never have to go on again," she concludes (with a mouthful of cream cheese). On the positive side, it's a showstopper. However, the flavors are dated.

The tea sandwiches get a different reaction. "Flavor wise, these sandwiches are way more my speed," Alexis says. "They feel light; I like the mix of flavors. It feels a little more balanced." She decides that while they're not as visually exciting, they're definitely more delicious.

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