Cookbook Review Vintage: The Margaret Fulton Cookbook 1968 (reprint 1977)

Dear Margaret Fulton – I’M NOT WORTHY!!! I’M NOT WORTHY!!

I have failed you oh great sage, Yoda lookalike with a splash of ET. Stab me with a carving knife oh great one!

Source: The Age

I could not get my swiss roll to work. A bit like Roger Federer bailing out of the Aussie Open 2010 –  I totally went off the rails.

I have to admit that I didn’t perfectly follow the recipe. I forgot to add the tablespoon of hot water.  Could that have been the killer mistake???? My sponge was very eggy tasting and the outside cracked pretty quickly while rolling. I also spread jam in the roll while the sponge was still warm which may explain why my cross sections didn’t ooze like a juicy wound.

Let me know if you can do this recipe. Note: this book was reprinted in 2006 and is still available. The version below is the 1970s classic. A great dessert for the lactose intolerant ie giant bloaters.

Margaret Fulton’s Swiss Roll

  • 3/4 cup (3oz) Self Raising Flour
  • pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (4 1/2 oz) castor sugar
  • 1 Tbl hot water
  • 3-4 Tbls warm jam
  • castor sugar for dredging

Grease a 15×10 x1 inch Swiss Roll tin and line with greased greaseproof paper (I just used baking paper). Set oven temp to 425F (218C). Sift flour with salt 3 times. Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and stand over a pan of gently steaming water, not boiling. Whisk together well until mixture is very thick and creamy, about 10 mins or use an electric mixer.

Remove bowl from water and continue whisking mixture until cool. Fold in flour as lightly as possible with a metal spoon. Lastly fold in hot water. Pour into prepared tin and shake into corners, spread evenly using metal spatula.

Bake for 7-10 mins until pale, golden, springy. pale, golden and springy. Do not overcook as it makes rolling up difficult.

Quickly turn out sponge on to a teatowel well sprinkled with castor sugar. Carefully strip off lining. Trim off crisp edges. Roll in towel, cool, then unroll.

Warm jam (I did this in microwave) and when warm spread over sponge taking it almost to the edges.

Lifting the edges of the sugared tea towel nearest you, roll the sponge into a neat firm roll. Stand roll on a cooling rack with join underneath. Leave until cold, away from any draughts. sprinkle with a little more castor sugar before serving.

My swiss roll cracked and looked a bit like a giant poo. Did I leave it in a draught? I don’t even know what a draught is as I live in an air-conditioned bubble. Let me know your thoughts on what went wrong.

So why did I review this book?

As part of my feeling rather nostalgic I thought I would try the most famous cookbook in Australia – The Margaret Fulton Cookbook first published in 1968 and reprinted 19 times.

This book has always been around the house but I probably not opened since 1985. Its got a bit of a stinky paper odour to it. I remember not loving it that much because there weren’t as many photos as my Good Housekeeping one.  But it’s still a compulsory book for everyone in the universe.

In an interview with the Age, Margaret talks about being a trailblazer and an activist especially for women. To my mind, I give massive props to Fulton for introducing “international food” to Australia at a time when white bread and mayo were the norm.

Take a look at how progressive this little woman was!

Multicultural Chinese Maggie

Multicultural Italian Margaret

Multicultural Margaret Indian

Multicultural French Margaret

The book is an Australian classic. Her Pavlova recipe is meant to be pretty damn good. I will have to give it another try!


Always shop around. My copy is obviously an old edition. At time of post I found good prices for the 2010 edition at the US Amazon site! click here for The Margaret Fulton Cookbook: Revised and Updated Edition of the Classic
I also found a comparative price at /The Margaret Fulton Cookbook and at

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  • Kate
    January 31, 2011 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Hey, again I think you are being a bit harsh on yourself. The jam roll was tasty and devoured by the young children at the lunch. I have an A-Z Margaret Fullton book and it is a bible. Any ingrediant or recipe I am considering – Maggs has got it covered.

  • January 31, 2011 - 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I have this book – it’s a classic. I love how there’s tiny stains from perhaps my Mum’s cooking exploits. The swiss roll looks pretty good to me! (Would love to know what creature creates a swiss roll looking poo.) Try the pav!

    • Editor
      June 7, 2011 - 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the feedback Annie! Will definitely make the pav soon

  • claire miller
    February 9, 2011 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    I amm on the search for the 1968 Margaret Fulton Cookbook 1968 edition published by Summit for one of my daughters…………… there anyone that has one for sale


    • Editor
      February 9, 2011 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Hi Claire
      If you are on facebook you may want to join the Margaret Fulton Facebook fan page – there are thousands of MF fans on that site and you may get a reply from one of MF’s staff if not a fellow fan.
      Otherwise, try ebay or amazon. There are also special website dealers who specialise in second hand books. The 1968 edition was also sold in the UK (I think) so there are a lot out there. I believe the 1968 version was reprinted several times ie without being updated so even if you found a 1970s copy it would be pretty close to the original.

      Good luck!!

    • Shane
      May 18, 2011 - 7:45 am | Permalink

      Are you still looking for this? I have a 1977 reprint of her 1968 book which I want to sell. It is in good condition and still has the loose cover (also in good condition). Shane

      • nathan
        June 3, 2012 - 6:42 pm | Permalink

        yes please – how much would you like for it?

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