Washtenaw County's historic preservation program is dedicated to supporting local historic districts, spurring heritage tourism, and attracting investment in our historic resources.
After World War II ended, soldiers returned home to their families and the economy boomed. As new domestic appliances and products became popular, the Chelsea-based “Jiffy” brand grew rapidly. Their easy-to-prepare recipes and bright, attractive packaging struck a chord with consumers, who could quickly whip up a baked good or skillet cake by simply adding an egg or water to the boxed mix rather than carefully measuring many separate ingredients.
Founded in 1930, the business had survived and thrived during World War II. The brand was optimally positioned to take part of the manufactured food trend of the post-war era, and by 1960, Jiffy mixes were for sale in all fifty states. Jiffy was responsible for a substantial portion of economic growth experienced by Chelsea and western Washtenaw County during the mid-20th century. Today, a factory museum tour is offered to those looking to learn more about this family business.
Cake 1-1/2 cups Jiffy Baking Mix 1/3 cup milk 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 3 Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding mix 1-1/2 cups blueberries 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup sour cream Topping 2 Tbsp. Jiffy Baking Mix 1/4 cup sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup nuts, chopped 1/2 cup quick oats Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8” square pan. For cake, combine ingredients except for blueberries. Mix well. Fold in blueberries and pour into pan. Combine topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake 40 - 45 minutes.
Sources: Reynolds, Cynthia Furlong. Jiffy A Family Tradition. Chelsea: Chelsea Milling Company (2008). "Jiffy." https://site.jiffymix.com/.
(Photo of the Jiffy factory in Chelsea MI)