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Thread: War Cake - WWII recipe

  1. #1
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Littlefield, TX, USA

    War Cake - WWII recipe

    This recipe was in my Aunt Almo Duncan Buren's bible:

    War Cake

    2 cups brown sugar

    2 cups hot water

    2 tablespoons lard ( I used shortening)

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon ground cloves
    note: instead of cinnamon and cloves, I used two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

    1/2 package seedless raisins (I used 7oz of a 14 oz pkg)

    Boil all above ingredients for 5 minutes after they begin to bubble.

    When COLD add:
    1 teaspoon full soda (I used baking soda) in 1 teaspoon hot water (I just added to the flour sans the water).

    3 cups flour (all purpose)

    Beat all together good. Bake in slow (350 degrees) 45 minutes. Bake in loaf pans...makes 2 loaves.

    I'm attaching a copy of the original recipe.

    It is very good...like a dense zuchinni bread.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Marge Campbell
    TL18LS/Qbot automated quilter

  2. #2
    Junior Member lynnegreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Southern California
    Aren't old recipes wonderful. I have my grandmother's sorority sister's fundraiser cookbook which has recipes she used for decades - some I personally remember, the others obviously family favorites by the spots on the pages. This recipe sounds like a lot of fun to try.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2011
    What beautiful handwriting!

  4. #4
    Evy is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    SE KY
    My husbands mom used to make this. She called it Poor Cake. DH loved it and I tried to make it 3 times and each time it was awful. Grandma's gone now, passed on last year at age 92, but we all remember her Poor Cake. Maybe I'll try this recipe and see if it works for me. Grandma's had a lot of "about" measurements, instead of precise ones. I remember one item was "a large spoon of lard". thanks for posting it.

  5. #5
    Super Member Babs194068's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    I have this same recipe and it is call an inexpensive fruit cake it has raisins and dates and walnuts in it no other fruit. Awesome eating.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I know this recipe....mom never called it war cake. I was raised on it and still make it myself. It traveles very well, is healthy. She had changed it over the years, she chopped up half the raisins in the food processor, that really keeps it moist and also add walnuts or whatever...one of those base recpies you can play with.

  7. #7
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Folsom, CA
    Blog Entries
    My mom's recipe was called Poor Man's Cake. It was similar to this one. We make it at Christmas time and add spiced gum drops. It was a recipe that called for no eggs or milk - thus the name.
    Last edited by Murphy1; 11-25-2011 at 07:57 AM.
    For our wonderful Golden Retriever adopted in March of 2010.

  8. #8
    Member phyllvog's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Blog Entries
    At our house, this was called "eggless cake", in her later years, Mom made it in a 9 x 13 and topped it with caramel icing, yummy!

  9. #9
    Senior Member bobquilt3's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    We wouldn't think of using lard any more but I bet it was a delicious cake. The best cookies I ever ate were made with lard. They also had wine in them. Hmmmmm I wonder if that had something to do with it.
    Have to give this one a try. . . and I'll use shortening, too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Southeast Michigan
    I remember War Cakes -- as noted, called that because of the rationing of dairy products and other basics we take for granted. My grandmother was quite a baker (as well as a quilter that worked until she was 30+ as a seamstress from the 1890s). Her cardinal rules for baking included sifting the flour, usually twice, and using cake flour when baking cakes. When cake flour wasn't available, you put two tablespoons of corn starch in the cup before spooning in the flour -- then sifting twice before remeasuring. She would probably choke at the way I cook -- or the shortcuts we have to sew!

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