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Thread: War Cake - WWII recipe

  1. #1
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    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.
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    Marge Campbell
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  2. #2
    Junior Member lynnegreen's Avatar
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    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.
    Lynne

  3. #3
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    What beautiful handwriting!

  4. #4
    Evy
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    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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    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
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    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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    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.
    Murphy1
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  8. #8
    Member phyllvog's Avatar
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    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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    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
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    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!

  11. #11
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    My mom had a similar recipe ... she called it raisin cake but the name on the recipe was no eggs, no milk cake ... a family staple for years!

  12. #12
    Senior Member SoozeeDoozee's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the photo with beautiful handwriting. That generation that made do and had pride doing it is a thing of the past. My grandmother, now age 98, had an old christmas card from the Depression era, it was a scrap of old wallpaper folded in half with a clever little poem of how hard times were and no money, so they ripped the wallpaper off to send the greeting.
    Draw close. Hold hands. Life is short. God is Good. (Jan Karon)

  13. #13
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    My mother used to make this cake when I was a kid (I'm 82) but we called it "Boiled Raisin Cake". In the winter we would put the kettle that held the boiled ingredients outside the kitchen door in a snow bank to quickly cool. We always baked it in a tube cake pan, once the oven was heated up in the kitchen wood stove. I am so glad to get this recipe again. Thank you for sharing.

  14. #14
    Junior Member tlclifford47's Avatar
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    I just love this cake. This cake recipe has been made in my family since the war and I even have it in a WWII cookbook. Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do.

  15. #15
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    Very cool and such lovely penmanship. No eggs or butter but it sounds good. Have you made this?

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    Oh my gosh, I couldnt believe it when I saw this. I have my grandmothers recipe for War Cake, and she called it that too. I remember it being one of our favorite cakes growing up. I make one every Christmas, they are so good and so moist.

  17. #17
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    and there was also Tomato Soup cake......baked in a tube pan.......cream cheese frosting

  18. #18
    Junior Member d.swindle's Avatar
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    I have several of my MILs,recipts in her hand writing,one is for a cornmeal pie, she said that is what they used for a pecan pie, they couldn't afford pecans, I made it once and it did taste like pecans.

    d.swindle

  19. #19
    Dee
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    Thanks for the recipe. This was called Poor man's cake when I was a kid.

  20. #20
    Senior Member nana4baj's Avatar
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    My mother used to make this cake and I have been looking for this recipe since she died 37 years ago.....I love this cake......now I can pass it down to my children..........Thanks so much..............

  21. #21
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    That sounds like a good recipe. I love the stained old hand-written recipes. Your aunt had marvelous penmanship!

  22. #22
    Senior Member jetmaio's Avatar
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    I couldn't resist and made this cake yesterday. I really like it. I put 2 tbls. butter in place of the lard. It reminds me of date nut bread and it's amazingly easy to make.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    I printed out the original recipe for the authentic "old" look.

  23. #23
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limey View Post
    What beautiful handwriting!
    That's what I admire most about finding old recipes -- the penmenship.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  24. #24
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    What degree is a slow oven? Thanks
    Quilt until all your troubles disappear!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Connie M.'s Avatar
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    Looking at your aunts handwritten recipe brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. The beautiful cursive handwriting looks just like my grandmother's (who died before I was born). I have her handwritten recipe for War Cake, which is nearly identical to yours except white rather than brown sugar. I have made it many times and my family loves it. Thanks for the memory jog.

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