Monday, January 14, 2008

Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake

I was writing my lecture on World War One today and came across this recipe in a 1917 cook book called "Best War Time Recipes" published by the Royal Baking Powder Company of New York. Back then, the U.S. Food Administration was rationing wheat at home to provide more for European civilians and soldiers, and many a cookbook was printed to help Americans bake with different products. This recipe caught my eye--who knew the U.S. government advocated veganism in 1917? The original recipe called for 5 tsp of baking powder, which seemed a bit high to me, so I only used 3.

- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 tbsp grated lemon peel
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup shortening or margarine
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup corn or wheat flour
- 1 cup rye or barley flour
- 3 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Boil sugar, water, fruit (including lemon peel and juice), shortening, salt, and spices together in saucepan for 3 minutes. When cool, add flour and baking powder which have been sifted together. Mix well; bake in a large loaf pan for about 45 minutes (until an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Cool for 5 mins, transfer to a wire rack.


Friar Tuck said...

How did it taste?

Vegan Dad said...

It tasted quite good, actually. And it tasted even better knowing I was helping our boys over in Europe.

VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness, this is absolutely fantastic - just goes to show that veganism isn't (and wasn't, back then) an abnormality!! :0)

Elisabeth said...

I remember seeing recipes from this book when I was studying WWI in high school -- at least it was a similar, ration-based cook book. mock whipped cream and things-- I had completely forgotten! There was a biscuit recipe that was surprisingly fantastic!

LizzyQ ~ Vegan Mother said...

Mmm... Wacky Cake!!! Lots of vegan cake recipes came out of the war, since milk & eggs were so expensive.. Our wedding cake recipe was a wacky cake recipe, and oh. so. good.

quixoticmama said...

Ahhh, my mom used to make this all the time - she calls it 'Poor Man's Fruitcake'... :)

LOVE your blog, by the way!

Lenea said...

I was just about to try this recipe... When I realized I did not know the amount of water I should put in to boil with the sugar and the fruit. Please let me know the proportion of water I should put in, thank you.

Vegan Dad said...

Whoops. I fixed the recipe--thanks!

Lenea said...

So I tried it a few times, but for some reason, when I used 1 cup corn flour and 1 cup wheat flour, it always turned out to be crumbly. So I used 2 cups of wheat flour instead, and it turned out just fine.

I was wondering what flour did you use for yours?

Vegan Dad said...

I really can't remember . . . . I think I used the corn, and judging from the pic it looks a little crumbly.