Wednesday, June 13, 2018

War Time Victory Cakes

From the Royal Baking Powder cookbook:

During WWII, America resorted to rationing certain goods. Everything from tires to shoes to nylons were rationed, along with many edibles such as sugar, coffee, and cheese. Fuel shortages made it tough to send fresh food across the country, and many processed foods had to be shipped to our soldiers and allies. Could you imagine though, telling your kid that you can’t make their favorite birthday cake because you already used up that month’s ration of butter!

One example of just deeply the war affected those at home in the U.S. can be found in cookbooks like these, which are featured in the National World War II Museum 'Arsenal of Democracy' exhibition. Written with wartime rationing and scarcity in mind, they advised the American homemaker on ideas about how to feed their families properly without using up too many of their supplies.

Here is a Recipe for one of those War Time Victory Cakes from the Royal Baking Powder Cookbook.

1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup milk
2 cups cake flower
2 1/2 teaspoons Royal Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: Cream shortening well; add sugar slowly, beating in well. Add beaten egg and vanilla; beat until well blended. Blend syrup and milk. Sift together dry ingredients and add alternately with liquid to first mixture. Bake in greased square pan (8 x 8 x 2 inches) in moderate oven at 350°F. about 1 hour or in 2 greased eight-inch layer cake pans at the same temperature about 30 minutes. Makes 1 eight-inch or 1 two-layer cake.
Note: Honey may be substituted for light corn syrup.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chocolate Depression Cake

Chocolate Depression Cake
Depression cake is a type of cake that was commonly made during the Great Depression. The ingredients include little or no milk, sugar, butter or eggs, because the ingredients were then either expensive or hard to obtain. Similar cakes are known as "War Cake," as they avoided ingredients that were scarce or were being conserved for the use of soldiers. This cake has no eggs in it.
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup water
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine vanilla, vinegar, oil and water. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.
Pour batter into a greased 8x8 square pan.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cake cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
Melt butter in a small saucepan (or in the microwave using a microwave safe dish.) Stir in cocoa powder, mixture will form a thick paste. With mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.
Once ingredients are incorporated, turn mixer to medium high speed and beat about 5 minutes, until frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread on top of cooled cake.