Gram's Poor Man's Cake (Eggless & Milkless)

Total Time
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 1 hr

From an old cookbook that belonged to Gram. It had section in it called Depression Era Cooking!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring to a boil the fruit, nuts, extract, salt, sugar, shortening and coffee.
  2. Continue to cook until raisins swell and liquid becomes syrupy; cool completely.
  3. Stir together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Add to fruit mixture and combine thoroughly.
  5. Pour into a greased 10-inch tube pan and bake at 325° about an hour (if heavy with fruit). Check with tester to be sure cake is done.
  6. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
  7. At this point I soak a clean piece of cheesecloth in liquor; brandy, rum, even wine.
  8. Wrap the cake with the cloth and in foil--store in COLD place--check often, resoak as needed.
  9. There are no exact measurements for the fruit in this recipe--the original recipe stated "fruits, nuts & peels-whatever you have on hand".
  10. This was done because it was wartime and things for fancy baking were not always available.


Most Helpful

This is the tastiest cake! I have made this with various combinations of fruit - both fresh and dried combined and it has been delicious each time. I have even replaced my family recipe for Christmas Cake with this one! I don't soak the cake in brandy after it is baked, but I do boil a 1/2 cup brandy with the fruit and coffee. Thanks for a wonderful keeper recipe!

Bokenpop aka Madeleine November 21, 2008

I made this recipie except for the soaking in wine at the end. It only needed to be cooked half as long as the recipie stated. I am going to try it again with the addition of allspice.

Jeannette 108 June 13, 2006

I too passed up the soaking step, we liked it very much the way it came out. Kind of like a thick cookie filled with nuts and raisins, I cut it into small wedges. The coffee taste was quite prominent, almost a mocha taste with no chocolate. I used vanilla extract. I will make these again, they do bring back childhood memories, thanks for posting.

Derf June 02, 2004

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