WW2 War Cake

Recipe by Naomi Schoenfeld

An eggless, almost fatless, milkless cake, very aptly named - it was popular during wartime shortages. It is dense and delicious uniced. For those who yearn for a good cake, but must resist fat, this will do it.

Top Review by MaryEllen

This recipe is almost exactly what my Grandmother called "Boiled Cake". She said it was originally "made up" because the ingredients for a regular cake were not always available. This is one of my favorite cakes--great to take to a pot luck, or office party. It tastes wonderful, packs well and everyone loves it. The only difference is she used lard, my mother substituted Crisco when they boiled the sugar (they used white sugar), water, raisins, etc. together. And of course, they did not always have nuts on hand so they were omitted a lot. Wonderful cake! Just a side effect -- when the mixture is boiling the entire house gets that spicy cooking smell that brings the whole family into the kitchen saying "what smells so wonderful).

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place the brown sugar, water, raisins.
  2. oil, cinnamon, and cloves in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool until the mixture is comfortably warm to your finger.
  4. While the mixture is cooling, preheat t he oven to 350F.
  5. Grease and flour an 8x4-inch baking pan.
  6. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  7. Add them to the cooled sugar mixture, beating until no drifts of flour are visible and the batter is smooth.
  8. Stir in the walnuts.
  9. Spread evenly in the baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a broomstraw inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool completely.
  11. Notes: For a good glaze, even if it is a 90's addition, save back a bit of the hot spiced water.
  12. Mix with confectioner's sugar, a drop of vanilla, and a pinch salt. Glaze the cake while hot.

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