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Depression Cake Recipes

Posted Dec 05 2008 4:00am

Over Thanksgiving, my mom was telling my family stories of growing up during the Great Depression.  My mom was born in 1932, and she grew up in a family that always managed to get by themselves okay and also feed other folks who dropped in unexpectedly, on very little money.  Also, my mother grew up during World War II, when a lot of things we take for granted today were in short supply, such as milk and eggs.  So, she told us the story of how one day she came home from school and walked into her house and smelled the most wonderful aroma of a cake cooking.  She said it had been a long, long time since they had enjoyed a real cake.  She was imagining rich layers of cake topped with creamy icing, but when she went into the kitchen, she saw her mother had made a jelly cake.  She was so disappointed that she ran to her room sobbing.  Still, later she ate the jelly cake, and she said it was good, but just not what she was hoping for.  I looked up jelly cakes and depression cakes, and I found two pretty good recipes, so I thought I would share them here.  So, if you find the cost of milk or eggs too high for your budget these days, you won’t need them in these recipes:

Depression Cake (milkless, eggless cake)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan combine the shortening, water, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove form heat and let stand until cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Stir the flour and baking soda into the cooled raisin mixture and mix until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes.

Depression Jelly Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 5 tbsp. lard
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. favorite jelly

Directions:

Sift dry ingredients 3 times in bowl. Make 3 holes in mixture. Pour lard, vinegar, vanilla and water in each hole. Mix well. Pour in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Heat favorite jelly in a saucepan until melted and pour over warm cake.

 

 

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