American WW2 Chocolate Cake Recipe

You would assume with the lockdown that I’ve had lots of time to keep up to date with everything, but no!  I have kept working pretty much all the way through, so am glad for that! But it hasn’t left me much time for my other interests.  I hope that this post finds everyone well and not completely stir crazy!

I have come across a lovely American WW2 recipe for chocolate cake that doesn’t use eggs or butter, so makes it a little cheaper, even for these times. It is the magic combination of vinegar and baking soda that gives the cake its’ rise.  Only use a maximum of half a cup of added ingredients such as chocolate chips / dried fruit, as this will stop the cake from rising properly.

Chocolate Cake

Serves 8


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooled coffee or milk, regular or dairy-free
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried fruit, or a combination
  • Powdered sugar for dusting, or 2 cups frosting (optional)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F / 175°C / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease and flour an 8 x 8-inch square baking tin and set aside.

  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the coffee or milk, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir until the batter is smooth; it will be thin. Add the chocolate chips and dried fruit if using and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out cleanly, about 25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Storage: Leftover cake can be stored tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Flour Shortage – 2 – tips

I’ve been lucky enough to manage to get a large bag of bread flour from the internet – 16kg!

It’s surprising what you can use it for – including making cakes – add 2 tsp baking powder per 150gm flour in a recipe to turn it into self-raising flour.

I’ve also used it to make pastry.  As long as you follow the general pastry rule of handling it as little as possible – it will be just fine.

Here’s a recipe that I’ve just tried using my bread flour:

Carrot Cookies

1 tbsp margarine  (as it’s VE Day tomorrow – I treated us and used best butter!)
2 tbsp sugar and a little extra for sprinkling on the top
a few drops of vanilla or almond or orange flavouring
4 tbsp grated raw carrot
6 tbsp plain flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder (or 6 tbsp S R flour)
a small amount of water to bind (1-2 tbsp)

(To get a full tablespoon of margarine, plunge the spoon first into boiling water, then cut out the fat with the hot spoon. In this way, a piece of just the right quantity will be obtained.)


Cream the fat and sugar together until it is light and fluffy.  Beat in the flavouring and the carrot.
Fold in the flour and baking powder.
Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into small greased patty pans.
Sprinkle the tops with the extra sugar and bake in a brisk over for about 20 mins. – I cooked them at 200 degrees C / 180 degrees C fan oven

WW2 Carrot Cookies

We’re going to have these with our celebratory lunch tomorrow x

Flour Shortage – 1

I’m sure I’m not the only one suffering from a little flour shortage.  I gave my last half bag of bread flour to my Mum a couple of weeks ago, and now I have approx. half a bag of SR flour and a third of a bag of plain flour left.  Why, when you’re short of something, is that it is all that you crave?  We fancy something sweet, but I’m loathe to make a cake, as this will finish my SR flour.

I am lucky to have some WI friends and one of them has just posted this fat-less, egg-less cake recipe – the bonus of it lies in the fact that it uses equal quantities of all the other ingredients – so you can work it around whatever weird weight of flour you want / have!

200 gm rolled oats
200 gm brown sugar (I used light brown)
200 gm self-raising flour
200 gm sultanas (or other dried fruit to taste)
200 ml milk

You could use a cup / mug etc to measure ingredients out as well – as they are all the same quantities – how easy is this?!

Preheat the oven to 160C, 320F.
Mix dry ingredients, make a well in the centre and add the milk.
Mix together and place in a lined and greased loaf tin.
Bake for approx. 45 mins – 1 hour, this makes a wet mixture, the slower it cooks, the more moist it stays.

This is the loaf, before baking…

Flour Shortage - 1 - Tea Loaf

I used a cup measure – and did 1 cup of everything, then poured it into a 2 lb loaf tin – in retrospect, if I had used a 1 lb loaf tin, the loaf would have been more loaf shaped, as due to the lack of eggs, it doesn’t really rise.  However, it smelt delicious whilst it was baking away.  As I am working from home at the moment, my temporary office is in the kitchen – so I was working with a tantalising aroma filling the room! Bliss x

Tea Loaf fresh out of the oven

Although this is a fat-less cake recipe – it makes a tea-bread style of loaf, which is lovely, sliced and slathered in butter!

Malt Loaf 3

Tea loaf, warm spread with butter – yummy x

Hello from Isolation!

Well, I am now into day 5 of isolation and I am sure that some of you are into even longer stints.  I wish you all well and hope that a couple of posts and food ideas will keep the wolves from the door a little longer.

Since I moved into a town about 3 years ago, I had reduced my store cupboard somewhat, and did not go out and panic buy as some did – so my stock of essentials  like flour, pasta and lentils is a little lower than I would like, but this is where some ingenuity comes in.  My other issue, is that due to lack of space I only have a fridge freezer, which doesn’t give me much freezer space at all.

For example, the other day I had half a pot of plain yogurt that needed using up and I also had a small amount of a homemade spaghetti bolognaise sauce that couldn’t be re-frozen.  I know that you can make Naan bread with yogurt… so that led me to Keema Naan… which led to my invention of Italian Naan bread!  Bit left-field, but it was tasty and filling for lunch – I added a little grated parmesan on top as it came out of the oven, for extra flavour.  My 14yo daughter was doubtful at first, but has now requested that we make it again, so it couldn’t have been bad at all.

Italian Naan Bread

I’m sure that by the time we have finished, we will be eating weirder inventions than that!

Tonight’s leftovers are going to be used for a pudding – I have a little cake left that needs using and I’m going to warm it slightly and serve it with some custard – we don’t really drink milk in our house, so this is a way of getting milk in to our diets.

Another good recipe for leftover cake is the Florida Pudding which I made during my Rationing Challenge. Well worth a try.

I’m going to leave you for tonight and will post again in a couple of days.  Take care x

Apologies x

Unfortunately, due to family circumstances, we have had to cancel our plans to exhibit at the International Bomber Command Centre later this month.

We are sorry to cancel as we were looking forward to it, but hope to catch you at other events soon!

Thank You!

We would like to say thank you to Thorpe Camp for another wonderful weekend and to all the lovely visitors that we had to our stand.  Unfortunately, we were a little out of the way, but my daughter managed to tempt a number of down to see me!

Olivia handing out “wartime” food samples, wearing her Grandad’s belt.

She was also really proud to have found her Grandad’s wartime belt (including rat poison!) and his medic training notebook.  She went round to see a couple of the re-enactors to show them and get a bit of advice about the belt.

There was also a lovely gentleman (I’m sorry we didn’t get his name, but he came along with Iris), that talked to her about the notebook, encouraging her to transcribe it – all these little things made it a wonderful weekend for us, and we cannot thank everyone enough.

We hope that we may see you again at the International Bomber Command Centre in August.

Best Wishes, Amanda & Olivia

Saturday at Thorpe Camp

It’s been a lovely day, chatting to people and hearing stories. A little quieter than normal, due to intermittent rain, but at least I didn’t boil!


The eggless, fatless walnut cake was a revelation and was enjoyed by all who tried it. If the recipe was made with almond milk, it would also be vegan!


We’ll be cooking a little tomorrow as well, with the mock fish cakes and possibly lentil and tomato sausages on offer around lunchtime.

“Menu” for Thorpe Camp

In the final stages of preparation, I have sorted out the things that I am going to make this weekend.  Please come along and have a try!


National Loaf – this is always on our stand
Eggless, Fatless Walnut Cake (v)
Mock Fish Cakes – these will be cooked around lunchtime

Mock Fish Cakes

Mock Fish Cakes with Mushy Peas

Eggless Mayonnaise (vegan)


National Loaf
Lentil & Tomato Sausages (v) – these will be cooked around lunchtime

Lentil & Tomato Sausages

Lentil & Tomato Sausages

Mock chocolate spread
Golden slices – a leftover recipe to use up the National Loaf

I hope that you will be able to come along and share your stories with us, whilst we share our food with you x

Thorpe Camp here we come!

We are well on our way to getting all things packed for this weekend!  The weather is looking a little cooler, but dry – much appreciated!

In case you are in the area for the weekend and are looking for some extra entertainment, there is an excellent period drama on at The Lion Theatre in Horncastle – just a short drive away.

“The Ghost Train” written by Arnold Ridley – yes, he of Dad’s Army fame!  Period spooky drama – well worth a visit.


Playing tonight, Friday and Saturday @ 7.30pm – tickets available on the door or online at: Horncastle Theatre