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 – 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