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This cake originated during the Second World War amid rations. Each person was allowed only small amounts of basic commodities. It is very tasty and served the desire for the luxury of a "dessert" and the need for a "comfort food" during the war.


This was a popular cake during the war years because it doesn't call for expensive milk, eggs, or butter. It makes a dark, heavy cake that can be mixed in one pan and, the longer you keep the cake, the better it gets, however when my grandmother made it there was never any left to see how true this was.
2 cups brown sugar 2 cups hot water
2 teaspoons shortening 1/2-3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons hot water

In a medium-size sauce pan, mix together the brown sugar, hot water, shortening, raisins, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Boil for 5 minutes after the mixture begins to bubble. When the mixture is cold (and it must be cold), add flour. Mix baking soda with hot water and add to flour mixture. Mix well. Pour into a greased tube pan and bake for about one hour at 350° to 375° F. (Be sure to test the cake's doneness - sometimes an extra 10 minutes is needed).

Sugar Bank Cake, American

Sugar Bank Novel Idea For Saving

Pass up that second spoonful for coffee: put fresh fruits for their natural sweetness atop your morning cereal;  have honey on your grapefruit for a change - then immediately deposit the sugar you saved in a "sugar bank" made from the jar your real mayonnaise came in. It makes a game of the sugar shortage and when your mayonnaise jar is filled to the brim with the sweet stuff bake a special cake for a special event - one could go to the USO or to your favorite soldier at camp!

(Worth Saving For)


  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ squares unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cup vitaminized margarine
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup thick buttermilk
  • ½ cup water

Preparation Instructions

Sift together flour, soda and salt, Melt chocolate over hot water; cool. Cream margarine until soft and creaming until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs and beat mixture until smooth. Stir in vanilla and cooled chocolate. Combine buttermilk and water. Add alternately with sifted flour to creamed margarine mixture, beginning and ending with flour and beating until smooth after each addition. Line two 8-inch cake pans with wax paper and grease the sides; fill with batter. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 27 to 30 minutes. Turn out onto cake racks and cool. When cool spread with any desired frosting. Makes two 8-inch layers.


WWII Oatmeal Molasses Cookies

I found this recipe in my Grandmother's cookbook from the 1940's.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons light molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    3. In another large bowl, beat the sugar with the shortening until smooth and creamy; mix in beaten eggs, molasses, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
    4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
3/4 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine chocolate and milk in top of double boiler and cook over rapidly boiling water 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Blend with rotary egg beater; cool.

Sift flour once, measure, add soda, salt, and sugar, and sift together three times. Cream shortening; add flour, vanilla, and chocolate mixture and stir until all flour is dampened. Then beat vigorously 1 minute. Bake in two greased and lightly floured 8-inch layer pans in moderate oven (375º F.) 20 minutes, or until done. Spread frosting between layers and on top of cake.

Cocoa Cake: Substitute 1/3 cup cocoa for chocolate. Sift it with the dry ingredients; add cold milk with vanilla.


1 lb. cubed stewing beef
2 tablespoons fat
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced turnips
8-10 small white onions

Brown 1 pound cubed stewing beef in 2 tablespoons fat. Add 5 cups water and season with salt, pepper bay leaf, thyme and Worcestershire Sauce. Simmer, covered, until meat is nearly tender. Add 3/4 cup each diced carrots and turnips and 8 to 10 small white onions. (Any desired combinations of vegetables and seasonings may be used.) Cook until vegetables are done.

Thicken stew slightly with flour and water paste. Drop feather dumplings on simmering stew, dover tightly, and simmer 14 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Feather Dumplings

1 cup sifted flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons melted fat

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Add milk and fat. Then stir quickly and lightly until a very soft dough is formed. Drip by small spoonfuls on simmering stew, making sure each dumpling rests on meat or vegetables. (Dumplings should not settle in liquid. If necessary, pour off excess gravy, returning it to stew after the dumplings are cooked.) Cover kettle tightly and cook gently 14 minutes. Do not remove cover while dumplings cook. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Note: For the fat, use a little fat skimmed from stew in making these dumplings. It gives extra desired taste.

Apple Brown Betty (World War II)

2 cup Bread cubes
6 tablespoon Butter or margarine, melted
6 cup Sliced apples or any other seasonal fruit
1 cup Honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Grated rind of lemon, (optional)
¼ cup Cold water
Whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread cubes and melted butter together. Combine the honey, cinnamon, lemon rind and water. Reserving some of the bread for topping, place half of remaining mixture in bottom of baking dish. Top with half the fruit; pour half the honey mixture over fruit. Repeat layers. Top with reserved bread cubes. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender and top is browned. Serve warm with whipped topping.


2 egg whites
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. grated apple
1 tsp. lemon juice

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add half the sugar while beating. Then add the grated apple and rest of sugar, alternately while continuing to beat. Stir in lemon juice quickly. "Plop" dollops on fresh strawberries and reminisce.

Sausage Stovies (World War II)

Yield: 4 servings

2 lb Potatoes
1 lb Onions
1 lb Sausages
1 T Sage
1 T Thyme
2 Beef Stock Cubes
Salt and Pepper

Peel and slice the potatoes and peel and chop the onions. Dice the
sausages. In a baking dish put a layer of potatoes, a layer of
onions and a layer of sausage. Season to taste and sprinkle over
half the herbs.

Continue the layers until you have used up all the ingredients,
ending with a layer of potatoes. Sprinkle on the rest of the herbs.
Dissolve the stock cubes in 1 pint (600ml) of hot water and pour
into the baking dish. Bake in a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350F,
for 40 Minutes. Serve with crisp green cabbage.

Stuffed Eggplant-Shells (World War II)

2 eggplants weighing about 1 lb. each
1 chopped green sweet pepper
2 tablespoonfuls butter or other shortening
1 cupful dry bread-crumbs
Boiling water
1.5 teaspoonfuls salt
Speck pepper
1/2 chopped onion

Cut out the inside of the eggplant, leaving a shell about one-half inch thick; cook in boiling salted water for five minutes. Fry the onion, pepper, and eggplant-pulp, all chopped, in the butter for about ten minutes. Then add the bread-crumbs, one and one-half cupfuls boiling water, and seasoning. Fill eggplant-shells with this mixture and sprinkle dry crumbs over the top. Place in a pan with a little water and bake one-half hour.

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 4-ounce package of chipped beef
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth and heat until bubbly. Gradually stir in milk and continue stirring to keep from getting lumpy. The mixture - which is white sauce - will gradually thicken. Add the chipped beef, separating the slices, and keep over low heat about five minutes. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Serve over toast. Recipe makes four servings.

New Rumford Sugarless Recipes

When you view your half-empty sugar bowl with alarm . . . when your sugar ration runs short . . . when you pine for a good Rumford cake, shortages or no–that’s the time to dip into this little treasury of Rumford Sugarless Recipes. There’s not a spoonful of sugar in any of them–but they taste mighty good just the same!

Baking without sugar is no secret of the wizards; it’s a little different, that’s all. Better follow these

Cautions to Cooks Using Sugarless Recipes

FOLLOW the recipes given here exactly. The experts have worked out just what happens when you switch to syrups, etc. and you will have best results if you follow directions to the letter.

Generally speaking, you can replace one-fourth the sugar in any recipe with corn syrup (although our recipes here use no sugar). Expect a darker color in your cakes and frosting if you use a dark syrup rather than a light one; the dark syrups impart a more golden color.

Another thing to expect is slightly different texture from what you’re used to. Remember the cakes your mother made when you were small . . . how they were a little firmer in texture . . . the kind that “stick to your ribs”, as she used to say proudly? Well, there’ll be a little of this in sugarless cake recipes. Don’t be surprised. A lot of people prefer it!

Be sure to use Rumford All-Phosphate Baking Powder in your sugarless baking. This is not “just advertising”–the fact is that sugar tends to mask flavors. In sugarless recipes the flavor of the other ingredients is more apparent, “comes through” in the finished product. That is why it is important to use Rumford Baking Powder–because this important ingredient is one you should not taste. Rumford contains no alum, leaves no bitter taste–it is a pure calcium phosphate type. Thousands of actual tests prove beyond a doubt that Rumford leaves behind no after-taste to fight with other flavors, does in fact have no taste at all in the finished product! This is of extra importance in sugarless baking.

Remember, too, that food is too valuable these days to waste! Insure yourself against baking failures–guarantee yourself a cake that’s “raised right”–by using Rumford Baking Powder.

A “good volume” in your baked goods is a little harder to achieve with recipes using no sugar. Therefore, it is important to know that you can use a little more Rumford Baking Powder for greater volume without spoiling flavor because Rumford contains no alum.

And nutrition-wise Rumford contains valuable amounts of calcium and phosphorus–important minerals you need in your daily diet–which remain even after baking.

Rumford Sugarless Recipes - Side 1 - Click To View Large

Rumford Special Cake
(Three eggs–Corn Syrup)

A cake for a party–particularly good in seasons when eggs are plentiful, though not too demanding at any time. Frost it with the sugarless frosting–flavored with orange!

3 cups sifted cake flour
4 teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 cup milk
3 egg whites

SIFT together flour, Rumford Baking Powder and salt. Cream shortening, add 1 cup of the corn syrup gradually, and cream until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, stirring well after each addition. Add gratedRumford Sugarless Recipes - Click To View Large orange rind. Then, beat egg whites until stiff, and add to them the remaining 1/2 cup corn syrup gradually, beating until mixture stands in stiff peaks. Fold into batter until well-blended. Bake in 2 greased 9-inch layer cake pans in a moderate oven (375° F.) for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and frost as desired. (See recipe for sugarless frosting in this folder.)


Yellow Cake: Use 6 egg yolks and no whites. Beat second 3 egg yolks with a rotary egg beater until thick and lemon colored and add the remaining 1/2 cup corn syrup gradually, beating constantly.

White Cake: Use 5 egg whites and no egg yolks. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then gradually beat in the 1/2 cup corn syrup.

Chocolate Chip Cake: Add 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces, to the cake batter just before folding in the beaten egg whites.

Rumford Honey Cake

Any nutrition expert will tell you about honey’s qualifications as a pure natural sweetening–and you’ll find out that it helps a cake stay fresh longer!

2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 egg yolks
1 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

SIFT together flour, Rumford Baking Powder and salt. Cream shortening until light. Beat egg yolks until lemon colored, gradually adding 1/2 cup of the honey while beating. Add the egg-honey mixture slowly to the creamed shortening, creaming while adding. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff; gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup of honey until mixture stands in stiff peaks. Fold into cake batter until well-blended. Bake in 2 greased 9-inch layer cake pans in a moderate oven (375° F.) for 30 minutes. Cool and frost as desired.


Chocolate Cake: Add 3 squares unsweetened melted chocolate. Melt the chocolate over hot water and add just before folding egg whites into batter.

Honey Spice Cake: To sifted dry ingredients add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ginger.

Honey Mocha Cake: Add 1/2 cup strong, black coffee to liquid ingredients and omit all the milk called for.

Rumford One-Egg Cake

Very easy on war-time budgets. Though the fine full flavor doesn’t hint of any economy!

2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or other shortening
1 cup corn syrup
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

SIFT together flour, Rumford Baking Powder and salt. Cream butter or shortening until fluffy; add 1/2 cup of the corn syrup slowly, creaming thoroughly after each addition. Beat egg until lemon colored. Add remaining 1/2 cup corn syrup gradually, beating while adding. Stir in grated orange rind and vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk to creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly after each addition and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Bake in two well-greased 8-inch layer cake pans in a moderate oven (375° F.) for 25 minutes. Cool and frost as desired.


Nut Cake: Add 1/2 cup chopped nut meats to cake batter.

Banana Cake: Reduce milk to 1/4 cup and add 1/3 cup mashed bananas with the liquid ingredients.

Upside-Down Cake: Mix together 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup corn syrup. Spread over bottom of an 8-inch square pan. Arrange cooked apricot halves, sliced peaches, chopped nuts or other cooked fruit over butter and corn syrup mixture in pan. Pour in Rumford one-egg cake batter, and bake in a moderate oven (350° F.)for 50 minutes. Turn out on platter and serve hot or cold with cream.

Rumford Cup Cakes

USE any one of the three Rumford cake recipes, or their variations, for making Rumford Cup Cakes. Bake in well-greased muffin tins in a moderate oven (375° F.) for 20 to 25 minutes. The recipe for Rumford Special Cake makes 24 medium or 16 large cup cakes; recipe for Rumford Honey Cake makes 20 medium or 14 large cup cakes; and recipe for Rumford One-Egg Cake makes 18 medium or 12 large cup cakes.

Sugarless Frosting

This is one of the variations possible by adding different flavorings and colorings, chocolate shot, coconut, or whatever!

1 1/4 cups corn syrup
3 egg whites
2 teaspoons flavoring (vanilla or other flavoring)
1 teaspoon Rumford Baking Powder

BOIL corn syrup in a saucepan over direct heat until it spins a thread when dropped from a spoon. Beat egg whites foamy, add Rumford Baking Powder and beat until stiff. Add corn syrup slowly, beating vigorously while adding. Add flavoring and continue beating until frosting is stiff and stands in peaks. This makes frosting for two 9-inch layers; one medium loaf cake; or 16 large cup cakes.

Rumford Drop Cookies

War-time way to keep the cookie jar full–with easily digested honey as the sweet-tooth ingredient!

2 1/2 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups honey
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

SIFT together flour, Rumford Baking Powder and salt. Cream shortening, add honey slowly and cream until fluffy. Stir in well-beaten egg and vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients, a little at a time, blending well after each addition. Drop by teaspoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a moderately hot oven (425° F.) for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Chocolate Drop Cookies: Add 1/2 cup grated semi-sweet chocolate to creamed shortening mixture before adding sifted dry ingredients.

Nut Drop Cookies: Add 1/2 cup chopped nut meats to creamed shortening mixture before adding sifted dry ingredients.

Orange Drop Cookies: Add 2 teaspoons grated orange rind and 1/4 teaspoon orange flavoring to cookie batter in place of vanilla.

Fruit Drop Cookies: Add 1/2 cup raisins, chopped figs or prunes to creamed shortening mixture before adding sifted dry ingredients.

Rumford Apple Corn Muffins

Victory variation of your pet muffin recipe!

3/4 cup sifted flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sliced raw apple
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons melted shortening

SIFT together flour, cornmeal, Rumford Baking Powder and salt. Wash, pare and cut apple into eighths. Remove core and cut crosswise in very thin slices. Combine egg, milk and honey. Add to dry ingredients, stirring only enough to dampen well. Stir in melted shortening. Fold in apple. Fill well-greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake in a moderately hot oven (400° F.) for 25 minutes. Makes 12 medium sized muffins.

Quick Loaf Bread

3/4 cup sifted flour
3 1/2 teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup chopped nut meats (optional)

SIFT together flour, Rumford Baking Powder and salt. Mix with whole wheat flour. Blend corn syrup and milk, add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in nut meats, if used. Bake in a well-greased loaf pan (8 x 4 inches) in a moderate oven (350° F.) for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Spam again? It was the grub GIs loved to grumble about—not because it wasn't tasty, but because it was always there, sometimes three times a day.

Do you have a favorite recipe from the era you would like to share? If so please email Honor Flight New England honorflightnewengland@gmail.com and we'll post it.


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