When I need a cake recipe without eggs in it, often one of the places I look is wartime recipes. Why? Because after the Second World War broke out in 1939, food rationing was introduced.
Petrol was the first commodity to be rationed in Britain. Soon afterwards, meat, butter and sugar were rationed. Subsequently, restrictions were also placed on milk, eggs, cheese and many other foods.
As a result, cooks had to be inventive to account for those restricted and missing ingredients. For vegans and vegetarians nowadays, this is a valuable source of ideas of course. Wartime cooks were specifically excluding the products we don’t want in our diet either, like meat, fish, eggs and cheese.
The recipe below is adapted from one on the BBC Food website. You can also find a long list of wartime recipes at https://1940sExperiment.wordpress.com/100-wartime-recipes/ which I can thoroughly recommend.
- 175g plain flour
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 70g margarine
- 60g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of golden syrup
- 150ml milk (I used almond milk, so soya or other plant milks should work too)
- 2-3 tablespoons of your favourite jam
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
- Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
- Cream together the margarine, sugar and golden syrup in a bowl. Then add the flour and milk a little at a time until everything is combined and the mixture is nice and smooth. (Add a little extra milk if the mixture is too thick.)
- Divide the mixture between the two sandwich tins. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- To serve, sandwich the cakes together with the jam in-between. Serve with a big blob of my cashew creme.
For an idea of the extent of WW2 rationing, this Wikipedia article explains the restrictions that were in place.
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