Swans Down Cake Flour - Wartime Cake Recipes - Click To View LargerThis is a recipe advertisement published in 1943 for Swans Down Cake Flour. This was during World War II when some food items were rationed, this ad provides “eggless” recipes for cake.

Since the ad is longer than my scanner, I had to combine two scans to make a full copy. Just click the picture if you’d like to see a larger copy. Recipes are typed below.

Who said “No cake”?

INDEED YOU CAN make wartime cakes–minus shortening or minus sugar or minus eggs–with Swans Down! And what cakes . . . unbelievably light . . . tender! No ordinary flour could give such results.


2 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups sifted Swans Down Cake 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 mixture, 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 (375° F.) 20 minutes, or until done.

Eggless Cocoa Cake. Substitute 1/4 cup Baker’s Breakfast Cocoa for chocolate. Sift cocoa with dry ingredients and add cold milk with vanilla.

Orange Frosting. Combine 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and dash of salt. Add 2 tablespoons hot melted butter or other shortening and beat vigorously 1 minute, adding more liquid, if necessary.

(All measurements are level.)

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22 Responses to Swans Down Wartime Cake Recipes – Vintage 1943

Linda Ingles
Published 9 November, 2008 in 9:51 am

I am going to make this cake for the nursing home I work at.. ca I substitute splend whte and brown sugar for these recipes and have it come out OK.LINDA

Published 11 November, 2008 in 12:20 pm

I’m not sure Linda, if you give it a try make sure to let us know :).

Published 10 May, 2009 in 1:00 pm


Published 25 June, 2009 in 1:56 pm

Hi, this is my first visit to your websiste. You are a Godsend; I have egg allergies and needed some desserts without them. Thanks for the Eggless Chocolate Cake recipe. Please keep them coming!

Published 6 April, 2010 in 1:46 pm

there used to be a recipe on the back of the swans down cake flour box for (I think it was called) a happy day cake. can I get that recipe?????

Published 19 May, 2010 in 6:11 am

Happy Day Cake

2½ cups sifted cake flour

1½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.

This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Carol Renner
Published 21 August, 2010 in 6:38 pm

Hi, all – thank you for the Happy Day cake recipe. I also remember a spice cake version of the Happy Day Cake – would anyone know that? Thanks, and I really enjoy this website!

bETH mullarkey
Published 4 September, 2010 in 9:11 am

I made a cake that had the receipe on the Swans Down Cake Flour box around 1989 it was a strawberry cake with buttercream icing. Can anyone find that receipe and send it to me

Marie Aiken
Published 15 September, 2010 in 9:57 pm

I have been trying to find the Happy Day recipe for years. My beloved aunt, who passed away 3 years ago, used to make this when I was a child.She never wrote it down ’cause it was on the box!

Roger Hufferd
Published 3 October, 2010 in 2:15 pm

I’m looking for a recipe from Swans Down “Black Magic” cake flour. I pulled it off a pad of recipes in a store around 1950. My mom raved over it, and then the recipe was lost. (very sad)

Published 16 October, 2010 in 5:53 pm

From a friend – see if this is it.
4 sq unsw choc, 4 tbsp shortening , 2 c sugar, 3 egg yolks… If so, email me and I will send it. Please put Black Magic Cake in the subject line!

Published 24 October, 2010 in 12:46 pm

Black magic cake – was this the receipe? Care to share it with us?

Published 3 November, 2010 in 6:46 pm

Someone was looking for a Black Magic Cake. I found this recipe. (not Swans Down)

1 pound light brown sugar
2 cups flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
1 stick butter or margarine
2 squares dark chocolate
2 eggs separated
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup water
2 squares of chocolate

The first group of ingredients is for the cake, the second for the icing. To make the cake, mix brown sugar, flour, and salt together in a large bowl. In a sauce pan, mix hot water, butter or margarine, and dark chocolate. Mix until smooth, more heat may be needed. Cool and add to flour mixture. Separate eggs. Beat yolks in buttermilk. Add soda and vanilla. Combine buttermilk and first mixture. Beat egg whites separately and fold in last. Bake in generously greased 9 x 13 inch pan at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes. While cake is baking, combine sugar and flour in icing ingredients in sauce pan. Add water and chocolate. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. (Icing does not get real thick, just cook until it clears and simmers 2 or 3 minutes.) Spread icing on cake in pan while both are still warm.

Published 15 November, 2010 in 2:39 pm

My mom used to make a large red, white and blue jello mold in a glass brandy snifter. It was a family favorite and now she is gone and we cannot find it anywhere. I think the white was actually lemon with either ice cream or cool whip

muriel j
Published 23 November, 2010 in 11:40 am

I am looking for a prune spice cake with a hot topping over it. I believe she got the recipe from her local home bureau.

Janet Kerr
Published 1 January, 2011 in 7:53 pm

My mother used to make a one egg cake. The recipe was on the back of the Swans Down Cake Flour box. Does anyone have a copy of this recipe?

Tom Leith
Published 19 March, 2011 in 11:33 pm

This looks like the place for odd cake recipes. My 90+ year old mother in law (grew up in South St. Louis, Missouri) says “Mother Mellon Cake” is her very favorite cake. I’m sure it has more to do with the memories that go with the cake than to do with the cake itself, but at her age memories are important. Has anyone heard of this??

phyllis bishop
Published 6 May, 2011 in 7:26 am

i am looking for the recipe for chocolate cake as found on the swansdown cake box in the 40s or 50s

Published 20 January, 2015 in 9:33 pm

Does anyone have the old recipe for chocolate cherry cake? I think it was on the Swansdown cake flour box.
From the 40’s or 50’s
Thank you

Published 3 May, 2015 in 9:41 am

Can I use regular cake flower instead of Swans Down Cake Flour?

Published 4 September, 2015 in 8:34 am

did anyone find the recipe for the chocolate cake that has canned cherries in it? It was on the box of Swansdown cake flour. Thanks

Janice Dranka
Published 14 September, 2015 in 3:59 pm

I am looking for a Recipe that was on the box of Swans Down cake flour in the 1940s. It was a Red Devils Food Chocolate Cake. It was made without milk and Bakers Unsweet Chocolate in Squares and it has eggs in it. Thank you ,Janice Dranka

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