Cover of Vintage Recipes For Today CookbookHere are pages 30, 31, 32 and 33 of the WWII ration cookbook titled “Recipes For Today” that was published by General Foods Corporation in 1943. This was during the second world war when the United States was experiencing food rations and shortages (sugar, meat, etc.) and homemakers were looking for creative ways to feed their families.

You can view all the pages in this little book by visiting this category: Recipes For Today (WWII), just click a page title to view that section of the book. You’ll find scans of the pages included below (click pictures to view a larger size) as well as a typed version for easy printing.

Cakes to make often

Cakes To Make Often - Page 31ONE-EGG WONDER CAKE (“Mix-Easy” Method)

Preparations. Have shortening at room temperature. Grease pans, line bottoms with waxed paper, grease again. Start oven for moderate heat. Sift flour once before measuring.

Measure into sifter:

2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
2 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar*

Measure into bowl:

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

Measure into cup:

3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Have ready: 1 egg, unbeaten

Now the “Mix-Easy” Part. Mix or stir shortening just to soften. Sift in dry ingredients; add 1/2 of liquid and the egg. Mix until all flour is dampened; then beat 1 minute. Add remaining liquid, blend, and beat 2 minutes longer. (Mix by hand or at low speed of electric mixer. Count only actual beating time. Or count strokes. Allow 100 to 150 full strokes per minute. Scrape bowl often.)

Baking. Turn into prepared pans. Bake two 8-inch layers in moderate oven (375° F.) 25 minutes. Bake 9x9x2-inch cake at 350° F. 35 minutes, or bake in greased cupcake pans at 375° F. 20 minutes.

*Or use 1/2 cup corn syrup or honey and 1/2 cup sugar and decrease milk to 2/3 cup. Combine syrup and milk.

Praline Cake. Combine 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 2 teaspoons flour, 1/3 cup chopped nuts, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 tablespoon water. Spread on hot baked 9x9x2-inch cake in pan. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer.

Orange Syrup Cake. After baking, let cake cool 1/2 hour. Mix together 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup sugar, and spread on cake at intervals, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, until all orange syrup is used.

Cakes To Make Often - Page 32DELICIOUS COTTAGE PUDDING

Mix One-egg Wonder Cake using only 3 tablespoons shortening; omit egg and increase milk to 1 cup. Bake in greased 9x9x2-inch pan in moderate oven (350° F.) 35 minutes. Serve warm with Crimson Sauce (page 37), or Cocoa Syrup Sauce (page 37).

LUNCH BOX SURPRISES

Mix One-egg Wonder Cake. Divide batter in halves and make any two of the variations listed below, using greased cup-cake or 8x8x2-inch pans. Bake in moderate oven (375° F.) 18 minutes, or until done. Each half makes 12 medium cup cakes or 12 bars.

Chocolate Cakes. Melt 1 square Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate. Add to half of batter. Turn into greased pans; top with nuts.

Spice Cakes. Add 1 tablespoon molasses, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon mace, and 1/4 cup chopped raisins to half of batter; blend.

Coconut Cakes. Turn half of batter into greased pan and sprinkle with 3/4 cup Baker’s Premium Shred Coconut.

Grape-Nuts Flakes Cakes. Turn half of batter into greased pan. Mix 2 tablespoons each melted butter and brown sugar, crush and add 1 cup Grape-Nuts Flakes. Sprinkle on batter.

ALL-HONEY CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups honey
2 eggs, unbeaten
3 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
2/3 cup water

Sift flour once, measure, add soda and salt, and sift together three times. Cream shortening, add honey gradually, by tablespoons at first, beating hard after each addition. Add 1/4 of flour and beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add chocolate and blend. Add remaining flour in thirds, alternately with water in halves, beating well after each addition. Bake in two greased 9-inch layer pans in moderate oven (350° F.) 1/2 hour. Spread with Mocha Cream (page 38).

  • Pictured on page 30 is a group of cakes made from the easy One-Egg Wonder Cake recipe–praline square cake, cream layers, surprise bars, and spice cakes with raisins.

Cakes To Make Often - Page 33GINGERBREAD

2 1/2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg, well beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup molasses

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, soda, salt, spices, and sugar, and sift together three times. Cream shortening. Add dry ingredients, egg, milk, and molasses and stir until all flour is dampened. Then beat vigorously 1 minute. Bake in greased pan, 8x8x2 inches, in moderate oven (350° F.) 50 minutes, or until done. Serve plain, or cut in squares and top with Whipped Cream, or Orange or Lemon Whipped Cream (page 37). Or serve hot with apple sauce or with this thrifty pudding sauce:

Yankee Sauce. Mix together 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and a dash of salt. Add 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, and if desired, 1/2 cup raisins. Boil 10 minutes, stirring well. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar.

LOG CABIN UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

1 1/4 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar*
4 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup Log Cabin Syrup
1 1/2 cups sliced fruit, well drained

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, and sugar, and sift together three times. Cream shortening. Add dry ingredients, egg, milk, and vanilla, and stir until all flour is dampened; then beat vigorously 1 minute.

Melt butter in 8x8x2-inch pan or 8-inch skillet over low flame. Remove from fire and add syrup. On this arrange the fruit slices. Turn batter out on contents of pan. Bake in moderate oven (350° F.) 50 minutes, or until done. Loosen cake from sides of pan with knife or spatula. Turn upside down on dish with the fruit on top. Serve plain, or with Whipped Cream (page 37).

*Or substitute Log Cabin Syrup for half of sugar. Use 6 tablespoons of each; decrease milk to 1/3 cup.

*Or, for added fruit flavor in the cake, the syrup drained from canned fruit may be used in batter. Use 1/3 cup syrup and omit milk; decrease sugar to 1/2 cup.

Many fruits may be used. Canned pineapple is a favorite; use 4 slices. Or use halved cranberries or sliced peaches with grated orange rind or a dash of cinnamon. Or sliced pears with a sprinkling of ginger. Or halved plums with a little lemon rind.

Cakes To Make Often - Page 34QUICK LEMON CUP CAKES

1 1/2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar*
5 tablespoons soft shortening
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, and sugar, and sift together three times. Cream shortening with lemon rind. Add flour mixture, egg, and milk. Stir until all flour is dampened; then beat vigorously 1 minute. Turn into greased cup-cake pans, filling them 1/2 full. Bake in moderate oven (375° F.) 20 to 25 minutes. Frost or top with Lime Whipped Cream (page 37). Makes 12.

*Or use 6 tablespoons each sugar and corn syrup or honey. Decrease milk to 6 tablespoons. Combine syrup with milk.

QUICK SPICE CAKES

Use recipe above. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg to flour. Use only 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind. Sprinkle cakes with chopped nut meats before baking, or frost cakes with Mocha Cream (page 38).

FILLED COOKIES

3 1/2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
3 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
Fig Filling

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, then flour, alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition. Chill until firm enough to roll. Roll 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut with floured 2 1/2-inch cutter. Put 1 rounding teaspoon Fig Filling on a circle. Place another circle on top, and press edges together. Bake on ungreased baking sheet in hot oven (425° F.) 8 minutes, or until done. Makes about 2 dozen cookies. (Strawberry jam, fig jam, or any desired preserves may be used for filling in cookies.)

Fig Filling. Mix together 1 1/2 cups chopped figs, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2/3 cup boiling water. Cook 5 minutes, or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from fire; add 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Cool. Raisins may be substituted for figs in this recipe; use 1/2 cup water.

  • You’ll make wonderful cakes for a song when you use Swans Down. This grand flour puts quality into the thriftiest cakes.
  • And you can use soft shortenings like chicken fat or lard for cakes. Try the quick cakes above, or adjust any of your favorite standard-method cake recipes as directed on page 36.
The 2 Week Diet

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