Make Do Monday – Festive Forties – Wartime Christmas Baking

Illustrated recipe by Lara Lockwood
Illustrated Wartime Christmas Cake recipe by Lara Lockwood

In our household we are preparing for a 1940s Christmas. The tree is

1940s Christmas Decorationsdecorated with homemade creations and we are all very much looking forward to the Christmas dinner. Here is a recipe for a simple Christmas cake that is sure to please the entire family.

Simple Christmas Cake

 1/2 lb. self-raising flour; 2 ozs. sugar, 1 good tablespoon golden syrup or preferably black treacle; 1 level tablespoon cocoa powder; 3 ors. margarine; 2 level tablespoons dried egg powder; 1/2 level teaspoonful mixed spice; 1/2 lb. mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, dates or prunes); a pinch of salt; 9 tablespoonfuls of milk to mix.

Sieve the flour, egg powder, spice, cocoa powder and salt into a basin. Chop up the prepared fruit. Cream the sugar and margarine and beat well. now add alternately, and a little at a time, the flour mixture and the milk, and finally the warmed but not hot treacle. Lastly, stir in the mixed fruit, put the mixture into a lined cake-tin and bake first for an hour in a moderate oven (375 F) and then in a very slow oven (300 F) for an hour and a half.

Wartime Almond Paste

4 ozs. semolina; 4ozs. Castor or granulated sugar; 2 ozs. margarine; 2 small teaspoonfuls almond essence; 2 tablespoonfuls water.

Just melt the margarine in a saucepan, add the semolina and stir over a gentle heat for five minutes. Add the sugar, water and flavouring, and keep on stirring together for another five minutes. Let the mixture cool a little and use it for the cake while it is still warm, otherwise it will get too hard to handle.

  Wartime Icing

12 tablespoonfuls milk powder; 12 level dessertspoonfuls castor or granulated sugar; 12 dessertspoonfuls water; any flavouring design.

Dissolve the sugar in the water on a very low heat. Put the milk powder, free of lumps, into a basin, and pour the syrup into it, mixing into a smooth paste. Add flavouring, and mix well again.


                                                     Housewife – December 1945

Housewife - December 1945

For an alternative Christmas cake recipe and some wartime food inspiration please have a look at the lovely Gordano Home Front blog.


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