If there was one thing that the First World War taught Canadian cooks, it was how to be frugal.
With water as one of its prime ingredients, Economy Cake was a dessert that was resurrected during the Great Depression and found its way to many a Toronto table. The baker needed no eggs and no milk, and some versions even omitted butter and used only lard.
Also known as Poverty Cake, Poor Man’s Cake or — a favourite — Mom’s Minus Cake, this costs pennies to make and tastes pretty good. Adapted from How We Do It, Budget-Designed Recipes from the 1930’s, a collection of recipes gathered from Montreal homemakers.
• 1/2 lb (226 g) raisins
• 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
• 1 cup (250 ml) cold water
• 1-1/2 tbsp (7 ml) each: butter, lard
• 1-1/2 tsp (7 ml) cinnamon
• 1-1/2 tsp (7 ml) salt
• 1-1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
Bring first seven ingredients to boil on high heat in medium pot; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Cool.
Sift flour and baking soda together. Add to raisin mixture; mix well.
Bake in a greased 9-inch cake pan in 325F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean.
- PHOTOS: What's Brewing in Steamy Hallows, the Harry Potter-Inspired Cafe19 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Frida Kahlo at the Brooklyn Museum doesn't hold back23 Pictures