Weekend Cooking – First World War Trench Cake

Back in the summer The Daily Telegraph newspaper here in the UK published an article about those at home sending Christmas cakes to the battle fields of World War One.

The official recipe was produced by the Government and is published here. The recipe contains no eggs and vinegar was used to react with the baking soda to assist the cake to rise.

Trench Cake


1/2lb flour

4 oz margarine
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 pint of milk
3 oz brown sugar
3 oz cleaned currants

Trench cake
Photo: Department for Culture, Media and Sport

2 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
grated lemon rind


Grease a cake tin.
Rub margarine into the flour in a basin.
Add the dry ingredients.
Mix well.
Add the soda dissolved in vinegar and milk.
Beat well.
Turn into the tin.
Bake in a moderate oven for about two hours.

I have not made this, but might give it a go. Anyone want to join me?

Weekend Cooking is hosted by BethFishReads

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
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2 Responses to Weekend Cooking – First World War Trench Cake

  1. Kristin says:

    It looks like the fruit cakes I make. let us know how it turns out.


  2. Beth F says:

    Oh I love this war cake recipe. I found a bunch of similar ones in my grandmother's recipes. It was amazing how resourceful people were during rationing.


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