Bake a WW1 Trench Cake - Learning Activities for Kids
Updated: a day ago
The recipe for this World War One Trench Cake shows how truly inventive people had become in the name of morale-lifting home-baked treats. It was designed with a specific purpose – to be sent by post to the soldiers fighting in the trenches.
Instead of fats, like butter, they used dried fruits - this helped keep the cake moist for a long time which was perfect for the long journey to the front line. The recipe included very little flour (a rationed item) – this helped to keep it small and dense, ideal for fitting in a parcel to post to the trenches. And finally, you won’t find any eggs in this recipe - they substituted vinegar for this luxury item to help the cake rise.
Why not make a World War One Trench Cake for yourself? Check out the original recipe and our own easy baking instructions below:
Original World War One Trench Cake Recipe
1/2 lb flour (about 2 cups)
4 oz margarine
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 pint of milk
3 oz brown sugar
3 oz cleaned currants
2 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
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.
Yes, pretty vague instructions, we know. But don’t panic! We’ve put together a much clearer, modernised version that might help you out:
Bake Your Own Trench Cake
225g plain flour
90g brown sugar
90g currants (we used sultanas)
2 tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
¼ pint milk
1 tsp vinegar
½ tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C.
2. Grease an 8 inch cake tin and line with baking parchment.
3. Add the flour and margarine into a mixing bowl. Using your fingers, gently rub together the flour and margarine until they have the appearance of fine breadcrumbs.
4. Add the dry ingredients; brown sugar, currants, cocoa powder, nutmeg, ginger and lemon zest, and mix to combine.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
6. Add the milk/vinegar/bicarb mix to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a thick batter.
7. Pour the batter into the cake tin and level out the mixture with a palette knife.
8. Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
9. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a rack to cool completely.
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