• Imagining History

Activities for Kids - Bake A WW1 Trench Cake

Updated: Aug 8

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 in 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 instructions below:

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 found a much clearer, modernised version that might help you out. Check it out at World War 1 in the Vale.

The web links in this article have been included for reference only and are in no way affiliated with Imagining History. Imagining History has no control over what content is included on these web links so discretion is advised.

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