Thursday, January 24, 2013

Watkins Economy Spice Cake

After my Eggless Chocolate Cake post, I got the following recipe by email (thanks, Marjie!) that doesn’t call for eggs, butter or milk! I did a little research and found out it’s also called a Depression cake because (are you ready for this?) it dates back to the Depression. But it’s actually even older than that! One site said it dates back to the Civil War.
So what’s in the eggless, butterless, milkless cake? Well, nothing unusual and you probably have everything you need to make it right now. If  not, go ahead and make substitutions – I did!
Ingredients (all the spices are supposed to be Watkins products, of course):
·         1 c brown sugar
·         1 c water
·         1 c raisins (or more)
·         c lard
·         ¼ t nutmeg
·         1 t cinnamon
·         t cloves
·         ¼ t ginger
·         ¼ t allspice
·         ½ t salt
·         1½ t baking powder
·         1½ c flour
·         1½ t vanilla

1.     Boil sugar, water, raisins and lard together about 3 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Put aside until cold.
2.    Sift dry ingredients and add to above mixture (I just stirred them up good with a fork).
3.    Add vanilla.
4.    Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees worked for me) in a small square tin (I used a greased 7x9 inch).

A couple of substitutions

Beings we have a bunch of chopped dates and no raisins at the moment, I used them instead, and I also used Crisco instead of lard. Otherwise, I pretty much followed the recipe. Well, I didn’t actually measure the shortening but I’m sure I was close! I also didn’t actually set aside the liquid until it was cold (or even cool, for that matter), but it wasn’t still hot…

But is it any good?

I think this cake is delicious and gave it an 8.5! But thanks to getting just 6 from two raters (what’s wrong with them, anyway?), it only comes in at a 7. It’s incredibly moist and tastes like gingerbread cookies. To top it off, it’s EASY to make and requires just simple ingredients. So go make yourself one, ok?
And be sure to check out the other recipe links on the Cake-a-Week page.

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