Desserts

Baking without…Eggs: Prune Cake

This prune cake is the final recipe in the “Baking without…Eggs” series. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a prune cake, so I was excited to bake this one.

If you missed the first two recipes, you can find them here:

Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Baking without…Eggs: Crumb Cake

Prune Cake

1/2 c. shortening

1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1 c. chopped, pitted prunes

2 1/4 c. sifted flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 c. prune juice

3/4 c. water

Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the prunes. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the liquid. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan and bake at 325° for 1 hour.

Results

This prune cake had a texture similar to a banana or zucchini bread. I wish we had baked it in a loaf, sliced it, and eaten it warm with melted butter. The prunes added a nice texture, almost like we had added a soft nut. There was a mild prune flavor, but it was light enough to be enjoyed even by people on the fence about prunes.

A new First Monday Menu is coming up next week. There will be some fresh fruit recipes later this week. August will bring some history topics and a look at some of my vintage kitchen items. We’ll also have some lunch box recipes and menus. I’m looking forward to a fun month.

 

 

Baking without…Eggs: Crumb Cake

The second recipe in the “Baking without…Eggs” series is a crumb cake. If you missed the first in the series, you can find it here: Cocoa Cake. The final post in the series can be found here: Prune Cake.

Let’s jump right to today’s recipe.

Ingredients

1 c evaporated milk

1 tbsp vinegar

1 1/2 c sifted flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 c brown sugar

1/4 c shortening

1 tbsp molasses

Crumb Topping

Crumb Topping

2 tbsp shortening

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 c flour

1/4 c dry bread crumbs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash nutmeg

Mix the evaporated milk and vinegar. Set mixture aside for a moment. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Add the sugar. Cut in the shortening to the consistency of course meal. Then add the molasses and evaporated milk mixture. Pour into a well greased 9 x 9 x 2″ pan.

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For the crumb topping, cream the shortening and the sugar, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the cake. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

 

A couple notes: If you are a fan of cinnamon, you might add a bit more in both the cake batter and the crumb topping. Also, we ended up cooking the cake a bit longer than 30 minutes, so you might double check yours when you pull it from the oven at the 30 minute mark.

 

Results

I keep waiting for one of these recipes to not be a smashing success at my house, but this cake definitely wasn’t it. It was moist with a nice cinnamon crunch. With nine of us testing it, it was completely gone within an hour. This would be nice as part of a weekend breakfast or brunch. A couple of my taste testers ate it warm with vanilla ice cream and said that was a nice way to eat it. We enjoy that combo of hot and cold when it comes to baked goods. You’ll probably see the addition of ice cream mentioned numerous times in the future. Perhaps I should look for a period ice cream recipe. It’s nice to have options when serving a dish.

Addie from Sugar Addie’s (@sugaraddies) helped with the baking again, and as always, I appreciate her lending her talented helping hands.

The next, and final, recipe in this egg-free series is a prune cake. I’m not sure what to expect with a prune cake, so I’m excited to get started. Enjoy your weekend!

 

Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

By 1945, rationing and shortages had created challenges for home front housewives. Cooking practices changed due to the lack of ingredients needed for certain recipes or meals. It was difficult for families that were used to eating meat and potato meals to adjust to less appealing cuts of meat and dishes made with ingredient substitutions.

Women’s magazines of the time period often had articles that helped women figure out how to make new wartime meals appealing to their families. In the January 1945 issue of Women’s Day, there is an article called “You Can Bake Without…” and has ideas for recipes made without eggs, sugar, milk, or shortening. As a series, I’m going to make the recipes from each of these categories. This month, I’ll bake without eggs. Next month I’ll bake without sugar, and so on. Join me this week for the egg-free desserts.

Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

The cocoa cake recipe recommended using a large loaf pan, but we chose to use a bundt pan instead so we could add a glaze. The cocoa cake recipe was from the Woman’s Day article but the glaze was from a period cookbook. A fun tidbit–this cake cost 23 cents to make in 1945.

Addie from Sugar Addie’s baked this cake. She makes more than just wartime food and is an especially talented baker. You can follow her on Instagram: @sugaraddies. Of course, History in the Kitchen is also on Instagram. Come join me at @history.in.the.kitchen.

On to the recipes!

Ingredients

1/2 c. shortening

2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. buttermilk

2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour

1/2 c. cocoa

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. hot water

Cream the shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Then you add 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and beat well. Then add the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the water and remaining buttermilk, and mix well. The recipe calls for a greased and buttered 12 x 8 x 2-inch pan, but the bundt pan worked great for us. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

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Chocolate Coating

We thought the cake needed something to top it off, so we looked through my cookbook collection to find the perfect chocolate glaze. This one came from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook‘s 1944 edition. It’s actually a chocolate coating to cover frosting, but it worked perfectly as a glaze for this cocoa cake.

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

2 tsp butter or margarine

Melt chocolate and butter and blend.  Let the cake cool. Use a spoon to pour the frosting over the cake. The recipe says that this frosting can also be used as a coating for other types of frosting, as well. We used it by itself for this cake.

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Results

The cake was fluffy, bouncy, and moist with a fudgy layer at the bottom. It had a nice milk chocolate flavor, and the frosting was smooth and mild. This was a big hit with everyone who tried it. I liked that the chocolate isn’t too intense. It was pretty quick to throw together, but the bundt cake pan and the chocolate glaze made it attractive enough to take as a potluck dish or to a family get-together.

Looking for part 2 of this series? Here it is: Crumb Cake Part 3 is here: Baking without…Eggs: Prune Cake

Third Time’s a Charm?: Spiced Blueberry Pie

Making the blueberry pie for the Summer Lawn Party turned into quite the pie adventure.  As promised, here is the recipe and the experience my daughter and I had troubleshooting it.

Round One

We followed the recipe exactly, using frozen blueberries as suggested. Here are the ingredients.

Pastry for a two crust pie

3 c frozen or canned blueberries

1 tbsp flour

1 c brown sugar

1 tbsp butter

1/4 tsp ground cloves

 

We thawed the blueberries to try to keep the pie from being too watery. We lined the pie with dough for one crust, and put the berries into the pie. We sprinkled the pie with the flour and brown sugar, then dotted it with butter. We then dusted the cloves over the top of the brown sugar. We cut a few slits in the top crust and placed it on the pie. We baked it for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduced the temperature to 350 degrees and baked for another 30 minutes.

The pie turned out incredibly runny. It had a really nice spicy- sweet layer right below the crust from the brown sugar, cloves, and butter. We definitely needed bowls when we ate this. It was a nice balance of sweet and a bit tart. The textures of the crust, blueberries, and the brown sugar layer complimented each other well. We finally decided to use the pie as an ice cream topping, and try the recipe again with some adjustments to the ingredients.

Round Two

For the second version, we used fresh blueberries and changed or added the following ingredients.

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp flour

4 tbsp butter

We mixed the flour and cornstarch into the blueberries, but kept the rest of the recipe the same. The resulting pie was still runny, but not quite as watery as the first pie. It still had a nice layer of the sweet brown sugar mixture, and was ultimately used for ice cream topping again due to the consistency of the filling.

Round Three

For our final pie, we purchased cans of blueberry pie filling. Everything else in the recipe was the same. We had hoped the canned filling would help thicken the consistency of the blueberries, but the third pie also suffered from the same watery filling.

Results

The pies were delicious. Despite the runny filling, the flavor was just right. The winning part of this recipe is the brown sugar and clove topping right beneath the top crust. Adding this pie to ice cream was a big hit. We used both a vanilla and a blackberry ice cream. It made a perfect summer dessert. Even my one year old wanted more, so I count it as a success. I’d make this again just to use it for a topping. It definitely didn’t work as a pie for us.

Do you have suggestions on how to thicken the filling? We’d love to hear them and would try this recipe again to test them.