Vegan War Cake – based on WW2 recipes

An eggless, almost fatless, milkless cake, very aptly named. It was popular during wartime shortages. This version is a bit more indulgent than the cake would have been and is healthy but also delicious!

Vegan War Cake – based on WW2 recipes

This vegan war cake is based on cakes made during World War 2. Due to food rationing, there was little or no milk, sugar, butter, or eggs, because the ingredients were then either expensive or hard to obtain. These cakes were made without the ingredients that were scarce or were being conserved for the use of soldiers.

They became known as “war cakes”

I have made this cake many times, and now put in a couple of my own variations, but it is pretty close to the original. Due to so much dried fruit it is quite rich. ( Certainly a much fancier version than the original war cakes would have been! )  

This recipe is from  “The Make Ahead Vegan” – Ginny Kay McMeans. In the book it is called Historical Raisin Bread. Check out the reference page for the link Reference


  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus more to grease the pan
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water plus about ¼ cup extra water when mixing in flour
  • 2 cups plain flour – you can use either white or wholemeal
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

To Make:

In a medium size saucepan, combine the raisins, sultanas, coconut oil, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 cup water

Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and stir.

Simmer for 10 mins only.

Let cool to room temperature, about 1½ hours

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, then add in the baking powder and salt. Combine. Add the cooled mixture and mix well. Add in a little more water until you have a nice smooth consistency.

Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 mins.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Slice and serve hot or cold.

It makes a great morning or afternoon tea, and is also delicious with a scoop of vegan icecream!!

Stores well in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months – mine never lasts that long!

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