I don't recall how Sherrill and I got started on this topic but she and I both have cake recipes for tough times.
First, Crazy Cake. A very easy, dense chocolate cake that is made right in the pan. No eggs are needed.
Whisk together in an ungreased 9"x13" cake pan:
3 cups unpacked flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
Smooth out in the pan and make three wells.
3/4 cup salad oil goes in the first well.
2 teaspoons vinegar goes in the second well.
1 teaspoon vanilla goes in the third well.
Then pour 2 cups water over everything and blend all with a fork.
Bake 35-40 minutes in preheated 350º oven.
Second, Sherrill offered up the recipe for Poor Man’s Cake saying: "Also called 'Boiled Cake,' this is a very dense World War II spice cake that uses no eggs, butter, or milk. I get a craving for this every October. It was about that time of year that I would arrive home from school and open the door to the heady spice aroma of this great cake. In my list of comfort foods, this is way up near the top."
Thanks for sharing, Sherrill!
TOUGH TIMES CAKE (f/k/a Poor Man's Cake)
2 C sugar
2 C cold water
1 C bacon drippings, lard or Crisco
1½ - 2 C raisins
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
scant 1 tsp cloves
4 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ - 1 C walnuts
Combine sugar, water, drippings, raisins and spices in large saucepan (this will become your “mixing bowl” so should be large enough to hold approx. 10-12 cups of batter and have stirring room). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
In large bowl, combine flour and baking soda thoroughly. Add walnuts and mix to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients to boiled ingredients. Mix well to avoid lumps. Batter will be thick and sticky. Thin with a tiny bit – 1-3 Tbsp – water, if you must (and I generally do), but resist making this as thin as regular cake batter. Pour batter into 4 lightly-greased mini loaf pans or 9x13 glass baking dish.
Bake in pre-heated 350º oven for about 60 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.