Monday, August 10, 2009

Dairy-free Eggless "Depression" Cake

I love finding recipes that can be eaten by literally everybody -allergy sufferers/veg*ns- alike.

This is one of those perfect recipes. Even celiac sufferers can substitute gluten-free flour and make this as well. It's all inclusive!

I was a little late in reading the August 2009 issue of Guideposts, and almost at the end was this treasure! I didn't let 24 hours pass before trying it out in my own kitchen!!

The story, shared by Rosemary Marbach, tells of this cake her grandmother used to make during the Great Depression when times were tough. She loved sharing this delicious treat with her family, even when times were tough, because it didn't cost much to make once you eliminated the expensive, perishable ingredients.

"Depression Cake"

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups dark raisins
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves*
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg*

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp water

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

(*I substituted 1 tsp Allspice in place of these 2 spices)

Preheat oven to 325°. Combine sugar, water, oil, raisins, and spices in a medium saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Dissolve baking soda and salt with 2 tsp of water (I re-used my 1/3 cup measuring spoon to avoid dirtying a bowl). Add to raisin mixture, be careful because it will foam and rise up some.

Blend in flour and baking powder, mixing well. (I just did all of this in the pot since it was big enough and to avoid dirtying a mixing bowl!)

Pour batter into a greased 9 inch square pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 10-12!

The best part about this cake was the lack of aftermath it had on my kitchen! Normally, after I've popped a cake or baked good into the oven I turn around and groan. The kitchen has bowls, batter dripped everyhwere, and dirty measuring cups that need to be cleaned up and the whole place scrubbed down from a light flour dusting. Not so with this cake! The measuring cups were easily thrown in the dishwasher, and since my "mixing bowl" was a non-stick saucepan the batter slipped easily from pan to baking dish, with minimal cleanup!

This just might be my new favorite cake to make! I think it would also work awesome as cupcakes and you could bring to share with a group since there's literally no worry about allergy or veg*n issues!

Edited to add:
Please see Biz's post on the BSI contest and join in on the discussion! The BSI bonds a lot of us food bloggers together and is how I met a lot of you. Share your thoughts, gripes, or issues you might have! BSI is a really fun, interactive thing and it'd be a shame to see it turn into something negative for those of us who have been enjoying it for almost a year!


Sweetie Pie said...

I love the story behind this cake, and it looks very delicious too. I love spicy cakes with raisins. This looks like it would be a perfect foundation for some powdered sugar icing...

Laura said...

LOVE depression era recipes! I have a wacky cake recipe from NPR and I love it. Lots of posts from you, I love reading them.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Oh yum! You can't go wrong with raisins, spices, and brown sugar in my opinion - just a magical combination.

Anonymous said...

Mm! That looks tasty, and rich in flavor! Sure to scare away any depressive emotions! ;-)

Michele said...

I had a little fun with this one! I used gluten free flour (we are just starting this gluten free adventure), used half raisins and half dates, and threw in some walnuts. It's really good!