Recipe for Poor Man's Cake | Almanac.com

Poor Man's Cake

poor mans cake on a white plate. no eggs, butter or milk in this vegan cake recipe with raisins
Photo Credit
Sam Jones/Quinn Brein
12 to 15 servings
Ruth Gagen Brentwood Historical Society, Brentwood, New Hamp
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Why do we call this recipe Poor Man’s Cake? It’s a vintage cake recipe created during the Depression Era during the 1930s. The “poor man” refers to the ingredients; no butter, milk, or eggs are needed! This doesn’t affect the taste because it’s the best cake ever!

Most of these ingredients should be found right in the pantry. Just add raisins—which you boil for plumpness. If you wish, you could always add walnuts. This is a great vegan option for a moist, delicious cake!

It’s fine without frosting, but we like to pair the cake with a cream cheese frosting, such as the one we use on our Best Ever Carrot Cake. If you don’t have frosting, a sprinkling of powdered sugar works, too.

Enjoy this old-fashioned cake! We’re so glad that we rediscovered it in our recipe archives. It’s a keeper!

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 package (15 ounces) raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water
cream cheese frosting (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. In a pan, combine brown sugar, hot water, salt, shortening, raisins, and spices. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a bowl, combine flour and dissolved baking soda, add to the batter, and mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  4. Cool in the pan. Frost, if desired.
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The Almanac Chefs

We love introducing fun new recipes as well as time-tested recipes, straight from the archives!

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