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First World War Trench Cake


The official recipe released by the government so the public can bake the traditional cake sent to soldiers in the trenches during the First World War.
During the First World War people in Britain would bake and post a fruit cake to loved ones on the front line. Some traditional cake ingredients were hard to come by.

There are no eggs in this recipe and vinegar was used to react with the baking soda to help the cake rise.

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First World War Trench Cake 1 Picture


  • 1/2 lb flour (about 2 cups)
  • 4 oz margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/4 pint of milk
  • 3 oz brown sugar
  • 3 oz cleaned currants
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • grated lemon rind


Adapted from


Step 1

Grease a cake tin.
Rub margarine into the flour in a basin.
Add the dry ingredients.
Mix well.
Add the soda dissolved in vinegar and milk.
Beat well.
Turn into the tin.
Bake in a moderate oven for about two hours.


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