Trench Cake Recipe

This is the recipe we have been using in our inspiration sessions with Cheshire East Schools over the last half term.

These cakes were made by the families of the soldiers back home and were sent out to the trenches.

This recipe was taken from The Telegraph website : › History › World War One

The cake works really well and is really tasty!

I am sure that the boys on the Front Line a hundred years ago,  loved receiving these packages from home.

Trench Cake

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.

Ingredients :1/2lb/225g plain flour4 oz/110g margarine or butter3 oz/75g currants3oz/75g brown sugar ( use Muscovado to give a darker colour)

2 tsp cocoa powder (If available)

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp grated lemon rind

1/4pt/ 150ml milk

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1 tsp vinegar (white wine or cider)

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

Equipment :

  • Scales
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Jug
  • Oven
  • Cake tin/small tins
  • Aprons (school to provide these)
  • Brown paper
  • String



 Recipe for Trench Cake

  1. Turn oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C.
  2. Grease a cake tin – 1lb loaf tin or equivalent
  3. Rub the butter into the flour in a large bowl forming bread crumbs.
  4. Add to this the rest of the dry ingredients including the lemon rind.
  5. To the milk add the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Add this into the dry ingredients and stir well until everything is combined. (It is messy!)
  6. If it is too stiff you can add a drop of milk. You are looking for a dropping constituency.
  7. Put the mixture into the cake tin/tins and place in the middle of the oven.
  8. After about 1 hour 15 minutes the cake was cooked.  I tested this by placing a skewer into centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is cooked.
  9. Allow to cool and then wrap in greaseproof paper and place into a tin or airtight container.



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