Wartime Eggless Christmas Cake

Countdown to a 1940s Christmas! Although I won’t subject my family to an authentic austere Christmas I will incorporate many 1940s Christmas recipes and goodies so please check back regularly for recipes such as eggless cakes, mock marzipan, mock icing, christmas pudding, christmas decorations and of course homemade christmas crackers!

This Eggless Christmas Cake is a recipe from the British Home Front during World War II. Eggs were strictly rationed (1 egg per person per week) and many recipes were adapted without them. This makes a delicious small cake..
  • 1 large carrot finely grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 4 oz margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ½ teaspoon of almond essence (or 1 teaspoon of rum extract)
  • 6 oz dried fruit (I used mixed)
  • 12 oz self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 small teacup of slightly warm tea or coffee (with milk in)
  1. Cook the grated carrot and syrup over a low heat for a few minutes
  2. Cream the sugar and margarine until light and fluffy
  3. Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the syrup mixture and then beat it into the sugar and margarine as if adding an egg, bit by bit
  4. Add the vanilla and almond essence (or vanilla and rum extract)
  5. Add the dried mixed fruit
  6. Fold in the sieved flour and cinnamon
  7. Add some of the tea or coffee if needs be as the batter needs to be thick but moist
  8. Put the mixture into a greased meatloaf tin
  9. Smooth the top leaving a slight depression in the centre to stop the cake from rising too much during cooking
  10. Place into the pre-heated oven at 200C for 15 minutes
  11. Reduce temperature to 160C and cook for 45 minutes (cover with foil if cake is getting too dark)
  12. Cool and decorate with your choice of edible toppings
  • Christmas Cake Toppings & Decorations

    The British government banned icing sugar in 1942. Alternative toppings for Christmas cakes popped up and the housewife had to be inventive. In preparation for Christmas, hard to come by supplies were squirreled away and saved for use over Yuletide.


Hey there.. my recipe has just been featured on “Come Dine with Me”..

Click here for the latest piccys of this years Eggless Christmas Cake and some thoughts on “Come Dine With Me” – I doubled the quantities

10 thoughts on “Wartime Eggless Christmas Cake

  1. This is a great idea! i just found your blog and i want to do the same to lose my 20 lbs . I live in the U.S. and crazy about 1920 to 1940’s.So now i’m going to find out all i can on the U.S. rations. THANK YOU!

  2. Carolyn,
    Kudos toeverything you are doing. I just “found” your blog in the last week and had to read everything from day one to present It is fascinating and educational. I do have some questions if they aren’t too personal: Have you considered having your own chickens again? You said you have had chickens in your past, and I honestly don’t know how much work they are, but with your rations it seems a few chickens could stretch that out and if you have several there must be people who would buy fresh organic eggs from you. i know, next I’ll be suggesting a garden and goats for milk or something. Keep up the great work and I am looking forward to trying some of your recipes.

  3. This is the first time I comment, but I follow your entries almost religiously. I love cooking and History, you were the woman of my cyber life!
    And I must say:

    Christmas crackers!!!!

  4. I would love to try this! Do you have an estimate (or range) for the weight of a “large carrot” (or volume, after grating)? What can I substitute for golden syrup—I have white sugar and brown sugar available. Presumably the right amount of brown sugar combined with the right amount of water? How big was a “small teacup” in 1940s Britain?

    Have you seen this ? (Apologies if you already blogged on it and I missed it.)

  5. Oops, your comment form doesn’t accept urls. I wanted to post a link to an article “Meet Mr Thirties: The man whose home and lifestyle are stuck in the year before the war” in The Daily Mail. A search should easily find it.

  6. I have one quick question, is golden syrup the same as maple syrup? I have made many of your recipes and every single one that I have tried has turned out beautifully! Thanks so much for doing this and letting us tag along on your journey!!

    • Hi Marina.. Golden Syrup in a little like corn syrup (it has a thick consistency). If one of my recipes calls for Golden Syrup I would use Corn Syrup as an alternative. C xxx

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