Busy getting ready for Christmas


Our budget for the whole of Christmas is once again between $200 – $250.. (that includes all presents, food, drinks, postage, cards etc) We’ve been having “frugal Christmases for 4 years now and I enjoy every moment of them. I love the challenge of providing a fun, loving, enjoyable family Christmas within our means.. This year, we are stepping back in time and having a wartime Christmas Day circa 1940.


My eggless wartime Christmas cake has now been iced and I will decorate it in a week or so. I’m currently researching on how people tended to decorate their Christmas cakes from this time period. In 1940, icing sugar was still available so over my mock marzipan, I slathered on thick icing (icing sugar mixed with a little water and almond essence).

We made some tree stars out of plain white paper and have been making paper chains from old magazines and newspapers. In addition I’ve been making wartime shortbread and preserves for presents.phc3

Thanks to my recent “care package” I now have extra currants and raisins so will be making a nice big Christmas pudding and mince pies! But here is the fun thing, on Christmas Day we are having MURKEY (mock turkey)… its stuffing based and my kids love stuffing so hopefully they won’t be too disappointed. Actually, I think it will all be rather fun!

This year, I dug a little tree up from the woodland on my property and potted it in some earth, we’ll dig it back into the ground once Christmas is over and I’m watering it every day. It’s small and spindly but it’s our own tree so that is kind of nice.

Please share what you are making! I’d love to hear!!

C xxxxx


A 1940s Christmas – Preparations begin

This years eggless christmas cake soon to be fed vast quantities of sherry…

I made my Christmas cake yesterday. Using the eggless Christmas cake recipe from last year, I doubled the quantity and put the mixture in a square pan to cook in my table top oven (my proper round cake tin wouldn’t fit) as my full size oven is still out of action..

With dried fruit being hard  to get hold of in large quantities on the home front during WW2 in Britain, the fruitcake has much less fruit than I’d normally use in a Christmas cake but this year I’m going to moisten it up with lots of sherry (readily available during the first rationed Christmas of 1940) and this year it will be decorated with a mock marzipan AND real icing sugar (it wasn’t until a couple of years later that icing sugar was banned).

I’ve started off the blackberry vodka.. almost identical to the way sloe gin is made.

I’ve also started on making “Blackberry Vodka” for Christmas presents (although I am unsure whether this would have been a recipe used in the 1940s, I am sure as people made “Sloe Gin” that it is quite possible…) Spirits were expensive and harder to get hold of later during the war but as my Christmas is going to be based on the first wartime Christmas on rations for the British, I’d say that the drinks cabinet may well have had some spirits/liquor still hanging around.

In addition I will be making gifts of  Apple “Air-Raid” Chutney and “Mock Marmalade” and I’ll share those recipes and photos with you as I do so..

I’ve plenty of sugar for the preserves, I’ve been squirreling that away 🙂

C xxxx

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