My mother recently turned 80 years old and was reflecting on the types of food her mother once made for her. Her fondest memory was of her mother making something called “Poor Man’s Cake.” It was the war years and families couldn’t afford the luxuries of many items and had to learn to do without. Poor Man’s Cake (also called “Depression Cake”) was a popular staple in many homes in this era and as a child, my mother loved it because it was all they could afford to make at home. My mother often comments on how they didn’t know they lacked for anything financially because there was just so much love in the house.
The cake was perfect because it used what most people had in their kitchen which were the common ingredients of: flour, sugar, spices and raisins. Eggs were not included in the recipe.
When my mother was telling me the story about the cake her mother once made for her and how she hadn’t had it since childhood, I put my “internet sleuth” hat on and researched all about Poor Man’s Cake. I was looking for an authentic recipe that had not been modernized too much and I came across a wonderful article about a man who made the cake using his mothers recipe and well…be still my heart! This is the recipe that I used to make the cake with right here.
As soon as I made the cake, I decided to surprise my mom by shipping it off to her so that she could enjoy it. She enjoyed the cake and even shared it with her neighbors.