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Baking Through Time

  • Dec 14, 2015

Fellow bakers, join us on a walk through history, specifically baking during the Great Depression. While this period saw many hardships, desserts didn’t suffer – because people got creative with their sweets. Here’s a look at Depression cake and more.

Buttermilk Johnnycake. There weren’t a lot of staples that were cheap and plentiful during the Great Depression, but cornmeal was an exception, and it could be used to whip up Johnnycakes. We covered these cornmeal pancakes in a previous blog, but it’s worth mentioning that they were a frequent main course in the 1930s. If buttermilk was hard to come by, sour milk could be used instead. Today, they’re topped with syrup, butter, fruit and even fresh corn.

Bread pudding. Waste not, want not, right? During the Depression, nothing was wasted, including old bread. Some say stale bread is even preferable for this seemingly simple dessert. Today you can make mini bread puddings in our Muffin Cups. Top with caramel, spiced rum, sugared pecans or brandied butter—and substitute raisins with pineapple or pear chunks.

Depression Cake. Also known as Wacky Cake or Crazy Cake, this surprisingly delicious, budget-friendly concoction does not require eggs, milk or butter, which were too expensive at the time. Instead, there’s a little flour, sugar, cocoa powder and a few other standard baking ingredients. A bowl is optional, and truth be told, a lot of people mixed these cakes in a mug, cup or whatever pan they had and then put in the oven. Today you can make them in our bakeware for less fuss and less mess. Luckily, the end result is the same: surprisingly sweet, moist and mouthwatering!

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