I mentioned the other day that people were healthier during World War II because of sugar rationing. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have any desserts! A wise homemaker stretched those precious rations by baking fruit-based desserts. This vintage rationing recipe for Peach Upside Down Cake doesn’t have any rainbow sprinkles and or a thick layer of frosting, but it is absolutely delicious.
And the nice thing about it? It gets most of its flavor from the peaches and not the tons of sugar (and “natural flavorings”) that modern boxed cakes have in them.
Did I mention that it is also really easy to make, too? Let your children make it while you supervise. That’s how easy it is!
This recipe calls for canned peaches but you can use other fruit, too. Because that’s what rationing recipes were about–using what was available.
Bake this cake on Sunday and enjoy it throughout the week!
- 1 can sliced peaches to equal 2 cups peaches and 1/4 cup "packed in" syrup (does NOT need to be "heavy syrup")
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 2/3 cups cake flour OR 1 1/2 cups SIFTED all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoon double-action baking powder*
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Thoroughly grease an 8" x 8" cake pan.
- Drain peaches, reserving the liquid.
- Cream the shortening and sugar together.
- Blend in the eggs.
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder together.
- Combine the milk and vanilla.
- Add a fourth of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix thoroughly.
- Add a third of the milk combination to the batter. Mix thoroughly.
- Repeat this process until all of the flour mixture and all of the milk mixture has been added and thoroughly blended together.
- Place 2 cups of the peaches and 1/4 cup of the liquid in a microwave safe dish. Zap for one minute or until heated through.
- Spread peaches onto bottom of cake pan.
- Pour cake batter over the peaches.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until cake springs back in the middle when lightly touched.
- Most modern baking powders are double-action. It will say "double-action" on the label if it is.
- Make sure your cake pan is thoroughly greased. The sugared fruit will want to stick to the pan after baking if it isn't well greased.
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