War Cake

I had never had this recipe until I met my husband and his mother shared it with me. It was a Great Depression Era/WWII bread recipe. In their family they call it Aunt Hulda’s Yum Yum Bread, and it’s baked in bread pans. I was trying to make it sugar-free, because frankly, while it is good, it’s full of sugar. And I need less sugar when I have sweet treats, not more. Especially this time of year!

My first take on it this morning was a flop (I have made it multiple times successfully with sugar in the past years). Partly is the all-purpose flour I am using right scoops rather heavy. I was lazy and didn’t weigh it out instead. So the bread turned out very dense. And dry. Oh well. Lesson learned, eh?

So I was looking up the recipe online and seeing all the names it goes under – one of which is “Poor Man’s Cake”. And I saw an older version of it, but baked in a 9×13″ pan for less time. So I decided to try the recipe again, but to bake it as a cake.

And it turned out perfectly.

So the War Cake/Poor Man’s Cake/Yum Yum Bread recipe lives on as sugar-free now. (Btw, what makes it a Great Depression Era/WWII cake? It has no eggs, no butter and no milk – for when those things were tightly controlled and hard to get.)

PS: As a bonus? This cake is plant-based/vegan.

War Cake


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups powdered Sucralose (Splenda)
  • 12-ounces (2 cups) raisins
  • 2 Tbsp shortening
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams weighed)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt


Preheat oven to 350° and lightly oil/spray a 9×13″ glass baking pan.

In a saucepan add the water, Sucralose, raisins, shortening and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, lowering heat to just maintain the simmer.

Take off the heat and let cool down a bit.

Meanwhile add the flour, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Add in the cooled raisin mixture. Stir until well mixed. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth out as good as you can (it’s a stiff batter).

Bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool on a rack before slicing. Store leftovers tightly covered.