World War II Victory Cake

This winter I made a Victory Cake for my talk on World War II rationing at the Wright Museum. By far of all the things I cooked for my talk, this Victory Cake was the most popular.

I found the recipe in The Modern Hostess Cook Book, Patriotic Edition, 1942. Victory Cakes we’re popular during both World War One and Two to help boost people’s morale. While the recipe I used to make the cake was labeled Yellow Velvet Cake, the notes said “This cake will keep fresh and moist for a long time and therefore is excellent to send to the boys at camp.”

The directions to make a cake into a “V” shape we’re included. Victory Cake recipes we’re included in many cook books and pamphlets during the war. Presumably you could serve the cake at home, at a fundraiser, or even mail to the boys overseas. And when the War ended, many baked these “V” shaped cakes to serve at celebratory parties.

The version I used can not be considered a typical rationing cake. In fact, whoever made it during the War would have considered this a very special cake to serve. It calls for 1 cup sugar which of course was rationed in 1942. The recipe also calls for eggs and heavy cream, neither of which we’re rationed in 1942. Cream would eventually be rationed, but never eggs although by the end of the War they we’re harder to find.

So for the housewife who saved her sugar rations here’s the recipe. If you want to make the cake into the “V” shape, remember to double the recipe of cake and frosting.

  • ·         1 2/3 c. sifted cake flour
  • ·         2 tsp. baking powder
  • ·         ¾ tsp. salt
  • ·         ½ pint heavy cream
  • ·         1 c. granulated sugar
  • ·         3 eggs, separated
  • ·         2 tsp. grated orange rind
  • ·         1 tsp. grated lemon rind

Measure sifted flour                                                    

Double everything if you want your cake in a V shape


Mix with baking powder and salt

Whip the cream just until stiff

Add sugar to the cream gradually

Add the egg yolks, one at a time while beating slowly

Sift dry ingredients a little at a time over surface of mixture and fold in carefully

Beat egg whites till stiff

Gently fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and the grated rinds

Turn into the greased pan (I used loaf pans for Victory Cake, but you can use a round, deep cake pan)

Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes

Frost when cool, or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar

Orange Butter Frosting

From The Modern Hostess Cook Book Patriotic Edition, 1942

  • ·         2 tbs. butter
  • ·         2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ·         1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ·         2 tbs. orange juice
  • ·         ½ tsp. grated orange rind
  • ·         Cream to moisten

Cream butter

Add sugar gradually, alternately with the fruit juices combined with rind beating constantly

When juices have been used add cream to make the right consistency to spread

Beat until very light and fluffy

Sufficient to frost one loaf cake or two 8” layer cakes

No, it won't win any awards for looks and the photo was taken quickly at my talk

Promise, you will enjoy this cake!

One Response to “World War II Victory Cake”

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  1. Bev says:

    That sounds really good! I might try it with both sugar and Splenda to see what happens.

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