This kind of cake originated with war time rationing, but now it's a great vegan alternative to regular spice cakes. Serve with coffee or tea.
VEGAN!! and VERY easy to make. Dirties only one pot, a spatula, and the baking pan. Didn't even have to use an egg beater or mixer. This must have been a WWII recipe when women were working long shifts and needed cake w/o much time consuming labor or rationed ingredients. What took the longest was waiting for the boiled spiced sugar syrup to cool down, but you can be preparing dinner during the half hour in the fridge it needs. This is the perfect day-before-payday-and-I-need-something-for-dessert-but-the-cupboard-is-bare recipe. Looking to see what I had available, I made it with no raisins, peanut oil instead of shortening, whole wheat pastry flour instead of white, used double-strenth black tea instead of water, and 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1 teaspoon powdered ginger for the spices. (The tea helps the baking soda work, as it is a bit acid.) As others have said, it is moist, dense and delicious. I have to laugh when I see other reviewers using expensive and/ or non-vegan substitutions like butter, or serving it w/ ice cream. Kind of misses the point. If you can use that stuff pick another, richer cake recipe; it will taste better. However this is quite amazingly good given the limitations. - 21 Nov 2010 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
This cake is absolutely delicious!! I found it while looking for dessert recipes that did not call for milk or eggs, only because I didn't have any in the house. I never knew you could make a cake without these ingredients. I changed it a little because of what I had in the house. I did not have any raisins, and I used ground clove instead of nutmeg and allspice and doubled the cinnamon. I also used butter instead of shortening. This was the most moist and chewy cake I have ever had! My boyfriend never eats cake, he does not like it because he says it is dry; he LOVED this cake!! It tasted like gingerbread! Many of the reviews say how dense it is, so I was nervous and thought it was going to somewhat resemble a moist brick (haha), but I am not sure what they mean, it is a little dense, but also airy like a cake, but soft and CHEWY and OH SO GOOD!! I did have to cook it a little longer than 20mins, but I will definitely be making his again soon!!!! - 07 Aug 2009 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I give this a middle of the road rating because my family was split on the cake. The kids loved it! Plain and simple, they could've ate the whole cake themselves. As for my husband and I, we found it to be much too heavy for our liking. I also had to add 10 extra minutes of baking just to get the center cooked completely. The taste was fine but the texture was very poor. - 19 Feb 2005 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)