Compromise Cake

This cake, also known as war cake, was made during World War II when eggs were hard to get.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1⁄4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 standard loaf pans.
  • Place the brown sugar, water, raisins, shortening, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, turn into a large bowl, and let cool until the mixture is comfortably warm to the touch.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl. Add to the cooled sugar mixture, beating until no drifts of flour are visible and the batter is smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Spread evenly in the 2 prepared pans.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely. Wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and they will keep for at least 2 weeks at room temperature.