Bakers During The Great Depression Made A Cake With One Unspeakable Ingredient

During the bleak years of the Great Depression, a shadow hung over much of the world. With the economy in free fall, many families struggled to put food on the table — let alone luxuries such as cake. And in these uncertain times, cooks turned to increasingly creative methods, sometimes using ingredients that might turn our stomachs today.

The Great Depression

In 1930s America, unemployment lines stretched around the block, and cupboards were bare, even in the wealthiest of cities. Ingredients such as butter and eggs were in short supply. But instead of denying themselves the joy of eating cake, cooks around the country came up with a bizarre solution.

Mystery Cake

Sometimes referred to as Mystery Cake, it’s a recipe born from times of hardship, which surprisingly stood the test of time. So what exactly did American cooks turn to to make this cake? Was it an old-fashioned ingredient that’s obsolete and almost forgotten today? Or something altogether more grim?

Weird ingredients

Several modern-day recipes are surprisingly similar to Mystery Cake — though they omit the strangest of its ingredients. While some brave cooks have attempted to recreate the original recipe in all its questionable glory, this Depression-era staple might be just a little too strange for modern tastes.

The Roaring Twenties

For families across America, the 1920s ended very differently to how they had begun. Initially, it was a period of economic and industrial prosperity; a post-war boom that saw levels of disposable income rise. And at the same time, new discoveries and technologies were changing the way that everyday people led their lives.