Cooking on a Ration

Trouble getting the food that you want is not new. On 8 January 1940, the Ministry of Food introduced rationing. This was designed to ensure that the limited amount of food available was shared fairly. By 1942, eggs were rationed, along with milk, so here is a recipe from Marguerite Patten’s WWII Victory Cookbook, using no eggs and only a little milk. It is as relevant today as it was then. Why not give it a go and send us a picture of your ration cake on our Facebook or Twitter?


Eggless Sponge Cake


  • 6 oz wholewheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2.5 oz margarine
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 level tablespoon of table syrup (or Lyons Golden Syrup)
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • Sultanas (optional)
  • Jam for filling (optional)


Sift the flour and the baking powder together.

Cream the margarine, sugar and syrup together until soft and light.

Add a little flour and then a little milk - continue to do this until you have a smooth mixture.

Grease and flour two 7 inch sandwich tins and divide mixture between them.

Cook in the centre of the oven at 200c for 20-30 minutes and cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tins.

Here's one we made earlier!

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This article was written by:
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Nick Suffolk

Works to create new exhibitions and experiences at Milestones Museum and Basing House, currently researching Teddy Bears for a new display.
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