Pink Blob

10 Wartime Staples That We Still LOVE Today

Desperation pies

More delicious and a little less dreary than they sound, desperation pies were popular among Indiana’s Amish and Shaker communities in the early 19th century.


Italians are king when it comes to scraping together the scantest of ingredients and creating something incredibly delicious.

Wacky cake

This could equally be called ‘lacky cake’, since it rose from a complete absence of the usually essential baking ingredients.

Wacky cake

The dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and, if available, cocoa powder) are combined in the tin, then vegetable oil and vinegar are poured into wells.

Salt-rising bread

This recipe, made by 19th-century settlers in the Appalachian Mountains, is a clever way to make bread if you don’t have any yeast.

Carrot cake

The earliest known recipe for carrot cake dates back to 1929 but, like so many once-frugal foods, it rose to its now legendary status during the Second World War.

Frozen fruit salad

This dessert has a touch of retro-cool about it, yet it became popular as a rare treat during the Great Depression.

Anthill cake

So many brilliant recipes are the product of people rummaging around in their cupboards, especially when it comes to sweet treats.

Oxford potato soup

The smooth, creamy soup is made with potatoes (of course), leeks, celery and onion, blended and jazzed up with chopped herbs.

Mock goose

The recipe was especially popular during the First and Second World Wars, when it became a festive substitute for goose or duck.