Ration Chocolate Cake

Ration Chocolate Cake

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Formal Party
Region American
By author tara deshpande
This cake was also called Tin box cake as all the ingredients were mixed together in the baking pan and put in the oven. Also known as Ration cake and more grimly World Wars cake. During these terrible and bitter wars, eggs and milk were often unavailable so people had to make do with simpler food. Photo Credit Beynaz Mistri


  • 180g all purpose flour/ refined flour or maida
  • 200g fine white sugar
  • 21g unsweetened cocoa- u can use regular or Dutch
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unflavored white vinegar
  • 75g vegetable oil
  • 225g cold water


Consult your doctor before enjoying this recipe in case you have health restrictions


1) Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" square or 9" round pan that is atleast 2" deep.
2) Measure all the ingredients into the prepared pan. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk until smooth.
3) Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
4) Serve the cake in the pan; warm from the oven or, once cool, frost the cake with a simple chocolate frosting.

For 1st frosting combine 1/2 cup boiling hot heavy cream and 4 ozs chocolate with 1/2 cup icing sugar in a glass mixing bowl until smooth. Pour over cake.
Fora vegan version replace milk with coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
For a chocolate glaze-Combine half cup cocoa, one cup icing sugar and 1/2 cup water in a pan and stir till smooth and bubbly hot. Cool ten minutes, stir in one tbspn butter and pour over the cake.

Optionally you can scatter peanut butter, white or dark chocolate chips or butterscotch chips over the hot cake and allow them to melt.

Photo Credit: Beynaz Mistri

Author: Tara Deshpande