VE Day 1945 and sandwiches were the main order of the day during the street party celebrations, as was beer (that is, until it ran out in the pubs, well before the 10.30pm curfew!) But people wouldn’t have been celebrating the same as we do today. Wartime rationing meant sugar and butter were hard to come by, so this eggless fruitcakes would have been the next best thing!
1. Place the brown sugar, water, raisins, oil, cinnamon, and cloves in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil
2. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool until the mixture is comfortably warm to your finger
3. While the mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
4. Grease and flour an 8×4-inch baking pan
5. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add them to the cooled sugar mixture, beating until no drifts of flour are visible and the batter is smooth. Then stir in the walnuts
6. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes
7. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool completely if you want to add a good glaze, save back bit of the hot spiced water and mix with icing sugar, a drop of vanilla, and a pinch salt. Glaze the cake while hot.
READY IN: 1hr SERVES: 15
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