Rations, rations, rations. That is what motivates people to cut out eggs and dairy from their cakes. So I have yet another cake to share that was already vegan. Naturally I made some modifications, but let’s start with the history.
Many kids in America has played The Oregon Trail. I have not. But if you haven’t played it, the premise was pretty easy. It was a computer game where you traveled across the United States on the Oregon Trail to get to the west. On the REAL Oregon trail, you probably would of made this cake. Or if you were traveling anywhere really, whether you were a cowboy or relocating. Most everything in this recipe is shelf stable, making it great for most pioneers.
The recipe may look familiar with other cakes- boiled raisin cake, war cake, depression cake, or my favorite milkless eggless butterless cake (thanks wikipedia) What makes this version pretty awesome is that you don’t dirty up too many dishes. Unlike the Wacky Cake, which tries to only use one pan, this one really isn’t mess when mixing the batter. Sure you will have to dirty up another small pot, and something to drain the raisins, but overall it is a pretty easy clean up
Now I could of just made the recipe line by line, but I thought this could use some jazzing up. First I stuck with raisins, but you can easily swap out any other dried fruit. The recipe even suggests it. Just chop up any large fruit, and just follow the recipe.
But I thought I would use a little booze in the recipe. I thought and thought about what kind- and finally settled on a gose beer (pronounced go-suh). A Gose is a sour beer originating in Germany. It is spiced with coriander, and is known to be salty. It gets it’s name since it originally was brewed in the town Goslar. The style almost disappeared in obscurity, but it has recently become really popular since the rise of sour beers.
Can’t find a gose beer? Any sour beer will work just fine. If you don’t know a lot about beer, just ask someone who is working at the liquor store or look for any bottle with sour, lambic, or wild ale. If you choose just a sour beer (or any type of sour juice) remember to add a pinch of salt, gose beers are naturally salty.
I used Sixpoint Jammer. It is a gose that is vegan and American, so I like that. I was lucky enough to buy the can individually from Total Wines and More, but you can also see if you can order it online. But remember, this isn’t the ONLY vegan gose out there. There are tons, and it might even be from the country you live in.
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 can of Jammer Sixpoint Beer (or 12oz of any other gose or sour beer*)
- 12 oz water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- reserved water-beer combo
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1Place the raisins, beer, and water in a 10 inch dutch oven over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cooking for about 15 minutes, until the raisins soften. Drain the raisins, collecting the beer-water liquid. Pour 1 cup of the liquid in the pot, set the remaining liquid and raisins to the side. 2Preheat the oven to 350°F 3In the dutch oven, add the remaining cake base ingredients to the warm water. Stir until smooth. Add the raisins and mix. 4Take the set aside beer-water mix and add into a small pot. Add a cup of sugar and a tablespoon vegetable oil, and put on medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes.** Pour onto the cake batter. 5Cover pot and place in the oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm. Top with coconut whip if desired. *If you use a normal sour beer you will probably want to add an extra pinch of salt since gose beers are naturally salty **If you are fancy and want to use a candy thermometer, you want the sugar to come to a temperature of 220°F
October 19, 2017 at 11:45 am
That looks great! I’m soooooo NOT a baker. I admire anyone who is!
October 20, 2017 at 9:52 am
This is an easy non-baker cake. Very hard to mess up.
October 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm
That looks good and sticky! I only recently came across the term “Dutch oven” and started wondering how it differed from normal ovens (oven for me being I guess a stove for you?). Fortunately I worked it out quite quickly! I might actually have exactly the same Dutch oven as you, but we just call it “the big red pot”.
October 20, 2017 at 10:01 am
I guess Americans use oven and stove interchangeably. I know I do, I am sure there are some regional preferences.
It is actually my in-laws dutch oven. I want one so bad, but I borrowed it JUST for the photos XD And they got some cake in return.
October 19, 2017 at 10:52 pm
This looks very comforting and nice, excellent trail food. Though I never want to be on a trail, so I would just have it on my sofa watching Buffy.
Sarah @ Long Island Vegan
October 20, 2017 at 9:17 am
This looks amazing and I love the process of it! I can see how it would be really yummy and comforting out on the trail 🙂 And playing Oregon Trail was a big part of my middle school life 😉
April 26, 2018 at 5:40 pm
My mother gave me an Oregon Trail card game for Christmas, for old times’ sake. It’s modelled on the old Apple IIe version of the game that my classmates and I played in our elementary school’s computer lab. Ahh, memories …
Did you substitute the beer for an equivalent amount of water? Were any other changes made to the original recipe? (Baking powder, maybe?)
April 27, 2018 at 8:45 am
I’ve seen that card game! I just haven’t had a chance to play it.
I only had the copy of the recipe from the American Cakes cookbook by Anne Byrn. The only change I made was that I used gose beer and omitted the salt (the style of beer is salty) My guess is that this dish COULD of been made with baking soda as it was invented in 1843 but otherwise people would of used pearlash.
To sub the beer just use water, or you can use something like a kombucha or juice. Just remember to add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients to compensate for gose beer.