The things that Grandma added to her cake batter might sound strange to modern ears, and were often the result of hard times. Pinched pennies during the Great Depression or rationed ingredients during wartime meant staples like eggs, buttermilk and white cane sugar were hard to come by.
But as the old adage says, necessity is the mother of invention. And our mothers’ mothers were nothing if not inventive. You may have heard of tricks like using tomato soup in spice cakes or carrot cakes, but your grandma’s rich, delicious chocolate cake is where the real invention took place. So what are some of these unexpected ingredients?