Wheatless wonders: Classic recipes for cakes and cookies made with rice flour (1918)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to or other companies. Qualifying purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Wheatless wonders Classic recipes for cakes and cookies made with rice flour (1918)
WWI made it necessary for people to conserve wheat flour — bringing about what amounted to an early gluten-free movement. Here’s a look at a few of the wheat-free recipes created during wartime, all using rice flour in place of wheat!

Recipes for cakes and cookies made with rice flour

How to make cakes and cookies made with rice flour

All batters made with rice flour should be thin. Cookies and drop cakes should be thin enough to spread a little in the oven.

Sour milk cake (old-fashioned kind)


1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup thick sour milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon salt


Cream sugar and shortening and add other ingredients. Bake in bread pan in slow oven from twenty to thirty minutes.

Sour cream cake

1 cup sour cream
1-3/4 cups sugar
2-1/4 cups rice flour
3 eggs
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Lemon extract
Vanilla extract


Beat whites very stiff, add yolks one at a time, then sugar, and stir; then cream and flour with baking powder. Blend and bake in three large layers. Flavor with two parts of vanilla, to one of lemon.

Orange cake


1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter substitute
1 yolk and 2 whites of eggs
1/2 cup orange juice and water
1 small teaspoon grated orange zest
1-1/2 cups rice flour
1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 level teaspoon soda


Mix dry ingredients and add alternately with the liquid, after the butter and sugar have been creamed and yolk of egg added. Fold in the whites gently. Bake in loaf or layer pan.

Rice flour cake


2 cups rice flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 egg
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon flavoring [extract]
1/4 teaspoon salt


Cream or melt shortening. Add sugar, eggs, and sift in the dry ingredients. Add milk. Bake in a moderate oven.

MORE  20 delicious & refreshing old-fashioned lemonade recipes

To make rice cupcake shortcakes

The above is a good substitute for shortcake:

Remove the centers from the cupcakes; fill and cover with crushed berries. Put cake centers and whipped cream on top. This may also be baked in layers and served with berries as a shortcake. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Wheatless fruit bars


1/2 cup seeded [seedless] raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates, dried peaches or prunes
1 cup broken nuts
2 eggs
3/4 cup white or brown sugar
6 level tablespoons rice flour
2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Mix all ingredients except whites of eggs. Beat whites of eggs stiff and fold in last. Spread in thin layers on greased pans. Bake in a moderate oven. Cut in squares or finger lengths. This recipe fills two pans eight inches square.

Rice flour walnut cookies


1 cup rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup broken nut meats
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


Beat eggs lightly, add the sugar, sift in the dry ingredients, adding the nuts and vanilla last. Drop from the tip of a spoon on to a greased pan, placing an inch apart. Bake in a moderate oven. Remove from pan as soon as done and cool on a breadboard.

Nut bars


1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup boiling water
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons English walnuts, chopped
Halves of walnuts or almonds
1/2 cup rice flour
1/8 teaspoon salt


Put 2 tablespoonfuls sugar in a saucepan and heat a little; add shortening and water; let boil two minutes. Remove from the fire and add remaining sugar, flour mixed with salt, and walnuts. Spread as rolled wafers; mark in 2-inch squares, and lay a nut on top of each. Bake in slow oven, removing from pan as soon as done.

More stories you might like

See our books

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Because the fun never ends:

Pin It on Pinterest

join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.