Part 3 – Fire Cake and Hoe Cakes

Niedbalski Outfitters cakes

Fire Cake and Hoe Cakes

One of the easiest ways of making flour edible, even if not very appetizing, is to make a simple dough and fry or bake it over a fire. During the Revolutionary War, it was common for soldiers to make a thick paste of flour and water (salt was added when available) and then bake it on hot rocks around a campfire. The result was an unpalatable, chewy, soggy glob which only the starving soldiers at Valley Forge probably appreciated. Hoecakes were made from a cornmeal dough carried to the fields by slaves and other farm workers. At lunch, they cleaned their hoes, put the dough on them and cooked it over a fire.


Entrenching Tool Cake

  • 4 GI canteen cups white cornmeal boiling water
  • GI mess kit spoon (1 tablespoon) bacon drippings GI mess kit spoon salt

Scald cornmeal with enough boiling water to make a stiff batter, then add bacon drippings and salt. Shape into pones, leaving the imprint of four fingers across the top. Place batter on the cleaned, greased blade of an entrenching tool and set up next to the fire to bake.


Corn Pone

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (or less) boiling water
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted; or vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients to make a semi-stiff mush. Spread 1/4-inch thick in a well-greased heavy pan and bake at 375 degrees 20 to 25 minutes. Corn pones used to be baked on a greased shovel over glowing coals.

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