The Church Lady Cookbook Dialogs: Eggs and Rising to the Occasion

2 min readApr 15, 2020


I blame my cholesterol. Eggs have been out of my diet for a while so the egg shortage is something that has not affected my diet in any drastic way during this pandemic. But eggs offer more than comfort at breakfast. They are used in baking for making cakes and the like light and fluffy. A shortage of eggs is causing all kinds of distress for the stress baking crowd. I shared a recipe from a church lady cookbook that required only one egg that sounded tasty. I found one that needs no eggs and would like to share that as well.

The recipe is from the church lady cookbook compiled by The Baxter Street Christian School, Grand Rapids, MI, January 1945, and offered recipes from the thrifty minded church ladies during a time of shortages and tight budgets.

They proudly offered their traditional Dutch fare and included recipes that were handy to have when things, like eggs, were often not available or affordable.

Mrs. Sena Takens (May 30, 1900 — March 1985), the Chairman of Squad 4, of the Baxter Mutual Helpers Club offered this recipe for a cake that has no eggs. Notably it does not include refined sugar, another limited resource in this era, and is sweetened with raisins, brown sugar and other spices.

The leavening is achieved with baking powder and baking soda. Each are leavening agents with different chemical properties that are not often used together. According to the website healthline the page on the difference between baking soda and baking powder:

“While both products appear similar, they’re certainly not the same. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which requires an acid and a liquid to become activated and help baked goods rise.
Conversely, baking powder includes sodium bicarbonate, as well as an acid. It only needs a liquid to become activated.”

Notice how each of these ingredients are prepared in this recipe in order to use each according to its specific chemical properties.

Originally published at on April 15, 2020.




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