Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekend Cooking #18: 1940s Ads: Easter Ham and a Bunny Cake


Despite the war and rationing, people tried to celebrate the holidays as traditionally as possible.  I found this ad for Swift Premium Ham in a 1944 copy of American Home on page 344. 

I found this bunny cake ad in a March 3, 1941 issue of Life magazine, put it away and forgot about it.  It resurfaced again when I was looking for the Easter Ham ad and I thought it would be the perfect cake for the Easter holiday.  It originally appeared just 8 months before the US would enter World War II.    

If you have a desire to make this cake, here are the instructions:

  Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme hosted by BethFishReads


  1. Wow - what a memory booster! Swift's Premium hame was on our table for so many years during my childhood.

  2. What great finds. That bunny cake is very cute.

  3. Thanks for the blast from the past! I love it! Love the cake too

  4. good greif, that bunny cake is making my teeth hurt from the thought of all that sweetness. It is very odd--especially the bunny faces in the middle staked by candles, and the fact that you end up with two extra heads...Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Margot, I see lots of ads that are for products that I vaguely remember seeing or eating, including this ham. I wonder how it tastes now.

    Beth F, I like the idea of the bunny cake more than I think I would like the actual cake - I am not a big marshmallow fan.

    Peggy Ann, I love to look at these kinds of things from the past, I think it helps one understand that period in history so much more.

    Charlotte, I am with you on the sweetness, and I even have a bit of a sweet tooth. It is a little bit of an odd looking cake, but I think in 1941 it was meant to be fun and if I remember correctly, marshmallows were relatively new, so were showing up in all kinds of ways.

  6. What a great post! I love WWII history and like how you have tied it in with both food and Easter! (Happy Easter, by the way!) The marshmallow cake DOES remind me of something from childhood, before people had tings like fondant etc!

  7. I don't remember Swift's ham, but I do remember eating 'Ye Olde oak ham' on high days and holidays. I also remember eating lots and lots of Spam, ah the good old days!

  8. What an awesome post! The Supersizers Go just had a Wartime episode this week. It was amazing what they had to make sweets and deserts out of with sugar, eggs, and butter being so scarce.

  9. This looks so retro. I love it :) Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Libby, I also remember people decorating their cakes with things like marshmallows, red hot candies and colored frosting. I've never tried fondant, but I don't make many decorated cakes. Glad you liked this post.

    Barbara, I also grew up eating ham on holidays. My mother hated Spam so much after the war, she refused to give it to us in any form, but made lots of vegetarian dishes, which may be why I prefer veg to meat even now.

    Tasha, I wish I could have see that episode of The Supersizers Go. It sounds like it was amazing.

    Carol, glad you enjoyed this post.

    Uniflame, I like retro, especially from the early 1940s and I like being able to post it whenever I can so others can enjoy it.

  11. Enjoyed the post, I love that bunny cake, so cute!

  12. I always enjoy looking at old ads. I think they tell us a lot about the times.

    Happy Easter.