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During the Revolutionary War, soldiers did not always have enough food to eat. One food that they could make was called fire cakes.

Ingredients & Supplies

1 ¾ cups Flour ¾ cup Water 1 Teaspoon Salt Cookie Sheet lined with parchment paper

Step 1 - Mix the dough

Add water to the flour until it forms a thick, damp dough. Add the water gradually since you may not need the full amount.

The dough should be about the consistency of play dough. 

Step 2 - Form the biscuits

Form flat biscuits in your hand about the size of your palm.

If the dough is sticky, use a small amount of flour to work the dough.

Step 3 - Press holes

Optional: Use a fork to press holes into the top of the cakes.  

Step 4 - Modern cooking instructions

Place dough on a greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, or until the edges are hard.

Allow cakes to cool before consuming. The cakes will harden throughout the day. 

Step 4 - Original cooking instructions

Place dough on a rock in the fire or directly onto the ashes and bake until hardened.

Remove the bread and let cool. 

For storage, place the bread back on the fire and allow it to cook until dry and hard.

This was the most common method.

What are Fire Cakes?

During the Revolutionary War, soldiers did not always have enough food to eat. One food that they could make was called fire cakes. Fire cakes were made of flour, water, and salt if it was available. There is no true “recipe” because everyone would make it a bit differently. They were given the name fire cakes because the dough was often cooked on rocks in the fire or directly in the ashes. Once the bread hardened, it could keep for a month or longer. The modern foodie may find firecakes too hard, if so you may choose to dip yours in soup! 

Cooking Ash Cakes with Townsends


How to cook simple ash-cakes or fire-cakes with just flour, a little water and a bit of salt if you have it. The simplest soldier cooking.

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