1918 Ration Scones

Ration Scones

Tucked away in a corner of the “Kitty’s Kitchen Club” page in the “Friend” in 1918 is a very handy tea-time recipe. In January that year, wartime food shortages led to sugar rationing being introduced to ensure supplies were shared fairly. Home-baking and its small comforts were about to become a luxury. What would happen to tea-time scones now there was rationing?

In a feature called “Cake For Tommy’s Tea”, cookery editor Kitty responded to the new restrictions by giving her readers a recipe for Ration Scones. Still tasty, because they included dates for sweetness, they used none of the precious sugar ration.

Ration Scones recipe from "The People's Friend" January 7, 1918

Kitty’s original 1918 Ration Scones recipe


2018 Ration Scones

To mark the centenary of the Armistice, we asked food writer Karen Burns Booth, who updated our 1914 War Cake recipe, to work on a further selection of Kitty’s 1918 recipes for modern readers.

Here’s Karen’s version of the Ration Scones. She’s used butter instead of the original lard, because that’s more easily available today, as well as using self-raising flour rather than the plain flour with baking powder, which would have been standard in for “Friend” readers in 1918.

Makes 8 to 10 scones


140 g (5 oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

50 g (2 oz) butter or margarine

50 g (2 oz) chopped dates

1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons milk


1 Pre-heat the oven to 220 deg. C., 425 deg. F., Gas Mark 7.

2 Rub the butter or margarine into the flour and then add the chopped dates. Add the egg mixture and mix until soft.

3 Roll out on a floured board and stamp out the scones.

4 Brush any remaining egg mixture over the top, then bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes until well risen and golden brown.

Marion McGivern

As editor of the cookery, money, pets and eco pages, Marion covers a wide range of regular Features content. Along with the rest of the Team, she enjoys finding interesting features for both the weekly and Special issues that readers will love. Having so much variety every day means that over ten years with the “Friend” has just flown by!