Frugal Dessert Recipes

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have homemade desserts. This page contains frugal dessert recipes.

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Does anyone have a recipe for sweets that would have been made at home during WW2 preferably in the U.K. I'm a volunteer at our local primary school and WW2 is our topic this term. I'm sure our mothers/grans must have done something occasionally. I've found plenty of "mock" desserts substituting this and that but no sweets. It doesn't matter if they taste vile, the experience is the thing! Thanks!

By Jehosophat Jones from England

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

This recipe was printed on Ritz boxes beginning in 1934, then the use of this recipe peaked during WWII. Now they use it in science classes but I think it fits for you too. This is just one version of the recipe there is another on but it is called "Chemical Apple Pie", and lots of others on the internet.

Ritz Mock Apple Pie

Makes 8 servings

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 3/4 cups water

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie (divided)

36 Ritz crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups)

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In medium saucepan, mix sugar and cream of tartar. Gradually stir in water. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, until syrup is thickened and clear. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and zest. Cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Roll out half of pastry to 11-inch circle and use to line a 9-inch (regular-depth) pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust. Pour lemon syrup over crumbs, dot with butter or margarine pieces, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Roll out remaining pastry and cover pie. Seal edges and cut slits in top to allow steam to escape. Place pie on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake in preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Allow pie to cool before serving.

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This is an old recipe, but it's kind of fun and different!


  • 8 slices bread
  • 2 qts. whole milk
  • fresh berries
  • sugar, to taste


Cube bread. Put into large bowl. Add milk and desired amount of sugar. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving. Each person adds the amount of berries he so chooses.

By Robin from Washington, IA

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes


  • 1 Cool Whip (13 oz.)
  • 1 cherry pie filling (2 0oz.)
  • 1 crushed pineapple, drained (20 oz.)
  • 1 can Eagle Brand milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts


Mix well. Can be frozen. I do not care for nuts, so I leave the nuts out of this and it is still very yummy!

By Robin from Washington, IA

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Food and Recipes Recipes Baking & Desserts DessertsApril 18, 2013
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