Great Depression Era Sugar Cookies

One way to bring history to life is through food. Learn about the 1930s with these Great Depression sugar cookies.

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Great Depression Era Sugar Cookies

Victory Gardens. Rationing. World War II and the Great Depression offers many lessons on stretching a dollar and making do with few resources. (Here are some more of my favorite frugality tips from the Greatest Generation.)

During the Depression/WWII, foods like sugar, coffee, butter, or meat were rationed and Americans could only receive certain amounts of each food.

This sugar cookie recipe emulates the Great Depression era and encourages minimalist cooking.

For more recipes that use few ingredients, try Kit’s Cookbook and Molly’s Cookbook, part of the American Girl Doll series, which has more kid-friendly recipes that are from World War II.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Yields: About 20 Cookies

To get started with these cookies, you’ll only need three ingredients.

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs

During the Great Depression, Americans had to get creative with the little resources they had. Because of that, these are not meant to be fancy sugar cookies. These are sugar cookies that were made in the Depression-era.

These cookies do not rise much when baked. So, the size of your cookie before it’s cookie will only grow a bit after it’s done.


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, beat the three eggs.

3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined.

4. Flour your hands and make the dough into about 1-inch balls or bigger.

5. Flatten these a bit in your hands and then place them on a greased cookie sheet.

6. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes. Repeat until the batter is gone.

These sugar cookies do NOT get rolled out. They get messy if you try. 🙂

Afterward, talk about rationing.

  • Why did people have to ration ingredients?
  • What happened if people used up all of their week’s rations before the week was over?
  • What is a victory garden? Why did Americans plant their own food?

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