Posted on May 20 2009 - 4:06am by RetroRuth

book-cover001Welcome to this week’s edition of Mid-Century Menu, where I willingly make mid-century recipes that I know will be terrible or inedible, and then Hubs and I eat them for dinner. Most of the time we can even eat all of them.

This week we have a special treat. Last week’s frosted sandwich loaf may have been the most labor-intensive Mid-Century menu so far, but this week’s meal may well be the easiest.


Yup, that’s right. Spamcakes. For all of you who like illustrated explanations, they are make of Spam and Bisquick. Hence the advanced algebraic equation that serves at the title for this fantastic post:

Spam + Pancakes = Spamcakes.

Believe it or not, there is actually a recipe for this in the Bisquick Party Book, which has brought us such wonderful dishes as the memorable Tuna Royals, and I am sure has plenty more nastiness for Hubs and I to enjoy in the future.

One more thing. Despite what the cover of this book says, I am sure the idea for Spamcakes is neither gay nor new. Even when this book was published in 1957.

But I digress. Bring on the Spam!bisquick006

Couldn’t be easier, right?  The recipe is only two sentences!


Here is the Bisquick batter, ready to be mixed.


The Spam block.

Now, I know a lot of people out there love Spam.  In fact, it has a huge cult following, complete with kitschy museum and everything.  But for some reason the prospect of meat in a can never appeals to me. Maybe it is the processed taste. Maybe it is the jellied bits. I have never been one to take home a can of it and say – “Yes! The meal I have been longing for, and all contained in a can!”

Hubs on the other hand…


Sliced up and ready to go.


Frying up in the pan.


Covered with pancake batter.  So far so good, right?


Umm…well…that didn’t work so well.  Okay, maybe only one slice of Spam at a time.


Here it is, frying away happily.

spamcakes-015Okay, that didn’t really work either.  This is proving more difficult than the two sentences led me to believe.

I decided to cut up the Spam into strips and pour the batter over that.

spamcakes-018There, that worked.

So, a plate of spamcakes later, we were ready for dinner. And Hubs was HUNGRY!spamcakes-020

Not that I can knock his enthusiasim, but he seems to be enjoying this meal a little more than he should be.

The verdict: Good

These cakes weren’t anything too crazy.  As Hubs said, “They taste like pancakes with Spam in them.”  They were rich, a little greasy and tasted like pancakes. I wouldn’t like to eat them all the time, but it wasn’t such a bad experience.

So, a bunch of edible recipes in a row! This is starting to be a trend.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tikimama May 20, 2009 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I’ll take my pancakes without Spam, thankyouverymuch!

    I just love your descriptions and photos with these recipe posts! I hope you have as much fun making these recipes as we do reading about them!

  2. sablemable May 20, 2009 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Spamity-Spam, Wonderful Spam! (Monty Python)

    Spam and it’s counterpart from Armour, Treet are known the world over! Ugh!

    Ruth, I always, always look forward to Wednesday!

    I have a Betty Crocker Let’s Eat Outdoors booklet that devotes one whole page to using Spam!

  3. Meem May 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Okay, now I am hungry. That looks just like something I would have made for you when you were growing up. You know Dad would have loved it!!! Just like your hubs did. Love you.

  4. Sara in AZ May 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, Spam Cakes! That is too hilarious!!! I love it! That is fantastic, you have had a few weeks in a row now of edible meals – way to go Ruth!!! 🙂

  5. Amy May 22, 2009 at 5:19 am - Reply

    oh my, I just can’t imagine the taste, I mean spam is bad enough but pancakes…*shudder*

  6. Karen/Small Earth Vintage May 23, 2009 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Okay, that is the most bizarre recipe! Not the combo of spam with pancakes, but the fact that they just have you dump the batter over a slice of Spam. (But what can you expect from a cookbook that appears on its cover to be serving guacamole with potato chips.)

    My mom used to make us Spam with a brown sugar and mustard glaze, and I have to say, it was delicious.

    Keep up the good work, Ruth. You and your husband are cooking and eating the MCM food so we don’t have to!

  7. Octowaffle August 12, 2013 at 9:26 am - Reply

    My mom used to make us hot dog pancakes when I was little I would think this woul be similar, personally I hate most pastey processed meats but my brother still loves them.

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