Budget Chocolate Depression Cake Recipe

Chocolate cake
Mascotas y varios / Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 16
Ratings (13)

Luxuries such as butter and eggs were scarce during the years of the Great Depression, but savvy cooks still managed to produce better-than-satisfying cakes. The ingredients lists of Depression cake recipes only vaguely resemble those of modern ones, with baking soda and vinegar doing the job of eggs and vegetable oil instead of butter.

Sometimes referred to the as wacky cake, partly because you can mix and bake it all in one pan if you want, this unpretentious confection brought the celebration to the table of many struggling households. The fact that Depression cake recipes have endured well beyond the country's economic recovery should vouch for their deliciousness. This makes a great cake for people with dairy allergies or who eat a vegan diet.

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 10 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water

How to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a large spoon until smooth and well combined.
  3. Pour batter into the pan.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Set the pan on a wire rack until the cake top feels completely cool to the touch.
  6. Frost with your favorite frosting.

    More About Chocolate Cake

    Do you always choose a chocolate cake for your birthday? Check out these other chocolate cake recipes:

    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 258
    Total Fat 12 g
    Saturated Fat 1 g
    Unsaturated Fat 8 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg
    Sodium 310 mg
    Carbohydrates 37 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Protein 2 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)