Chocolate Depression Cake, or Wacky Cake is a unique retro cake recipe that uses basic pantry ingredients, but no eggs! This chocolate cake recipe was made to use what you had on hand. It is a simply delicious chocolate cake!
Chocolate Depression Cake - Wacky Cake
The Great Depression was a scary time for Americans. This time of scarcity lasted about 10 years, and had a global reach.
For housewives, and others who made the meals for their families, getting creative in the kitchen was a must. They had to use what they had on hand, or could get cheap, if at all.
This retro chocolate cake recipe speaks to the cleverness of those cooks, and shows us what is possible to make with less.
What this Cake Doesn't Have
Amazingly this is a chocolate cake made without eggs, butter, or milk. I read that many people even made it without sugar!
Luckily there are ingredients that work to make a cake rise, and to make it moist.
I do think that even though this is a Depression Cake, it must have been a splurge for most people in those days.
The steps to make this retro chocolate cake recipe are simple. Here they are:
The original recipe did not call for frosting, but I like to frost my cakes, so I use my Nana's recipe for Easy Chocolate 1 Minute Icing.
This cake is tender, moist, and has a nice flavor. It tastes a lot like Devil's Food Cake when you make it with coffee.
Making it with water is also good, and the cake has a lighter flavor.
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If you make this chocolate cake recipe, let me know! Just leave a comment with a star rating below, I'd like to know how you liked it!
Depression Cake - Wacky Cake
- 8"x8" Baking Dish
- 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Sugar
- ⅓ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons White Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup Cooled Coffee or Water I use half coffee / half water
- In an ungreased 8"x8" baking dish, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar, and cocoa powder. Whisk together.
- Make 3 small wells in the mix. Add the oil to one, vinegar to another, and vanilla to the third.
- Pour the coffee (or water) over and gently whisk together just until combined.
- Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.
- Remove from oven and let cool in dish on a wire rack.
- Frost if desired (the original had no frosting, but we like 1-Minute Chocolate Frosting
- Cut into 9 squares and serve.