Depression cake OR vegan wacky cake OR crazy cake OR poor man’s cake OR war cake… This cake goes by MANY names!

My mom used to make this cake for me every weekend, while growing up AND her mom used to make it for her and now, I LOVE making it for my family.

This SIMPLE chocolate cake recipe was developed during the Great Depression era.

My understanding of this depression cake history/wacky cake history is that milk, eggs and butter were very EXPENSIVE during that time and most people could not afford to buy them.

Desserts were considered to be an item of LUXURY but everyone still wanted to enjoy cake and thus, our brilliant ancestors came up with this AFFORDABLE alternative cake recipe without eggs, butter or milk.

You would think that without those KEY ingredients, this cake would be dry BUT it’s actually very SOFT and MOIST due to the use of baking soda and vinegar. I promise you CAN’T even taste or smell the vinegar once this cake has baked.


  • 1½ cups All-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp White vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Water
  • Chocolate Frosting (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup Milk Whole or 2%
  • 1/3 cup Butter Unsalted
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups Powdered sugar

In a square cake pan (Dimensions: 8x8- Ungreased), add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk everything together.

Use your finger to make 2 small holes and 1 large hole in this dry flour mixture.

Pour vinegar and vanilla extract in the small holes.

Pour oil in the large hole.

Pour water over everything.

Mix everything together until just combined. Don't worry if you have some lumps. Just don't over-mix or else you will end up with a rubbery cake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until an toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Frosting
While the cake is cooling down, prepare the frosting: In a non-stick saucepan, add milk, butter and cocoa powder and mix until smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until smooth and creamy.

Pour this frosting over your entire cake and let it set in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.

Toss some sprinkles on top of the cake and enjoy!

Keep in mind that since you will not be lining your pan with wax paper or using oil spray, the cake will stick to the pan slightly. No need to panic! You can still EASILY cut slices with a knife and use an offset spatula to remove them from the pan and serve them in plates.
Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

thanks done share recipes to : https://cakewhiz.com/crazy-wacky-depression-cake/

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