, , ,


Before today, I had never heard of depression cake.  This afternoon one of my Facebook friends posted that her daughter made a depression cake and I assumed that meant her daughter made a cake because she was depressed!  Nope.  Apparently, it’s a cake recipe that uses no butter, eggs or milk, so it was affordable even during the depression!  My daughter just had to try it, so we got on Pinterest, found a recipe and whipped it up!  I adapted my buttermilk brownie frosting recipe for this because it’s simple, inexpensive ingredients that I always have on hand.  The links for the frosting in the recipe I found included evaporated milk and chocolate chips or chilled coconut milk and chocolate chips. I found mine to be much simpler!

Start by greasing your pan, which I neglected to do.  *gasp*  Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until well mixed.


Make 3 wells and put oil in one, vinegar in one, vanilla in one.



Pour water over the top and whisk until combined.



Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.


In the last 5 min or so that it’s in the oven, bring half and half, butter, salt and cocoa powder to a boil.


Add powdered sugar and whisk until well combined.depressioncake-9

Pour over hot cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.


Cool and enjoy!


If you mix it in a separate bowl, the cake pan will be prettier, but mixing it this way makes it super easy even for a 9 year old — bonus, they can lick the whisk since it’s egg free!

This was yummy!  I have to say that the texture was different, but not bad and so very easy to make.  Let me know what you think!

Print Recipe
Depression Chocolate Cake
Course Dessert
Cook Time 35 minutes
8x8 pan
Course Dessert
Cook Time 35 minutes
8x8 pan
  1. Mix first 5 ingredients in greased 8x8 pan.
  2. When well whisked, make 3 wells. Put vinegar in one, vanilla in one, oil in one. Pour water over top and whisk.
  3. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 min, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  4. 5 minutes before it finishes baking, mix butter, half and half, salt and cocoa powder in pan.
  5. Bring just to the boil, remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Mix well. Add vanilla.
  6. Pour over cake while piping hot. Cool and serve.
Share this Recipe