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Depression Cake

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Depression Cake has been around for so long, and it is one cake that always knocks me off my rocker. It is also called wacky cake, named after its unusual ingredients. It is anything but wacky resulting in a moist, rich, chocolate cake that doesn’t use eggs, milk, or butter! It is one magical cake that will satisfy your sweet cravings. 

Slather on your favorite frosting or eat it naked. Either way, this cake is awesome and crazy simple to make and bake. 

Depression Cake 

I always get tickled when I come across a recipe that surprises you. If you look at the ingredients of this cake you might think… no way this turns out good. But after making it you will stand in awe over your fantastic creation. Just like my Magic Cake, it creates a dessert that is sinfully delightful. 

depression cake

Do You Need A Stand Mixer For This Cake Recipe 

You can use a whisk or spatula and a bowl if you don’t want to mix it up with a stand mixer or hand held mixer. This cake batter comes together in literally minutes. For a mom who is always busy, this is one cake I don’t mind throwing together. 

depression cake

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1.5 cups (8.5 oz, 250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8.5 oz, 250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1oz, 30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (2.67oz, 80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8oz, 237 ml) water

For the Frosting:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup (1oz, 30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (5.3 oz, 150g) powdered/icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

How to Make Depression Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease an 8×8 cake pan with butter, margarine, or cooking spray.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
  • In another bowl, add the water, oil, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Mix together.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until the batter is mostly smooth.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 8×8 pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick is clean.
  • Cool completely on the counter.
  • Next, we’ll make the frosting.  In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (approximately 30-40 seconds on high).
  • Add the cocoa powder and stir until fully mixed.  It will be thick and pasty.  
  • In a medium mixing bowl, using electric beaters, beat together the cocoa mixture, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.  Beat until smooth, it will take about 4 minutes.
depression cake
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.  Enjoy!.
depression cake

Best Frosting For Depression Cake 

You are more than welcome to use store-bought frosting or use my delicious recipe below for depression cake frosting, which was made along with the depression cake years ago. Feel free to use what you prefer. 

depression cake

I made chocolate frosting for my cake, but you could use vanilla, buttercream, or any other flavored frosting you would like. 

When To Serve Up This Chocolate Cake 

  • Birthday parties 
  • Weeknight dinners 
  • Guests 
  • Potluck Dinners 
  • Etc
depression cake

I made up this cake just because. With being stuck at home I wanted to create a fun treat the whole family could enjoy. Who can say no to a rich and moist chocolate cake? Definitely not me! 

How To Store Leftover Cake 

Feel free to store your cake covered in an airtight container on the counter. Now if you use a cream cheese or buttercream based frosting, then it needs to be stored in the refrigerator. 

depression cake

Can You Freeze Chocolate Depression Cake 

If you allow your cake to fully cool, yes you can then transfer it to the freezer. Just place it in a proper freezer container and store it for up to three months. You can also wrap it, after cooling, in Press N Seal. I find that this works great and is easy to remove. I like to slice the cake so then when I get a craving, I can pull a piece out, let it thaw on the counter then dive in. Thaw on the counter at least one hour before eating.

depression cake pin

So what are you waiting for? Dive into this cake today, and let me know what you think! And if you are craving more dessert recipes check these out as well. 

depression cake

Depression Cake

Depression Cake has been around for so long, and it is one cake that always knocks me off my rocker. Moist, rich, chocolate cake that doesn’t use eggs, milk or butter! It is one magical cake that will satisfy your sweet cravings.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 1.5 cups (8.5 oz, 250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8.5 oz, 250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1oz, 30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (2.67oz, 80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8oz, 237 ml) water
  • For the Frosting:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup (1oz, 30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (5.3 oz, 150g) powdered/icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease an 8x8 cake pan with butter, margarine, or cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, add the water, oil, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Mix together.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until the batter is mostly smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 8x8 pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick is clean.
  6. Cool completely on the counter.
  7. Next, we’ll make the frosting.  In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (approximately 30-40 seconds on high).
  8. Add the cocoa powder and stir until fully mixed.  It will be thick and pasty.  
  9. In a medium mixing bowl, using electric beaters, beat together the cocoa mixture, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.  Beat until smooth, it will take about 4 minutes.
  10. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.  Enjoy!.

Notes

  • Store leftovers on the counter in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
  • If the icing is a little too thick, just add a teaspoon of water and beat until incorporated.
  • The vinegar is necessary to help the cake rise.  You do not taste it at all.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 291mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g

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