Monday, May 30, 2011

Chocolate Depression cake - eggless and butterless

 My friend's daughter turned 1-year old last week and I was asked to bake her (and the adults) a cake.  As with many youngsters, she's developed an egg and dairy allergy that I desperately hope she'll grow out of one day lest she miss out on so many tasty treats.  After browsing for an allergy-accommodating recipe, I learned that eggless and butterless cakes were quite popular during the Depression and wartime.  Back then, eggs, butter and other common staples were rationed and difficult to get a hold of.  As a result, this recipe arose where oil replaced the fat from butter and the combination of vinegar and baking soda replicated the rising effects of eggs.  The cake turned out great - fluffy, extremely moist, and full of chocolate goodness without being too sweet.  Everyone loved the cake and was surprised to hear it had no eggs or butter.  The cocoa powder is the driving flavor factor so be sure to use one that you like.   

Chocolate Depression Cake
Makes one 9x13 cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa power
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups water
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly. 
  3. Create a small well in the dry ingredients.  Add all the wet ingredients into the well and stir until well combined.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared 9x13 pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Cool completely.
  5. Top with powdered sugar or frosting as you please.


  1. It was very tasty! Thank you for baking it!

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