February 13, 2023

Depression Cake

I have made this recipe a few times.  It’s origins date back to the depression and I saw it on an American website some years back. It has no eggs or dairy in it and so is good if you are vegan, have food allergies, or if you are short of ingredients. I made it as my Grandson was a bit unsettled today and I needed some chocolate. I was baking bread and so I thought I might as well put this in the oven whilst I was waiting for the bread to prove as I have wanted to write about it for ages. It is so easy. You make it in the dish you bake it in. (but don’t grease it).  I wanted a pudding and so it made it to have with custard but you could make it as a cake and cover in butter icing or frosting.  Next time I am going to make a toffee sauce to have with it for a change.


1.5 cups of plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp white vinegar
5 tbsp veg oil
1 cup of water.


1. Set the oven at 180⁰C or 160⁰C fan.
2. In the dish you are making it in (I used an 8″ round dish) put the flour, salt, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in and mix.
3. Make 3 little wells in the dry ingredients and in one put the oil, in another put the vinegar and in the third put the vanilla.
4. Add the water to the dish and mix it all together well. I did this just with a fork.
5. Place in the oven and cook for 30 to 35 mins or until a knife or skewer comes out clean (Mine took 55 mins and so the recipe is probably for a bigger dish).

It tasted nice and stopped me searching like a locust for chocolate. I must admit I did add some chocolate chips to it as well.  I need to remember to make it more often as it takes little effort.  I might see if it cooks in the microwave next time.

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  1. Sofia Rentzi February 15, 2023 at 6:49 am - Reply

    I will definitely try this with my kids today- it looks really good, thank you Toni

    • ToniG February 15, 2023 at 9:55 am - Reply

      Thanks for commenting. Have fun x

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