Depression Era Chocolate Cake ~ WACKY CAKE

A moist, dairy free cake (no eggs, butter or milk)

Preheat oven to 350F.

  • 1 ½ c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp soda
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa (if you want chocolate, instead of vanilla) See below if you want a spice cake.

Place this mixture in an 8″x8″ pan.  Use the back of a spoon to make three holes. Into each of the holes put:
A. 1 tsp vanilla extract
B. 1 Tbsp vinegar (either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar is fine)
C. 5 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
D. Pour 1 cup hot water over all ingredients and stir thoroughly until just combined.

Bake on middle rack of pre-heated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Oven baking times may vary, be sure to check your cake to make sure you do not over bake.)

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

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  • Frost with your favorite icing. Peppermint extract in frosting for a mint cake
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar
  • Chocolate syrup is great with ice cream.
  • If trying to avoid dairy, you can frost it with Crisco Frosting or this Fluffy Dairy-Free Frosting Recipe
  • A tablespoon of honey  with the confectioner’s sugar makes it better, some claim.
  • Great served warm with just ice cream or Cool Whip topping it.

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For Spice Cake   omit the chocolate and add:

  • ½ – ¾  cinnamon (some recipes say up to 2 teaspoons)
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ -½  teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ginger
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How many of these did our grandparents and parents, who lived through the depression, fix for us? : Depression Foods that were actually very good and may help us save money today. 

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2 Responses to Depression Era Chocolate Cake ~ WACKY CAKE

  1. Lucy says:

    Instead of agonizing over egg shortages and the resulting prices, substituting other ingredients for eggs can be a way to economize. Vinegar and baking soda aren’t the only egg replacements:

    Applesauce was being used before 1917 as it was in a cookbook published that year.
    1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce for each egg called for (cheap, convenient, and mild enough to meld easily with any number of flavors, is hands-down the favorite. Pectin in the applesauce acts as a binder as well as an emulsifier, pulling the other ingredients together. Eggs provide richness, moisture, levity, and structure like no other ingredient, while ensuring that the cake browns properly and doesn’t crumble at first bite. However, applesauce in cakes makes denser than egg-leavened cakes and are even more moist and delicious with the thick layer of caramel icing, in the recipe at the bottom.

    What else can be used in place of an egg:

    4 tbspn silken tofu
    4 tbspn ripe, mashed banana
    1 tbspn aquafaba (the liquid drained from chickpeas or white beans.) Whip the liquid as you would egg whites, and fold into batter.
    4 tbspn Greek yogurt or buttermilk
    1 tbspn chia or flax seeds+3 tbspn water (seeds turn to gel when soaked in liquid.)
    2 Tbspn oats + 3 tbspns boiling water
    1 tbspn cornstarch & 3 tbspn water
    Also dates, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and avocado can sometimes be substituted for eggs, as well as chickpea flour + 3 tbspn water, arrowroot powder and protein powder.
    Credit for some of the above:

    Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting Warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Applesauce provides the necessary moistness and binding that eliminates the need for eggs.

    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting the pan)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    ½ cup shortening (plus extra for greasing the pan)
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1 cup chopped walnuts

    2 tablespoons butter
    ⅓ cup evaporated milk (plus a little more, if needed)
    ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
    1/8 teaspoon of salt
    ½ teaspoon vanilla
    3 cups powdered sugar

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside.

    In medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

    In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat shortening and brown sugar on medium speed until well-blended. Blend in the applesauce.

    Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in the walnuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
    FROSTING: In a small saucepan, bring butter, the ⅓ cup evaporated milk, the brown sugar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth.

    Spread the frosting over the cake immediately while the frosting is still warm. If it becomes difficult to spread, heat a little milk in the same saucepan and drizzle over the top to loosen it up. Let the frosting firm up completely before slicing.

    Wrap the leftover cake in foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.


  2. Lucy says:

    Mayonnaise in your cake as a substitute as it is vegetable oil, vinegar and egg.
    What each of those ingredients do:
    – Oil keeps the cake tender.
    – Vinegar (the acid in it) enhances chocolate floavor
    – Egg moistens and adds glossy touch to the batter

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