No Eggs? No Butter? This Depression Cake Is Delish

Jill Holtz

April 28, 2020

depression cake

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Are you looking for a delicious cake recipe that doesn’t need eggs or butter? This Depression Cake Recipe is delicious and is really easy to make. And being dairy-free, vegans and those with dairy allergies can still enjoy their cake and eat it!

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Are you looking for something new to bake but running low on ingredients? This depression cake fits the bill perfectly!

What is Depression Cake?

Depression cake is a type of cake that was often made during the Great Depression. Because ingredients were either hard to obtain or expensive, the cakes didn’t use milk, eggs or butter. And sometimes they didn’t use sugar either.

Other names for these types of cakes include Crazy Cake, Wacky Cake, Dump Cake or War Cake.

Being egg-free and dairy-free means it’s also good for those with allergy issues or who are vegan.

You May Also Enjoy Flourless, Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

How To Make a Depression Cake

The butter in the cake recipe is replaced with the cooking oil of your choice, use any neutral cooking oil of your choice, like sunflower, vegetable, grapeseed, etc.

The eggs are replaced with a combination of vinegar and baking soda, they make the cake fluffy and light. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda, making carbon dioxide and giving the cake the lift they need.

For the vinegar, a light vinegar is best, e.g. white vinegar, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.

You can easily double the recipe to make a larger cake or use cupcake liners and make it into cupcakes as well.

Depression Cake Recipe


  • 185g / 1 1/2 cups / 6.5 oz all-purpose or plain flour
  • 115g / 1 cup / 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 70g / 1/3 cup / 2.5oz unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 80ml / 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 235ml / 1 cup water

For the icing:

  • 185g / 1 1/2 cups / 6.5oz icing sugar
  • 40g / 1/4 cup / 1.5oz cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 175C / 350F and set out your cake pan (you don’t need to grease it).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder until well combined.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar to the water.
  4. Add the oil to the dry ingredients, followed by your water mixture.
  5. Mix until the batter is smooth. Make sure there’s no flour at the bottom of your bowl and that it’s well mixed.
  6. Pour the cake batter into your baking tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a cooling rack while you make the icing.
  8. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Add the vanilla extract and water. Mix until smooth.

If you don’t want to ice your cake, you could dust it with icing sugar, toasted nuts or toasted coconut to decorate.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

You May Also Enjoy You’ll Devour This Yummy Baked Chocolate Fudge Pudding!

Have you ever made Depression Cake or Crazy Cake? Are you tempted to try this recipe? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

This Depression Cake Is Delish - Mykidstime

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