Easiest Chocolate Cake – Depression Era Wacky Cake – No Eggs, No Milk

Wacky Depression Era Chocolate Cake

Not only are there no eggs and no dairy in this chocolate cake, making it vegan, but it's incredibly easy to make. You can mix the ingredients right in the pan and in 30 minutes you will have a delicious chocolate cake.
Add a little frosting and voila! you've got a birthday or Valentine's Day cake. ❤️
4.43 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 771 kcal


  • 1 square baking pan 8"x8"
  • electric mixer for frosting


Chocolate Cake

  • C. all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 C. cold coffee or water


  • 3 tbsp. butter room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. hot coffee or hot water
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 C. powdered sugar



  • Preheat oven oven to 325˚F/ 163˚C.
  • For easy cake removal, line the baking pan with parchment, or skip this step if serving the cake directly from the pan.
  • In a bowl or in the pan itself, add dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add all wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


  • In a large bowl, add the butter, hot coffee, cocoa powder, and salt. Use an electric mixer to cream ingredients together.
  • Sift in powdered sugar in three batches, mixing in between additions until the frosting is thick and creamy.
  • Apply frosting to the completely cooled cake.


This recipe was adapted from Happy Holligan’s: https://happyhooligans.ca/chocolate-depression-cake/.


Calories: 771kcalCarbohydrates: 174gProtein: 10gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 367mgPotassium: 356mgFiber: 8gSugar: 117gVitamin A: 185IUCalcium: 83mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Chocolate, chocolate cake, dessert, easy, no eggs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

8 thoughts on “Easiest Chocolate Cake – Depression Era Wacky Cake – No Eggs, No Milk”

  1. After making this cake, I went back to your video because I noticed something was off….The salt was left off of the ingredients on the above recipe. We ate the whole cake. I will be making it again but adding salt!!!

  2. I’m almost 70, and I learned to make this cake at about 10 years old. Your cake photo looks wrong to me, it’s very flat, so I checked the math. An 8x 8” pan has 64 square inches, and a 9 x 13 inch pan has 117 square inches. It could be because 64 is more than half of 117, but I’d bet $$$, that it didn’t raise as it should have because it was over mixed. Over mixing allows the soda-vinegar reaction to occur and get used up before the batter can become cake. As many of your followers reported, we made this right in the pan, using the up and down motion of a fork, to mix the wet into the dry ingredients. We never mixed until all the lumps were gone, that would result in a flat cake. The soda-vinegar reaction acts like percolation, and breaks up any remaining floury lumps. A piece of cake from the middle of the pan was easily 3” tall or more. Try it again, mix your dry thoroughly, then mix in the wet like you would for pancakes or a quick bread. Good luck!

  3. Welp made the cake so wrong because Cups do not translate in the same fashion between ingredients….. used 300 grams of flour instead of 180 because for some reason Cups of flour and sugar is different…. *sigh*

  4. 3 stars
    The cake would not flip out of the pan, and I’ve flipped out a lot of cakes in my life with no issue. I added another cup of powdered sugar to the frosting, and the icing was still thin for my taste. The icing and the cake taste good enough, but I won’t be making this again.

  5. 5 stars
    Let me start by saying I love Emmy’s videos, but I’m NOT a very good cook. And despite my best efforts to screw up this recipe, it produced a delicious, fudgy cake that exceeded my expectations!

    Allow me to explain: I have glucose intolerance AND a sweet tooth. So on a whim I decided to try making this recipe with almond flour and Splenda for baking, and set VERY low expectations (thus my comment about my best efforts to screw up this recipe). Wow, was I surprised by the outcome. Great texture, moist, and wonderful. It may not be as good as the original, but it’s easy and “scratches my itch” for sweets.

    Oh, and as others have pointed out, the ½ tsp of salt added in the video is omitted from the recipe as published above. I sprinkled kosher sea salt on top, and it was fine…but I can’t wait to make it again, this time WITH the salt!

  6. 5 stars
    It turned out pretty good!
    I did have to cook mine for 45 minutes as opposed to the 25-30 minutes listed, so your cook time may vary depending on your oven. Also, I swapped out the cold coffee for cold root beer instead. Any dark colored soda, like Coke Cola or Pepsi, or Root beer, should work.
    It wasn’t dry at all, and it was pretty easy.
    Just be mindful of the varying cook time and keep an eye on your cake while occasionally checking with a toothpick.

    5/5, will definitely make again, especially to save on eggs and milk.

4.43 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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