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

Wacky Depression Era Chocolate Cake

This cake is so easy to make, you can mix it right in the pan and in 30 minutes you have chocolate cake.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
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 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!

2 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!

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