Chocolate Depression Cake is the easiest cake ever and you only need a few simple pantry ingredients. This decadent cake does not require eggs, milk or butter making it so simple to bake. 

A whole 8x8 pan of depression cake that is frosted.
Want to save this recipe?

What do you bake when you are low on ingredients? This Chocolate depression cake! You will love having such an easy recipe on hand.

This delicious cake only calls for pantry ingredients but turns out so decadent and amazing. It is always a hit and definitely does not disappoint. 

The chocolate icing is just as easy and makes the cake even better.  You have to try this amazing cake. We also make Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake.

A slice of depression cake on a plate

What is Crazy Cake Recipe?

Crazy cake or you might know it as Depression Cake is a delicious cake recipe with only a few ingredients. It does not have the “normal” cake ingredients. You will notice that it is missing eggs, milk and butter. 

Depression Cake or War Cake was created during the Great Depression. Because eggs, milk, and butter were to come by, this created without it.

Adding the Chocolate Frosting really brings the cake together. We love how rich and decadent this cake is. Easy ingredients and simple process makes this cake a crowd pleaser.

Cake ingredients - flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, water

 

Crazy Cake Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour 
  • Sugar 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 
  • Salt 
  • Baking Soda 
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • Vinegar 
  • Vegetable Oil 
  • water 
Frosting ingredients needed - butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients

  • Butter, Melted 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 
  • Powdered Sugar 
  • Milk 
  • Vanilla Extract 

How to Make Chocolate Depression Cake

  • Preheat Oven – First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Combine the dry ingredients – Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. 
  • Stir until combine – Combine these ingredients in a large bowl.
Combining the dry ingredients.
  • Combine the wet ingredients – In a separate bowl, pour the water, vanilla, vinegar, and oil. 
Combining the vanilla, vinegar, oil and water
  • Combine the dry and wet ingredients together – Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a hand held mixer. Mix until they are thoroughly combined. 
  • Pour into Prepared Pan – Pour into a greased 8X8 baking pan.
  • Bake Cake – Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 
Cake batter poured into a 8x8 baking dish
  • Cool Cake – Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. 
A slice of depression cake on a plate

How to Make Frosting for Crazy Cake

  • Stir Butter and Cocoa together – Combine the butter and cocoa into a mixing bowl and stir by hand. 
  • Add in remaining ingredients – Add in the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to the cocoa mixture. Then combine with a hand held mixer until the frosting is fully formed. 
  • Top Cool Cake with Frosting – Spread the frosting on the cake
  • Serve and Enjoy – Slice and serve cake immediately and enjoy.
A whole pan of depression cake with a spatula frosting the cake.

Can Depression Cake be Frozen?

Yes, this depression cake can be frozen but we recommend freezing the cake without it being frosted.

  • Cool Cake – It is best to freeze the cake same day you baked it. We recommend wrapping the cake without it being the in pan.
  • Plastic Wrap – Place a plastic wrap over the top of the cake and then place a cutting board on the top. Then flip cake over and remove from pan. Then wrap the bottom of the cake with plastic wrap, making sure the cake is covered.
  • Cover in Foil – Then wrap cake in foil and place in the freezer. It will stay good for about a 1 month in the freezer.

How to Thaw Frozen Depression Cake

Remove cake from freezer and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. Then remove foil and plastic wrap and place on a serving platter. Cake should be completely thawed after about 2 hours.

Then frost cake and serve and enjoy.

A slice of depression cake on a plate

Chocolate Depression Cake Tips

  • Make in a 9×13 pan – If you double the recipe, you can make this cake in a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Separate Ingredients – Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Once combined, then mix all the ingredients together.
  • Serve Cold or Warm – This cake is great served warm straight out of the oven or cold.
A slice of depression cake on a plate

Variation Ideas

  • Depression Cake Topping – Instead of frosting cake, you can dust with powdered sugar. We love the way it looks and it keeps the cake dairy free.
  • Gluten Free Option – You can make this cake gluten free but using gluten free flour. Also, check the other ingredients such as sweetener to make sure no gluten is added.
  • Add Sprinkles – Anytime we make a cake, sprinkles are always a fun addition.
  • Change the Cake Flavoring – Make vanilla depression cake without adding the cocoa powder.
A whole 8x8 pan of depression cake that is frosted.

How to Serve Chocolate Depression Cake

  • Serve with Ice Cream – A scoop of vanilla ice cream with this easy chocolate cake is the perfect combination.  
  • Glass of Milk – My kids loving have a tall glass of cold milk when eating this chocolate cake.
  • Drizzle with Chocolate – I love chocolate cake recipes, so I love to drizzle with some hot fudge sauce
  • Top with Whipped Cream – Add a spoonful of whipped cream on top.
A slice of depression cake on a plate.

Can Depression Cake be made as Cupcakes?

Yes, this cake would be perfect for individual size cakes. Prepare your muffin pan and line it with cupcake liners. Then fill the cake batter about ¾ full in the cupcake liners.

Bake cupcakes for about 15 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees. Use a toothpick to check to see if cupcake is done. Toothpick should come out clean when inserted.

How to Store Leftovers

You can store this cake frosted or unfrosted in the refrigerator. If you are storing frosted, make sure that the frosting has slightly harden before placing in the refrigerator.

Cover with plastic wrap and will stay good for about 3-4 days.

Chocolate Depression cake on a plate with a fork inserted in it.

Wakey Cake is a Crowd Pleaser

If you are looking for a cake to celebrate someone special, make this Wakey Cake. It is so rich in flavor that a small piece will be the perfect size.

I love to have the kids help make this since it is so easy to make and the ingredients are simple. This is the perfect cake to have any day of the week. Every day should be celebrated and this is the perfect cake to do so.

A slice of depression cake on a plate

Chocolate Depression Cake

5 from 3 votes
Chocolate depression cake is the easiest cake and you only need a few pantry ingredients. This decadent cake does not require eggs, milk or butter.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 9
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 333

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients:

Frosting Ingredients:

Want to save this?
Just enter your email and I’ll send it right to you, plus great new recipes weekly!

Instructions

Cake Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla, vinegar, oil and water.
  • Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a hand held mixer until they are thoroughly combined.
  • Pour into a greased 8X8 baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Directions:

  • Combine the butter and cocoa into a mixing bowl and stir by hand.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and combine with a hand held mixer until the frosting is fully formed.
  • Spread the frosting on the cake and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 333kcal, Carbohydrates 57g, Protein 4g, Fat 12g, Saturated Fat 9g, Cholesterol 7mg, Sodium 298mg, Potassium 175mg, Fiber 4g, Sugar 36g, Vitamin A 87IU, Calcium 21mg, Iron 2mg

Pin This Now to Remember It Later

Pin Recipe

More Easy Cake Recipes:

Try these other recipes

Share this recipe!

PinYummly

About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

Leave A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Susan Fuchs says:

    I’ve made this with my grandmother and aunt growering up.
    I love it

  2. Deb says:

    I have been making this cake for many years. My recipe is very similar to yours however I use 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) of baking cocoa and dissolve 1 teaspoon of instant coffee into the water before mixing into the other ingredients. (I use hot water and do this step first). There is no coffee taste but the chocolate flavor is enhanced. This is a quick and easy dessert and a family favorite.

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! So glad you love this cake.