Chocolate Depression Cake: the delicious dessert recipe with no eggs nor butter

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Chocolate depression cake is an easy, moist dessert recipe you can make in no time without eggs nor butter. You might think it will cure your depression as chocolate makes people feel good, but the name actually comes from the Great Depression.

During this time, there was a shortage of many ingredients, especially when it came to eggs and dairy. And as the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention’… so soon this cake, made with no eggs and no butter, was born. This idea is so unusual, that some also call it "Crazy Cake", "Wacky Cake" or even "War Cake" as eggs are added to a recipe to add height and allow the cake to rise.

This Crazy Cake makes use baking powder, which makes the cake light and fluffy, while cocoa powder and chocolate make it rich, and decadent in flavor. The cake is naturally vegetarian and super easy to make too. Not only do you need a few simple pantry ingredients, but if you can stir, you can bake the Chocolate Depression Cake. Because it’s eggless and butterless, it’s perfect for those with special diets.


Expert Tips for Making Moist Chocolate Depression Cake

In a normal cake, butter is used to add moisture. It works by coating the flour with fat, preventing the gluten to develop and therefore creating a softer crumb. The Chocolate Depression Cake uses oil instead of butter which has the same effect. Cakes made with oil also stay moist for longer than a traditional recipe.

You can add a tablespoon of instant coffee to add flavor to the cake. The cake won’t taste like coffee, but it will bring out the chocolatey flavor.

Instead of a glaze, you can also use a vanilla or chocolate frosting. Or, you don’t have to frost it at all. Serve the naked cake with a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream.

For making a vanilla depression cake, leave out cocoa powder and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the batter.

For making this chocolate depression cake vegan and dairy-free, use a plant-based milk.

For decorating, you can use chocolate shavings, rainbow sprinkles, or sliced strawberries.

How to store Chocolate Depression Cake

You can store the chocolate depression cake at room temperature (in an airtight container) for up to one week.

Can you freeze Chocolate Depression Cake?

You can also freeze the baked cake if unfrosted. Simply wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and another layer in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3-6 months. Before serving, thaw at room temperature and glaze.

All-purpose flour
200 grams (1 ½ cups)
Cocoa powder
50 grams (5 tbsp)
Baking powder
5 grams (1 tsp)
Granulated sugar
160 grams (3/4 cup)
neutral oil (vegetable, canola, or corn oil)
80 ml (1/3 cup)
260 ml (1 cup)
For the chocolate glaze
chocolate, chopped
100 grams (3.5oz)
50 ml (1/3 cup)
For decoration (optional)
Chocolate chips

How To Make Chocolate Depression Cake

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.

Add the sugar and whisk together.

Add the milk and oil, and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the batter into a cake tin lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 mins at 180°C/350°F.

Add the milk to the chocolate pieces, and heat in the microwave, stirring every few seconds.

Pour the glaze over the baked cake and smooth with a spoon.

Decorate with chocolate chips.

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