Vegan Depression Era Cake

Posted by in Cakes, Cooking, Sweets | 7 comments














Hello & Happy Friday!!





In going thru new concepts, I came across another current food trend, the Depression Cake. At first glance I thought, this has to be a joke, no cake is depressing, and it’s not, especially this cake! The story behind this cake is that is was big during the Great Depression. Times were tough, food was scarce, but cake was still had!


The concept behind this cake is that it’s thrown together with pantry staples minus the traditional eggs, butter, and milk. The natural lift you get in this cake, which is used in vegan concepts is to combine apple cider vinegar and baking soda to replace the eggs. The final result is a rich, moist, and luxurious cake! 


Something I also loved is that it features coffee. Coffee brings out the natural flavor of coffee and I love to combine the two in recipes on EDS. Needless to say, this recipe was a huge hit last night. The traditional recipe is provided below and I slightly reduced the sugar content to 3/4 cup versus the standard 1 cup. You could further reduce it if desired, but sugar reduces moisture, so you may have even more moisture. 








What’s fab about this cake, is everything! It’s quick, easy, affordable features minimal ingredients, is rich with flavor, history, buttery soft, has a lil less sugar, features coffee, is perfect for any season, any occasion, you can top with whatever you like or serve plain, and it’s just so good!




If you love the history behind foods or all things chocolate, you’r going to love this new vegan Depression Cake!












Why this recipe is great: 







Rich with flavor 

Rich with history 

Perfect for any season! 











































Yields 4-8

Vegan Depression Cake

10 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

5 based on 1 review(s)


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder  
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cooled brewed coffee (or water)


  1. Preheat to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch round or square pan.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and the sugar in the pan. Make 3 indentions in the mixture. 2 small and one large. Pour the vanilla and vinegar into the smaller holes, and oil into the larger hole.
  3. Pour the coffee over the entire mixture and stir the ingredients until well blended.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is set but springy. Cool the cake in the pan, then top with the frosting of your choice or enjoy plain.









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  1. What frosting did you use?
    • I would love to know that too it looks so good!
  2. Yes please tell us the frosting too!
  3. Do you think you can use gluten free flour for this recipe ?
    • Hi Tanya! Yes you can always try a gluten free flour option. The texture may be slightly different like most gluten free baked goods.
  4. I’m also interested to find out the recipe for your frosting!!
    • Hi Dhale, I simply used a store bought vegan option and whipped it up with cocoa powder!


  1. Easy Vegan Vanilla Cake - Eat. Drink. Shrink. - […] exploring the Great Depression Cake which calls for no eggs or milk, I wanted to recreate a vanilla version…

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