Depression Crazy Cake

Depression Crazy Cake

This Depression Crazy Cake has many names (some call it Depression Cake, some call it Crazy Cake, some call it Wacky Cake), but one thing's for sure... this deliciously chocolaty cake was a big hit during the Great Depression when eggs, milk and butter were very hard to come by. This easy to make dessert recipe uses only the basics in terms of ingredients. While the preparation may be simple, the taste is outstanding. When you need a classic cake recipe to wow your guests, this budget-friendly recipe is a great option!

Cooking Time35 min


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8-inch square baking pan. 
  3. Add vanilla, vinegar and vegetable oil. Pour water over all.  Mix well until smooth.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and top with your favorite frosting, if desired.




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I love looking at the depression cakes. It always has more of an impact when you realize how difficult it was to make these things back then. Somehow it makes me appreciate them more. When times are hard and we are pressed for ingredients it's amazing what you can work with and those always taste really delicious somehow. So when I look at one of these recipes I know that it is going to be no-fail and scrumptious too!

My mom used to make this cake for our birthdays. We always thought it was the best. Now as an adult, I continue to make it. Delicious.

I have this in an old cookbook called Wacky Cake

I remember this as a kid! Can't wait to have it again.


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