MomsRetro Kitchen

Retro Kitchen Art and Recipe Tips

Moms Recipes: Eggless, Milkless Mix-In-The-Pan Depression Cake

Here’s an easy cake recipe that has been around since the Great Depression.  It happens to also be vegetarian because back in the day dairy products were in short supply or very expensive.  Despite having no eggs, no milk, no butter and still comes out light and tasty!

There is little kitchen cleanup with this recipe because you can mix this cake in the same pan you bake it in!  I have also seen this recipe called Crazy Cake.

After you try the chocolate version mix things up by trying the Spice Cake or Orange Cake versions too.  Or get creative in the kitchen and cook up your own variation!

MomsRetro Mix-in-the-Pan Chocolate Depression Cake


1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 TSP. Baking Powder
1 TSP. Baking Soda
1/2 TSP. Salt
3 – 4 TBS. Cocoa Powder

1 TSP. Vanilla
1 TBS. Vinegar
5 TBS. Oil
1 Cup Warm Water

In a 8×8 inch pan, mix dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt and cocoa powder).

The trick to making this cake turn out well is to mix the dry ingredients well. Don’t forget the mix in the corners of the pan.  Once you add moisture, it starts a reaction with the baking soda and you will need to work quickly.  If all your ingredients are mixed thoroughly, you should have a nice even color from the cocoa powder.

When the dry ingredients are mixed, make a depression In the middle of the mixture.  Pour in the wet ingredients (Vanilla, vinegar, oil and water).

Mix well, starting from the center then gradually incorporating everything all the way to the edges of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.  Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Baking Tip:  The baking soda and powder will create bubbles in the batter.  This creates a light cake.  Try to whip in a little extra air while you are mixing.  You can mix this with a fork if you don’t have a whisk, but a whisk can help incorporate more air into your cake batter.

Mix-in-the-Pan Crazy Spice Cake

Instead of cocoa powder use:

1 TSP Ginger
1/2 TSP Cinnamon
1/2 TSP Allspice
1/2 TSP Cloves

The Spice Cake Version is good with Orange Icing or whipped topping.

Mix-in-the-Pan Fancy Orange or Lemon Cake

Leave out cocoa powder.  Instead of 1 TSP Vanilla use:

1 TSP Orange OR Lemon Extract

The Orange Cake Version is good with Orange Icing or a plain glaze.

Happy Baking!

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