Q&ACategory: Food and RecipesAny recipes for Depression-Era Cakes?
Dorothy asked 8 years ago

I see you have a lot of vintage cake recipes, but I can never get enough of them to try. They’re simple and delicious. If anyone has any they love, please let me know. 

1 Answers
Judith A. C. answered 8 years ago

I hope you enjoy these recipes.The Chocolate Mayonnaise cake has been a staple cake in my house for over 40 years. It also makes great cupcakes. A Depression Era chocolate cake is now being used by a Chicago-area chain restaurant that specializes in hot dogs and Italian beef.

Mayonnaise Cake

2 cups flour                    2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar                    1 cup mayonnaise
pinch of salt                    1 cup cold water
1/2 cup cocoa                 1 tsp. vanilla

Sift dry ingredients together. Then add the mayonnaise (for a fluffier cake, Miracle Whip is better as it has more vinegar that reacts with the baking soda) on top of the dry ingredients, BUT DO NOT MIX. Pour water on top of the mayonnaise, then the vanilla on top of the water. Then beat until smooth (if you beat before this, the action of the soda on the vinegar starts prematurely and you will have a flatter cake). Pour batter into an 8-inch square pan and bake at 325 degrees until it tests done (toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean). This should be approximately 45 minutes, depending on your oven, but check after 35 minutes. Top of cake will be smooth and shiny. IMPORTANT: Let cool completely before eating or you will definitely taste the mayonnaise! Dust cooled cake with powdered sugar or use frosting of your choice.

Another Depression Era chocolate cake makes use of spoiled milk.

Cheap Cocoa Cake
1 cup sugar                     1 cup sour milk
2 tablespoons butter    1 tsp. baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa     1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg                                 2 cups flour

Sift flour and baking powder together. Cream butter and sugar with the cocoa. Add the egg and stir to combine. Combine the milk with the baking soda. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, stirring to combine after each addition. Beat until smooth. Pour into an 8-inch square pan and bake at 350 degrees until it tests done (toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes, depending on your oven). Cool completely. Dust cooled cake with powdered sugar or use frosting of your choice.

NOTE: For both of these cakes, my favorite topping is 1 pint of whipping cream, whipped until fairly stiff. Fold in anywhere from 1 to 2 cups of finely crushed peanut brittle (use a blender or a food processor) depending on your taste (I use 2 cups). Also, I have used this whipped cream/peanut brittle mixture not only as a topping, but as a filling for layer cakes and even put it in a parfait glass, alternating with chocolate-flavored whipped cream (use either chocolate extract or chocolate syrup to taste, then fold into the whipped cream). Garnish with a chunk of peanut brittle.