Old-Fashioned Great Depression Cake

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When it comes to vintage recipes I often gravitate towards those between the 1930s and 1950s. I just love how women did things back then. This cake is called Great Depression cake and was adapted during a very difficult time for many people in our country. Can you imagine not having enough money to buy food and not knowing when funds would again be coming your way for life’s basic necessities?

Many of these folks had a lot of mouths to feed and it was all very, well, depressing. Because this cake was introduced during the Great depression era, this tells me that even during hardship, people found ways to persevere.

I mean, who makes a cake if they are feeling down in the dumps? However, the folks back then knew they had to keep pressing forward. Plus, this cake was very economical to make and most families had the ingredients in their cupboards. So, with that, I’m off to try my hand at Great depression cake.


Recipe and photo courtesy of Recipe Lion and Recipe Great.




Quick Tip: This cake tastes best when served warm out of the oven.


  1. Lois M Blackerby says

    My Grandmothers recipe calls for a stick of butter! I love this because of my egg allergy! So moist and full of flavor! I put homemade lemon cream cheese frosting on it! Then it is decadent!!!

  2. Brenda P says

    One cup of sugar was a splurge. This was for a celebration, maybe Thanksgiving or Christmas, most likely.

    1. Kali says

      Contrary to what you may think.. 1 cup of brown sugar is spot on. It does not make it overly sweet. My grandmother used to make this a lot.. not just on holidays. It was and is a family favorite.

  3. Kathie Kenney says

    Sounds like applesauce would be perfect with this cake.

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