1 Mouth-watering Cake that will have everyone talking

Need a fun, festive, dessert to have at your 4th of July BBQ? This Great Depression Chocolate cake is not only an affordable dessert, it’s scrumptious! This chocolate on chocolate cake was a hit at this years 4th of July family get together and the fruit was a perfect addition to add some tartness to all that yummy chocolate. 

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Everyone usually has such a variety of plans with friends or family/ maybe both on the 4th. Our family gets together and cooks out during the day and we watch fireworks at night. What is really cool is that we live on a hill and can literally see maybe 6 firework shows at once! We just park the truck in the pasture, put down the tailgate, and enjoy. (Redneck much?)

When the family cooks out it’s typically a potluck type of meal. Someone decides on the meat and then everyone brings a side or dessert. I never know what to bring and always want to try something new so my search began.

During my blog stalking of some of my favorite bloggers, I came across this 1930’s Einkorn Chocolate Cake recipe from A Modern Homestead. It’s a Chocolate Cake recipe from the Great Depression! It immediately peaked my interest. It doesn’t require Milk or Eggs and takes like 30 minutes to make? Umm sign me up because I need something quick for tomorrow. Plus Victoria, the blogger from A Modern Homestead, says this recipe is only $4.00! I trust her judgement, although I’m not sure about the substitutes I made affecting the cost. It felt almost free since I didn’t have to go buy anything for it. But I know that’s not how it works. (unfortunately)

As I was making this cake I’m positive I was channeling someone from that time period for the following reasons.

Things I have in common with the people who lived through the Great Depression:

  • no central heating or air (sweating like crazy or freezing in the winter)
  • no dishwasher- it’s all hand-washed here in the Hood
  • broke

It could be that the heat was getting to me and I was moments away from a heatstroke,,,,

All kidding aside, obviously I’m not as financially compromised as those who lived through the Great Depression. Remember I quit my job though? And who doesn’t want to explore cheap and delicious recipes? Especially ones you can bring to a family get together!

Sidenote: Am I crazy for having this horrendous fear that I will overhear someone saying how gross my dish is? They wouldn’t know who made it, it’s not like we add our name. Naturally I would DENY making it and claim I brought the cokes this time.

A brief and probably skewed History Lesson 

Those who were alive during the Depression typically weren’t able to afford milk, butter, and eggs.  I’m sure those items would have had to be rationed out for everyday use. So what did they do when they wanted to celebrate? They got creative and learned how to make yummy recipes without those ingredients.

The recipe for this cake was tailored to what I had in the house at the today. I used it as a guide and just substituted a couple of things. I’m going to give you the recipe I used today and go through the steps. (I referred to the original recipe source at the beginning of this post).

Great Depression Chocolate Cake Recipe

Cake Ingredients: (Things I changed are in bold)

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of unbleached raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 cup of coconut oil– her recipe calls for 1.5 cups of salted butter but I wanted to use coconut oil and the extra half cup freaked me out.
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt- because I skipped on the 1/2 cup of oil and didn’t want to compromise moisture
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups of room temperature water
  • 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Icing Ingredients: (I also tailored this recipe to my desired taste because the original recipe was a little too rich for me)

  • 4 1/2 cups powered sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1-1/4 cup cocoa powder (I might have used a little less and I may use less next time- SUPA Rich)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup water

**The numbers in bold are the ones I changed for this cake**

Instructions for the Cake:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 2. Grease and Flour pan of choice- I did two round cake pans.
  3. 3. Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda) in a large mixing bowl. (Hood spills sugar everywhere)
  4. 4. Add the coconut oil, yogurt, vanilla, and water. Mix until combined (no lumps)
  5. 5. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix.
  6. 6. Pour batter in pan of choice (again I used 2 round pans)
  7. 7. Bake for 25 mins (I baked mine a little less because our oven tends to run hot) or until knife or toothpick comes out clean.
  8. 8. Once the cakes are done pull them out and let the cool (not sure if they were ever cool in our house)

Instructions for the Icing:

  1. 1. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder (again I make a huge mess spilling all the powdered sugar)
  2. 2. Add vanilla and butter
  3. 3. Gradually add water until icing is spreadable and looks like icing should look. (Gradually being the key word because I definitely sprayed myself in the face)
  4.                                                                                                 That’s fudging amazing, I don’t care who you are.


Assembly of Cake (if doing double layers) 

  1. 1. Find the pan you are going to put the cake on, take a knife to loosen up edges of pan 1.
  2. 2. Slowly turn the cake pan over and jiggle (for lack of a better word?) pan until cake comes out.
  3. 3. Take some of that fudging amazing chocolate icing and smear on the top of the first layer.
  4. 4. Repeat process for 2nd layer and make sure the layers are even (put the circle on top of the other circle)
  5. 5. Icing the top (forgot to take a picture)
  6. 6. Since this is the 4th of July, I had to decorate accordingly. I used a toothpick to map out the flag (American-duh) and I added Blueberries, strawberries, and almond slivers according to my map. If I need to explain where these items went then I will just tell you to refer to the American flag and then look at my pickings (hee hee).
  7. 7. Wash fruit- cause gross if you don’t.
  8. 8. Assemble away!

If you’re reading this and it’s past the 4th of July that is A-OKAY! Save it for later on your Pinterest account and you can make it for Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, or any other American Holiday. Also, this cake is awesome without the decor so you can literally make it for any occasion that is in need of some chocolate. #alloccasionsneedchocolate 

Thoughts on this cake: 

It may be a recipe from the Great Depression but you won’t be depressed eating it, because it was AH-MAZING. The only depressing is that you will have to cut into it during your get together and dare I say SHARE?! (sharing isn’t caring in this case)

As I mentioned before, it’s a rich cake so I was hoping the fruit and almonds would cut the richness. Not going to lie, I was a little worried about adding the plain yogurt but the cake tastes great. When I googled using sour cream/ yogurt in cakes, I read that yogurt can help the cake from having too much of a “dome” meaning it is more flat which actually benefitted me for this particular cake.

Fruit + Protein = Healthy cake right? It’s basically a fruit salad.

I would make this cake over and over again as long as I could take it somewhere and not have to eat all of it. I will update ya’ll tomorrow and let you know how the crowd liked it!

In the meantime, tell me what y’all are making for the 4th of July? Tell me what your family/ friends are planning on doing!

If you like to keep things simple, try my Peanut Butteroons recipe! Only 3 ingredients!!!


  • Brittany July 3, 2018 at 10:41 pm Reply

    This turned out so cute! I like your creative substitutions too, I’m sure you won’t hear more than two people who think it’s gross 😝. Just kidding, I bet it tastes absolutely delicious. It’s chocolate, what could possibly go wrong? My bet is it’s the star of the potluck and everyone wants to know who brought it! Happy 4th of July, Hood!

    • hillaryhood08 July 3, 2018 at 10:59 pm Reply

      Thank you! If people start to comment on it being like Martha Stewart delicious I may have to scribble my name on a Post it and slap it on the cake stand! 😂 Happy 4th of July to you and your family Brittany!

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