Somebody posted this one pan ‘depression era’ cake in a Facebook group. I was so excited about it until I saw that it included 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil and white sugar. During the Great Depression, eggs, milk and butter were a huge luxury, so the cooks in the family had to get creative. Thankfully, these recipes stand the test of time, and I’ve found a way to make them even better!!

This recipe can be made all gluten-free by using 1-1/2 cups total of GF flour.

Prep time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 35-40 minutes

Makes one 8″ round or square cake

A review of the cake from Kacy – OMG!!! The cake was delicious!! Moist and airy at the same time. I started eating it as I was leaving work, and finished when I was getting off my exit, licking my fingers!!


  • 1 cup GF all purpose baking flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 3 Tbls. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp. aquafaba*
  • 2 Tbls. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup mini dark chocolate (vegan) chips

*Don’t freak out. This isn’t some fancy pants ingredient that’s hard to find. Just open a can of chickpeas (preferably organic), and drain the liquid from the can into a bowl. Voila! You now have aquafaba, translated means ‘bean water‘.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare an 8″ cake pan or springform pan by cutting a circle of parchment for the bottom of pan.
  3. Mix first 6 dry ingredients in a large square or rectangle pan.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the applesauce and the aquafaba.
  5. Make 3 depressions in the dry ingredients – two small, and one slightly larger (see photos above).
  6. Pour the vinegar in one small depression, vanilla in the other and the aquafaba and applesauce mix in the larger depression.
  7. Pour the water over the entire cake, and mix well until smooth.
  8. Pour your cake batter into prepared cake pan or springform and sprinkle the non-dairy chocolate chips generously on top.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 40 minutes.
  10. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
  11. Let cake cool before topping with your favorite frosting or just eat it plain, and Enjoy!

Recipe note: Oven baking times vary, be sure to check your cake to make sure you don’t over bake it.