Chocolate Cake Recipe From the Depression Era

Nebraskan talks about how her family got along during the depression era, and offers her chocolate cake recipe from that time

| Good Old Days

During the depression era, we didn't have much of a variety of food to eat during the winter. Mama made large dishpans full of hominy which she would cook different ways. We always had lots of cottage cheese, home-baked bread and beans. Dad would buy peanut butter in five-pound cans and Karo syrup by the gallon buckets. When he would get some of the hay sold he would buy gunny sacks full of Irish potatoes. But with that many mouths to feed, food just seemed to vanish.

In the summer time we picked bushels of sand plums and wild grapes, but Mama didn't have sugar to make jelly and when she had sugar there was no such thing as Sure Jell or Pen Jell so her jelly turned out like syrup.

Here is a recipe from a cookbook that I made during the Depression era.


2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup molasses
21/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. soda
1 cup hot water

Beat eggs, add melted shortening, molasses and mix well. Sift dry ingredients together, add alternately with water. Bake in two nine inch greased layer pans at 350 oven for 30 minutes. Spread with Depression frosting.



September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


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