A Page in Vegan History: The Depression Cake!  »

I don’t think this is the oldest vegan cake recipe ever, but it’s HELLA old! Just like my grandpa! My grandpa turned 93 last week and so my mom made him his traditional birthday cake: The Depression Cake. This eggless, butter-less, milk-less recipe comes to us all the way from, you guessed it, the depression. And it’s all vegan! It’s funny that my grandpa’s favorite bday cake is vegan because he thinks veganism is for yuppies. But! Butter and eggs were expensive! Still are. Leave them for the yuppies, gramps! Join the vegan team.

Here is my grandpa, back in the day and now: 

He really was a rocket scientist. Also an expert gardener and woodcarver! And lover of Depression Cake. 

Here is the recipe from my mama, a slight variation on my Great Grandma Helen’s recipe!:

Depression Cake

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup hot water
2 cups raisins (I used raisins, currants, & golden raisins)
1/3 cup shortening (I used earth balance)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves

Cook above for 5 minutes, cool.

Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 cup
chopped nuts.

Bake in 9x12 inch pan at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Grandpa Art likes chocolate fudge frosting on this. I just picked a
random vegan choc fudge frosting recipe from the Internet.

I also left some with just a dusting of powdered sugar.

There you go, guys! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Happy birthday, grandpa!

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