When asked to think of Depression-era recipes, what comes to mind for you? We first think of all the ingredients people had to do without or unexpected substitutions that were found, but that are still strange to think about cooking with (e.g. when people baked cakes with mayonnaise as an egg and oil replacement), but you know what? A lot of those recipes are still totally delectable today, regardless of the fact that we have access to almost any ingredients we could want. We’ve collected some of our favorite recipes here! Try a few of these out, we promise you won’t regret it!
This is a perfectly simple and simply perfect cake that holds its own against fancier desserts since it tastes amazing. Case in point: while we ended up throwing together a quick glaze, this really doesn’t need it. The cake is deliciously moist, with just the right balance of buttery, vanilla-y flavor, and we can say from experience that it doesn’t get better than this, folks. Get the crowd pleasing recipe here!
Grandma used to make the best chocolate cakes. They were fluffy, moist and so decadently delicious. It seemed like she could whip one up in an instant. We called it wacky cake because the recipe sounds absolutely ridiculous: no butter, no milk, and no eggs. We don’t even pick up the mixer! It really is as effortless as it seemed when Grandma made it. Get the simple recipe here!
Whenever resourceful homemakers and farmers had to make do with what they had left in the cupboards, whether those cupboards were bare due to a change in the seasons or an inability to get expensive ingredients, these pies saved the day. Like other desperation pies such as vinegar pie and sugar cream pie, this Mock Pecan Pie takes a few inexpensive ingredients and turns them into a delicious and homey confection that’s worthy of sitting in the center of the table. Get the magic recipe here!
Chocolate for breakfast is an idea we can get behind, so when we heard of Chocolate Gravy we just had to give it a try! This “gravy” dates back to the Great Depression and was likely developed because the government gave rations of sugar, flour and canned milk to those living in poverty. It was a popular recipe in cookbooks throughout the 1930’s because even without rations, it was a fairly inexpensive sweet treat when treats were hard to come by. Once we tried it, we were hooked! Get the addicting recipe here!