The most simple yet decadent eggless chocolate cake with your kitchen pantry staples.
Today I would like to share a little positive thing that has come out of this pandemic for me. When I first started baking, I would bake things I liked. Obviously! Right? Cakes I had eaten and enjoyed, desserts that made me nostalgic, etc. but over the time, it became more commercial and industry driven. To be honest, on some days it felt very monotonous to bake and I thought I was losing my creative outlet.
However, the last few months, connecting with hundreds of people on Facebook and Instagram, many of them first time bakers, made me realize that it wasn’t always about how much we knew, but how much we could share and inspire. In the last couple months, hundreds of you have tried my recipes. So many have written to me with words of encouragement and appreciation, many have helped me spread the word further by sharing the blog. It’s given me a whole new perspective about my work. The kindness and love shown by all of you makes all my efforts worthwhile.
So today, I would like to thank each one of you for being a part of my journey and I’m sharing a recipe that’s amongst the first few I started to bake. It’s a basic chocolate cake that’s also called the ‘Depression Cake’ because it was invented during the Great Depression of 1929 when resources like eggs, butter, and milk were scarce. Yes! It’s a time-tested recipe that’s used till date because of how simple yet amazing it is. I must have made this cake at least 500 times, if not more in the last 5 years and it’s never failed me. Not even once! My version is nearly the same as the original recipe with very few tweaks. Today, when we are all facing a crisis due to the pandemic, this cake is my way to spread some smiles and savor the simple things in life.
I am not exaggerating when I say this is the simplest chocolate cake recipe ever. You need only a couple of ingredients that are easily available in the kitchen and honestly, there is no technique involved in making this cake. It’s a simple add-mix-bake that one can’t possibly mess up. The only key is to measure your ingredients correctly and you’ll have a great cake in no time.
There’s really nothing technical about the process here but I’ll share a quick step-by-step for you.
Start by mixing the dry ingredients, i.e. flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
In another bowl, pour water and add oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, coffee powder and sugar to it.
Mix well and gradually, add the dry ingredients to this. keep mixing in between to make sure there are no flour pockets.
Make a smooth batter and transfer it to a prepared tin, gently tapping to release air bubbles.
Bake it at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes and Tada! your fuss-free chocolate cake is ready.
This cake is good to eat as it is, but it also makes a great sponge for celebration cakes. I’ve shared a simple chocolate frosting, if you’d like to frost your cake for any special occasion.
You can also have a look at my Best Chocolate Ganache recipe if you want to make this cake absolutely sinful.
To bake this cake on the stovetop, follow the same steps to make the batter and then read this post to set up your stovetop equipment
Do let me know in the comments if you make this cake and follow me on Instagram for more fun and simple recipes.
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Hey i really love ur recipes..kind of diffrent nd unique from others♥️
i’m soon going to give it a try.
keep making those delicious cravings????
Thank you so much Mariyam. Keep baking 🙂
Hi so was wondering if I’m the same recipe I can add one cup orange juice instead of water and chocolate chunks to make it an orange chocolate cake.
Hi Neha, yes you could. Just be careful with the sweetness of the orange juice and adjust the sugar levels accordingly.
What is the substitute for vinegar ?please tell
Hi Prachi, you can use lemon juice in the same quantity.
Thank you so much for an easy peasy eggless chocolate cake recipe! I have a query – can i use cooking soda instead of baking soda that you have mentioned. In case i have to use baking powder what will be the quantity?
Hi Darshana, cooking soda and baking soda are the same thing. So yes, you can use that. However, you can’t substitute baking soda with baking powder.
Can we use normal sugar if we don’t have caster sugar?
Hi Ridhi,I’m guessing by normal sugar you mean granulated sugar – yes you can. Just make sure it dissolves in the water first.
Hi Pooja, I followed your recipe and cake was wonderful!! Justbthat it had a strong taste of soda. What should I do? Reduce the soda by 1/2 tap??
Can I use 1/3 cup of butter instead of oil? Also can I use 1 cup of milk I stead of 1 cup of water? Will that change the chemistry of batter??
Thanks for the recipe. Can we make this cake in the microwave using the convection mode?
Hi Radhika, yes it can be made in the convection mode with no changes to the recipe. Just be wary of the baking time though as that might decrease.
Hi Pooja…tried this recipe today. I halved the recipe. The texture of the cake was perfect but it had a bitter taste to it. Could it be due to the baking soda being a old ? Am not sure of when I had bought it. Maybe a month back. Kindly advise. TIA.
Hi Chhaya, yes baking soda being old is the main reason why a cake could have a bitter aftertaste. Do check it and replace the pack with another one. Also make sure the soda is mixed well with the dry ingredients before adding the wet mix.
Ok. Will do the needful and try again. Thanks so much Pooja.
Can I opt of a pan and a vessel instead of an oven? If yes what will be the required time for it?
Hi Shradha, look for my article on baking on a stovetop under the tips and tricks section.
Cake was super spongy and moist. But I felt soda was more…we can reduce it to 1/2 two instead of 1 tap. Also sugar was less .
Hi sanjeeta, This recipe calls for that amount of soda. using less will alter the texture of the cake. If you wish, you can add more sugar as per your taste.
Can u pls tell me cup size??
Hi Nitu it’s 240 ml
Hi Pooja, can I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder(Hershey’s)?
Hi Anusha, yes you can. I’ve used unsweetened cocoa powder too
Hi.. thank you for the recipe.. I have another question,I have followed the same procedure and equal quantities as mentioned. but cake smells as that of the base Powder (if wheat like a wheat powder). Y is that so???
Hi Gouri, Using wheat flour can sometimes leave a little aftertaste.
Hi pooja,can u tell me, IF WE CAN USE POWERED SUGAR INSTEAD OF VASTOR SUGAR
Hello Tanishka, you can certainly use powdered sugar but sieve it so that there are no lumps.
Hola! Can the cake recipe be used as a base?
Hi Srishti. Yes, you can definitely use it as a base too.
1. Can I replace butter in frosting with simple milk cream? Also, if not, the butter used has to be unsalted?
2. Can I replace baking soda with baking powder?
3. If cocoa powder is sweetened, can you please tell how much quantity should be used in the batter and the frosting respectively and also, how would it affect the quantity of sugar to be added?
No please use butter. You cannot replace baking soda with powder
You’ll have to reduce the qty of sugar depending on how much sugar is in your cocoa. I always use unsweetened coco powder
Hi Pooja! Thanks for the lovely recipe, it turned out amazing like all your other cakes. I just had one question, can I sub the oil for the same quantity of butter?
Hi Mitali, thank you so much 🙂 Glad you like the recipes.
Yes you can substitute oil with butter in the same qty.
Can this same recipe be used to make cupcakes? And can we substitute caster sugar with powdered(regular) sugar?
Hi Nikita, yes you can use powdered sugar and make this recipe into cupcakes as well
Hello.. I want to make a chocolate cake with egg.. can u guide me for the same.
Thanks for amazing recipe..may I know why my cake had crakes on top ? In picture as I can see there is no crakes .
Why cake had crakes on top after baking..I always having same problem each time..