Great Depression CakeThis Great Depression Cake has no milk, no eggs and no butter in the ingredients, it became popular after the stock market crash of 1929. It’s often called “Boiled Raisin Cake”or “Economical Spice Cake.” The great depression cake is moist, spicy and delicious. If you’re lucky you probably have all the ingredients to make this cake! It tastes like a cake version of the old fashioned molasses cookies I made recently!Great Depression Cake

Great Depression Cake


2 cups granulated Sugar
2 cups Strong Coffee
2 cups Sun-Maid Raisins
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening (I used coconut oil)
1 Apple, pared, cored and grated
2 cups all-purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 cup chopped Walnuts
Powdered Sugar, for garnishGreat Depression Cake


In a large saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, coffee, raisins,shortening and apple. Simmer 10 minutes over low heat, stirring

occasionally. Cool 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, blend remaining ingredients, except powdered sugar. Stir raisin mixture into flour mixture. Pour batter into a well-

greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Makes one 13 x 9-inch cake. (Can also split the recipe between two 8×8 pans)Great Depression Cake

Note: 2 cups of water may be substituted for the coffee.


15 comments on “Great Depression Cake

Lisa Lynn on June 12, 2018 12:17 pm

This looks delicious 🙂 I love the old fashioned recipes you share, Nancy!

Nancy Wolff on June 12, 2018 3:52 pm

Lisa Lynn,
Some of the older recipes are the best!

shirley on June 14, 2018 4:42 am

My mother made a fantastic chocolate cake with caramel icing when I was a child. It was depression era also and was made with mayo with no eggs or oil. I was so stupid not to write down it down. Also she made a pie she called “poor man’s pie” that she would never give the recipe to. It was so good.

Nancy Wolff on June 14, 2018 1:22 pm

That cake sounds delicious! I think some of the older recipes are so good!

April J Harris on June 14, 2018 3:23 pm

As you know, Nancy, I’m fascinated by vintage recipes! I’m excited to learn about this cake. It sounds delicious, and I really do want to try it! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve scheduled the post to pin and I will share on the H&S FB page too! Thank you so much for your support of the Hearth and Soul Link Party!

Nancy Wolff on June 14, 2018 3:54 pm

Thanks for stopping by april, I too love old recipes! I love supporting your Hearth and soul Link Party!

Jean on June 15, 2018 1:52 pm

Nancy, I love a nice spice cake like this! I like that you used coconut oil instead of shortening, and I’d cut the sugar in half. My Grandma went through the Great Depression and never wasted anything. Any leftovers from breakfast fed the dog. I wonder if dogs are supposed to eat oatmeal and toast?!

Nancy Wolff on June 15, 2018 6:59 pm

Next time I make this cake I was thinking of cutting the sugar back!

Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats on June 15, 2018 2:29 pm

Looks yummy!! This caught my eye from the Funtastic Friday link party 🙂

Jess on June 15, 2018 4:10 pm

This sounds so tasty! PINNED!! 🙂

I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

Jamie H on June 20, 2018 4:06 pm

Thanks for linking up at The Pretty Pintastic Party! We love this post, so we’ll be featuring it this weekend at the party. I hope you’ll stop by, grab a featured badge, and link up some more great content!

Nancy Wolff on June 20, 2018 4:23 pm

I’ll be sue to stop by and grab the badge, thanks!

Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid on June 21, 2018 3:45 pm

Never heard of this cake but it sounds good! Shared x 4 ♥

Miz Helen on June 23, 2018 7:36 pm

Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week, and thanks so much for sharing it with us. We are pinning it to our Features Board and hope you enjoy your new Red Plate!
Miz Helen

Nancy Wolff on June 25, 2018 1:57 am

Miz Helen,
Thanks for the feature! I will certainly enjoy my new red plate! 🙂

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