Something I’ve really enjoyed looking into lately is Depression Era Dessert Recipes. We all know how rough times were back then, and the fact that families not only were able to make it work, but some were even able to treat their families to the occasional simple homemade indulgence is really inspiring!
What Is The Depression Era?
The Depression Era was also known as The Great Depression. This happened during the 1930s, and our economy was suffering in a significant way. Due to the stock market crashing, almost everyone was left struggling financially.
Most people didn’t have the funds to splurge on items like fancy dinners or desserts. They would take the things that they had on hand and make the best of it. That is what these recipes are all about — using simple ingredients to create desserts that are terrific.
Why Make Recipes From The Depression Era?
There are lots of reasons to make these recipes from the Depression Era. The most important reason for me is saving money. If you love to live frugal, saving money in the kitchen is a wonderful place to start. Making your own home-cooked food will save lots of money versus eating out.
Another reason why I am addicted to these types of recipes is that you can control the ingredients. You don’t have to worry about added preservatives or other ingredients you try to steer clear of. You know exactly how much of everything is added to these delicious recipes, so there are no questions or wonder.
The last thing is, the people from the Depression Era knew what they were doing! The food they made was divine, and that’s precisely why they are still so popular today. If you consider yourself a foodie, try these easy-to-follow recipes with simple ingredients. It is well worth your time and energy. Don’t hesitate. These are amazing dishes that you aren’t going to want to miss out on.
What Kinds Of Foods Were Popular During The Great Depression?
There were many foods that became household staples like soup, pasta, chili, and biscuits. They were all inexpensive meals that could feed a lot of people for a while, so they were very practical.
Many of the desserts were made without eggs or dairy and they were naturally vegan (before vegan was popular!). Those ingredients were expensive and hard to come by if you didn’t have livestock yourself. It’s another reason why these recipes make sense in today’s world too. So whether you eat vegan or you want to save a little extra money; you are in for a special treat!
Some recipes on this list (like the first one featured below) are actually vegan and can check the box for a lot of the different ways we eat now! I hope you enjoy this list of simple depression era desserts and I’d love to hear about any of your memories from depression era recipes passed down through your family!
1. This Depression Era Chocolate Cake uses ingredients like coffee and vinegar to cleverly enhance the chocolate flavor.
2. This unconventional Depression Era Apple Candy Pie features apples, hickory nuts (or pecans) and cinnamon.
3. Vanilla Depression Cake was a popular treat during the Depression. This simple recipe calls for basic kitchen staples to create the tasty two-layer cake.
4. Enjoy this simple Hot Milk Cake on its own or with some fresh berries.
5. This Depression Era Cake uses ingredients like raisins, nutmegs and cloves to provide its spice-cake-like taste. This sounds like it would be great enjoyed with a cup of chai!
6. These adventurous Depression Era Oatmeal Cookies use an unexpected ingredient as a butter substitute – bacon drippings. And you can top your cookies with bacon bits and chocolate chips!
7. Variations of Crazy Cake were a common treat during the Great Depression since it used no eggs, milk or butter. This recipe is for a Chocolate Crazy Cake, though the author lists 10 variations to create different flavors!
8. This Depression Era Poor Man’s Pudding is a French-Canadian recipe featuring a maple syrup and brown sugar sauce poured over the cake batter.
9. I love the story behind Fran’s Angel Food Pie – The recipe was gifted to Fran as a wedding present during the Great Depression. Her Family has been making it ever since!
10. This Depression Era Chocolate Gravy is served over southern-style biscuits for an old fashioned favorite treat.
11. Put your leftover hamburger buns to good use with this Depression Bread Pudding recipe.
12. This video from Clara of Great Depression Cooking shares her recipe for Baked Apples with sugar, cinnamon and butter. I love Clara and miss her videos so much!
13. These Authentic Scottish Scones are tasty with a bit of jam – perfect for a small treat or even breakfast!
14. Use a peculiar ingredient – mayonnaise – to make this perfectly moist Chocolate Mayo Cake.
15. This Mock Apple Pie uses Ritz Crackers to create its apple pie consistency and flavor!