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 These Recipes?
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.
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 Foods Were Popular?
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 quite 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.
That’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 recipes passed down through your family!
Drool Worthy Desserts
These desserts require simple pantry essentials you probably already have on hand. These are not only delicious but offer a great presentation if serving guests.
Depression-Era Chocolate Cake Recipe
This Chocolate Cake recipe uses ingredients like coffee and vinegar to cleverly enhance the chocolate flavor.
Depression Era Apple Candy Pie Recipe - Food.com
This unconventional Apple Candy Pie features apples, hickory nuts (or pecans), and cinnamon.
Vanilla Depression Cake Recipe
Vanilla Cake was a popular treat during the Depression. It uses basic kitchen staples to create the tasty two-layer cake.
Chocolate Coffee Depression Cake
Enjoy a slice of this rich chocolate coffee cake. Sip on some coffee or tea to enhance the flavors even more.
Depression Era Cake with Raisins
This cake uses ingredients like raisins, nutmegs and cloves to provide its spice-cake-like taste. This is perfect with a nice cup of chai!
Depression Era Oatmeal Cookies
These adventurous Oatmeal Cookies use an unexpected ingredient as a butter substitute – bacon drippings. Top these with bacon bits and chocolate chips!
Chocolate Crazy Cake (No Eggs, Milk, Butter or Bowls)
Variations of Crazy Cake were a common treat during the Great Depression since it used no eggs, milk or butter. The author lists ten variations to create different flavors!
Pouding Chomeur (poor mans pudding)
This Poor Man’s Pudding is a French-Canadian recipe featuring a maple syrup and brown sugar sauce poured over cake batter.
More Desserts To Try
I didn't want to stop there. Here are some great pantry essential dessert recipes that you might enjoy. These are great for packing in school lunches, serving up after dinner, and more.
Fran's Angel Food Pie
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!
Southern Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy
This Chocolate Gravy is served over southern-style biscuits for an old fashioned favorite treat.
Depression Bread Pudding Recipe
Put your leftover hamburger buns to good use with this Bread Pudding recipe. It is a simple and quick dessert that everyone will enjoy.
This video from Clara shares her recipe for Baked Apples with sugar, cinnamon and butter. I love Clara and miss her videos so much!
Authentic Scottish Scones
These scones are tasty with a bit of jam – perfect for a small treat or even breakfast! These are light, fluffy, and so delicious.
Chocolate Mayo Cake
Use a peculiar ingredient – mayonnaise – to make this perfectly moist Chocolate Mayo Cake.
Mock Apple Pie Recipe
This Mock Apple Pie uses Ritz Crackers to create its apple pie consistency and flavor!
With all the struggles that took place in 2020, many homes found themselves needing to really use what was in their fridge, freezer and pantry. These recipes are inexpensive, creative, and delicious!
I think it is a great tool to know how to make some incredible recipes with what you have.
Meat, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, are a few of the items that were really hard to come across. That is why the household had to get creative with meals being served.
Yes, cake can rise without eggs. You will find in these recipes that are cake recipes, rise just fine without eggs.
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