A naturally vegan chocolate cake? Yes, it was my dream come true too! My Quick and Easy Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes are made from a depression era recipe that use baking soda and vinegar in place of eggs.
When you’re visiting friends and relatives who aren’t vegan, it can be hard to whip up a vegan meal or dessert from some of your day to day recipes.
They may not have all the ingredients you have in your kitchen.
However, you can show off these Quick and Easy Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes because the ingredients are so simple that most people have them in their pantry.
My Mom always had some Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract on hand.
She cooked mostly from boxes and cans, so if she had it in her pantry, your great aunt probably does too!
What Is Depression Cake?
It’s based on a cake from the depression era that’s often called wacky cake or depression cake. It was popular during the war and the depression because it uses water in place of milk, oil in place of butter, and you need no eggs or egg substitute because of the vinegar.
Note: you can make these oil-free. You can sub out a combo of aquafaba and applesauce to make them oil-free.
Is it Hard to Make Wacky Cake?
The batter is ridiculously easy to make and all of the ingredients should be in almost anyone’s pantry – including your own. I have used apple cider vinegar in place of the white vinegar, whole wheat pastry flour in place of the all-purpose white, and different extracts to suit my mood.
Traditionally, the batter is made right in the pan, and if you decide to make it as a cake instead of cupcakes, you can do it that way. It doesn’t hurt anything to make it in a bowl, but you do have to work fast after you mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
How Do I Make Chocolate Depression Cake?
I use the sifter for the flour and cocoa. Really, it’s more for the cocoa since mine seems to clump up quite a bit. The brown sugar gives it a great flavor, but you can use white or raw sugar in its place.
I measure all the liquid ingredients into one measuring cup. In this recipe, I don’t even mix them together well. Why? The traditional method that mixes together in the baking pan just adds the liquids in different parts of the pan.
The batter will start to bubble as the wet ingredients mix with the dry. Work fast to mix it and get it in your muffin tin. Then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the middle of the cupcake springs back when you touch it.
Try some of these vegan substitutions for your old family favorites.
For 1 Egg: 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water
Milk: any nondairy milk or even water in a pinch
Butter: Coconut oil, vegetable oil, vegan butter
Heavy or Whipping Cream: Homemade nut milk made with 1/2 the amount of water or full fat coconut milk
Caramel: Make your own with coconut milk or blend soaked dates with water and some vanilla
Do you have a favorite dessert to make when you’re on vacation? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Quick and Easy Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable or Crisco® Pure Canola oil , or use applesauce and aquafaba mixture to make oil-free <3
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon orange extract or substitute vanilla, lemon, or mint
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Put all the wet ingredients into a measuring cup.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Divide batter into muffin tin. Using just under ¼ cup will yield 12 muffins.
- Bake until the middle springs back when you lightly touch it, about 20 to 25 minutes.