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Depression Era Wacky Cake Makes A Comeback

This post was written by my intern Steven LaFave from Superior High School who has been helping me along with his classmates this year to research and test some recipes.

The History of Wacky Cake By Steven Lafave

The wacky cake

Was popular because people made it during the Great Depression which lasted from 1929 to 1939. The stock market crashed in October of 1929 and a lot of people lost their jobs. It was popular during WWII because of rationing to feed the soldiers. People in the United States made the cake during the Great Depression and during World War II which lasted from December 11, 1941, to September 2, 1945. The cake has no eggs or butter. It sometimes has sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, white vinegar, vegetable oil, and water. The wacky cake has improved over the years. They used to put bacon grease in the cake but now have coffee wacky cake and spicy wacky cake, and lots of other new flavors.

Here are some flavors of wacky cake if you want to try them. These recipes will be in the resources down below. Chocolate wacky cake, lemon wacky cake, spicy wacky cake, rainbow vanilla wacky cake, and apple wacky cake.

The recipes are different because they have a different flavor for all of them, but most of them have the same basic ingredients besides bacon grease.

I chose the chocolate wacky cake and rainbow vanilla wacky cake because the recipe looked easy to make, and the reviews and comments were good. Project SEARCH did this as a group project and everything went fine besides the frosting part. We accidentally cooked the chocolate frosting for too long, but we fixed it by mixing it with the other ingredients. Make sure not to cook it over the recommended cooking time.

We then took the wacky cake around my work site and let people try the cake. They had to fill out a rubric. People rated the cake on taste, texture, looks, and size. We rated 1 for bad, and 5 for good. I added up the scores from the rubrics for the chocolate wacky cake, and it earned 74 points in total. The rainbow vanilla wacky cake got 78 points in total. A perfect rubric score for the wacky cake would be 20 points. To get a 20, each row needs a 5. The average score for the vanilla cake was 19, and the average for the chocolate cake was 17. After trying the cakes, both of them tasted excellent and I wouldn't mind making these cakes again. I liked the rainbow vanilla wacky cake because it has a lot of flavor and texture. I'm not a chocolate cake type person, but the chocolate wacky cake tasted good too.

Here are some pictures of Project SEARCH making the wacky cake.

Here is us measuring the ingredients.

And here is the part where we messed up the frosting the ingredient separately when we cooked it for too long.

Resources for recipes

Apple wacky cake apple wacky cake


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