Chocolate Peppermint Depression Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Depression Era Cake

Are you running low on perishable ingredients, but you want to make your family to a special treat? No worries! You can make this milk-free, egg-free, butter-free Chocolate Peppermint Depression Cake. This holiday version is perfect for bakers who are stocking up on fun toppings like miniature chocolate chips and candy canes. It’s a useful recipe to know if you have been buying dry ingredients in bulk, but you’re running low on perishable essentials from baking frequently and visiting the store less often.

Disclosure: I included affiliate links to products I used to make this recipe. If you shop using these, I receive a small payment.

Chocolate Peppermint Depression Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water or coffee
Chocolate Peppermint Depression Cake

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 package cream cheese


  • 3 crushed candy canes
  • 1/2 bag of miniature chocolate chips
  • Edible silver glitter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8 inch pans with parchment paper. You can use a pencil to trace the shape of the parchment paper to fit your pan, and flip it over so the pencil marks don’t touch your cake.

Sift your dry ingredients in one bowl, and whisk you wet ingredients in another. Use a mixer to combine. Pour the mixture into the two cake pans evenly. Let it bake for 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

Remove the cake from the oven. Place a plate on the other side of the cake pan, flip it over to remove it, and let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Then wrap the two cakes separately in parchment paper, and let them cool in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Mix all of the frosting ingredients together in the mixer until smooth and creamy.

Then, remove the cake from the freezer, and place one layer on an 8″ cake circle.

Put the first layer of cake on top of a rotating cake turntable. Use and icing spatula to apply a thin layer of frosting to the entire cake, place the second layer on, and continue to add frosting.

Place the frosted cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to let the frosting cool and settle. Remove, and smooth out the icing using an icing smoother.

Use a cake lifter to pick the cake up, and use the cake circle to help you hold the cake carefully in your hand. If you don’t have a cake lifter on hand, you can also use a large serrated knife that you hold facing away from you, and use it to slide under the cake to help lift it.

Pat the side of the cake with the miniature chocolate chips. Help them settle into place using the icing smoother, and add more miniature chocolate chips if you see any gaps.

To crush your candy canes, you can put them in a zip lock back, or if you don’t have any on hand, you can use a zip lock bag. Crush them using a rolling pin. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the crushed candy canes. Spray with some optional edible glitter if you prefer a snowy, holiday look. Serve, and enjoy!

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also enjoy reading how to make an American Girl doll Kit Kittredge-inspired basic Depression-Era Chocolate Cake.

After making the basic version of the cake, I watched a few more cake tutorials and came up with ideas for this fun holiday version. One thing I learned is to make sure the cake and frosting are both mixed really well until they are completely combined using a mixer.

For the frosting, my original basic version used butter, but we’ve been going through butter so fast lately at home! The cream cheese version of the frosting tasted smoother and sweeter too.

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Disclosure: I included affiliate links to products I used to make this recipe. If you shop using these, I receive a small payment.

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