Lemon Depression Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting {vegan}

Monday, March 30, 2015

Today we got together with Kimm’s parents to celebrate both her mom’s and her brother’s birthdays!

I made the cake and I’m happy to say that it was COMPLETELY dairy and egg free.  The best part…it was GOOD.

Depression cake is perfect for vegans because it eliminates many of the ingredients that were expensive/difficult to obtain during the Great Depression such as dairy and eggs.  Cooks back then had to get creative 🙂

I found the cake to be a bit denser than a regular cake, but the flavor was excellent.  The recipe was based on this Lemon Crazy/Wacky Cake recipe I found on Pinterest.

Lemon Depression Cake

Makes: one thick layer (approximately 8 slices)

Time to make: 20-30 minutes prep, 35-40 minutes bake time


1 and 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

the zest of one lemon

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 the juice from a full lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

5 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup water

To make:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake pan by spraying with non-stick spray (I used a 9 inch pan).

Mix first five ingredients well in a large bowl.

Make three depressions in the dry ingredients, one small, one medium, and one large.  Add the vinegar to the small depression, the vanilla extract and lemon juice to the medium depression, and the vegetable oil to the large depression.

Pour the water over it all and mix well.

Pour into greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (mine took about 38 minutes).

Cool and frost.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Makes: enough frosting to cover one layer

Time to make: approximately 15 minutes


4 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 the juice of a full lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

2 cups powdered sugar

To make:

Add vegan butter, vanilla and lemon juice to medium bowl.

Cream until fluffy.

Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar at a time and mix each addition until smooth.

Refrigerate until 1/2 hour before using.

Frost cake and ENJOY!

(the frosting recipe is kind of my own creation…I looked at a lot of vegan frosting recipes on Pinterest and kind of morphed together what I thought sounded good from a few of them–this ended up having the taste of a cream cheese frosting–I’m thinking because of the acid from the lemon…it’s GOOD!)

As far as the birthday celebration…it was fun.  We had a busy day before it all happened.   I made the cake in the morning and then in the afternoon Kimm had her MRI (which of course was delayed…grrr).  After the MRI we stopped and picked up pizza for everyone.

It was so nice to finally be able to sit and relax 🙂  Pizza and talking.  Lots of laughing.  Eating cake and ice cream.  And OF COURSE me falling asleep.  It never fails 🙂


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