This Vintage 'Sad Cake' Looks Sad, But Tastes Delightful

It’s the easy, 2-step dessert of the century.

<p>Melissa Goff</p>

Melissa Goff

All desserts have their way of warding off the blues, but this "sad cake" is our new favorite cure-all for the seasonal slump. Ironic, isn’t it? Well, that’s because this cake’s “sad” name only reflects its homestyle (perhaps even homely) appearance. But, take one bite, and you’ll learn that sad cake can turn any day around.

"“I made this for a group I belong to. I mentioned it was called 'Sad Cake.' After they had a bite, some said it should be called 'happy cake' cause it was so good. Everyone enjoyed it,” said user Karen.

What Is Sad Cake?

Also known as wacky cake or depression cake, this cake is an old-fashioned favorite you can always depend on in a pinch. In fact, that’s the reason why it was created at all.

Sad cake became popular during the Great Depression because it could be made without milk or butter, which were hard to come by during wartime (hmm...sounds like another sneaky cake we love). Instead, sad cake traditionally uses cheap and accessible ingredients like vinegar and baking soda to make a dessert that’s tender, light, and delicious (even if it’s not that pretty).

Our one-bowl recipe uses a store-bought biscuit mix to create a cake that's rich, buttery, and chewy with few ingredients. Some community members have compared the texture to a cookie, blondie, gooey butter cake, or even a pecan pie—and we think any combination of those desserts sounds pretty delightful to us.

Sad cake may have been born out of sad times, but that just proves it can deliver a dose of joy and comfort to any period of hardship. Heck, if this recipe has survived times of wanting and times of plenty, you know it's something special.

“Out of this world!” said user Jessica Bilski. “The look of the cake is very deceiving however the taste gave everyone at Thanksgiving a new reason to be thankful!”

Why We Love It

This mix-and-bake cake is too easy for its own good, coming together with just a handful of ingredients in two simple steps. Plus, your old-fashioned utensils (aka, a wooden spoon and a bowl) are all you need to get the job done.

This classic cake is so versatile, it’ll take on any flavors you throw into it, whether that be cocoa, vanilla, spices, or even coffee. We added coconut and pecans for a nutty, textural twist, but you can add any other mix-ins you please. Some reviewers prefer adding chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee chunks, or M&M's for a sweet twist.

It might not win the bake sale beauty contest, but this timeless treat with a funny name will give everyone a reason to smile. Just trust the folks in our community when they say, “It's quite ugly looking, but it tastes amazing.”

How to Make Sad Cake

In a large bowl, mix together biscuit mix, brown sugar, eggs, oil, flaked coconut, chopped pecans, and vanilla. Then, pour the batter into a greased and floured 9x13-inch baking dish and bake it in a 350-degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

When you open the oven door, don’t be discouraged by a “sad” or sunken appearance—that’s exactly how it should be! Plus, the cake will continue to set up as it cools down, so let it cool completely before cutting and serving.

“If you love crispy edges on cake, use powdered sugar instead of flour when prepping the pan—gives a nice soft/crisp chew!” suggests user Lisa Olson Tilly.

Get the Recipe

Read the original article on All Recipes.