Chocolate Depression Cake with Cream Cheese Nutella Frosting

I recently discovered the joy that is Nutella. I’ve heard about it for years, but I’ve never been tempted to try it until Steak ‘n Shake released their Nutella shake. I love the chocolatey hazlenutty goodness. I’m not sure what the correlation is, but after I had my heart surgery I started craving all things chocolate. I remember when my Dad was staying with me during my recovery I would have him drive me to McDonald’s for chocolate shakes. Then, once I was recovering on my own, I found a particular chocolate cake that I would get from the supermarket that I bought nearly every time I went grocery shopping. Once Magoo was born I started wanting to eat healthfully, so I curbed the chocolate cake and ice cream habit. As she got older and started having fun helping me in the kitchen, it’s slowly started emerging again. How can you resist a sweet 3 year-old who asks to bake a cake with you? I’m not particular about the way my cake looks; the only thing I care about is whether or not it makes my belly happy, so it doesn’t matter much to me if my 3 year-old helps and it gets messy. Believe me, it gets plenty messy when you have a 3 year-old helping in the kitchen.

My favorite chocolate cake is a depression cake, which is also sometimes referred to as a crazy cake. It’s so simple and oh so moist. I know, I know. People hate the word “moist,” but that’s the only way to describe this cake. I’ve made it a few different ways; with store bought cream cheese frosting, home made cream cheese frosting, homemade buttercream icing, and now with my favorite…Cream Cheese Nutella Frosting!

Cast of Characters

  • 3 cups all-purpose flourimage1-5
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water
  1. Mix sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, and baking soda together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into first well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  3. Place a towel in your freezer and put the cake in the freezer immediately after baking. This helps lock in the moisture and also speeds the cooling process so you can frost the cake sooner.


  • 1/2 container store bought cream cheese frostingimage2-5
  • 3 heaping tbs of Nutella
  1. Heat the Nutella in a microwave-safe dish for 30 seconds
  2. Place both the cream cheese frosting and the Nutella in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Frost the cake once the cake is completely cool

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