This vintage crazy cake recipe is made without any eggs, milk, or butter. The result is a rich, moist, fudgy, and absolutely delicious chocolate cake.
This is the kind of recipe you are likely to find in your grandma’s cookbook. You might have even made it with her as a child!
Crazy Cake / Wacky Cake
This WW II era cake goes by several names. I have heard it referred to as crazy cake, wacky cake, and depression cake.
Wacky chocolate cake became popular during the 1940s when some common cake ingredients were expensive and difficult to come by. The innovative bakers went to work to make a cake with affordable ingredients that they had in their pantry and the crazy chocolate cake was created.
It is unbelievably moist, rich, and full of chocolatey flavor.
This budget-friendly recipe calls for just a few simple pantry ingredients and no dairy. That is right–no eggs, no milk, and no butter!
Since the cake is made without eggs or dairy, it makes the cake naturally egg-free, dairy-free, and vegan too.
The simplicity of this old-fashioned cake recipe makes it a fun recipe to make with the kids as well.
Chocolate Crazy Cake Recipe
If you thought one-bowl desserts were amazing, wait until you try this no-bowl dessert. Everything is mixed right in the pan, making clean-up a breeze.
You will notice that the recipe calls for vinegar. You might be thinking: vinegar in a cake? Yuck! So let me take a moment to assure you that the cake does not taste like vinegar at all!
Don’t be tempted to try to omit the vinegar. It is a necessary ingredient in this recipe. The vinegar interacts with the baking soda to cause the cake batter to rise as it bakes.
You will need:
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- baking soda
- vegetable oil
- white vinegar
- vanilla extract
(get the full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post)
How to Make Crazy Cake
- Add the dry ingredients to an ungreased 8″ square or round baking pan.
- Gently whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Create 3 wells in the mixture for the wet ingredients. Pour the oil, vinegar, and vanilla into the wells.
- Pour water over all of the ingredients.
- Mix until well combined.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Serve plain, topped with powdered sugar, or with your favorite frosting.
I often just use a tub of pre-made chocolate frosting from the store.
- Make this a vanilla crazy cake by omitting the cocoa powder and adding 1/2 teaspoon more vanilla.
- You can double the recipe using a 9 x 13 pan and increasing the baking time to 35 minutes.
- Apple cider vinegar can be used instead of white vinegar.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
- One-bowl brownies
- Chocolate cherry dump cake – 3 ingredients!
- Snickers apple salad
- Peanut butter fudge – 3 ingredients!
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold water
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Add dry ingredients to an ungreased 8-inch round or square baking pan. Whisk to combine.
- Make 3 wells in the mixture. One larger hole and 2 smaller (see image). Pour oil, vinegar, and vanilla into the wells.
- Pour water over all of the ingredients. Mix well with a fork, making sure to get all the dry mix that gets stuck in the corners.
- Before baking, give the pan a couple of taps on the counter to help release any bubbles. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.
- Serve plain, topped with powdered sugar, or frosted. If frosting, allow the cake to cool to room temperate before frosting.
Apple cider vinegar can be used instead of white vinegar.
Make this a vanilla crazy cake by omitting the cocoa powder and adding 1/2 teaspoon more vanilla.
You can double the recipe using a 9 x 13 pan and increasing the baking time to 35 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by a third party and intended to serve as an estimate only. Accuracy of nutritional information is not guaranteed.
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