April 08, 2020



You can’t beat Crazy Cake for its simplicity and convenience. What is most impressive is the list of ingredients. There are no eggs, milk or butter—basic pantry items are all you need. This chocolate cake can be made anytime, even when the cupboard is almost bare!

Chocolate Crazy Cake
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When the fridge and pantry inventory are low, there is one delicious cake I can always pull out of a hat. Crazy Cake, also known as Wacky Cake, is one of my favorite easy dessert recipes. It became popular during the Depression when eggs, butter, and milk were scarce. 

What’s crazy about this cake is it relies on vinegar and baking soda to serve as leavening and to create structure. These two key ingredients provide fluffiness and lift. And the acidic nature of the vinegar affects gluten development to create form and structure. It’s the perfect cake for those who are egg-free or dairy-free.

If you are worried about any vinegary taste, rest assured, there is not a hint of it. The cake tastes like pure chocolate goodness!

Chocolate Crazy Cake

Why it’s the easiest cake ever!
  1. It requires only basic pantry items: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. 
  2. No refrigerated ingredients needed.
  3. Ingredientes are entirely hand whisked. No electrical beaters. 
  4. Easy cleanup. It can be mixed and baked in the same cake pan. 
It. Does. Not. Get. Any. Easier!!

Recipe highlights:
  • Add dry ingredients to cake pan. Blend.
  • Make 3 wells: large, medium, and small.
  • Add oil to the large, vinegar to the medium, and vanilla extract to the small.
  • Pour water over mixture.
  • Whisk for 50 strokes. Cake batter will be very runny.
  • Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 30-40 minutes.

Crazy Cake Ingredients in a glass cake pan

Crazy Cake Ingredients in a glass cake pan

Chocolate Crazy Cake

How to make a “healthy” version: 
Although not exactly healthy, I make a lighter version by adding mashed avocado. I also reduce the the oil, replace half of the sugar with a sugar substitute, and add flaxseed meal. It is moist and delicious! Exact amounts are detailed in the recipe card.

I have used only powder sugar substitute (Stevia) and have not used a liquid sweetener. The added moisture of a liquid sweetener might affect the cake texture, but if you are curious, feel free to experiment!

Chocolate Crazy Cake

For a little cheer and color today (and because it’s almost Eater!), I frosted and added sprinkles. The homemade frosting is easy but requires dairy as well as the use of an electric beater. To entirely by-pass this step, top with store bought frosting, a simple glaze, whipped cream, or a dusting of powdered sugar. It won’t disappoint!

Other easy recipes you might like:



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold water
powdered sugar for dusting

Buttercream frosting (optional)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature  
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 - 3 teaspoons milk or cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkles for topping cake

Suggested supplies (affiliate links):
dark cocoa powder
square glass baking dish

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients in an 8” x 8” cake pan. Whisk to combine.
  3. Make 3 wells, one large, one medium, and one small.
  4. Add oil to the large, vinegar to the medium, and vanilla to the small.
  5. Pour water over mixture.
  6. Whisk to blend, about 50 strokes. Cake batter will be very runny.
  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few dry crumbs attached.
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  9. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, whipped cream, or frosting/glaze of choice.

For the buttercream, optional:
  1. Beat butter for 2 minutes on medium high until light and fluffy. 
  2. Gradually add half of the powdered sugar, starting on low an increasing speed. Beat until creamy.
  3. Add vanilla and 2 teaspoons milk.
  4. Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar. Beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add more milk if needed for desired consistency.
Makes 9 servings.

Recipe Notes:

For a “healthy” version make the following substitutions:
  • Add 2/3 of a mashed avocado. 
  • Reduce the the oil to 3 tablespoons.
  • Replace half of the sugar with a sugar substitute (not liquid).
  • Add 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal.

Great finds for the home and family! Any commission made on purchases help towards the running of this blog.


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Grandma Yearwood’s Coconut Cake

Coconut Key Lime Mug Cakes

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  1. I love sprinkles (as I think I've said)! You are certainly putting them to good use!

    1. Thank you Inger! Sprinkles are the most cheery and fun food. It’s so hard not to like them! :)

  2. This cake looks so dark and moist, I'm drooling :)

    1. Thank you so much!! I love using the dark cocoa. It’s such a rich, dark color.

  3. I make this recipe in my home as your steps you write in this article and this is so easy to make this recipe. It is amazing to make and very interesting.
    Very useful and helpful for me to make recipes like that very easily in my home.
    Thank You!!!