This crazy cake is made in one bowl without eggs, milk or butter! And yet, it’s wonderfully moist and delicious. Also known as depression cake or wacky cake.
A crazy cake is a cake made without any eggs, milk or butter and was designed during the depression era when it wasn’t always easy to have a supply of eggs, milk or butter.
And in spite of that, it still manages to be super moist and fudgy and extremely delicious. In fact, no one would think anything is missing from this cake!
So if you happen to have some basic pantry staples around but you’ve run out of eggs, milk and butter then no worries, you can still have some fabulous chocolate cake today!
But if you love chocolate cake then you’ll also want to check out our most divine chocolate cake recipe, though that one is made in a more conventional way, as is our vanilla cake and red velvet cake!
How To Make Crazy Cake
Full instructions and measurements can always be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Sift all purpose flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add white granulated sugar, baking soda and salt and mix together.
- Now add water, oil, vanilla extract and distilled white vinegar.
- Mix into a batter, but be very careful to not overmix.
- Transfer to a 9×9 square dish and smooth down.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 350°F.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating.
So I sort of cheated and used a tiny bit of butter in the frosting, just three tablespoons and a small amount of milk. And you might be thinking, if I don’t have milk and butter for the cake then why would I have them for the frosting?
Well, there are a few options for the frosting.
- You can omit the frosting altogether and just dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar. It’s delicious enough to eat without any frosting at all. Or you can serve it with custard or chocolate sauce or whipped cream.
- You can make the frosting with butter or margarine or even coconut oil!
- You can replace the milk with water and that works just fine as well, as do non-dairy options such as soy milk or almond milk.
Measure the flour correctly: Either use the spoon and level method – spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level it off with a knife, don’t pack it in and don’t scoop it – OR use a food scale to weigh your flour.
Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder like Hersheys is perfect to use in this recipe.
The oil: We used canola oil but you can really use any vegetable oil or melted coconut oil.
The Vinegar: The vinegar is a crucial ingredient in this recipe as it reacts with the baking soda and causes the cake to rise! You can use apple cider vinegar too if that’s what you have on hand.
Don’t Overmix The Batter: A cake batter made without eggs is more unforgiving than one with eggs and a crucial factor is not overmixing your cake batter. Mix it until just mixed and then stop mixing.
Bake It Right Away: You also want to put the cake batter in to bake the moment it’s ready. Don’t let the batter sit as that can prevent your cake from rising.
Storing and Freezing: Cover and keep at room temperature for 3-4 days or cover and keep in the fridge for up to a week. It is also freezer friendly if you need to freeze some of it.
More Chocolate Recipes
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- Double Chocolate Cookies
- The Best Fudgy Brownies
- Peppermint Patties
- No-Bake Chocolate Tart
- Homemade Hot Chocolate
For The Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and spray a 9×9 square baking pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix together.
- Add the water, oil, vanilla and vinegar and mix into a batter. Mix it until just mixed, don't overmix.
- Transfer to your prepared square dish and smooth down.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
- Add all the frosting ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer and starting at slow speed, gradually increase speed until the frosting is thick and smooth.
- Frost the cooled cake and decorate with sprinkles (optional).
- Measure the flour correctly using the spoon and level method – spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level it with a knife. Don’t scoop the flour or pack it into the cup. Alternatively weigh your flour on a food scale.
- Use a natural unsweetened cocoa powder like Hersheys.
- If you happen to have milk on hand then you can use milk instead of water in the cake batter. Water works perfectly fine but any milk, including non-dairy options like soy milk and almond milk also work well.
- You can use any vegetable oil instead of canola oil. If you use coconut oil then melt it first.
- The vinegar reacts with the baking soda and causes the cake to rise. Either use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- The Frosting is entirely optional. You can serve this cake without any frosting and just a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Or serve it with custard or chocolate sauce or whipped cream. If you do make the frosting though, then you can use butter or margarine or even coconut oil if that’s what you have on hand. And then you can use milk or water. And again any milk, including non-dairy options like soy or almond work great for this frosting.
- Keep the cake covered at room temperature for 3-4 days or covered in the fridge for up to a week.
- Nutritional information includes frosting.