Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake is a classic egg and dairy free chocolate cake. NO mixer needed for this cake recipe, because it’s mixed right in the 9×13 pan that it’s baked in.You get a soft, chocolatey cake that you can top with any frosting you like!

Looking for a traditional chocolate cake recipe? Make sure to try my Chocolate Layer Cake!

WACKY CAKE is an egg free cake baked in a 9x13 pan

Wacky Cake Is The Easiest Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Make!

No mixer, only a few simple ingredients, and a 9×13 pan and you’ll have a chocolate cake. It seems too good to be true, I know it does, but trust me on this! No eggs, dairy free…and did I mention you mix it right in the 9×13 pan you bake it in? I’ll explain it all, I promise!

What IS Wacky Cake?

This recipe is a major throw back. I found a version of this in my mom’s recipe box, and then after a quick google search, apparently everyone’s mom probably made this one too.

And here’s your history lesson for the day…It’s also known as Depression Cake…and was created back in the Depression Era where ingredients were scarce and expensive. So this cake is actually made without eggs or any dairy…which makes it lighter on the wallet, but also great for anyone who suffers from an egg or dairy allergy! Of course I frosted it…and the frosting isn’t dairy free…but the cake itself absolutely is!

WACKY CAKE! This is an egg and dairy free cake recipe (without the frosting). You make it right in the cake pan, so NO MESS! You don't even grease the cake pan!

That’s Right, NO Mixer Needed!

Crazy, right? A cake without having to use a mixer? Or at least another bowl? It’s true. Pinky swear! A TRUE one-bowl cake!

When following my moms recipe I was a little skeptical about this…because not only do you use your cake pan as the mixing bowl, you don’t grease the pan. I certainly envisioned a huge cake fail…but alas, it worked.

Let me show you…

Collage showing how to make wacky cake

You Don’t Have To Grease The Pan!

I know it’s hard to believe. And yes, if you’re not convinced you can absolutely mix the ingredients in a separate bowl and coat the pan with nonstick spray. But the point is, you don’t HAVE to.

There is a tiny amount of sticking, but it’s a sheet cake and it really doesn’t matte, in my opinion!

Here are the simple steps:

  1. Sift the ingredients right into the ungreased pan. Sifting the ingredients together is the easiest way to combine them. I also whisked them together too.
  2. Make 3 “wells” in the dry mix. You pore vinegar in one, vanilla in another and oil in the last.
  3. Then pour water over everything and whisk it together to combine. I found online that using a fork here works well too.
  4. Once it’s all mixed, go ahead and bake!

WACKY CAKE slice in a 9x13 pan with frosting

What Kind Of Frosting Should You Use On Wacky Cake?

Wacky Cake is a chocolate cake, so there are TONS of frostings that work well here.

If you are trying to keep this dairy free, my buttercream frostings might not be the best option, but you can sub the butter out for a non-dairy butter substitute!

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Wacky Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In an ungreased 9×13 baking pan sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together gently to combine.
  3. Make 3 wells in the dry ingredients. Pour the vanilla in one, the vinegar in another, and the oil in the last. Pour the water all over the top. Using a whisk or a fork, stir the batter until smooth and combined.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cake to cool and dust with powdered sugar or frost.

Notes:

I like using my Perfect Party Frosting or the poured icing from my Sunday Chocolate Cake.

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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Stephanie H
Stephanie H

I misplaced my copy and was happy to find this recipe. The recipe was the same except before baking: mix 2 tsp cinnamon with 2 Tbsp sugar and sprinkle over cake. It gives it a crisp top and nice flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

Anita Saxton
Anita Saxton

I love this recipe my mom got the recipe from Mike Roy over radio in 1964 we have been making it since and have found different variations white, spice, carrot cake, lemon and chocolate .

Ashley Lowe
Ashley Lowe

Hi! Where did you find those adorable sprinkles in the video?!

Lara
Lara

Should I use cake flour or just Ap flour ?

Traci
Traci

My daughter has wheat and egg allergies. Has anyone tried this with gluten free flour?

Julia
Julia

Use cold coffee and not water and this reaches a whole other level!!!

This is my go to vegan recipe. Been using it years. No idea it was “wacky”!!

Cindy
Cindy

Can this be made into cupcakes?

hidden dsi
hidden dsi

this is very nice and looks too good

Brenda Bowers
Brenda Bowers

We have made this for many years in our family. I believe my grandmother got it from a radio show. I use cold coffee instead of water and sometimes for a change of pace, add cinnamon. Delicious!

Robin
Robin

How does this work with no eggs and dairy and can you leave the cocoa out and make it a vanilla “wacky cake”?? lol

scottica
scottica

i might try that one next!!! great idea

Kim
Kim

This cake has been made over 70 years in my family! Slightly different measurements and we use regular vinegar. You can also mix it in a bowl and pour into pan. Comes out perfect every time!

Cathy Chen

I’ve never heard of this but it does sound incredibly cool! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Marla
Marla

My mom was never a baker; still isn’t, but we were raised on this cake!! I still love it to this day & make it on occasion. She would do a margarine (yuck, I know!), coconut, pecan topping on it that was really tasty & still made it dairy free!

Del.S.
Del.S.

The cake topping your mother used sounds just like the one used for German Sweet Chocolate Cake. I remember it well. Add that fact to my making the Wacky Cake years ago from a children’s cookbook from the 50s and I feel like I just took a trip down Memory Lane!

Melissa
Melissa

I grew up eating this cake. We never put frosting on it. We put butter. To me it would taste strange with frosting. I might try it.

Karen Simon Peterson
Karen Simon Peterson

I’ve been making this cake for over forty years and my family loves it! I usually put 7minute frosting on it. Yum!

Yamila
Yamila

Hello! Looks really delicious! could you tell me please with what supplant apple cider vinegar? I really really hate vinegar.

Shirley
Shirley

I have been making this cake for over 40 years because of children with allergies. The cake is so good that it is often used for special occasions. So quick, so easy, so good!

Rehanna Agrela
Rehanna Agrela

Hi I have been using this recipe for a long time. Always a winner in my house and with the friends. I use a different frosting. 250 ml fresh cream, beat to stiff peaks, add 1 can of caramel treat and mix. Then add 3 tbs of cocoa power with and mix again. Spread over the cake. Try it and see how you like that. Greetings from South Africa.

Stephanie Rorabaugh
Stephanie Rorabaugh

I’ve made this for many years. My family an solute loves it with my homemade peanut butter icing, and it’s very moist.

Alice
Alice

Stephanie, please share your frosting recipe, if you could.

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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