Home » Recipes » Cakes » Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake

0 from 0 votes
Wacky Cake
5.0 rating based on 12,345 ratings
5/5 (6)
Course: CakesCuisine: AmericaDifficulty: Easy



An easy, dairy-free, egg-free chocolate cake that is surprisingly moist. This is a vintage recipe from the Depression era when milk and eggs were difficult to find, or unaffordable. It made a resurgence in WWII days, when milk and eggs were rationed. Today, it’s a great option for people with dairy and/or egg allergies, or for vegans.


  • For the cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted shortening

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup cold water

  • For the frosting:
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • chopped nuts (optional)


  • Bake the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift all dry ingredients into an ungreased 9×9-inch cake pan (see note for other pan sizes *). Make a well in the center and pour the oil, vinegar, vanilla and cold water into it. The combination will start to bubble. Mix with a fork until well combined. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps, avoid overmixing. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Make the frosting:
  • Melt butter in saucepan, add powdered sugar, cocoa, salt and vanilla and beat until smooth. If too stiff to spread, soften with warm milk or water. Frost while cake is still warm. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Cut into squares when cool.
  • Variations:
  • Bake in an 8×8-inch pan for 35-40 minutes. For a 9×13-inch pan, double the ingredient amounts and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.


  • * This cake can also be baked in a 10-inch round cake pan, a 10-inch Bundt pan, or an 11×7-inch rectangular pan. (A 9-inch round cake pan will be too small and will over-fill your pan. A 9 x 13-inch rectangular pan is too big and your cake will be too thin.).
  • Photo thanks to Elaine Ashton cc.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

best cake EVER!!!!!!!!!
- A Baker

We have been making this cake since I was a small child. I started making by myself when I was 5.
- Audra

I've made this with Splenda, make with half whole wheat flour and half white flour, half of oil substituted with applesauce and couldn't tell the difference.
- A Baker

My Mom made this when I was a kid but as soon as it was baked she'd poke holes in it with a fork & pour hot chocolate syrup into the cake. It was really good!
- Jeannie Priest

This was a childhood favorite that was lost for many years...so happy i found it again. If you think there isn't enough chocolate use heaping not level tsps. Also great with a creamcheese frosting.
- A Baker

Winner, winner, winner!!!! I love this recipe! It's moist, not too chocolatey and I love to tell the story behind the recipe. No one can believe that this cake has no eggs or milk. I'm on my third cake in one week. I did powdered sugar on the first cake, but it's so moist it soaked it up in 24 hours. The second cake I put caramel frosting on it with Christmas sprinkles and that was great. I forgot to double the recipe for a 9x13 pan and it still turned out great. In fact, people loved it because it looked thinner so they ate more. They said they didn't feel so guilty have more than one piece. I won't say who, but some had a lot more than one piece. :)
- Diana Sebzda
Supported By: Starfish Reviews

Rate this recipe!

Scan this QR code to return to this page and rate the recipe.

QR Code

Alternately, you can return to this page to write your review: