Crazy Cake Wacky Cake

This Crazy Cake Wacky Cake has no eggs, milk, butter, or mixing bowls! Mix everything in your baking pan. Rich. Moist. Delicious!

This cake fits my family to a “T”…

This Crazy Cake Wacky Cake has no eggs, milk, butter, or mixing bowls! Mix everything in your baking pan. Rich. Moist. Delicious!

We’re all a little crazy in this household. A little bit wacky, too. I’m sure my kids are yelling in the background to speak for myself, but hey, the nut doesn’t fall too far from the tree. So I think I’m safe to say that we’re all a little bit wacky.

I made this recipe as a young girl. My mom had the recipe but has since lost it. I was happy to find the recipe again at Sweet Little Bluebird so I could relish in my childhood memories.

What makes this cake cRaZy and wAcKy? Well, first off, it has NO eggs in it. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! That’s right. NO EGGS! It also doesn’t have any milk or butter in it. SHUT UP! A double score for those of you who are allergic to dairy or are vegan. And, you only use the cake pan to make it in. No bowls. No mixers. Just the pan and a fork. I’m seeing the light bulbs going off in your head as to why this cake is called cRaZy and WacKy, right? Because it is just crazy.

Instead of crazy, maybe it’s just “magical”. Magical for all of us who are yelling out “YES” to no dairy. “YES” to no eggs. “YES” to low fat. “YES” to low calorie. “YES” to easy! “YES” to less mess!

The L.A. Times even jumped on the cRaZy Cake bandwagon by saying:

“Mad for Crazy Cake…contains no butter or eggs, is a cinch to make and comes out rich, moist and delicious. What’s not to like?”

So what makes this cake rise? I’m no rocket scientist but I’m gathering the soda and vinegar has something to do with it.

This cake goes clear back to World War II where it is speculated that rationing forced bakers to get creative with the lack of key ingredients like eggs and butter. Whatever. It’s just plain good.

This Crazy Cake Wacky Cake has no eggs, milk, butter, or mixing bowls! Mix everything in your baking pan. Rich. Moist. Delicious!

4.3 from 10 reviews
cRaZy Cake WaCky Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In an 8x8-inch ungreased baking pan, mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Shake pan to flatten out the mix.
  3. Make one large indentation and two small indentations in the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour vinegar in one small indentation, vanilla in the second small indentation, and the vegetable oil in the large indentation. Pour water over all and with a fork, stir until batter is smooth.
  5. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes or until the a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a baking rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with your favorite frosting.
Double the ingredients to make a 9 x 13-inch cake

Recipe adapted from Sweet Little Bluebird

For nutritional information, click here:

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About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


  1. Okay now how do you make that yummy frosting?

  2. Apple sauce is a great substitute for oil. Do you know if it would work for this one?

  3. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it came out the oven smelling so yummy :) perfect as I had no eggs or extra butter in the house :)

  4. Hi Jen! I must admit I never heard of Depression cake before. The only chocolate cake I ever make is my quick microwave cake which is delicious but it uses eggs. I would so like to try your eggless cake but I have a problem. In my country we do not have “All Purpose flour”. That seems to be an American product. For cakes we normally use “Plain Cake Flour” or “Self Raising Flour”. Now what do you suggest I use? Thanks for your lovely recipe. I so so want to try it.

  5. Making this now. All I had was Apple cider vinegar. Hope it still comes out. Omitted the cocoa. I put in some butterscotch pudding too.

  6. alexandra says:

    Took forever to bake. More than 35 minutes. About 2 hours. Ridiculous and it didn’t even taste good

  7. I have made this cake so many times, I wish I could make it in my sleep. Well, thank you for sharing this cake recipe. Now I have the exact recipe to share, since I just sort of dump the ingredients together. I have never made the little pockets before. Will have to try it that way. Because it would be one less thing to wash. Thank you!!!!

  8. I baked this cake for my kids’ birthdays. I got the recipe from my Mother-in-law. She used one of the variations using a whole stick of butter instead of oil and coffee instead of water.

  9. looking nice and delish your crazy wacky cake! and i will try to make this one!

  10. Hi Jen and Recipe Enthusiasts,

    Thank you so much for publishing this recipe. I too used to make it years ago but have somehow misplaced the recipe and could not exactly remember the ingredient amounts off the top of my head. I also wanted to let you know: “oleo” is not really CRISCO. It is more like the margarine we have today. My Mom used to bake with oleo all the time and I remember it well……………..

  11. There are actually 18 variations of this. Just google variations of crazy cake. Have made this for 60 years and is my favorite cake.

  12. This cake works great if you substitute applesauce for the oil. One of my husband’s favorites!

  13. I’ve been making this cake for years. The first time, I didn’t have any eggs in the house so I did a Bing Search and found this recipe. Now I make it regularly when I need and quick and easy and delicious cake even though there are eggs in the pantry. It doesn’t last long enough to get old so I don’t know how long it will keep.

    (I just wandered in here via Recipe Lion having never been here before. So, I’ll look around a bit. You’ve got a nice site.)

  14. Shanikwa Ames says:

    This is my first time ever making or having this particular cake and it came out very chewy. Is this a normal texture or did I do something wrong? I also used all purpose gluten free flour, so, I am not sure if that had something to with it

  15. We always called this “Three-Holer Cake”…made when i was young and now in my 60’s. Greatest thing about this cake is how fast to make, bake and serve, my husband loves it with vanilla ice cream…..thanks for sharing with the world!

  16. I also have made this cake before. It is a amazing cake, considering the ingredients.
    I also want to say how much I enjoy the comments. Thank you Jen.

  17. Sue Hargrave says:

    I have had this recipe for over 30 years. I have it written down somewhere, but have made it so many times that it has stayed in my head. I love it because it is low in cholesterol but also because there are so many thing you can do with it. You can make it at the last minute and serve it warm without icing. You can serve it with ice cream, jello, whipped cream or we even pour milk over it. I also sometimes add a can of cherry pie filling in the mix or spread it on top instead of icing, with whipped cream on top of the cherries.
    Also if you don’t want chocolate,(Can you believe- I have a grandson who does not like chocolate) you can leave out the cocoa and add spices. Also you can brew up some apple cinnamon tea or flavor of choice and use it in place of the plain water.
    The possibilities are are numerous.

  18. Debra Croft says:

    I don’t know about you , but I would like to know on the Brown sugar version what all is substituted & difference in taste / texture. :) Would love to have the info if you would share it kindly. Too many recipes & memories lost otherwise. I know I have a candy recipe, that took me 2 years to get, (family secret) passed down over & over. The lady I got it from over 35 yrs ago was 55 then, & was passed down over 4 generations! She learned it as a child, & didn’t measure, I had to watch & learn & get the measurements that way. 25 lbs of sugar later (lol) I GOT IT ! It that time of year to break it out & do it :)
    Can’t wait to try this one !

    • carol ryan says:

      I would love to have the candy recipe from Debra Croft if she is willing to share!

      • I don’t have the recipe but perhaps Debra will see your comment and share it.

      • just got the request:
        CREAM CANDY -(this is for a large batch, split 1/2 for smaller amount)

        3 Cups Sugar
        1/2 Cup Cream (may use 1/2 & 1/2)
        1/2 Cup Boiling Water
        1 Pinch Salt
        1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract / or other flavoring
        Food coloring optional

        Mix in a heavy pan large enough that it will NOT boil over while cooking. (as it cooks it rises & then condenses down.)

        Stir over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved only, wipe sugar crystals from sides of pan with a damp cloth, being careful NOT to touch the mixture or shake pan.

        Continue cooking , BUT DO NOT STIR.

        Cook until when tied in cold water, candy will crack brittle against side of glass.(approx range is hard ball Range of temps 260*- 285* F)

        Pour out on well buttered MARBLE SLAB & let cool to touch.

        ADD: 1 teaspoon pure vanilla OR other extract & color desired before you pick up to pull.

        Pull until candy will hold shape (About 20 minutes in cool temp weather)
        Stretch out on the cooled marble slab and cut with kitchen scissors.

        Store in TIN cans, lined with wax paper or parchment paper (can use small paper candy cups) – DO NOT LET TOUCH, as candy will stick at this stage.

        Cover each layer with the wax paper, including the top layer & place lid on.

        Store over night or approx 24 hours in a cool place but NOT IN FRIDGE. (depends on weather conditions for candy to ripen)

        Candy is ready when you place a piece in your mouth & it melts. It is like a taffy prior to setting.

        This makes approx 60 pieces depending on size & length of pulled candy rope.

        HINTS & TIPS:
        MUST have a slab or piece of marble! If you only have a small piece 12×12 divide the recipe. I promise it will not work correctly otherwise – it will sugar.

        When starting to pull candy is light yellow & thin – as you pull, turns white, harder to pull & holds shape of ridges. Pull until it holds the shape.

        If your kitchen is warm, will take longer to pull – have had to pull outside in order to cool down.

        Candy is HOT when it comes off stove, when edge can be lifted lightly off of slab – ready to start pulling, & if you have to stop a minute or so before it is ready, turn on oven & open to warm enough to continue pull.

        Butter Hands lightly helps, I even use disposable gloves as it is sticky & remove all rings!

        Do not try to make if raining – too much humidity to get candy to set up.

        Hope this helps – the recipe is how I received it, & the tips are from wasted batches of 25 lbs of sugar.

        • Sounds wonderful Debacroft! Thank you for sharing.

          • Glad to share it :-) it is well worth the effort required – have never seen it sold – I will make a batch – email me directly & i will be glad to ship you some to try – then you can see what I mean by taste – it literately will melt in your mouth & you will be hooked – will ship express so you would have next day if you like

        • carol ryan says:

          Thank you for your candy recipe, I will be wanting to try it on the perfect day!

  19. 65-10980 Westdowne Rd. Ladysmith, B.C. Canada says:

    I also used to make this recipe back in the early 60’s. My kids just loved it and so did their dad. Made it at least once a week and everyone was happy!! I just might give it a try again very soon.

  20. Also called ‘Mary’s Crazy Cake’

  21. Actually it’s the Vinegar that makes it moist because you can replace Oil in any Cake Recipe with Vinegar and the Baking Soda makes it rise. In recipes it will tell you not to use Baking Soda if you are using Self Rising Flour. Thank You for the Recipe Jen…I make Custom Cakes and I will make this one.

  22. sounds great.

  23. Where’s the recipe?

  24. What kind of frosting did you use? Looks wonderful!

  25. Um it looks like devil’s food cake

  26. Ruby Harse says:

    I have made this cake for years and just love how easy it is too make.

  27. Kinda stinky to make us leave a comment before we can get the recipe…

    • I’m not sure what you mean Crystal? I don’t require a person to leave a comment in order to get the recipe. The recipe is free and listed at the end of the post.

      • I’m looking at the page right now and there’s nothing below the comments except a big white space…

        • That’s really weird. Not sure why it’s doing that. I’ve had a couple of people go online and try it and it pulls up for them. You may want to try a different browser or hit F5 and it resets the page. Sorry for your troubles.

  28. Frankie Faith says:

    O.K. so when I posted a comment, the recipe appeared below…..then my browser quit before I could print it. I’m trying again…..If this is the cake I think it is, my mother used to make this and I’ve been looking for the recipe. Fingers crossed!

  29. Frankie Faith says:

    Where is the recipe? All I see are the comments……

  30. It tates great but I will add pam or baking spray to the bottom of the pan first as my cake stuck to the bottom.

  31. mm Golden says:

    Correct that the vinegar and baking soda is what makes it rise. My great grandmother told my grandmother who told my mother who told me about it. So started in my family at least back to 1863. I was told it was an everyday thing as it was not easy to find things needed so you made do with what you could find. I was taught to do that in other things in life as well so have learned to do with very little and still get by. Thanks for the reminder. I had misplaced the recipe I had so this is going into the safe this time where it will be very safe.

  32. dearcat says:

    I have been making the Wacky Chocolate cake for more than 60 years and my mother before me. I have made both the original brown sugar one and the one featured here. I put a little more chocolate and let the oil run over the spoon. This is the best, moist chocolate cake there is. I have also tried it with Hershey’s Dark and I think I prefer just the regular Hershey’s cocoa. I am definitely a chocoholic.

    • That’s so awesome dearcat! SIXTY years is a long time to perfect a great dessert. I’m finding this recipe has been around a loooooong time! Thanks for stopping by.

  33. Carole Donovan says:

    This wacky cake was in a Peg Bracken Book. Either Woman’s Day or Family Circle had other versions in their magazines. I wish I’d kept my book!

  34. Maureen J. Smith says:

    My mom used to make this cake in the 1950s and 1960s. She was a child of the Great Depression. When I asked about the cake, she told me it wasn’t so much a Depression-era recipe as a war-time one…the First World War!

    The original recipe called for brown sugar which was in greater supply than refined white sugar. Other than the white flour, which was in short supply, it met the “wheat-less, sweet-less, meatless” days. She made it forbus when there was too much month left at the end of the money.

    Anyway, thank you for the memory. I think I’ll have to try making this myself.

    • I loved hearing your mother’s version of this recipe and that it actually was created during WWI. Very fascinating indeed that a recipe has carried on for so many years. Thanks for the background. I really enjoyed it.

  35. Eve Kellogg says:

    If you are old enough to remember; I was very small but I remember, this cake was popular during WWII, because everything was rationed and there were no extra’s for anything. Every one I knew called it War Cake. I think it is surprisingly tasty.

    • Thanks for sharing Eve! I’m not old enough to remember but I remember my grandparents telling me about it. I’ve made it several times and it’s delicious. Thank you for your comment and for stopping by.

  36. Thanks for the recipe which we used to make this in the 70’s. I asked for this cake every birthday when I was growing up. My sister made it because my mother didn’t make cakes – only pies. The flavor was as good as I remember. I’m going to play with the recipe a little bit. I will let you know how it turns out.

    • That’s awesome Mitzi! Hopefully this will bring back some good birthday memories for you! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  37. My mom says that this cake was made during the depression because eggs were so hard to come by! I think I will make this for her as a momento! Deb –

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