Wacky Chocolate Cake Recipe

Updated on October 18, 2017
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Why is it called Wacky Cake?

Why is this chocolate cake called a "wacky cake"? Probably because of the ingredients. The batter doesn't have any eggs, butter, or milk, and some people probably thought that's wacky for a cake recipe.

Wacky cakes were initially made during the Great Depression since butter, milk, and eggs were scarce because they were either rationed or too expensive.

This is a great chocolate cake for convenience since the ingredients are usually pantry staples. It's also a good recipe for anyone that prefers dairy-free recipes or is on a vegan diet. It's also a good cake recipe for anyone who has an egg allergy.

Wacky Cake Ingredients


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix well by hand with a spoon or whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl: vinegar, vanilla, oil, and water. Mix by hand or with mixer on low speed until everything is well combined, but don't over-mix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Try not to overbake; the lure of this cake is how moist it is!
  5. Let cake cool, sprinkle top with confectioner's sugar, serve, and enjoy!

Do you prefer chocolate cake or yellow cake?

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    • MomsTreasureChest profile image

      MomsTreasureChest 6 weeks ago

      Thanks Audrey, they also called this depression cake a Crazy Cake. No matter what you call it, it's certainly an easy one bowl delicious chocolate cake from scratch!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I've never heard the term "wacky". I enjoy the history of making cake without eggs, butter and milk during the depression.

      Your photos are inviting and I intend to try my first Wacky Cake using your recipe. Thanks

    • profile image

      emmyali 3 months ago

      Thanks, it is very good my children will love it.

    • MomsTreasureChest profile image

      MomsTreasureChest 4 months ago

      Hi Nancy, thanks for stopping by. It seems that the reaction of the baking soda and vinegar are what cause the cake to rise.

    • MomsTreasureChest profile image

      MomsTreasureChest 4 months ago

      Thanks for taking the time to visit, I hope you enjoy the Wacky Cake if you decide to try this recipe.

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 4 months ago from USA

      Okay. So. What makes it rise?

    • profile image

      Rachel Alba 4 months ago

      Hi Mom's Treasure Chest, this recipe sounds so good. Most of my family loves chocolate cake. I pinned it and will try it for sure.

      Blessings to you.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 5 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I've never heard of Wacky Cake either, but this sounds delicious. One for me to try!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've never heard of wacky cake before. I love the name. I also love the fact that your cake is a chocolate one and that it's so moist. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Looks delicious. I'll have to give your recipe a try.