Crazy Cake: Best Vegan Chocolate Cake

Updated on February 10, 2019
Jane Sellers profile image

This recipe was given to my grandmother in the late 1950s, just before she married my grandfather.

Crazy Cake: Vegan Before It Was Cool

Crazy Cake is a cake that I hold dear to my heart, and for many reasons. The first time I saw my grandmother make it, during the time I was in culinary school, it awed me that such a quick and easy recipe could make the most delicious chocolate cake I had ever had. After I saw her do it once I immediately went on to try and do it myself, and I found the cake to be foolproof. It was a fail-safe; a cake you can whip up for last-minute company that will impress as if you had made the dessert before you knew they were coming.

This recipe was given to my grandmother in the late 1950s, just before she married my grandfather. A chef was doing a demonstration at a local high school, and he showed how to make this cake. He mixed everything together in the pan it would bake in—hence the name. The moment my grandmother got home, she went right to baking it herself!

However, there is another reason that this cake rightfully holds the name "crazy"...

It's vegan.

Though being vegan wasn't the recipe's original selling point (it was more focused on the ease of preparing it and the minimal number of dishes it created), the fact that this vegan cake dates from a time when vegan-style diets weren't popular or common is pretty crazy!

Time To Bake!
Time To Bake!

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves 4-6

Here Is What You'll Need

Since this cake is so good, I've decided to provide two sets of measurements:

For 8x8 and 9x9 square pans:

  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 3 Tbs. Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. White Vinegar
  • 5 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Water

For 9x13 pans and cupcakes:

  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 4 Tbs. Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 tsp White Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Water

You might notice that the larger recipe is close to being a double of a first, and in fact it pretty much is. The reason that some ingredients don't measure up in the math is because I am actually giving you two different versions for the same cake. The smaller one is the original my grandmother had gotten from the demonstration.The other is one that she had collected recently (about a year ago) when looking through a magazine. She was so surprised to find a larger version of the cake that she kept it!

First Method: The Original

Since this recipe can be done in two different sizes, I'm also going to show you two ways of preparing it. The first way I'm going to demonstrate is the original way, the way my grandmother saw and taught me to do. This way is best for the smaller version of the recipe.

Step One: Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Step Two: Sift the dry ingredients together into the pan.

Measure the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into a sifter. Sift the ingredients directly into your baking pan. As much as you might want to grease it, don't! This method isn't really meant for the cake to be removed from the pan but instead served in it.

Step Three: Make 3 indents in the dry ingredients. Place first three wet ingredients into their own indent and then pour water over the whole mixture. Stir well until combined.

Take your vanilla, vinegar and oil and place each ingredient in it's own indent in the dry ingredients. Then pour the water over everything (as seen below) and mix well, just until everything is combined!

It should look something like this when you are done mixing!
It should look something like this when you are done mixing!

Step Four: Bake for 35 minutes until done. Let cool completely before serving.

Second Method: The Bowl

For the larger recipe, this method is the one you are going to want to use. It's going to follow the same general idea of the first, but will vary depending on a few things here and there.

Step One: Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

(Just as before!)

Step Two: Measure all your dry ingredients and sift into a large bowl. Then place all your wet ingredients (accept the water) on top.

Step Three: Pour water over the whole mixture while mixing.

Once you have everything in the bowl, slowly pour the water over the ingredients and mix at the same time. Make sure the batter is smooth like the picture below.

This is after I have gotten the first batch of cupcakes in. If you don't have enough cup cake pans you will need to do batches!
This is after I have gotten the first batch of cupcakes in. If you don't have enough cup cake pans you will need to do batches!

Step Four: Pour into desired pan.

Here is where things get interesting. If you'd like, you can pour all the batter into a 9x13 pan. you'll get a nice sized cake and it will take about 35 - 45 minutes to bake. Depending on your oven, it might be even longer. The best way to know is to take a tooth pick and stick it into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done! Just like the first meathod, it will be served out of the pan it was baked in.

Now if you are doing the second method for cupcakes, I will be continuing on with that option.

For Cupcakes:

Place cupcake papers into your cupcake pan and then fill each paper 3/4 of the way full with batter like the picture below.

I'm heavy handed, so do a little less than what you see in this picture.
I'm heavy handed, so do a little less than what you see in this picture.

Once you have the cupcake cups filled, bake them for 25 - 30 minutes or until done. You can use the toothpick trick here as well!

All nice and done!
All nice and done!

Finishing Touches

Now if you like, you can put any sort of icing that you want on top of your cake or cupcakes. Granted, keep in mind what you put on top if you are making this for a vegan person! For me personally, I like a buttercream or whipped cream icing on the cupcakes, and a simple sprinkling of powdered sugar on the pan cake.

Try It Out And Give It A Rate!

4.8 stars from 4 ratings of Crazy Cake

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • kayyluh profile image


        3 years ago

        These look delicious! I will definitely be giving the cupcakes a try, and you're decorating skills are great too!


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)