Wacky Cake: Cheap & Quick (31 Days of Delicious Easy Recipes Day 24)

Wacky Cake???

Have you heard about the wacky cake that doesn’t require eggs, milk, or butter to be moist and delicious? When we were going through a food allergy scare around here, I desperately wanted to find something that halfway resembled chocolate cake without the eggs and dairy.  I was shocked at how amazing this chocolate cake turned out!  Then we found out that it was a thing ….. some call it wacky cake, some call it crazy cake, war cake, or great depression cake.  Who knew?

Her delicious recipe for Wacky Cake recipe that's egg free, milk free, butter free dairy free AND cheap!

It all started making sense — during the Great Depression era, eggs, milk, and butter were hard to come by.  They did the same thing I did by making cakes without them.  As you probably know, I’m a bit obsessed with the 1920s,  30s, and especially the 40s.  Old school is always best in my book!  Anyhoo, I’m sharing this as part of our 31 Days of Delicious Easy recipes series because it’s such a simple, cheap cake that really does taste fantastic.

Wacky Cake

The ingredients and instructions for a printable recipe card are below but here’s the basic idea ->>>

You don’t even need to dirty up a bowl.  Preheat the oven.  Grease your 8 inch-ish bundt or square baking pan.  Add the dry ingredients (all 5).  Making a small well and add the vinegar.  On the other side of the pan, make another small well and pour the vanilla into it.  Make a slightly larger well and then pour the oil into it.  Pour the water over it all.  Stir with a spoon until well blended.  Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

How easy is that?

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 10-Inch Fluted Mold, Gray

Here’s your a printable recipe card for your wacky cake:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Wacky Cake: Cheap & Quick (31 Days of Delicious Easy Recipes Day 24)
  • 1½ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease your 8 inch-ish bundt or square baking pan.
  3. Add the dry ingredients (all 5) directly to baking pan.
  4. Make a small well and add the vinegar.
  5. On the other side of the pan, make another small well and pour the vanilla into it.
  6. Make a slightly larger well and then pour the oil into it.
  7. Pour the water over it all.
  8. Stir with a spoon until well blended.
  9. Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Enjoy!
Important:  I haven’t tried other oils in this recipe besides vegetable oil but I’m sure melted coconut oil or olive oil at the same exact measurement would be just fine.  It may seem weird to make the “wells” to pour the certain ingredients in but trust me, it works.  Only mix once, at the end after pouring in the water.

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Got it?  Got it?  Good!

I hope you enjoy this lifesaver of a recipe.  Whether you need to omit the eggs and other dairy or you need to pinch those pennies, honey, this simple chocolate cake is a keeper!  Although this cake doesn’t need it, you can add a tiny bit of chocolate icing or a light dusting of sifted confectioners sugar on the top to make it even more spectacular.

Her delicious recipe for Wacky Cake recipe that's egg free, milk free, butter free dairy free AND cheap!

What do YOU think about this wacky cake recipe?

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Published on Huffington Post, Okefenokee Living Magazine, her local newspaper and more, Shan Walker is jokingly called the “Guru.” A Travel Journalist, Wife, and Mom who shares daily “how to” enjoy planning and executing EVERY single family vacation AND “how-to” find joy with your family in the cozy haven you’ve created and can’t wait to get home to!


  1. September 4, 2016 / 9:16 am

    I love Wacky Cake!! My mom used to make it when I was a kid – not because of food allergies but just because it was so tasty. It was always a big hit. Thanks for bringing back happy memories!

    I found you through Small Victories Sunday Linkup (yes, I am a week behind!) –


    Book By Book

    • Shan
      September 4, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Thanks, Sue! I always feel nostalgic when I’m baking it. My people sure seem to love it.


  2. September 4, 2016 / 9:21 am

    Yum, I love that this cake has no dairy, I should avoid it for my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup, pinned to our linkup board and hope you join us for this week’s party that just went live!
    Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories recently posted…Small Victories Sunday Linkup {118}My Profile

    • Shan
      September 4, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      Thanks so much, Tanya! I love it and I’ll be back!


  3. Amber
    September 27, 2016 / 8:16 am

    This looks amazing for a cake with no dairy or eggs !!

    • Shan
      February 13, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Thanks, Belle! Yes, recently my daughter begged me for days to make her one. They gobble it up within a couple days! 😉

    • Shan
      February 13, 2017 / 2:27 pm

      Thanks, Kim!

  4. February 13, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    One of my favorite cakes I make is a an egg free, milk free cake. It is the best! This seems really similar to it!
    Danielle recently posted…Raining Bokeh Hearts {How To}My Profile

    • Shan
      February 16, 2017 / 5:20 am

      Awesome, Danielle. Makes them easier and cheaper, doesn’t it?! Love it.

  5. February 14, 2017 / 8:17 am

    I can’t wait to give this a try. My grandmother lived through the depression and I’m always interested in understanding what her life was like.

    • Shan
      February 16, 2017 / 5:24 am

      Awe, I love it, Mama Guru.

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