Yield: 16 servings

Wacky Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

A delicious chocolate cake with minimal ingredients that just so happens to be dairy free, egg free and vegan! Wacky Cake is just as easy as using a boxed mix and so tasty that it might become your new go-to chocolate cake recipe.


For the Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

For the Frosting (OPTIONAL)

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with shortening and flour (or baking spray).
    2. In the pan, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.
    3. Make 3 wells in the dry mix and add the vanilla, white vinegar, and vegetable oil (2 small wells for the vanilla and vinegar and 1 large for the oil).  
    4. Pour the water on top and whisk all ingredients until combined.  You may use a spoon or spatula to get into the corners of the pan.
    5. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely.
    6. Sprinkle cooled cake with powdered sugar or top it with buttercream frosting.
    7. To make the frosting, place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chips are completely melted and are a smooth consistency.  Cool completely to room temperature.
    8. While chocolate chips are cooling, place butter into a medium mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  
    9. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar.  Beat until smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar.  Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl. Continue beating about a minute until all the powdered sugar is incorporated.
    10. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla.  Beat for 2 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy and has a smooth texture.
    11. Frost cooled cake and enjoy.


  • Wacky cake is also commonly called Depression Cake. The Cake itself has no butter, eggs, or milk.
  • I paired my cake with a buttercream frosting, but to keep it simple you could also sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Cake is best eaten in 3 days. Can be stored at room temperature.
  • MIX the cake in the baking pan (not a bowl).
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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