Wacky Cake

wacky cake done fork

Three things make this cake Wacky:

  1. You mix it right in the pan with a fork.
  2. It has no eggs.
  3. Vinegar is one of the ingredients.

Three things make this cake good:

  1. The ingredients are usually in the pantry.
  2. It’s a dense, chocolaty cake.
  3. A quick chocolate icing is spread over the chocolate cake.

Here’s what you’ll need:

wacky cake ingr

*Update – I originally forgot the baking soda in the ingredients.  I’ve added it now and I’m so sorry for the folks who made the cake without the soda.  Thanks for letting me know I forgot.*

  • 3 cups flour
  • 6 Tbs. cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 Tbs. vinegar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups water

Stir together the dry ingredients in a 9×13 pan until well blended.  Add the liquid ingredients, mixing right in the pan.  Mix until smooth.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool the cake completely before icing it.  Here’s what you’ll need for the icing:

wacky cake icing ingr

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. cocoa
  • 3 Tbs. milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan.  Don’t boil it.  Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar.   Stir in the vanilla.  You may need to add more powdered sugar to get it to the right consistency.

Have you noticed the related posts at the end of each recipe?  Reading the related posts for the desserts always has me drooling, especially the chocolate desserts – yum!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Might Also Like:


  1. Printing this out to try today. I’ll comment back after it’s done.


  2. This looks terrific. I have a vegetarian daughter and I’m going to make it for her!

  3. I’ve been making this cake since eighth grade Home Economics, where we learned how to make it…does anybody take Home Ec anymore? I even won a 4H fair ribbon using this cake. 🙂

    The other great thing about this cake, no eggs in the batter, so your kids can help make it and lick the spoon and the bowl. I think i’ll have to make this cake this week.

    • Karen, this is a great cake to let you kids make. I think it’s one of the first cakes I ever made, but I never won a blue ribbon with it – cool!

    • Likewise I have made this cake a number of times in the past, but had kind of forgotten it. Kind of a nice memory to recall.

  4. Love it!

  5. It’s my birthday today so I’m going to make this cake after lunch, and happy it does not include eggs as we are out LOL!

  6. I love wacky cake! It’s one of the only cakes I can make for my egg-allergic son without using an egg replacer product. Yours looks delicious!

  7. We have made this cake for decades. It’s delicious. Someone once told me that the recipe was developed during WWII when a lot of food items were rationed.

  8. I love Wacky Cake! My grandmother made a coconut topping for hers. For a 9×13 pan you need 2/3 c. soft butter, 1 1/3 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. cream (I’ve used milk), 1 c. nuts, 1 c. coconut. Mix all ingredients together and spread on cake when it comes out of the oven. Place under the broiler and brown. It makes the Wacky Cake into a German chocolate-type cake. Thanks for the recipe, Tiffany , and keep up the good work!

  9. It’s easy, it’s chocolate, it’s right up my alley : ) My boys and hubby will love this! Thank you!

  10. Okay, I made it. It doesn’t taste real sweet, but I have to add the icing still. I may have messed it up. I only had Apple Cider Vinegar (didn’t know until too late) so maybe that is why it doesn’t taste sweet enough.

    Also, mine was very “hilly.” LOL It has like rolling hills. Help? What did I do wrong?

    • Amanda, the cake isn’t real sweet. It’s more of a deep chocolate taste. The cider vinegar could have altered the flavor a bit though, but there isn’t that much vinegar in it so I don’t think it would too big a difference. The icing is pretty sweet.

      As far as it being hilly, I don’t know. Unless you didn’t get the dry ingredients mixed well so that it rose more in some places than others. I have a knack for making very uneven cakes, so I’m not sure I’m much help!

  11. Amanda, I always use apple cider vinegar. And it’s not a very sweet cake; I’ve seen this recipe in some cookbooks referred to as a “snack cake” (meaning it’s not a dessert cake, I guess!) As for the hilliness, while you can mix the cake right in the baking pan, I have always preferred to mix the ingredients in a bowl, using a whisk. Then I pour it into an ungreased pan. It can be tough to mix it thoroughly in the pan.

    Also, you may want to check your oven temperature; if your oven isn’t heating properly, that can affect the rising of cakes.

  12. Okay, I just made it and am sad. It didn’t rise because there wasn’t a leavening ingredient. I thought it was odd but thought maybe it had something to do with the vinegar. I now realize after looking at the recipe on other sites that it should have had baking soda in it. Just thought I’d let you know before someone else made it.

  13. Nicole,
    Yep, I think we had the same result. Tiffany emailed me after reading your comment. But, if I had paid attention to her picture I would have known to put in baking soda.

    I am going to try again in a few days. I am sure it will be a big hit.

  14. Tiffany, the cake looks so yummy! I am a cakeaholic!!!! Any ideas or suggestions on how to make to fit a 9 x 13? i have an in home daycare and a 9×9 just may not leave any leftovers for ME and we cannot have that :-} thanks

  15. I make this cake often – as a lactose intolerant person it’s the only chocolate cake that tastes decent to me. I make is as an after-school treat. The house smells great and my girls love it. It’s also very economical – no eggs or milk!

  16. Thanks for listing the recipe so neatly a long with the pictures! Saved me a lot of hassle at the market trying to figure out which things was the exact thing I needed!

  17. I’ve made this several times and shared the recipe with friends who are teachers. (nice for science class) This is also good for feeding friends who are ‘vegans.’

  18. Hi, I made this cake a few weeks ago (found it on a different site) but the frosting on their site was much more difficult. I can’t wait to try yours with your frosting!!!! Thanks for posting this!!!

  19. I believe this cake is also vegan. I found the same recipe in the Moosewood Veg cookbook. It’s a good recipe to have if you have friends come over who might be vegan, just sprinkle with confectioners sugar and leave off the frosting. It’s also a great recipe for children to make especially since you mix it in the pan. I almost forgot about this great recipe, so thanks!!!

  20. Michelle says:

    I made this today but instead of using sugar, I used Ideal and Splenda, and cup of each and the cake turned out great. I also used Splenda and cornstarch to make the powered sugar. I had a taste of it and it’s just divine. My hubby is diabetic, so I’m sure he will be excited to try it tonight after dinner. Thanks for posting!

  21. For those who care about calories, for the cake alone–without frosting–and made with applesauce rather than oil: a 9×13 pan cut into 16 servings = 132 cals per piece. The frosting adds about 75 cals per slice.

    Cut into 20 servings, it’s 106 per plain slice, and adding about 60 cals per slice for the frosting.

    • And I would recommend some sort of frosting. I thought with 2 cups of sugar it would be plenty sweet, but for personally, I prefer it to be just a bit sweeter.

    • Arminta, thanks for the calorie break down. That’s not too bad for dessert.

    • If I put no sugar since using applesauce would it make a difference?

      • Beth Moore says:

        I’m pretty sure it will make a difference in the taste. You may need to play around with the recipe to get the right sweetness to balance the cocoa

  22. This is the cake recipe I used for my son’s birthday (he’s allergic to eggs)…it has several names, but it’s really good!

  23. I learned this exact recipe from my grandma (minus the frosting) and have never heard anyone else call it wacky cake! I heard that it was developed during the depression and was popular because it had no costly eggs, milk, or butter.
    At any rate, we love the moist texture and rich chocolate flavor without overpowering sweetness.

  24. This cake is sooo very good. I cut the recipe in half because I only had 1 cup of sugar and did not want to run to the store with two kids. I made it in an 8 x 8 inch pan. It is so delicious and moist!! Thank you!! 🙂

  25. My family loves this recipe. I swap the oil for applesauce as someone else mentioned. It is delicious with vanilla buttercream frosting and raspberry filling. I have also left out the cocoa and made it a spice by adding 2Tbsp pumpkin spice (or jus a whole mess of cinnamon and sugar) and a cream cheese frosting. Very good. You can even add minced apple to make it apple spice. I am thinking of trying a lemon cake with this recipe next. I am having so much fun with all the variations!!


  1. […] I posted the recipe for Wacky Cake.  Several people commented that they were going to make it right away.  Well, last night I […]

Speak Your Mind