Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake! Chocolate cake with a simple vanilla frosting - the cake recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

Chocolate cake with a simple vanilla frosting – this “wacky cake” recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

Wacky Cake! Chocolate cake with a simple vanilla frosting - the cake recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

Last month, I made Chocolate Dump-It Cake, which is a one-pot cake recipe dating back to the 1930’s or 1940’s, and it has quickly become one of the most popular recipes I’ve shared recently. A reader left a comment on that post about “wacky cake”, and another reader, Nancy, emailed me her family’s recipe for this one-pan, light-as-air chocolate cake.

The premise of the cake – the reason it’s “wacky” – is that there is no butter, no eggs and no milk in the cake. Everything is mixed together right in the pan, using only a fork. After doing some reading, I found that this was a popular recipe during World War II because of the rationing of those ingredients. Those ladies knew what they were doing, because this is a phenomenal cake! My family couldn’t believe the cake lacked all of those typical cake ingredients, and happily devoured it, commenting over and over about how delicious it was.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Wacky Cake! Chocolate cake with a simple vanilla frosting - the cake recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

This cake really could not be any easier to throw together – grab your favorite 8-inch square baking dish, put all of the dry ingredients in there and mix together with a fork.

Then, make three wells and add the vinegar, vanilla extract and oil into each… Pour water over the entire mixture and stir with a fork until well combined.

Voila! Ready for the oven!

Wacky Cake! Chocolate cake with a simple vanilla frosting - the cake recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

Wacky Cake! Chocolate cake with a simple vanilla frosting - the cake recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

Nancy’s recipe said to top the cooled cake with your favorite vanilla frosting, so I did just that. It’s my standard vanilla that I use for any vanilla-topped cupcakes (like the homemade funfetti cupcakes); I was running low on vanilla extract, so I used vanilla bean paste in its place, and oh my! The flavor and all of those little bean specks – loved it!

The reviews were unanimous among my family – everyone loved the cake. It turned out wonderfully light, moist and full of chocolate flavor; the vanilla frosting was a great contrast and a big hit.

This recipe deserves to be in everyone’s recipe box – it’s so easy, super quick, and makes a wonderfully delicious chocolate cake suitable for any dessert occasion!

Wacky Cake! Chocolate cake with a simple vanilla frosting - the cake recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

One year ago: Dark Chocolate Chip & Walnut Banana Bread
Five years ago: Peach Cobbler
Seven years ago: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Wacky Cake

Servings 9 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 26 minutes
Total 1 hour
Course:Dessert
Cuisine:American
Author: Michelle
A chocolate cake with vanilla frosting - the recipe, which uses no butter, eggs or milk, was popular during WWII when rationing was prevalent.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1
    cup
    sugar
  • 4
    tbsp
    (rounded) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • 1
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 1
    tablespoon
    white vinegar
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • 6
    tablespoons
    vegetable oil
  • 1
    cup
    water

For the Vanilla Frosting:

  • 1
    cup
    unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups
    powdered sugar
  • 1
    tablespoon
    vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Directions:

  1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In an ungreased glass or ceramic 8-inch square pan (do not use metal), add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and stir to combine with a fork.
  3. Make three wells in the mixture and to those wells add the vinegar, vanilla extract and vegetable oil. Pour the water over the entire mixture and mix with a fork until thoroughly combined and no dry ingredients remain.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 26 to 30 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the Vanilla Frosting: Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
  6. Using a spatula, spread the vanilla frosting evenly over the top of the cake. The cake can be stored, covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature, for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition:

Calories: 564kcal
Fat: 30g
Saturated fat: 20g
Cholesterol: 54mg
Sodium: 386mg
Potassium: 64mg
Carbohydrates: 73g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 55g
Protein: 2g
Vitamin A: 12.6%
Calcium: 1.2%
Iron: 7.2%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!