This Chocolate Wacky Cake is a delicious old-fashioned one-pan chocolate cake that contains no eggs, butter, or milk and is made completely with pantry staples! It’s totally wacky and vegan too!
Have you ever had Chocolate Wacky Cake before? It’s a really old recipe, and if you’ve had it before it’s probably because the recipe was passed on to your mother or grandmother at a church or community gathering decades ago.
Where Did The Name Come From?
Wacky Cake is believed to have come about in times of rationing during WWII, but it also called Depression Cake or Crazy Cake, which would date its creation a little earlier in America’s history, but either way, it was created when milk, eggs, and butter were scarce and people had to learn to adapt in the kitchen.
This cake is topped with the same faux ganache as my Chocolate Yogurt Cake which means even topped with a thick and indulgent icing, this cake doesn’t have any milk, eggs, or butter in it, and is totally a vegan cake too! This cake is perfect if you’re looking to only use pantry staples to make something sweet!
If you decide to omit the ganache topping, you can dust it with powdered sugar or drizzle in chocolate sauce. And if you do have the ingredients on hand, you could top it with my Cool Whip Ganache or Classic Chocolate Ganache as well.
One of the other reasons this cake gets is name is that of the way it’s prepped, right in the pan it’s baked in, but make sure to whisk it up good and get all the dry ingredients mixed in before baking. You can mix the ingredients together in a bowl if you wish and then add them to the pan.
- An 8-inch round cake pan – this cake conveniently makes just one layer which means it’s perfect what you want something small for a family dessert or as an addition to a dessert spread for the holidays.
- I highly recommend using a Bake Even Strip, this will help to ensure a relatively level cake once bakes and not one with a huge dome top.
- Cake tester to make sure that your cake is perfectly cooked before pulling out of the oven.
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Chocolate Wacky Cake
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa not Dutch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup cold water
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Use a nonstick 8-inch (round or square) cake pan, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Make four wells in the mix.
- Add the wet ingredients into the wells and then whisk to combine, making sure all dry ingredients are mixed in.
- Bake for 32 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from the center of the cake.
- Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before inverting and removing from the pan. Top with ganache or a dusting of powdered sugar.
- To make the ganache, add the chopped chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and microwave on 30-second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Usually, about 90 seconds works for me, once the chocolate has melted about 90% of the way, just continue to stir and the rest with melt without further microwaving.
- Whisk in the warm water a tablespoon or so at a time, whisking until smooth. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and top with sprinkles if desired. The ganache will slightly harden over time.
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Comments & Reviews
John Bertolet says
Made Wacky Cake on 10-27-21 and was enjoyed by everyone. Making it again today, So Good. Followed directions exactly and it came out perfect. Clean up us a breeze & it came out very tasty.
I made this on 5/24/2020 and I enjoyed how simple it was to make. A chocolate cake that has a nice, rich chocolate flavor that is not too sweet. The downside, I found it to be on the dry side. The ganache did help though. I would definitely try it again as it makes the perfect amount of cake for a small group of people.
They now make a vegan, soy free coconut-based cool whip (called Coco Whip) you can use to make the ganache/frosting.
Linda Borgia says
I have been making this cake recipe for my highly milk allergic daughter for years. But Cool Whip is NOT NON DAIRY. It contains sodium caseinate which is a milk derivative which can cause someone allergic to go into anaphylacsis. Please make a note of that in the recipe or switch to a truly non dairy frosting.
Rebecca Hubbell says
Hi Linda, I appreciate your concern for those with allergies, but I didn’t claim that cool whip was non-dairy, I’m aware that it isn’t. I’ve stated in the post that the cake is dairy and egg free but the ganache is not and I have left an alternate topping option of powdered sugar for those who have allergies and cannot enjoy the ganache topping. I know that many who enjoy this cake do enjoy it because of food allergies, but there are many who are looking for an easy recipe they can make when they’re out of things like milk and eggs.
I love a good, easy homemade chocolate cake!
The ganache in the list is to be added to the mix or for the topping please.Thanks
Hi Mary, it is to be used as a topping once the cake has been cooked.
Getting ready to make this. It looks and sounds great. One question – where do I find the recipe for the Cool Whip Ganache?
Hi Rosemary, you can find it here:m https://www.sugarandsoul.co/cool-whip-ganache-recipe/ It is also linked to in the recipe card and post for convenience.
Lanna Case says
How do you make the ganache?
Hi Lanna, I like to it in the post and recipe card, but you can also find it here: https://www.sugarandsoul.co/cool-whip-ganache-recipe/
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been craving chocolate cake but was missing some sort of perishable ingredient (oh, the struggle). Can’t WAIT to try this! 😉
Yes, I love that this is made with pantry staples!
Is that chocolate crumble you threw on top of the ganache
Just some chocolate sprinkles!
I love wacky cake my family has been making it for years I believe the recipe I have on my page is the same one! Will have to try it with your frosting looks yummy!
I bet it is, it’s such a classic recipe! My Grammie always dusted it with powdered sugar but I really love the ganache topping!