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Freaking Easy Chocolate Cake


Seriously. We are all trying to utilize pantry goods because a lot of stores are out of staple ingredients and/or refrigerated staples such as dairy and eggs.

Fret not because this cake, also known as the depression cake or crazy cake, is made with no eggs, no dairy, and no butter.

I mean, not trying to say we’re going to go through a depression again, but it’s eerily similar with the way things are going right now in terms of things flying off the shelves and having a hard time sourcing them.

I presume that’s how this cake came about. And I’m sure you’ve seen this recipe floating around the web for a while, and I’m pretty sure that this cake recipe has been passed down from generation to generation in your family. My friend gave the recipe to me and said it was her grandmother’s and honestly, now is the perfect time to make it if you’re craving a chocolate cake.

In fact, a freaking easy chocolate cake and I changed the name of it because it really is ridiculously easy and it makes the cake sound more intriguing.

Also, who knew that chocolate cake could be this easy?

The frosting, has butter though, so if you want frosting on your cake (what kind of decision is that?) then definitely make the vanilla buttercream frosting or hey – I’m going to be like Ina and say that “store-bought is fine too” because let’s be real – it is fine and I bet they have plenty of that at stores right now!

If you don’t want an entire chocolate cake lying around the house, my chocolate mug cake is a great alternative for a single serving chocolate cake. It uses no eggs, butter, and you can substitute out the small amount of dairy for water.

5 from 3 votes

Freaking Easy Chocolate Cake

This freaking easy chocolate cake, also can be known as crazy cake, is literally freaking easy to make. No butter, no eggs, and no milk!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 9 slices


  • 1 ½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (237 ml) water

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 16 tablespoons (224 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups (180 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
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  • Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and lightly grease a 8×8-inch glass baking dish.
  • With a fork, mix together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in the baking dish.
  • Make three depressions in the batter. 2 smaller depressions and 1 large one (see photo).
  • Pour vinegar and vanilla in the two smaller depressions and the vegetable oil in the larger depression.
  • Pour the cup of water over the entire mixture and whisk together until batter forms.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, make the buttercream.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand mixer and glass bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar until combined. Add milk then vanilla bean paste and beat until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  • Let cake cool completely before frosting.
  • Slice into squares and serve.


Serving: 1piece, Calories: 348kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 20g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Photography by Ari Laing

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Recipe Rating


  1. My mom used to make this cake probably 50 years ago and we always knew it as a Wacky Cake.
    It’s a great one when just wanting a quick & easy dessert 😊

  2. I’ve made this cake so many times,I should have it memorized by now. I have even doubled the recipe and baked in a 9 x 13 pan and came out the same. Delicious!!!

  3. Thank you for this recipe I have made it so many times and when I serve it, everyone loves it. Such a delicious, moist easy cake to make. Yummy!