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Freaking Easy Chocolate Cake
OH WHAT A TIME.
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.
Freaking Easy Chocolate Cake
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
For the vanilla buttercream frosting
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
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.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F 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.
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.
Photography by Ari Laing
Sunday 21st of March 2021
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 😊
Sunday 6th of September 2020
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!!!
Wednesday 8th of July 2020
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!
Saturday 30th of May 2020
Can we use self raising flour?
Thank you so much :)
You are incredible!!
Monday 1st of June 2020
No, please use all-purpose. I have not tested this recipe with self-rising so I have no idea the outcome.
Monday 18th of May 2020
THIS IS AMAZING. I was craving something sweet for lunch and this cake was a breeze to wipe up. I didn’t make the frosting but threw a handful of chocolate chips on top for a sweeter bite. This is going in the repeat list.