Freaking Easy Chocolate Cake

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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 mins
    Cook Time: 35 mins
    Total Time: 50 mins
    Course: Cake, Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 9 slices
    Calories: 348kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
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    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup water

    For the vanilla buttercream frosting

    • 16 tablespoons of unsalted butter, or 2 sticks
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 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.


    Nutrition Facts
    Freaking Easy Chocolate Cake
    Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
    Calories 348 Calories from Fat 180
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 20g31%
    Carbohydrates 41g14%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 29g32%
    Protein 2g4%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 

    Photography by Ari Laing

    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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    Recipe Rating


  • Master Chefette says:

    That cake looks freaking divine! Totally going to whip this one up, thanks for sharing!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    The pictures on the bottom are cracking me up. Happy anniversary!!! I hope you have a great time at both restaurants! Now… pass me a slice?? :)

  • Maria says:

    Freaking easy? Sign me up!

  • Jenny Flake says:

    Now I want cake, lol! Looks so good!

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking says:

    I’d like a slice of that cake right now! Happy anniversary!

  • Congrats you crazy love birds! Have fun celebrating today.

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    Hooray for two years!! Have a fun day and enjoy lots of cake!

  • Naomi says:

    Happy anniversary! Isn’t that awful when people do that???? Enjoy your dinner and special evening!

  • Heather Christo says:

    Congratulations!!!!! every year is something to celebrate! cake looks awesome and I do indeed enjoy how “freaking” easy it is!

  • marla says:

    Making this cake now. Like I’m not even waiting a second longer.

  • nicole @ I am a Honey Bee says:

    congrats on your 2nd anniversary!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    The pics of the cake, the name of the post, the plates and the pics at the end…LOVE them all :) Happy Anniversary (again).

  • Gaby says:

    Happy anniversary! This cake looks delicious!

  • Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    Suddenly, I’m craving chocolate cake. Way to go, Julie. :P This cake looks AWESOME!

  • Celia says:

    Definitely need to try this. Happy Anniversary!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you!

  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says:

    Happy anniversary! Hope you have a great time celebrating! Love this cake! It looks amazing!

  • Mary Frances says:

    Congrats on your 2 year! That vanilla butter cream looks wonderful.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you!

  • Mary @chattavore says:

    I love that this is all made in the pan. I’ve given up on layer cakes because of the clean-up and effort. And happy anniversary! Shame on anyone who says it’s “just two years”. May you have many more!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Mary! :)

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    Happy anniversary! :) I love a good chocolate cake and that vanilla buttercream looks so good!

  • Medha @ Whisk & Shout says:

    I love that the cake portion of this is already completely vegan! So easy and totally delish. Pinning! :)

  • Nesha Johnson says:

    Woww…It’s Very easy and quick. I LOVE your recipe. Thanx for Sharing this recipes. I made it and it was so yummy.Everyone loved this delicious chocolate cake,your cake looks so wonderful, so yummy, and I will be making this again!

  • Nesha Johnson says:

    Woww…It’s So chocolatey and I LOVE your recipe. Thanx for Sharing this recipes. I made it and it was so yummy.Everyone loved this delicious chocolate cake,also your cake looks so wonderful, so yummy, and I will be making this again!

  • Kimberly says:

    I rarely comment on these things but oh my this was so delicious and so simple! Thank you so much this is definitely my new go to!

  • Jagger says:

    Hi Julie. For the vanilla buttercream frosting, can vanilla extract be used in place of the the vanilla bean paste?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, it can.

  • Ghulam Mohyudin says:

    It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

  • Aricka LaFramboise says:

    Made this tonight and a 9 inch round cake pan. My husband did all the mixing. I did not have any of the ingredients for the icing due to the quarantine. But we did have ice cream. I have to say that we cut the sugar down by half, we don’t eat sweets or sugar in this household and when you do have something sweet it taste overbearingly sweet. So a half a cup of sugar is more than enough to anybody in our same predicament. Thanks for the recipe. We all agreed it’s a keeper

  • Mary Jo says:

    Made this cake while in Corona Virus shut down. Quick, Easy, and Delicious. To give it a little extra kick I added a tablespoon of Instant Espresso Powder. Thank you and stay safe!

  • Chocolate Cake says:

    This is the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever found!
    Thanks for the share.

  • Jeanne says:

    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.

  • Ishika says:

    Can we use self raising flour?

    Thank you so much :)

    You are incredible!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      No, please use all-purpose. I have not tested this recipe with self-rising so I have no idea the outcome.

  • Terry Wilson says:

    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!

  • Terry Wilson says:

    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!!!

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime