Kirbie's Cravings

Crazy Chocolate Cake

This crazy cake is made without butter, eggs or a mixing bowl. All you need are some pantry staples, which are mixed directly in your baking pan. The result is a deliciously moist and tender made-from-scratch chocolate sheet cake. This is such an easy and quick cake to make.
close-up photo of a slice of cake

I recently stumbled upon the concept of crazy cakes and of course I was intrigued and had to try it out for myself. This recipe seems particularly fitting now, since this cake can be made with just a few pantry staples.

What is Crazy Cake?

Crazy cake, sometimes referred to as wacky cake is a cake that was created during World War II rationing, when ingredients like eggs and milk were scarce. I’ve also made an Italian water cake, which is the same concept – no eggs, butter or milk required.

All the ingredients are added directly to the baking pan and mixed before going into the oven to bake. The cake bakes up much like a traditional cake, with a tender and moist crumb.

Crazy Cake Taste and Texture

The cake tastes very much like a traditional chocolate sheet cake, though a little bit less rich. The cake reminded me a lot of my chocolate cake mix mug cake, which is not a huge surprise since that is also a cake made without eggs or dairy.
photo of cake on a plate

How to Make Crazy Cake

The process for making crazy cake reminds me of the dump cake recipes I’ve shared.

  • First, you add all the dry ingredients directly into your pan and whisk them together.
  • Then you make a few wells in your dry batter to pour in the wet ingredients.
  • Everything is then whisked together until your batter is smooth and evenly combined. The cake is then ready to go in the oven.

photo of one slice topped with frosting

I’ve also made a snickerdoodle crazy cake or, if you have cake mix on hand, you should check out my easy 2-ingredient cake mix recipes.

photo of a slice of chocolate cake

Crazy Chocolate Cake

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
This chocolate cake is made without butter or eggs or a mixing bowl. Everything is mixed directly in the baking pan. The result is a delicious, made-from-scratch chocolate cake.
4.6 from 10 votes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup olive, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 1 cup water

Chocolate Ganache Frosting (optional, not dairy-free)

  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt directly into baking pan. Whisk together until evenly combined.
  • Make two small wells and 1 large well in the dry ingredients. Add vanilla to one small well and vinegar to the other small well. Add oil to the large well. Pour the water over the top and whisk everything until batter becomes smooth and evenly combined.
  • Place cake into oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting. You can top with your favorite chocolate frosting, powdered sugar, or chocolate ganache.
  • To make chocolate ganache: Add chopped chocolate to a medium bowl. Bring heavy cream to a simmer on the stove. Pour heated heavy cream over chopped chocolate and immediately start to mix until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Let chocolate ganache cool at room temperature or in the fridge until it becomes firm enough for frosting the cake.


  • Recipe from Barefeet in the Kitchen.
  • If your cocoa powder has clumped up due to moisture, break up the clumps before adding it to the baking pan.
  • Do not leave out the vinegar. It is used to activate the baking soda.
  • The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Baking time should be about the same and should not be doubled.
  • Estimated nutrition does not include frosting.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 181kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 190mg, Potassium: 53mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, NET CARBS: 29g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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78 comments on “Crazy Chocolate Cake”

  1. My mom made this during 50’s – 80’s; She learned it from a lady in Holland, MI (great cook).
    MUCH better than any other chocolate cake I’ve had in last 30 years.
    I’m going to have to try it myself – never could find her recipe!?

  2. Hi, is it ok to use cocount flour for keto? And which liquid should I increase? Lovely recipe, thanks.

  3. Can I use an equal amount of unsweetened apple sauce in place of the oil? I have done that with corn muffins and they came out great. Also can bake it in my air fryer? Also done with my corn muffins.

  4. We baked this today. My 10 years old girl loves it . Never noticed there is no egg or dairy in it. Will bake this for her birthday. BTW it is so easy to make, no mess.

  5. Wow! This cake is absolutely delicious and super easy to make with little clean up. I’m not vegan, but like to try new recipes and this is as good or better than most nonvegan cakes and far superior to box cake mixes in my opinion. I’m looking forward to trying the snickerdoodle crazy cake recipe! Thanks!

  6. I can’t wait to try this! I’m Jamaican, so it’s nice to find recipes online that call for generic ingredients rather hard-to-get or expensive ones. Thanks, Kirbie!

  7. Hiya, do you know how long this cake will last for? Wanting to make it in advance with my son for his dad’s birthday:)

  8. Easy to use recipe! Would recommend!

  9. Nice chocolate flavor and so moist! My whole family loves this recipe.

  10. I just made this cake today! It’s so tasty ? 
    I used apple cider vinegar instead. But my cake didn’t rise up high. Is it because I didn’t use white vinegar?

    • Make sure your baking soda is still fresh. That would be the most likely cause of the cake not rising high.

  11. Can I use milk instead of cream for the frosting?

  12. How can I make it keto friendly. Thanks

  13. Nice chocolate flavor and so moist. Such an easy cake to make, this recipe is a keeper!

  14. I’m 77.  I made this cake all the time for my three kids, then grands. They liked it better than store bought or boxed!!

  15. Can you use brown vinegar instead of white?

  16. Is parchment paper used only on bottom of dish?

  17. I baked this cake last night. It is really good-even better after being refrigerated. So easy to mix up and one bowl clean up. I actually had to wash more measuring cups than any other utensils. I wanted to know that there’s a tasty dessert I can make when there are no eggs or milk in the house. I already had a bowl of cream cheese frosting waiting in the refrigerator.
    I admire the cooks, grandparents, moms and dads who lived and thrived during the Depression Era. They made miracles happen with nearly nothing. Thank you for an easy chocolate fix!

  18. Can non-white vinager be used? Thank you.

  19. Thank you! Can I use stevia – granulated Stevia – in place of sugar to make it sugar free?

  20. I just made this with my 5 year old. Comes together really easily. It is currently baking but looks wonderful. Thank you.

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