Kirbie's Cravings

4 Ingredient Birthday Cake (No Eggs, Butter or Milk)

This easy cake is perfect for a birthday or any occasion. The basic white cake is only 4 ingredients and doesn’t need eggs, butter or milk. It can be enjoyed as is or you can easily make other flavors. This cake is so soft and fluffy. You only need one bowl and a whisk to make the batter.
a slice of cake on a plate.

If you’re like me, March and April are filled with birthday celebrations. So, I have had birthday cakes on my mind. I really want to create a cake that was eggless and dairy-free because those are common allergens with kids and I don’t want them missing out on birthday cake. I also love that this cake is so versatile and can be made for just about anyone. You can make it as is, or add sprinkles for a funfetti cake, or even bake multiple ones for a fancier layered cake. You can also easily create other flavors.

Ingredients

  • Self-Rising Flour
  • Granulated White Sugar
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • Water

The basic white cake is just 4 ingredients. You can enjoy it as is, or you can easily add one or two ingredients to change the flavor. I share more ideas in this post.

Self-Rising Flour: If you don’t have self-rising flour in your pantry, you can easily make your own using all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. I list the exact quantities in the recipe card notes. Self-rising flour already has baking powder and salt added which saves a few steps and ingredients to be added to your cake.

Granulated White Sugar: This cake is sweetened with regular granulated white sugar.

Oil: You can use either vegetable or canola oil.

Cake Texture

Even though this cake doesn’t contain any eggs, you won’t miss them at all. The cake comes out soft and fluffy, just like regular cake.

This cake is inspired by crazy cake, a depression era cake made without eggs, butter or milk. I previously shared a chocolate crazy cake which I love, but when I tried making the vanilla recipe it just didn’t taste right to me. The texture of the vanilla crazy cake that has been passed around turned out gummy for me. So I kept tweaking the amounts and I finally created a version I love. I don’t miss the eggs or butter at all in this cake.
a slice of frosted birthday cake.

Variations

Vanilla: To turn this into a vanilla cake, add 1 tsp of vanilla to the cake batter.

Funfetti: For a funfetti cake (also known as confetti cake), stir in 1/4 cup of sprinkles after you are finished making the basic white cake batter. You can also add in vanilla.

Chocolate: For a chocolate version, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, decrease flour to 1 1/2 cups and increase sugar to 1 cup.

Of course, these are not all the variations out there. You can add some lemon juice and grated lemon for a lemon version, add espresso powder or replace part of the water with coffee for a coffee version, and more.
overhead shot of the cake slices lined up.

More Easy Cake Recipes

4 Ingredient Birthday Cake

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
This easy cake is just 4 ingredients and doesn't contain eggs, butter or milk. It makes a basic white cake but you can easily customize it to create other flavors. This cake is perfect for a birthday cake or any other occasion.
5 from 16 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (230 g) self-rising flour see note before starting
  • 3/4 cup (148 g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 cup (2.7 oz/72 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 oz) water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Add flour and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined. Sift mixture. To do this, move your whisk back and forth rapidly through the flour mixture until it becomes light and powdery and no clumps remain. It is important to do this before adding the wet ingredients because otherwise you will have little lumps of flour in your cake batter.
  • Add in oil and half of the water. Whisk batter. Add in remaining water. Whisk until batter is smooth. Batter will be very thin. If you are adding in sprinkles, stir them in now.
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. The top of the cake will stay very light in color and will not brown. Let cake cool before decorating and cutting and serving.

Notes

  • There are 2 main kinds of self-rising flour sold in the US. One that is a lower protein flour (2 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and one that has a regular amount of protein or the same protein amount that is in all purpose flour (3 grams per 1/4 cup). Brands like King Arthur Flour and White Lily make the low protein flour. I used Lily's self-rising flour* to make this recipe. 
  • Please make sure to use a self-rising flour with low protein. If your self-rising flour does not have low protein, then use the following homemade version:
  • To make your own homemade self-rising flour, whisk together 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 4 tbsp cornstarch, 3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to a bowl. Measure out 1 3/4 cups for the recipe.
  • Ounce measurements are liquid volume not weight.
  • This recipe makes a basic white cake. You can use it as is, you can add a few ingredients to change the flavor, or you can also use it to make a layered cake.
  • To make a vanilla version, add 1 tsp of vanilla when you add in the wet ingredients. 
  • To make a chocolate version, use the following dry ingredients: 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, 1 cup sugar. Wet ingredients remain the same.
  • To make a funfetti version, stir in 1/4 cup of sprinkles after you are done making the batter. You can also add 1 tsp of vanilla to the wet ingredients.
  • Frosting: I frosted the cake with a simple whipped cream frosting. To make whipped cream frosting, add 1 cup of cold heavy cream and 3 tbsp of granular sugar into a mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. If you need a dairy-free version, you can also make a coconut whipped cream using coconut cream. 
  • *This product link is an affiliate link. This means I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 161kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 205mg, Sugar: 12g, NET CARBS: 25

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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Recipe Rating




136 comments on “4 Ingredient Birthday Cake (No Eggs, Butter or Milk)”

  1. Could you add chocolate chip morsels

  2. Looking forward to making this for my son’s 1st birthday who is allergic to eggs and dairy. I have read through all the comments. I saw you mentioned we can do in cupcake form but baking time will be less. Do you have any suggestions how long amd what temp to cook the cupcakes at? Thank you.

    • We haven’t tried it, but it should work as cupcakes. Sorry we can’t give an exact baking time – they will just need less time, so you could try checking on them after 15 minutes.

  3. I made the chocolate version and my granddaughters, who have allergies to eggs and dairy, responded :”This cake is so yummy.” I agree. (Instead of frosting, I used high end chocolate, melted it and coated the cake.)

    I also made the vanilla version, dyed it green with food dye for St. Patricks Day. I shaped it into a rainbow, and the girls frosted the rainbow on top. DELISH and FUN!

  4. I made the vanilla version and my kids absolutely loved it. I was surprised how delicious it turned out since it was so easy to make. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!

  5. No interrupting

  6. Best cake ever LOL. Really taste YUMMY. WOULD MAKE AGAIN HAHA.SO HAPPY. PLEASE LET ME GO HAHA. SO FLUFFY LIKE COTTEN CANDY.I WOVE CAKE SO MUCH.MAKES ME WOVE CAKE UWU

  7. Hello! Just tried this in the funfetti version and it’s delicious! However, the funfetti weren’t at all visible – but I did swap the vegetable oil for melted butter and half the water for whole milk – presumably, this is why the cake wasn’t white? I just don’t love using oil – do you have any other swapping option to recommend? If not, what’s your top suggestion for vegetable oil – as I might have to give it a go? Thanks for the recipe and all the help – I hope I can make it look as fantastic as yours!

    • That’s strange that the sprinkles weren’t visible in your cake – are you sure you added the right amount to the batter? We prefer oil for this cake because it makes it lighter – the same amount of melted butter works, too, it just makes the cake a little heavier and rich. We don’t have a particular brand of vegetable oil that we use – we just use the common brands found at regular grocery stores.

  8. Awesome recipe!
    I added vanilla and used lemon frosting,
    Beautiful and so spongey.
    Thankyou!! Xx

  9. Due to high blood pressure, I cannot eat foods that have sodium in it or sodium ingredients, like have baking soda or baking powder, eggs, etc. I don’t like sugar in anything that I eat or drink.
    That’s why I really love your recipes; three ingredients for almond butter cookie. Oats, no sugar or salt almond butter and, dates.
    I’ll like more recipes like that.

  10. Can you use this in cupcake form?

  11. how would I make this using Coconut flour? My granddaughter is allergic to gluten and severe allergies to egg and dairy. She will be turning 1 on July 1st and I am looking at how to make her bday cake and maybe some cookies to decorate.

  12. Very moist, simple cake without a lot of fat and calories. This really satisfies my cake cravings (I made the vanilla version and added chocolate frosting). Have you ever tested making this into a lemon cake? If so, how much lemon and/or lemon zest would you add to give it a light lemon flavor? Thank you for this recipe!

    • We haven’t tried this as a lemon cake yet so can’t say how much you will need. Glad you enjoyed this version!

      • I added shredded coconut to the cake mix, and baked
        Once done I made confectioners sugar frosting with shredded coconut to top. Best Coconut Cake I ever ate.. ps I also switched oil in cakee mix to butter and added 1 tsp vanilla
        Divine Coconut Cake!!

      • Thanks for sharing your adjustments – so glad you loved it!

  13. What sugar free replacement do you think would work best on this.  And can I also sub unsweetened applesauce for the oil.  Need to sub For Health issues  

  14. Thank you so much for this great recipe! We don’t eat eggs at home and hence am always looking out for a good eggless cake recipe. All of us in my family loved this recipe when I made it. Please keep posting such minimum ingredient recipes. Appreciate them.

  15. Love your recipes. I’m celiac. Can’t have any gluten. So I just sub all my gluten free sugars, flours, everything from yours to me. It’s been working great so far. And I love the ease of only 3 or 4 ingredients. I’m always outa something. Thank you ?

  16. I have been waiting to make this cake and today I finally did. Its in the oven now!! I added a couple drops of almond extract a couple drops of vanilla extract and sprinkles to the batter. Me and my 3 year old could not stop from licking the bowl clean. If just the batter is that good I know the cake will be too. I’m using a vanilla marshmallow frosting from Pillsbury so this cake is officially vegan. Can’t wait to have my vegan cousin try it!!!

  17. Thank you for posting this. I love it!
    People with dairy and egg allergies can now enjoy cake.

  18. Hi. Would I be able to double this recipe for a x 9×13 baking pan?

    • We haven’t tested it so can’t say for sure how it will turn out. If you do, be sure to adjust the baking time.

      • I made this cake two weeks ago since I had unexpected guests over and didn’t have many ingredients on hand. Used gluten free flour and added one egg at the end and it turned out awesome. Honestly I didn’t have big expectations since it has so little ingredients but to my surprise it tasted really nice. Today I craved something sweet again so I just finished the batter and the cake’s in the oven right now. The only part that went a little bit wrong is that the confetti melted during the baking process but nevertheless the cake tasted awesome and I can’t wait till I take it out of the oven lol. Thanks 😛

      • We’re so glad you’re loving the recipe!

      • Yes i have doubles the recipe exactly for a 13 × 9 pan and it turns out wonderful. This is the best recipe I now have for a cake. So easy to make into Any flavor.

      • Thanks for letting us know!

  19. I have been looking for ” the water.cake” recipe for years and.now I have.it!! Thank you I love this cake it’s delicious!!

  20. I’m excited to make this, thanks for sharing! AND, you are a gem for politely answering the frosting question so many times. ?

  21. Will this work in a high altitude? I live in Denver (the Mile High city). Thank you.

    • We haven’t tested it at high-altitude – normally, high altitude baking requires a little more flour, but without testing it we can’t say how you will need to adjust it.

  22. Looks very nice and fluffy. Interesting in baking this as l cook for vegan and vegetarian children and others with many dietary needs. May l ask what is the soft looking white icing topping made from?

    • It is a whipped cream frosting. If you need a vegan alternative, you can make a coconut whipped cream frosting.

  23. This cake sounds wonderful, however, have you tried a sugar substitute? 

  24. Its nice i luv it

  25. Please send me the cookie receipes and cakes receipes without eggs..you can send any easy receipes  too.

  26. Hi there – could you tell me how/what goes into the cake frosting please?

  27. How can I make the cream/icing?

    • The instructions are in the recipe card – please see the notes section, the frosting ingredients and directions are the last in the list.

  28. I would love to try this recipe

  29. Thank you my first time ever having cake .

  30. Looks so yummy! I love white cake! Making this today!
    Do you have an easy icing, buttercream, or other icing recipe to share?

    Thank you so much!

    • Yes, please see the recipe notes in the card at the end of the post. We explain how to make the frosting in the notes section.

  31. I understand that your recipes are simple
    at the same time looks like
    giving a try.looks delicious too!
    Hence I request you to send other recipes whenever you post it.

  32. My daughter loves simple. Recipes.shes learning how to cook

  33. Can’t wait to try some of these recipes, they look amazing!!

  34. Looks like it will be used alot

  35. Wow it worked, Kirby you’re the mother of all recipies???

  36. Love your idea ,having no eggs,butter or milk in the recipe. Some people that I know will love this.Thankyou

  37. i made this with my sister and it was amazing!! tysm for such great recipes

  38. just made this, it was so yummy. i love your recipes!! alos, if you make the frosting, don’t add sprinkles in the batter, cause it will get an ugly color

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the cake. And yes, the sprinkles need to sprinkled on at the end if you are doing frosting otherwise they will melt in the frosting if you stir them in.

  39. My grandson has lots allergies, so this cake is wonderful for him. thank you.

  40. Thank you first sharing these simple receipes.

  41. For this, and other baked sweets/desserts, can you use wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour? Or will the wheat flour change the taste and/or texture of the cake? Thank you in advance.

  42. Have you tried this recipe with Splenda or sweetener rather than sugar?

  43. Where’s the frosting recipe?

  44. I want the bake a cake for a friend for her birthday but she doesn’t eat egg and I came across do you send I like it it’s a very good recipe you got here thank you

  45. T
    Made it his cake exactly as it said from the recipe, and found it wasn’t sweet enough…also, I didn’t feel it was fluffy either. My husband and I felt it tasted like the flour. However, I poked holes in it, and drizzled Condensed Sweetened milk over it, then Cool whip for topping.

    • It sounds like you may have added too much flour or you didn’t sift your flour enough before adding the wet ingredients. To properly measure flour you need to spoon it into the measuring cup and then level off with a knife. If you are using your measuring cup directly to scoop up the flour, you will end up with too much flour.

  46. Could you adapt this for gluten free by switching all purpose gluten free flour???

    • We haven’t tried it but you can often use cup4cup gluten free powder in recipes that have all-purpose.

  47. It seems  delicious 

  48. What kind of icing did you use?

  49. OMAG IM VEGAN THIS IS SO HELPFUL TYYYYY

  50. Hi there – this looks so easy, definitely going to try it out. The picture shows frosting on the cake, may I ask what it is?

    • It’s a whipped cream frosting – please see the notes section in the recipe card for more information.

  51. The picture has icing.

  52. What is the recipe for the frosting? Thank you

  53. What kind of icing is on the cake?

    • It’s a whipped cream frosting – the details are in the recipe card under the notes section.

  54. my niece has a gluten allergy (celiac disease) so will it be equal measurements of the gluten free flour in this recipe?

  55. Nice…….thank you

  56. How do you make the frosting? (some one on the funfetti cake slices featured)

  57. Do you have a frosting recipe?

  58. This recipe looks really good. I have to try it with my nephew when he is over next. So easy yet fun. Just one question .I have read through the whole post but I do not see any way to make the frosting the cake in the picture has. Is there a recipe I can follow for frosting please. Thank you for sharing

  59. Can you share your frosting recipe for this cake?

  60. This looks very easy and I can’t wait to try it. Do you think I can use soy or almond milk to keep it vegan (assuming no allergies of course). Also, is there a recipe for the icing pictured?

  61. Awesome recipe

  62. Can you use applesauce as a substitute for the oil in the Birthday Cake recipe?

  63. Can you substitute stevia for the granulated sugar in the 4 ingredient Birthday Cake?

  64. I made the 2 ingredient oat & apple cookies for my grandson who is teething & loves mixed apple & pear. He hasn’t been eating properly of late due to his teething, however he really enjoyed these cookies & the oats filled his little tummy beautifully so thank you so much! I have a feeling I will be making these again & again for him ?

  65. Hi Jennifer
    Please tell me what you have used to decorate the top of the 4 ingredient birthday cake. It looks so pretty with the sprinkles in it & on top of the white layer – what is this white layer made of please?

    • It’s a whipped cream frosting – we included the instructions in the recipe card notes section.

  66. What about the frosting?

    • Please see the recipe card at the end of the post – the instructions for the frosting are in the notes section.