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.
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.
- Self-Rising Flour
- Granulated White Sugar
- Vegetable or Canola Oil
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.
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.
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.
More Easy Cake Recipes
4 Ingredient Birthday Cake
- 1 3/4 cups (230 g) self-rising flour
- 3/4 cup (148 g) granulated white sugar
- 1/3 cup (2.7 oz/72 g) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (8 oz) water
- 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.
- To make your own self-rising flour, whisk together 2 cups all purpose flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to a bowl. Measure out 1 3/4 cups for the recipe.
- I used Lily's self-rising flour* to make this 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.
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.