This vanilla cake is so easy to make and comes out soft, fluffy and moist. It is just 5 ingredients and doesn’t require eggs, butter or milk, but you can’t even tell. The texture is just like traditional vanilla cake. This cake is perfect for any occasion that requires cake.
This is my go-to vanilla cake recipe. It is so easy to whip up and also happens to be egg-free and dairy-free. You can bake it as a regular cake, use it for cupcakes or use it to make a layered cake as well.
- Self-Rising Flour
Self-Rising Flour: To simplify this recipe, I used self-rising flour which already has baking powder and salt added to it. If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own with all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. The exact amounts are shared in the recipe card notes section.
Sugar: This recipe is sweetened with regular granulated white sugar.
Oil: This cake uses vegetable oil. You want to use a neutral oil like vegetable oil so that you don’t taste the oil flavor in the cake.
This cake is inspired by Crazy Cake but is not quite the same. The ingredient list is simpler and I think the texture is also much better than the crazy vanilla cakes I’ve tried in the past.
Crazy Cake, also known as Depression Cake, is a cake made without eggs, butter or milk that was created during WWII when resources were scarce. The most popular version is a chocolate crazy cake. I made it a few years ago and fell in love with the concept. I immediately tried making a vanilla version but the vanilla versions I tried never quite worked out for me. The cake texture was gummy and not as fluffy and light as the chocolate version.
Crazy cake also usually contains baking soda and vinegar to act as a leavening agent. But I found that using baking powder creates a better crumb. I always found the chocolate crazy cake’s crumb a little too loose, but this vanilla version doesn’t have that issue.
More Easy Cakes
5 Ingredient Vanilla Cake
- 1 ¾ cups (230 g) self-rising flour
- 3/4 cup (148 g) granulated white sugar
- 1 ½ tsp (7 ml) vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (79 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (237 ml) water
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour and sugar. Whisk until evenly combined. Then sift your mixture by running your whisk rapidly back and forth through the flour until it looks light and powdery.
- Add in vanilla, oil and half of the water. Do not add the entire amount of water, otherwise you won't be able to mix your batter. Whisk until your batter is smooth and no flour lumps remain. Once batter is smooth, add in remaining water and whisk again until batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in pan before removing and cutting. If adding frosting, add it after the cake has cooled.
- To make your own self-rising flour, add 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 2 and 5/8 tsp baking powder and 7/16 tsp salt to a bowl. Whisk until evenly combined.
- I used Lily's self-rising flour* to make this recipe.
- If you choose to mix your batter using an electric mixer, you do not need to sift the flour and sugar. You do still need to follow the steps for adding the liquids (and not adding them all at once).
- You can double this cake recipe and bake in a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. If you are doubling the recipe, I do not recommend whisking the batter by hand. Use an electric mixer, otherwise it will be very hard to remove all the flour lumps.
- I frosted the cake with a 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.