Wacky Cake.

Crazy Cake.

Depression Cake.

This is one of the very first cakes I ever made, yet I abandoned it years ago in favor of more complicated and exciting recipes. But I returned to it recently because I needed something easy (couldn’t get to the store), fast (no time), delicious (DUH) and vegan (egg AND dairy allergies).

Wacky Cake l sherisilver.com

And I remembered this cake. It’s easy to forget that it’s vegan (and you’ll see for yourself when you make it) because it is impossibly rich, moist, tender and fudge-y. Without a speck of butter or milk, or a single egg.

Even better? Here are the “tools” you need to make it:

Wacky Cake l sherisilver.com

Yes, a fork. And the reason you don’t see a bowl is because the batter is mixed right in the baking pan (this just keeps getting better, right?).

Wacky Cake l sherisilver.com

Wacky Cake l sherisilver.com

The origins of the recipe vary, but the most commonly shared is that it was created during the Depression, when eggs and dairy were considered luxury items, and desserts needed to be made from inexpensive, pantry-staple ingredients.

Though my preferred method of making this cake is in an 8″ x 8″ pan, I’ve included instructions for both a standard-sized sheet cake, as well as cupcakes. And though my preferred method of SERVING this cake is with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar, it pairs beautifully with your favorite frosting, some freshly whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Wacky Cake l sherisilver.com

Oh – and I have used a cup-for-cup flour replacement when I made it for a gluten-free pal and it worked out beautifully.

Maybe we should call this “MIRACLE CAKE”????

Whatever you call it, make it. Because you will LOVE it, cherish it, devour it and make it again and again and again.


Wacky Cake l sherisilver.com

Wacky Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch process)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon white vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Place all dry ingredients in a lightly greased 8 x 8 baking pan – mix with a fork to combine; tap the pan lightly to level.

Make  three wells in the mixture – 2 small, 1 medium (smiley face optional). Place the vanilla in one small well, the vinegar in the other, and the vegetable oil in the medium well. Pour the cold water all over and stir with a fork till the batter is smooth and well combined.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or till a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.

To make a 9 x 13 cake, double the ingredients and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
To make 24 cupcakes: double the ingredients and bake for 15 minutes.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver

Check out all of my desserts on my Pinterest board!

Wacky Cake l sherisilver.com


  1. Steph on September 10, 2019 at 7:34 am

    We’re not vegan but some of your recipes have become family favorites!

    • sherisilver on September 10, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      I’m so glad! With all the allergies we encounter these days it’s great to have some good recipes just in case. And this one is a KEEPER! 🙂

      • Meryl on September 29, 2019 at 12:14 am

        I love and cherish it!!! Just made it tonight with my niece who is visiting (she is dairy free). So delish!

        • sherisilver on September 29, 2019 at 9:23 pm

          I’m so glad yet shocked that your talented daughter doesn’t have a slew of her own delish recipes up her sleeve! xo

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