Wacky Chocolate Cake Recipe

Wacky Chocolate Cake was a popular dessert during the Depression Era because it requires very few ingredients and it is made with total ease. Combine everything in a single pan with no eggs or butter required!

Wacky Chocolate Cake

One of my recent cookbook obsessions is the incredible American Cake by Anne Byrn. I have flipped through the pages of this gorgeous book approximately 9,812 times, ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the mouth-watering creations. One of the cakes that has stood out (and my first from the book to recreate) is Wacky Cake. I love the history behind Wacky Cake. It was a popular cake during the Depression Era because it requires very few ingredients (no eggs, milk or butter!) and it is beyond easy to make. I'll admit I was skeptical, then extremely happy that it turned out so well. I pushed the remnants into my husband's arms as he walked out the door this morning because it was just too dangerous to keep around these parts.

Wacky Chocolate Cake

The cake itself is moist and chocolatey and spongy-yummy. New favorite cake descriptor: spongy-yummy. It's like a cake miracle, people. How in the world does this simple list of ingredients transform into such a moist, delicious cake?!

The chocolate-cake-caramel-frosting blew my mind. It shouldn't have been such a delicious surprise since this combo has been a recent theme in my life (see: Chocolate Crunch Layer Cake).

Wacky Chocolate Cake

This cake is a great easy dessert to make in a pinch or for a crowd. Pull it out for family dinner and your family will swoon!

I'm hoping you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wacky Chocolate Cake
Cake, Chocolate, Caramel
Yield: 16


prep time: 10 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 40 mins

No eggs or butter needed for this easy, simple and delicious cake.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix very well and pour into a single layer in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Create three wells with your fingers down the center of the flour mixture (going lengthwise).
  2. Pour the vegetable oil in one well, the vinegar in another and the vanilla in the last. Stir loosely. Add the water and stir until mixture is free of lumps. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  1. While the cake is baking, add the brown sugar, butter, milk, salt and vanilla to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Let boil for 1 minute (still stirring), remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge until the frosting is firm, about 20 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  1. Spread the cooled frosting onto the cake and top with chocolate chips.


Fridge until the frosting is firm, about 20 minutes.
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