Crazy Cake

This chocolate cake recipe doesn’t use any milk, eggs, or butter. It only uses pantry ingredients. Chocolate crazy cake sweet, delicious, and easy to make! 

Today we’re once again bringing you an easy, pantry staple dessert recipe. This chocolate cake is termed “crazy” because of its ingredients and the way it is mixed.

It’s an old fashioned classic recipe that is a MUST for your recipe box. It’s light, it is fluffy and full of chocolate flavor. Plus, it makes just a small 8×8 cake…perfect for snacking!

chocolate cake on a plate with chocolate frosting

What is crazy cake?

Crazy cake is an easy homemade cake recipe that became popular during the depression era. It has no eggs, no milk and no butter. And to make it even simpler, you mix the cake ingredients right in the baking pan. That’s right…no extra dishes!

The original crazy cake doesn’t include chocolate chips, but I thought it was a nice addition and something that people normally have in their pantries. This chocolate cake still tastes amazing without the added chocolate. But really….who ever complained about too much chocolate?

piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on a plate

Cake with Pantry Ingredients

This cake has no milk, eggs or butter. So as kitchen supplies and baking ingredients run low, this cake recipe is for you!

You’ll need an 8×8 baking pan plus the following pantry items:

  • Flour. All purpose is fine.
  • Sugar. Only white sugar.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder. I used dutch processed cocoa powder, but you can use the regular cocoa powder and it will work just as well for this recipe.
  • Salt.
  • Baking soda.
  • Mini chocolate chips. I prefer using the mini chocolate chips because they are less likely to sink to the bottom during the baking process. If you don’t have mini chocolate chips available, you can chop up semi-sweet chocolate chips (use a food processor) or leave them out completely.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • White vinegar. Vinegar is a fairly common ingredient in baking because it helps create a chemical reaction with the other ingredients. In this case, the vinegar reacts with the baking soda creating the lift needed for a light and airy cake. The distilled vinegar works like a charm!
  • Vegetable oil. Or try melted coconut oil. Yum!
  • Water.

How to Make Crazy Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips into an ungreased 8×8 inch pan.
ingredients for mixing a crazy cake
  • Stir all the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center of the pan.
  • Pour vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water into well and whisk together until just combined. Do not overmix. It’s okay to have some lumps.
  • Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool cake completely.

Can you use coffee instead of water?

Yes! We love coffee in chocolate cake. You can’t taste the coffee, but it really enhances the chocolate flavor. You can use a strong coffee in this cake, but feel free to use water, too. So crazy cake with coffee is a big yes!

Frosting for Crazy Cake

There are many different options for topping this chocolate crazy cake. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

slice of chocolate crazy cake with a fork in it

How long can I store my cake?

Your cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container. If your frosting contains butter, you may want to consider placing it in the refrigerator, but it’s not entirely necessary.

Can you freeze this cake? Yes! This cake also freezes well. You can freeze your crazy cake for up to 3 months in the freezer for best quality.

Chocolate Crazy Cake on a plate
Chocolate Crazy Cake on a plate

Crazy Cake Recipe

5 from 2 votes
This chocolate cake recipe doesn't use any milk, eggs, or butter. It only uses pantry ingredients. Chocolate crazy cake sweet, delicious, and easy to make! 
Servings 9
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water (or strong coffee for enhanced chocolate flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate frosting (Use store bought frosting or your own favorite chocolate frosting.)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips into an ungreased 8×8 inch pan.
  • Stir all the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center of the pan.
  • Pour vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water into well and whisk together until just combined. Do not overmix. It’s okay to have some lumps.
  • Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool cake completely.
  • Frost with your favorite frosting or dust with powdered sugar.
  • Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 9 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of frosted cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 490
Keyword bake sale, pantry, picnic

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Pam
2 years ago

Can I use gluten free flour?

Sandra Sears
2 years ago

Can you use sugar substitute?

MADELINE l NEWTON
2 years ago

sounds great …fast and easy ..kids will love ..we had one where we poked holes in it …don’t remember much other than the kids loved the poking the wholes in it ..but sounds a lot like it but no vinegar …can’t wait to try i think it will be great …thank you for a great easy recipe…

Cyndy
1 year ago

This is not a crazy cake. It has been around since the depression. When their were rationing food. My family has been making this cake for close to 50 years.

Ann Baird
1 year ago

For the icing, I would like a recipe where the icing gets somewhat firm, not gooey. Which of the recipes listed (or other) would you recommend?

Gramma Linda
1 year ago

5 stars
This was, and IS one of my favs! Especially with brown sugar choc frosting. And don’t worry about freezing the leftovers….there won’t be any! In fact, you may want to hide a piece (for later!) And sometimes, there is no time to make frosting, but love it with vanilla ice cream!!!