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Chocolate Crazy Cake (Wacky Cake)

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I love old community cookbooks. Churches, garden clubs, PTAs I don’t care where they came from, I think they are all great (although some of my personal favorites are Junior League cookbooks). This recipe for Crazy Cake happened to come out of a Country Folks cookbook. If you are not familiar with Country Folks it is a weekly farm newspaper for commercial farmers located in the North East. I picked up this cookbook at a Farm show in Syracuse a few years ago.  The recipes are all submitted from readers, mostly farm wives in the North East, and are their most treasured recipes. When thumbing through the cookbook at the show I was instantly intrigued by the crazy cake recipe, that has no eggs, milk or butter in it, I thought for sure there was a typo. I overlooked what I thought must be clearly a mistake and bought the cookbook.

I actually had the cookbook for a while and used it very frequently before I revisited the Crazy Cake recipe. It was while I was flipping through looking for a recipe I had not tried yet, I ran across the crazy cake recipe again. I decided what the heck, why not?  But before I attempted baking a crazy cake for the first time I hit the interweb looking for similar recipes so I could check out reviews.  It seems that the origins of crazy cake are unknown, but it is widely believed  Crazy Cake may have been created as the result of rationing during World War II, when milk and eggs were scarce. This cake comes together beautifully and is now a favorite in my house, frosted or not. It is very easy to whip up a crazy cake, I think it may even rival a box cake mix, but the results are undeniable, a timeless recipe for a homemade chocolate cake.

When we do frost Crazy cake I use a simple chocolate ganache. But it is equally good with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Chocolate Crazy Cake (Wacky Cake)

Chocolate Crazy Cake (Wacky Cake)

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 5 heaping tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 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


  1. Preheat 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Place the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together by hand. Add all the wet ingredients until well combined.
  3. Pour into prepared a 8×8 pan.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!


This recipe doubles nicely! Just back doubled batch in 9×12 pan for about 30-35 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g

Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates. Please see my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.


Friday 20th of June 2014

We made this tonight, it is soooo good!!! I used olive oil and gluten flour and it was fabulous.

Jennifer Morrisey

Saturday 21st of June 2014

I am so glad you liked it! It is one of my favorite cakes, it mixes up so quick, I bet the olive oil adds a nice texture I have been thinking about trying coconut oil in this recipe.


Saturday 4th of May 2013

I grew up with this recipe, and love it. My mom sometimes served it warm with butter on top. Just another suggestion for eating it. :)

Jennifer Morrisey

Monday 6th of May 2013

Heather, that sounds so good! I am actually thinking of making this cake again right now! I will have to try it with melted butter :-)


Monday 29th of April 2013

I have this recipe except we use coffee in place of the water. Yummy! Its a one pan cake, you mix it all in the pan and you don't need a bowl! OMG, I'm going to make this very soon. I need to find some coffee.

Jennifer Morrisey

Thursday 2nd of May 2013

Tammy I bet it is amazing with coffee instead of water, I am going to have to try that!


Sunday 28th of April 2013

I love old cook books and finding my grandmother's recipe cards - you know when they used to be hand written! Crazy Cake sounds wonderful - pinning it so i can remember! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Morrisey

Monday 29th of April 2013

I can not even imagine handwriting every recipe, so glad we have pinterest now :-)

Meg @ Sweet Twist

Sunday 28th of April 2013

I totally love those cookbooks as well, I have kept a few from my mom and even grandmother.

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