Crazy Cake

This moist, dark chocolate cake is supremely easy to make.  It’s a Depression era recipe, made popular during WWII because it doesn’t use eggs or dairy – two scarce commodities during war time rationing.  In the past several years there’s been a resurgence of interest in Crazy Cake  (also called Wacky Cake) because it’s a great tasting vegan cake.


My favorite reason for making Crazy Cake is that it is an ideal recipe for beginning bakers.  You just measure, mix, and bake.  It always works like magic.  You can even do all the mixing in the pan you use to bake the cake.  And you can safely “taste” the batter all you want because it contains no raw egg.  This humble cake offers a sweet chemistry lesson, as the combination of the acid in vinegar and the base in baking soda is what creates the bubbles that give this cake a fluffy texture.

Crazy Cake
3 cups (15 oz) all purpose flour
2 cups (14 oz) granulated sugar
½ cup (2 oz) unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 TB white vinegar
¾ cup (5 ½  oz) vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups (16 oz) cold water

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder).  Then pour in the wet ingredients (vinegar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, water), and mix until smooth.  Pour batter into a 9 X 13 baking pan.  (You can also just mix everything right in the baking pan.  Just be careful to get all the dry ingredients out of the corners of the pan.)

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan.   Enjoy plain, with whipped cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar, or frosted with your favorite buttercream.

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