Vanilla Crazy Cake

 

a close up shot of a slice of Vanilla Crazy Cake on a plate
Vanilla Crazy Cake is a yummy cake that is easy to make with items from the pantry. This tasty cake, made without eggs, milk, or butter, is still moist and flavorful.
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Table of Contents
  1. Vanilla Crazy Cake Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How to Make This Vanilla Crazy Cake Recipe
  4. How to Serve
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. More Recipes You’ll Love
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

Vanilla Crazy Cake is a budget-friendly cake that is a quick and delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Also known as Wacky Cake or Depression Cake, this cake got its name because it doesn’t contain eggs, milk, or even butter. Even better, you probably have everything you need already in your pantry! 

If you love vanilla desserts you’ll also want to make Vanilla Cupcakes, Vanilla Snack Cake, and Vanilla Cool Whip Pie

close up shot of a slice of Vanilla Crazy Cake on a plate topped with sprinkles and frosting

Vanilla Crazy Cake Ingredients

Vanilla Crazy Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water cold

Substitutions and Additions

COCOA POWDER: To transform this vanilla cake into a chocolate cake, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa. Click here to see the chocolate version of Crazy Cake. 

LEMON: The lemon version of this cake is fresh and tasty! And it’s easy to make: add 1 tablespoon lemon zest when you mix your dry ingredients and 1 teaspoon lemon extract at the same time you add your vanilla.  

FROSTING: Instead of frosting you can simply add sprinkles (rainbow sprinkles are the best) or powdered sugar to the top of the cake.

CUPCAKES: You can also use this exact same recipe to make cupcakes. Fill your muffin liners ¾ of the way full and bake them at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean. 

How to Make This Vanilla Crazy Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350°F.

STEP TWO: In an UNGREASED 9×9-inch pan add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk stir together the ingredients right in the pan to kind of sift it all together.

PRO TIP: You can also use an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan and increase your cooking time by 3 to 6 minutes.

flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt whisked in a baking dish

STEP THREE: Next using your fingers or a spoon make a good-sized well in the middle and two smaller wells one on each side of the center well.

making wells in a baking dish

STEP FOUR: Place the vegetable oil in the center well.

STEP FIVE: Place the vinegar in a small well and the vanilla in the other small well.

PRO TIP: The vinegar is a must in this recipe, it reacts with the baking soda to give the cake the desired texture, doing the work eggs would do in other recipes. The cake does not come out tasting like vinegar!

vanilla and vinegar placed with the oil in a baking dish

STEP SIX: Pour the cold water over all of the ingredients.

STEP SEVEN: Using the whisk, stir until combined. You can also use a spoon to get into the corners and further mix until smooth. If there are bubbles in your batter, gently tap the pan on the countertop to release the bubbles.

PRO TIP: If there are bubbles in your wet batter, gently tap your cake pan on the counter to release the bubbles. 

whisking all the ingredients until combined in a baking dish

STEP EIGHT: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven to cool completely before serving.

PRO TIP: Keep a close eye on the cake at the 30-minute mark as you don’t want to overbake it.

baked cake in a baking dish

STEP NINE: Ice with frosting or powdered sugar or plain. To make the frosting: place the melted butter in a medium mixing bowl. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk. Using a mixer mix together until smooth. You may need to add additional milk to reach buttercream consistency. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes scraping down the sides intermittently.

How to Serve

Make this dessert extra indulgent by serving it with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, and a drizzle of hot fudge. Vanilla Crazy Cake is the perfect dessert for family and friends with egg or dairy allergies and vegans. Enjoy a slice with a cold glass of iced tea or a mug of hot coffee. This cake is bound to turn into a family favorite made for any occasion. 

IN THE FRIDGE: If your cake is unfrosted, you can store it in the fridge covered in plastic wrap. If you frost your cake, allow it to chill in your fridge for 15 minutes and then cover it with plastic wrap. The cake will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 to 7 days.  

IN THE FREEZER: To freeze your vanilla crazy cake, wrap it in plastic wrap or an airtight container. If your cake is frosted let it freeze fully first, uncovered, and then apply the plastic wrap. You can freeze your cake in slices or whole. It will stay good in the freezer for 4 to 6 months. 

overhead shot of Vanilla Crazy Cake in a baking dish

Vanilla Crazy Cake may be a simple cake, but every bite contains scrumptious flavors. This cake proves that you don’t need a lot of ingredients to create something sweet and delicious. Moist and flavorful, you can whip up this pantry friendly recipe anytime you need an easy dessert. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Depression Cake? 

Depression Cake originated out of a need to find replacements for hard-to-find or expensive ingredients during the Great Depression, such as eggs and butter. They were substituted for pantry standards, making this recipe easy to make even when you run out of typical baking essentials.

Can you freeze this vanilla depression-era cake? 

This cake freezes well. It can be stored in plastic wrap in the freezer.

Is this wacky cake recipe vegan? 

Since this recipe does not have any eggs or milk, if you leave off the frosting because it has butter in it, this cake is a great vegan cake option.

More Recipes You’ll Love

a close up shot of a slice of Vanilla Crazy Cake on a plate

Vanilla Crazy Cake

Vanilla Crazy Cake is a yummy cake that is easy to make with items from the pantry. This tasty cake, made without eggs, milk, or butter, is still moist and flavorful.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water, cold

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In an UNGREASED 9×9-inch pan add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk stir together the ingredients right in the pan to kind of sift it all together.
  • Next using your fingers or a spoon make a good-sized well in the middle and two smaller wells one on each side of the center well.
  • Place the vegetable oil in the center well.
  • Place the vinegar in a small well and the vanilla in the other small well.
  • Pour the cold water over all of the ingredients.
  • Using the whisk, stir until combined. You can also use a spoon to get into the corners and further mix until smooth. If there are bubbles in your batter, gently tap the pan on the countertop to release the bubbles.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven to cool completely before serving.
  • Ice with frosting or powdered sugar or plain.

Video

Notes

  • You can also use an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan and increase your cooking time by 3 to 6 minutes.
  • The vinegar is a must in this recipe, it reacts with the baking soda to give the cake the desired texture, doing the work eggs would do in other recipes. The cake does not come out tasting like vinegar!
  • If there are bubbles in your wet batter, gently tap your cake pan on the counter to release the bubbles. 
  • Keep a close eye on the cake at the 30-minute mark as you don’t want to overbake it.

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