Wednesday 31 May 2023

Chocolate Crazy Cake - Depression Era Cake

 This cake recipe came up on YouTube as a recommended video to watch.  The origin of Crazy Cake ( also known as Wacky Cake ) ,  is unclear but many sources link it to the Depression / WW2.  With the absence of eggs,  milk and butter due to rationing,  it is quite possible this cake came from that era.

There are many variations of this recipe but here's the one I used.  I did reduce the sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup and found it still sweet enough.

While I wouldn't call this cake the best cake I've ever made,  it did the job and is quite economical.

1 1/2 cups of Plain Flour

3/4 cup of White Sugar

1/4 cup of unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda ( Bi Carb Soda )

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 cup of Water

125ml of Oil.  I used Rice Bran Oil

1 teaspoon of White Vinegar

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Add all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined with a whisk or wooden spoon.

Pour into a greased and lined 8 inch round or square baking tin.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clear.

Ice or decorate as you like.

Dusted with icing sugar

I do apologise for the quality of the photos.  The day I baked it was gloomy,  dark and rainy.  I had to take the photos outside to get enough light.


  1. I have seen a similar cake from a war time cook book that used lard instead of oil or butter

  2. I have seen a war time cake that used lard instead of oil or butter.

  3. I have always called them wacky cakes and like you, I don't think they are the best cakes, but considering the ingredients, effort, and time they are pretty tasty. Now I want to make one!

    1. My mother in law gave me this recipe for chocoate wacky cake. A family favourite.

  4. My grandmother and mother said this was from the depression. We made it often when I was growing up. The difference in our recipe is we make it in the same glass pan we mix it in. Put in all the dry ingredients, make 3 wells for the oil, vanilla and cider vinegar. Then pour in the cup of water. Mix gently with a fork. We always used a glass pan so we could see to make sure we had it all mixed in. We would then bake and sprinkle with powdered sugar although there is a recipe for wacky frosting. This was the first thing I learned to bake in about 1960. The first thing my kids learned to bake and now my grandkids make it. We actually tried it last weekend with a 1 to 1 gluten free flour. Not as moist but my gluten free son enjoyed it. Nancy from Vancouver WA

  5. I have made this cake before, but it was called "Daffy Cake" from the Marcy Jo's cookbook. I was so excited to find a cake that didn't require eggs! Probably not the most moist cake, but still very good.

  6. Good morning Wendy, thanks for the recipe. I was looking for something to bake for a vegan friend for a lunch. I will have a practice run.


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