Crazy Cake: the BEST, Easiest, Chocolate Cake Recipe

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This Crazy Cake recipe is the best chocolate cake recipe around.  Not only because it's amazingly delicious and moist, but also because it's SO easy to make.  One bowl, no mixer reqired, and I think making this chocolate crazy cake is easier than using a box mix.  And it's even a vegan cake recipe.

Collage of crazy cake chocolate cake pictures optimized for pinterest

Crazy Cake is known by several other names.  I've heard Wacky Cake and Depression cake before.  Do you have a different name for this classic chocolate cake recipe?  I'd love to hear it if you do!

Three chocolate Crazy Cake cupcakes topped with chocolate icing and mini chocolate chips on a metal cake stand on a white background.

Whatever you call it, it's a chocolate cake made without any eggs or butter--but it still manages to be amazingly moist and tender and delicious.  It's been my family's favorite chocolate cake recipe my whole life. If you want to head straight to the printable, one page recipe scroll to the bottom of the post.

Slice of Crazy Cake chocolate cake in a white bowl, topped with vanilla ice cream.

We bake it up as layer cakes, wedding cakes, and cupcakes, eat it topped with buttercream icing, ice cream, powdered sugar, or nothing at all.   It's an amazingly delicious and versatile recipe.

Crazy Cake chocolate cake recipe ingredients on a wooden cutting board.

Chocolate Crazy Cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 3/4 cups oil

Crazy cake chocolate cake batter in a 9x13 pan on a white marble background.

Mix up all the ingredients in a single bowl.  Pour into a 9x13 pan or a cupcake tin or whatever baking vessel you choose.

A dozen chocolate crazy cake cupcakes in a cupcake tin on a white marble background

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crazy Cake Baking Times:

  • Bake 20-22 minutes for cupcakes.
  • Bake 40 minutes or so for a 9x13 pan.

Whatever size pan you use, test for doneness with a wooden skewer.

Three chocolate cupcakes made with Crazy Cake Recipe being topped with chocolate icing and mini chocolate chips on a white marble background.

Top your cake or cupcakes with whatever kind of frosting you prefer.  I went with chocolate buttercream and mini chocolate chips here.

Three chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate icing and mini chocolate chips on a metal cake stand on a white background.

You can't go wrong with chocolate on chocolate, right?

Crazy cake chocolate cake baked as a layer cake with vanilla buttercream icing.

Crazy Cake Recipes

Crazy cake doesn't have to be chocolate!  (do you know how many years it took me to realize that?)  Try these other Crazy Cake recipes I've developed:

You can also boost the chocolate flavor by swapping coffee for the water in the classic crazy cake recipe.  Check out this chocolate cake recipe for a non-vegan version that uses coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Crazy cake vegan chocolate cupcake decorated with vanilla buttercream icing and fresh edible flowers.

Or you could make incredibly elegant, easy cupcakes by adding some edible fresh flowers to a swirl of vanilla buttercream.  

One Page, Printable Crazy Cake Recipe:

Navigational image leading reader to printable chocolate crazy cake recipe.

Other Cake Recipes You Might Like:

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for honey chamomile crazy cake recipe.

Navigational image leading reader to the BEST vanilla cake recipe ever!

Other Eggless Baking Recipes You Might Like:

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for homemade vanilla funfetti cake

Navigational image leading reader to post with 33 eggless cookie recipes.



I love this cake recipe - so easy! Two questions: 1) what cocoa powder brand do you recommend? 2) Do you have the recipe for the chocolate frosting posted somewhere - looks amazing!

I most often just use Hershey's cocoa powder because it's so easy to find.  Any will do, really.  But I have used some exceptional Valrhona cocoa powder in the past if you want something really special!  

I don't have a recipe for the chocolate frosting yet because I've always just eyeballed it.  I need to measure and refine it so I can post.  ;-). It's a variation on american buttercream.  It starts with 2 pounds of powdered sugar, 2 sticks of butter, a pinch of salt, some vanilla.  For chocolate I add about a half cup of cocoa powder, and about a half cup of melted chocolate chips (let it cool but not harden back up).  Then add cream or milk to the mixture to get to just the texture you want.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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