Wacky Cake: WWII Era Goodness

Wacky Cake Recipe

It was definitely the name that caught my eye! I mean who doesn’t want cake that’s wacky? This recipe for Wacky cake is wacky because it contains no eggs, milk, or butter. Plus you can mix it up right in the pan you will bake it in. So wacky! Even more wacky is how delicious it is even missing what we assume are essential cake making ingredients. 

This chocolate wacky cake is so good you won’t even be able to tell there are no eggs or butter! It’s that good! 

No eggs and no butter makes this vintage cake vegan, low sodium, and it has no cholesterol. Not to say it’s a health food by any means but, if those are things you are watching this is a good choice for you.

I actually found two versions of this cake. One in Grandma R’s recipe box and one in my estate sale find. They were very similar but I decided to go with the one from Grandma R’s box. How adorable is this recipe card! I wish I could find ones like this now!

Wacky Cake History

Wacky Cake was likely created during WWII. When milk and eggs were scarce because of rationing. How resourceful you had to be to come up with meals and desserts without what we consider to be must have ingredients. 

After posting in r/Old_Recipes I learned that this was a really popular cake! In a handwritten recipe group on Facebook one person said it is the cake their Mom always made for birthdays. I just love recipes with such an interesting history. What connections we have from old recipes like this. It’s always fun to know others over time have been making and enjoying the same foods.


Wacky Cake Frosting Suggestions. 

The recipe didn’t specify if it needed frosting or not so I let it cool and tried a piece. Obviously I thought it needed frosting. It would also be good dusted with powdered sugar too. I hate to admit to you all that I used store bought frosting. What can I say I was in a rush and panicked ! This cake is so delicious, light, and moist. Amazing and not to sweet. It would be an excellent cake to top with a decadent homemade frosting. If you have seen my White Fudge Frosting recipe you will know I’ve yet to perfect one of my handwritten frosting recipes.  

I now have the best and easiest Cream Cheese Frosting recipe to share with you! Thanks to my friends in the Vintage Recipe Test and Share Facebook group. Please feel free to join us in testing vintage recipes so we can preserve them here and share with family and friends. 

This Buttercream Frosting Recipe from Cooking with Curls looks like it would be perfect!

This is another one of those hand written recipes that came from…..somewhere…..at some point…..

Is how she describes the buttercream recipe! I think we can all relate to that! 

Baked Broiled and Basted has a Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting recipe that sounds so yummy! Chocolate and peanut butter are such a great combination.

Wacky Cake Recipe:

Wacky Cake

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

A classic chocolate cake named for its lack of eggs and butter. Born out of necessity from WWII rationing, Wacky Cake is a family favorite.

Credit: YourEverydayHeirlooms.com
Once cool frost with your favorite frosting or dust with powdered sugar.


  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C cold water


  1. In 8×8 ungreased pan stir all ingredients until mixed well.
  2. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes. The whole surface will look uniform when done.


Per Serving: 245 calories; 9.5 g fat; 39.2 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 269 mg sodium.

Wacky Cake Recipe Tips

  • Don’t dirty a bowl! Mix this easy cake right in the 8×8 pan you are going to bake it in!
  • Try to not poke the cake to check if it’s done. This can cause the cake to collapse. It will still be delicious but won’t look as pretty. When it’s done the top will be look uniform.
  • Substituting the 1 C of water with 1 C of cold coffee adds a nice flavor for coffee lovers.

Be sure to check out some of my other vintage recipes! I think you will enjoy Potato Chip Cookies, the chips add just the right about of salty and crunch. Grandma S’s Cavatini would be the perfect type of home cooking to serve with this classic cake!

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