The Funfetti Vanilla Wacky Cake is a moist and delightful cake that doesn't require milk, eggs, or butter. It's also known as Crazy Cake, Goofy Cake, or Depression Cake and follows the vinegar cake method. This recipe creates a tender and flavorful cake while being naturally vegan and incredibly easy to make—all in just one bowl!
Looking for a vegan cake recipe? Run out of eggs, milk and butter but still want to bake a cake? Then whip up this magic Wacky Cake!
Wacky cake is a simple and easy-to-make cake that is perfect for busy weeknights or when you don't have a lot of time to bake. It is also a great cake for kids to make, as it is very forgiving and doesn't require any special skills.
This cake uses a reaction of vinegar and baking soda to create a moist, tender, delicious cake in under 30 minutes.
Also called crazy cake or depression cake, this unusual method was created during the economic hardship of The Great Depression when typical cake ingredients were scarce.
But it works so well that this wacky cake recipe has withstood the tests of time and is still popular today!
I've made it a bit more modern by turning it into a Vanilla Funfetti Wacky Cake.
Many wacky cake recipes call for mixing the batter right in the ungreased baking pan, but I've had mixed results and some sticking, so this recipe calls for you to use a mixing bowl.
It's still a super easy, one-bowl, eggless, butter-free and milk-free cake that's naturally vegan.
What is Wacky Cake?
Wacky Cake, also known as crazy cake, goofy cake, or Depression cake, is a simple and unique dessert recipe that gained popularity during the Great Depression.
During the hard economic times, when typical cake ingredients were scarce, innovative bakers came up with this cake recipe that contains no eggs, milk, or butter.
Instead, the reaction of vinegar and baking soda makes the cake moist, light and tender.
The recipe's ingenuity lies in its ability to create a moist and delicious cake using alternative ingredients readily available at the time.
It's a nostalgic and delightful treat that defies convention but most certainly delivers on taste!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This cake recipe requires no eggs, butter or milk.
- Wacky Cake is incredibly easy to prepare, making it suitable for beginners and experienced bakers alike.
- The recipe calls for basic pantry staples, so you don't need to make a special trip to the grocery store.
- With simple mixing and no need for separate bowls, the Wacky Cake comes together in no time.
- Despite the absence of eggs, milk, and butter, the Wacky Cake is incredibly moist and flavorful.
- Wacky Cake is naturally vegan, making it a great option for those following a vegan diet or with dietary restrictions.
- As it is egg-free and dairy-free, the Wacky Cake is a suitable choice for individuals with egg or dairy allergies. Ensure you don't cross-contaminate.
- Children love the colorful surprise of rainbow sprinkles in the cake, making it a hit for birthday parties and special occasions.
- Since the ingredients are minimal, Wacky Cake is a budget-friendly dessert option.
- The Wacky Cake brings back nostalgic memories for many since this recipe has been around for decades!
- All-Purpose Flour: Aka plain flour. This ingredient provides the structure and texture for the cake.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness and contributes to the cake's moistness.
- Baking Soda: Works as a leavening agent, helping the cake rise.
- Salt: Balances the flavors and enhances the overall taste.
- Vegetable Oil: Provides moisture and richness to the cake. To make the cake lighter, you can replace half of the oil with smooth applesauce.
- White Vinegar: Reacts with the baking soda to create bubbles, making the cake light and fluffy. Alternatively, use apple cider vinegar.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor and sweetness.
- Cold Tap Water: Combines with the other ingredients to create the cake batter.
- Rainbow Sprinkles (Jimmies): Colourful sprinkles turn this into a funfetti cake.
- Frosting: Add your favourite homemade or store-bought frosting. Try this vanilla frosting or vanilla buttercream.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8x8-inch (20cm square) baking pan with baking parchment paper.
Sift or whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Make three wells in the flour mixture: one large and two small. Pour the oil into the large well, vinegar into a small one and vanilla into the third.
Note: it’s important to keep the wet ingredients separate until they’re stirred into the batter at the same time, so the wacky cake works properly.
Pour the water into the mixing bowl and mix it all until blended with no lumps.
Gently fold in the sprinkles, but take care not to overmix or the color of the sprinkles will ‘bleed’ into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan, then coat with frosting and additional sprinkles. Cut and serve.
Can I turn this wacky cake recipe into cupcakes?
Absolutely! Make the batter as directed below and then:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Pour the batter into the lined muffin cups, filling each one about ¾ full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool, then add frosting and funfetti.
Can I make this recipe in a larger pan?
Double the recipe to make it in a 9x13-inch baking pan, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Can I turn this recipe into a layer cake?
Yes, just double the recipe, then divide the batter between 2x9-inch round cake pans. Check for doneness after 25 minutes.
If you manage to have any leftovers, storing the Wacky Cake properly will help maintain its freshness. Here are a few storage tips:
- Room Temperature: Store the cake, covered, at room temperature for up to three days.
- Refrigeration: For longer storage, refrigerate the cake for up to a week. Make sure to cover it tightly to prevent drying out.
- Freezing: You can also freeze individual slices of the unfrosted cake for up to three months. Wrap each slice tightly with plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw and then add frosting.
- Sifting dry ingredients: For best results, sift the dry ingredients to ensure they are well combined and free of lumps. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients.
- Create wells/depressions in the dry mixture for the wet ingredients. Keeping them separate until mixing helps to ensure the even distribution of ingredients.
- Vinegar reacts with the baking soda, helping the cake to rise and creating a lighter texture. Choose a vinegar that isn't too strong tasting, like white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- While some "crazy cake" recipes suggest mixing all the ingredients directly in the ungreased baking pan, I've personally had mixed results with this approach. To err on the side of caution, I prefer to combine the ingredients in a bowl before baking them in a greased or lined pan.
Of course! The sprinkles add a fun element, but the cake will still taste delicious without them.
Yes, you can substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour in the same quantity without any adjustments to the recipe.
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Funfetti Vanilla Wacky Cake
- 8x8-inch baking pan
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 190 grams
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil 100 ml
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold tap water 240ml
- 3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles jimmies, plus extra for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8x8-inch (20cm square) baking pan with baking parchment paper.
- Sift or whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Make three wells in the flour mixture: one large and two small. Pour the oil into the large well, vinegar into a small one and vanilla into the third.
- Note: it’s important to keep the wet ingredients separate until they’re stirred into the batter at the same time, so the wacky cake works properly.
- Pour the water into the mixing bowl and mix it all until blended with no lumps.
- Gently fold in the sprinkles, but take care not to overmix or the color of the sprinkles will ‘bleed’ into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan, then coat with frosting and additional sprinkles. Cut and serve.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.