Go Back
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake very well may be the original vegan cake. This decades-old recipe is simple, light, spongy and not too sweet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, vegan
Author: Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee


  • cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp white or cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Vegan chocolate chips optional
  • Powdered sugar for serving, optional


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
  • Lightly grease an 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-cm) square pan. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Make three holes in the dry ingredients, one large and two small. Add the vanilla to the first small hole, the vinegar to the second and the oil to the large hole. Then pour the water over everything, add the optional vegan chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack; then cut and serve. Keep at room temperature, wrapped airtight, for up to three days; refrigerate after that. Serves 8.


Used with permission from Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan Cooking by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee, Page Street Publishing Co., 2017. Photography by Allie Lehman