This one bowl Chocolate Crazy Cake is the perfect weeknight chocolate cake. This moist and fluffy crazy cake recipe can be in your oven in 15 minutes!
Crazy easy to make.
This is Chocolate Crazy Cake, and it’s my favorite easy, everyday chocolate cake. (You’ll have to visit the Best Chocolate Bundt Cake to see my favorite fancy shmancy chocolate cake).
This recipe was a mainstay of my childhood, and it’s GREAT for making with kids. My little one was helping me make this before he could see over the counter top. It’s a quick and fun recipe to whip together, and I’m sure it will become a staple in your family too!
Why is it called Crazy Cake?
- Crazy Cake (or Wacky Cake as you may also see it called) doesn’t use any eggs or butter. This recipe originated during the depression, when ingredients like eggs and butter were a luxury, hence why it’s sometimes referred to as “Chocolate Depression Cake.” Luckily, nothing about this cake feels like doing without. It has an incredible flavor and texture!
- Chocolate Crazy Cake is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is one bowl and a whisk! In fact, I think it’s just as quick as a cake mix!
- It’s CRAZY good. Fluffy, moist, and with plenty of rich chocolate flavor, this checks all the boxes for an intense chocolate craving.
How to Make Chocolate Crazy Cake
- Grab a large bowl and whisk together the dry ingredients–flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Make a well in the center by using a spatula or spoon to push the dry ingredients to the side of the bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients in the center–oil, water, and vinegar. It’s so fun to show kids how the ingredients separate into bubbles–
- Use a spatula to mix the wet and dry ingredients together. The batter pops and crackles a bit as it bubbles together. This is my favorite part!
- Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake.
Crazy Cake Frosting
Truthfully, this cake can stand alone with nothing more than a dusting of powdered sugar (and maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream–HELLO!)
The more traditional way to serve this is with a fluffy chocolate buttercream. We do this pairing quite a bit, because honestly, who doesn’t love crazy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting?
However, our favorite crazy cake frosting is a quick, stove top caramel glaze. The glaze is made by cooking brown sugar and butter together, then stirring in cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. It’s poured onto the still-warm cake, then hardens slightly as it sits to create a glorious crackly layer of caramel frosting. You can even make it salted caramel frosting, which I highly recommend.
You can also really jazz things up by making a Ho Ho Cake! Start with crazy cake, then add a fluffy whipped vanilla frosting and chocolate ganache for a dessert that tastes just like the classic Hostess treat.
How to Serve Chocolate Crazy Cake
Growing up, we always ate crazy cake warm, in a bowl, with ice cold milk poured on top. It may sound strange, but I promise it’s SO GOOD.
The milk soaks into all the nooks and crannies and creates the most incredible cake and milk soup
That doesn’t sound great, does it? Words fail me. This is just a tradition you’ll have to try for yourself!
If milk on cake isn’t your jam, crazy cake a la mode is also a wonderful option.
Storage, Freezing and FAQS
How long does crazy cake last?
This cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for about 5 days. If you’re using a cream cheese frosting, refrigerate it.
Can you freeze crazy cake?
Yes! I recommend freezing the cake before it’s frosted, either whole or in individual slices. Thaw at room temperature overnight, then frost and serve.
Can you halve the recipe?
The recipe below is for a 9 x 13 inch sheet cake, which I’m both mortified and proud to tell you our family of four can devour in a few day’s time.
However, you can easily split the recipe in half and bake it in an 8 x 8 inch pan if a 9 x 13 is too much for your family. This is a great opportunity to freeze one cake for later and/or take some to a neighbor or friend.
Can Crazy Cake be vegan and/or gluten free?
Crazy Cake is naturally vegan (hurray!), but you’ll have to make accommodations for the frosting. You can make the caramel frosting with a vegan butter substitute. Or try this vegan chocolate buttercream recipe.
We have tried to make this crazy cake gluten free multiple times, but never been able to replicate the fluffiness and texture of the original. If you’re looking for a great gluten free chocolate cake, we recommend our Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake.
More Easy Sheet Pan Cakes
While a gorgeous two layer strawberry cake is sometimes in order, my truest baking love is easy sheet cakes and one bowl recipes just like this one. Here are a few more of my favorites:
For the cake:
- 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 5 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)
- 4 Tablespoons cream (or cream off the top of full fat coconut milk)
- 1- 1/2 cups powdered sugar
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. (Note: If your cocoa powder is clumpy, you may need to sift it before whisking in).
- Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients then pour in the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
- Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour in the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For the frosting:
- In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved.
- Add the cream and bring back to a boil.
- Remove from heat and sift 1 cup powdered sugar into the pot. Whisk until smooth. Continue to add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. (It should be thick, but pourable--like the consistency of maple syrup).
- Pour the glaze over the cake while it's still hot, then allow to cool on the cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 2g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.