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Wacky cake is a moist chocolate cake made in one bowl without eggs or butter. Top with store-bought or homemade chocolate frosting for the ultimate easy dessert!

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A piece of wacky cake on a white plate with sprinkles.

I’m a sucker for a good, moist chocolate cake. My Matilda Chocolate Cake will always and forever be my go-to chocolate cake recipe – super moist and has the most gorgeous glossy chocolate frosting. But if I’m being real, I don’t always have time for a layer cake with a fancy frosting.

I can perfectly remember the first time I tried this cake. My friends and I had set up a surprise party for our sweet friend Nikole – we had streamers, her favorite song on, gifts wrapped, and of course, her favorite cake sitting on the counter. She was SO surprised and this cake always reminds me of “the good ol days” with the best of friends – when life was simple, we had few responsibilities and all the time in the world!

Well, nowadays, life isn’t as simple. Spare time seems impossible to find. Responsibilities include kids, spouses and “big-kid jobs.” But luckily, some things never change. This simple cake is still just as delicious (and EASY) and my best friends are still there, just a text or phone call away!

Wacky cake in the pan with sprinkles on top.

Why is it called Wacky Cake?

This cake is unlike other cakes, due to the fact that it has no eggs, butter or milk in the batter. Wacky, right?! Wacky cake is said to have been created during World War II, when eggs and dairy were rationed and harder to come by!! Grab a slice of this cake and you’d never know it lacked such “staple” ingredients!

How to make a Wacky Cake

As I’ve mentioned, Wacky Cake is truly easy to make. First, you’ll mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and then stir in the wet ingredients. Though I like to mix it in a bowl (to keep my cake pan more clean-looking), you can actually mix it right in the baking pan to save on dishes. Cool, huh?!

Once the cake is baked, you’ll let it cool before frosting. And your options here are really endless. Try my glossy frosting (that I always use on my Matilda Cake), a simple Chocolate Ganache Frosting or even an easy Vanilla Buttercream! And if you’re really pressed for time, open a tub of pre-made chocolate frosting – nobody will ever know! 😉

Why add coffee to a chocolate cake?

When you add a hot liquid to cocoa powder, it helps it “bloom,” meaning it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. You can “bloom” the chocolate with any hot liquid (milk, water, coffee, etc). However, I always choose coffee for my chocolate cake.

Why do I use coffee? Because coffee actually brings out even more chocolate flavor. Are you concerned you’ll taste the coffee? You won’t! I know it seems odd, but really it just helps deepen the flavor of the chocolate!

A bite of chocolate wacky cake on a fork.

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Wacky Cake slice on a white plate

Wacky Cake

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cool Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Wacky cake is a moist chocolate cake made in one bowl without eggs or butter. Top with chocolate frosting for the ultimate easy dessert!



  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup hot coffee or hot water

Chocolate Frosting (or use a pre-made tub of chocolate frosting!) 🙂

  • 1/3 cup salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cuos powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoon(s) milk


For the Cake

  • Grease an 8×8" pan and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  • Add the oil, vinegar, vanilla and hot water.
  • Whisk until well-combined and pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick pressed into the center of the cake comes back mostly clean. Let cool.

For the Frosting

  • Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth.
  • Add the cocoa, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tbsp milk.
  • Mix until combined and smooth, adding additional milk if needed.
  • Spread over the cooled cake.


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 1.7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.5mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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