The Best Vanilla Crazy Cake Recipe | Eggless, Dairy-Free, and Vegan!
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This vanilla crazy cake recipe has no eggs or dairy, and requires just one bowl to whip up as an easy dessert!
Need a quick one-bowl cake that’s super easy to make for dessert?
Try making this simple Vanilla Crazy Cake, Wacky Cake, or some call it Depression Cake. It was popular to make cakes like this during the Depression era when eggs, butter, and milk were harder to come by. With the price of eggs skyrocketing due to inflation, now is the time to try making this cake!
Because it omits dairy and eggs, our Vanilla Crazy Cake recipe can also be a great option for those who have food allergies or follow a vegan diet. The best part—it’s a very affordable cake to make from scratch.
What it’s not missing, however, is deliciousness!
This is an incredibly decadent cake to consider as an EASY-to-bake treat because you can just mix it up in one bowl, and pop it in the oven.
Vanilla Crazy Cake with Dairy-Free Frosting
yield: 8 SERVINGS
prep time: 15 MINUTES
cook time: 30 MINUTES
total time: 45 MINUTES
This quick, eggless, non-dairy vanilla cake comes together in just a few minutes for an allergy-friendly dessert.
For the vanilla cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons vegetable oil or avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups water
For the non-dairy vegan vanilla buttercream frosting:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round pans. I also line the bottom with parchment paper.
To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda, and mix together.
Add the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, and water. Mix using a whisk until it forms a batter and most of the lumps are smooth.
Pour the batter into the two prepared cake pans. Bake on the middle oven rack for 30-35 minutes until the cake is cooked and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and let cool.
In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together butter spread and confectioners sugar. Add in vanilla and almond or coconut milk. Mix until smooth and creamy.
Frost the cooled cake as desired. Enjoy!
Hip Tips for making the best vanilla crazy cake:
- Why use vinegar in a cake? The vinegar reacts with the baking soda and helps the cake rise, and although this has a pretty thin batter, the cake will rise.
- This recipe makes two 9-inch round cakes for a nice layered vanilla crazy cake, as pictured. If you’d like to cut the recipe in half and make only one layer, simply follow the same directions, but cut the ingredients in half.
- Don’t forget to grease your cake pans first. I even like to line the bottom with parchment paper as well to avoid any sticking.
- For a chocolate-flavored cake, add 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder when adding in the dry ingredients to produce a delicious chocolate-y variation. Some readers also like replacing the water with brewed coffee when making a rich chocolate cake. ☕️
- Feel free to reduce the sugar from 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups or even try just 1 cup of sugar. Once you frost the vanilla crazy cake, you won’t even be able to tell!
- You could use avocado oil in place of vegetable oil. Avocado oil has a very mild taste similar to vegetable oil.
- You can make a dairy-free version of my favorite buttercream frosting to accompany the cake by using a vegan non-dairy butter spread in place of butter in the recipe. Or feel free to use your favorite frosting recipe.
Crazy cake is crazy GOOD and crazy EASY to bake!
Seriously, you won’t be missing those eggs. The texture is fluffy and moist – and the taste is YUM! My family loved the frosting too and didn’t even ask if it was vegan or dairy-free. This vanilla crazy cake is picky-eater-approved, sweet, and so simple to make. I’m calling it a win for sure. Enjoy!
Here’s what my teammate Emily had to say about this vanilla crazy cake:
“This is the perfect, easy cake recipe that comes together in no time at all. It’s practically foolproof and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand to make it! It made me think of a Costco cake! I loved the frosting. It’s so good, I caught my husband taking bites directly from the cake instead of slicing himself a piece!”
Try this easy ice cream cake, it’s so easy to make and everyone will love it!
I tried printing this recipe using the Print button on the page, but the ads print over top of the recipe, so it’s unusable. I can’t read any of the ingredients because the ads are covering them up. It would be nice if you could fix it so the ads didn’t print over the recipe.
Oh darn. What browser are you using? I’m using Chrome and I hit the print button in the recipe – no ads. I will share this with the team though.
Thanks for the recipe! I use Chrome, and found the ad over the list of ingredients when I tried to print this post. I attempted to close the ad by clicking at the bottom corner of the ad, and then the print version didn’t have the ad!
Ok I reported this to our team – and if using the app this is a known issue they are working to fix ASAP – thanks!
Ok I reported this to the team – and if using the App- it’s a known issue they are working to fix. Thanks for letting us know
Looks yummy…and so easy!
Thanks Lori! This is a great cake!!
Ty! Great for my son who is allergic to eggs!
Yes!! It’s easy and yum!
Thank you! I’m not vegan but I prefer vegan goodies and treats like this bcus it’s less guilt and I think it all tastes even better!
I think you’ll love this!
Thank you for posting this!! The Vegan Movement is growing rapidly, so I’m sure there are many vegans out there who appreciate a recipe like this one. It’s 100% cruelty-free!!
Cooking oil, flour, sugar, etc is not cruelty free. a lot of critters like rabbits, moles, chipmunks, etc as well as their habitats get ground up into the fields. And then there’s the child labor and poverty of the vanilla beans.
Less guilt? It still has tons of sugar and oil. Vegan does not automatically mean healthier. Oreos are vegan.
Hey, I think she meant another kind of guilty!
I like this recipes even if your not vegan because there is always a guest who is or one with an allergy and I feel bad they get left out.
I agree! I always reduce the sugar in any recipe I make. I have found that there is still plenty of sweetness when cutting by 25% or even a half! As for oil, I substitute low sugar applesauce or low sugar yogurt.
I made something very close to this for chocolate cupcake for my wedding. Everyone loved them!
Oh neat! Thanks for sharing Stacy!
My niece and nephew have egg and nut allergies and this is our go to birthday cake recipe (the chocolate version). It is super moist and fluffy and I always get compliments!
Oh yay! Thanks for sharing. I want to try the chocolate now too.
Please share more recipes as my daughter is allergic to milk egg and tree nuts
My kids are allergic to milk and eggs. Thanks for posting this! Will try!
You’re welcome – I hope they love it!
Thank you! I’m vegan and am always looking for pre-tested recipes I don’t have to tweak for special occasions! 😻
Oh nice! I really think you’ll like this – my family isn’t vegan and didn’t really even ask or realize. We just like cake 🍰 😂❤️
We’ve been using this for years due to Allergies. I love the chocolate version with a bit of Strong coffee in place of half the water. Yummy!
Ohhhh…I love that! Thanks for sharing 🥰
That’s how i make mine too. The small amount of coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor. Another tip to help the “chocolateyness” is to bloom the cocoa powder by mixing in either the water or coffee and letting it sit a few minutes before adding to the other ingredients.
Ok, gotta try this just out of curiosity😋. Thanks again H2S!
I grew up eating the chocolate version of this cake. We knew it as Wacky Cake. When I make it, I cut the sugar in half to just one cup and no one has ever noticed. I figure with the frosting you are getting more than enough sugar.
Oh I like that! Great tip Jill!
Me, too! My mom taught me to make this (chocolate version) when I was a kid) I have tried using less oil and substituting applesauce in my low fat diet days
Same here! Grew up on this cake and it is a family favorite still. I too cut the sugar in half with no one the wiser. I also use whole wheat pastry flour in place of the all purpose flour.
Anyone know how it would be made with gluten free flour…..dairy/gluten allergy?
yeah, that’s what I was wondering too….I think I might try this recipe with whatever GF flour I have on hand this week- I will try to remember to post back;) We have made similar recipes GF crazy cake and had them turn out well so probably if you had a cup for cup wheat flour sub you would be good to go:)
Kids With Food Allergies Safe Eats recipe database has GF options for this cake. https://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/recipe-page.aspx?recid=45&name=Kathy%20P%27s%20Wacky%20Cake
My son has gluten and wheat among others and I’ve made this cake for years. Sometimes I make cupcakes instead. It tastes good but the texture is more dense compaired to regular flour. I had to end up adding a little more water sometimes because it gets too thick.
Yes I’ve done this gluten free with King Arthur cup for cup blend. The texture is a little dense. But it was the vehicle for a great frosting which made my daughter with all the allergies happy. I’ll try adding a little water next time like suggested. Thanks!
Wow that is a lot of sugar.
I was thinking the same thing!!
And stop with the vegetable oil. It’s highly processed and causes inflammation.
I’ve been making the chocolate version of this cake for years. I use co coffee instead of water for chocolate. I also like to add a little lemon juice and lemon zest in place of vanilla extract in the white cake version. Super tasty. It is delicious, moist and fluffy. I usually make 1 layer and dist it with powdered sugar instead of icing it. Always a hit!
Oh I love those suggestions! Thanks Jen!
Thanks for posting a vegan cake. I recently went vegan and I’m trying lots of new recipes. This looks yummy.
Sure! I think you’ll like this! Enjoy 😉
I made this for my vegan daughter’s 40th birthday and she really seemed to enjoy it. I’ve substituted apple sauce in place of the vegetable oil in some recipes and was wondering if any one has tried that with this?
Yes! I made it with applesauce today! The consistency is slightly different (as usually is when substituting applesauce for oil), but it was still quite good!
I’ve made this a bunch of times as a chocolate cake, but never vanilla. I’ll have to try it while we’re home bound for the next few weeks. Thanks!
Yes, I was pleasantly surprise how tasty this is! Enjoy <3
just curious, how much sugar can we cut? 2 cups seems alot to me …. 😛
No allergies here but this cake is delicious.
Yay! Thanks for sharing – I agree!
Thank you! Perfect given the current grocery situation to have an eggless recipe! Thank you! x
I know! My stores have no eggs!
OMG that is so much sugar
I get the feeling many of us will be trying this in the near future given the current situation.
Thank you! I’m vegan and I’m going to make this using all the sugar and all the oil called for. I only make/eat cake a few times per year so I’m okay with “going for it!” 😉
Yes! Enjoy it Carrie 🙂
I made a similar version to the vanilla cake posted here and my 13 year old son declared it as good as a bakery cake! I don’t recall cutting the sugar. I’ll have to try that. In most baked ingredients taking out 25-50% of the sugar doesn’t change texture.
Could I use a flavored tea instead of water to enhance the flavor of this cake ? Like chai ?
Oh neat idea! If you do let us know 😀
Has anyone tried using apple cider vinegar instead of white…?
This is the BEST cake! Just made a chocolate version and a vanilla version for a 4 layer quarantine birthday cake! SO good (although I used a different icing). My son said it is the best cake he has ever had and he wants me to teach him how to make it. I want to try pureeing some strawberries with water and using that instead of plain water to see if I can successfully make a good strawberry cake.
Oh that’s a fun idea! Thanks for sharing ❤️
I made a similar recipe I found in the newspaper for an 8 inch chocolate cake. It had chocolate chips added on top. It was called a mix in the pan cake! It was moist and delicious!
This sounds interesting. Would you post the recipe please?
Thanks so much, I am going to try this cake & frosting.
I used raw almond butter instead of the oil and it came out great.
Yum sounds great!
If I use a 13 X 9 pan how many mins to bake at 350F?
Any clue what the bake time would be making this in a 9×13? I don’t have rounds.
I would guess 5-10 minutes longer, but since we did not test it in that pan I would rely more on your senses and check for signs it’s done like when it pulls away from the sides, etc.
Be careful labeling this cake as vegan. White sugar is sometimes processed with bone char and is off limits to strict vegans. So check in with your favorite vegan about this before serving it to them.
Simple Mills mixes are a lifesaver for me. I use applesauce in place of eggs. Their vanilla mix is great with frozen cherries mixed in. Dairy gluten free low glycemic
ohh great tips! I have seen them but haven’t tasted yet!
I’m vegan so I do appreciate the post. And for many who are vegan we look at sugar and might adjust the high quantities since many of us do not eat sugar or processed foods of any kind and it would taste too sweet. But this is a cake and a TREAT … it’s not a meal replacement. For those looking for a suggestion or two: use a banana and/or some maple syrup for sweetness in the cake an exclude most of the sugar. Yes the cake with taste different. But you can easily cut back on the refined sugar should you choose too or need to for health purposes. Anyway, this recipe sounds great and would definitely satisfy my sweet craving I get from time to time! Thank you.
Sure and thanks for adding that perspective! 🙂
Not impressed so far. Greased and used parchment paper. Still stuck. Flavor definitely not as sweet as most seem to think. I think of this more like a bland breakfast cake. Maybe chocolate would be better and add flavor. It needs way more flavor.