My grandma’s recipe from the depression era, called “whacky”, “wacky”, or “crazy” cake because it’s made with no dairy or eggs (they were not affordable) and still turns out marvelously. It’s an intense chocolate cake that is naturally vegan, super easy to make, and will be your new go-to recipe for decadent desserts!
This recipe was proudly featured in the January/February 2020 issue of Sierra Magazine!
So many people ask me for my chocolate cake recipe, saying that it’s the best chocolate cake they’ve ever tasted – so here you go! It’s adapted from a recipe my grandmother used during the depression (or so I was told) when eggs and milk were scarce. It’s rich and indulgent and no one is ever the wiser that it’s vegan and oh-so-simple to make with oh-so-simple ingredients.
It’s amazing for making show-stopping layer cakes, carved cakes, cake pops or cupcakes.
Once you’ve made your batter, pour it into oiled and parchment-paper-lined pans and bake at 325F (162C) for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. I usually check at 40 minutes by giving the pan a jiggle, and if the batter jiggles as well I check in another ten minutes. If it doesn’t jiggle, I test with a cake tester/toothpick. If that comes out with wet batter, I give it another five minutes before checking again.
Makes a quarter sheet (9×13), or two 8” round cakes, or three 6” round cakes, or 24-30 cupcakes.
Once it’s baked, the cake can be stored in the freezer – either frosted or naked – double wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to a month. Triple wrap and put it in a box to leave it in the freezer for up to six months. Otherwise it can be kept covered at room temp for up to a week.
Watch Me Make It!
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Printable Recipe Card:
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour (420g)
- 2 cups sugar (400g)
- 2 tsp baking soda (bicarb) (12g)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (dark cocoa is my favorite) (50g)
- 1 tsp salt (6g)
- 2 tbsp vinegar (30ml)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (10ml)
- 3/4 cup of melted vegan butter/margarine (you can use oil, see notes below) (175ml)
- 2 cups hot coffee (475ml)
- Preheat your oven to 325F (162C)
- Prepare your cake pans with nonstick spray and parchment paper circles on the bottom
- Whisk together your flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl
- Create three deep wells in your dry mix
- To the first well, add your vinegar. To the second, add the vanilla. To the third, add the melted butter/oil
- Pour your hot coffee over the entire mixture
- Gently whisk or fold your batter until it's well combined and no dry bits remain
- Divide your batter evenly among your prepared pans
- Bake for 45 minutes or until you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean
- Remove your cakes from the oven to a cooling rack. Let it sit in the cake pan for five minutes before turning it out.
*This can be made with your favourite cup-for-cup gluten-free flour if you want to make a wheat-free version.
*For a no-sugar-added version, use a cup-for-cup Stevia baking blend in place of the granulated sugar.
*Using melted butter is recommended for stacked or carved cakes. Oil is best for cupcakes as it results in a fluffier cake.
*Use your favorite plant milk instead of coffee for a delicious milk-chocolate cake
*For soy-free, use melted Country Crock Plant Butter sticks (avoiding the almond one if you have a nut allergy) or Miyoko’s butter if you’d like to also avoid palm-oil. Or use a non-soy oil instead.