Vegan Crazy Cake

Depression-Era ‘Crazy Cake’ Is Made Without Eggs, Milk Or Butter

Since the start of the pandemic, many people have been mastering their skills in the kitchen- the Crazy Cake is something definitely worth trying!

Time spent in the kitchen can be incredibly fun. Yet, it makes everything much more worthwhile if the result is something yummy! Creamy, sweet, delicious! This vegan Crazy Cake is the recipe you need to try out next!

There are plenty of names, Crazy Cake, Wacky Cake, and War Cake, all invented for the same tasty recipe: a sweet and moist dessert without any eggs, butter, or milk.

While some versions existed during WWI (giving the name “War Cake”), it was brought back on the scene during the 1930s and the Great Depression, as Crazy Cake. It was rich, moist, and chocolatey, simply the top level of food substitution!

Many ingredients were scarce during the Great depression. With very little money on the line, housewives had to manage the available resources. This was especially true for the ones that didn’t live on farms, where you can find eggs, milk, or butter. They had to be creative if they wanted to make a dessert.

In such a situation, women learned how to use cheaper ingredients instead of expensive ones. Sugar and flour are a guaranteed way to provide calories without spending much money, and this led to the creation of the Crazy Cake.

The recipe contains cheaper ingredients that ensure the cake will rise and maintain moisture.

Chef Michael Zebrowski explained it all:

“Butter usually serves to keep cake soft and tender by coating the flour in fat. preventing it from developing a tough gluten matrix. In this specific vegan recipe, vegetable oil is the substitute with the same result. A mix of baking soda and vinegar substitutes the eggs. “

He added that this mix “foams up quickly, making the cake light and fluffy.”

You can add water or coffee for moisture. Coffee was, actually, very easy to find during the Great Depression. As a result of the lockdown in the spring of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people turned to baking as a way to lower stress.

There was a lack of some supplies, and new ideas from the past were brought back, with jobs being lost and uncertainty coming to light. This amazing cake is a fast and easy option, and can be topped with frosting, cream, or ice cream for ultimate enjoyment!

Vegan Crazy Cake Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water (or coffee)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a greased, 8″ square baking pan.
  3. Make 3 depressions in the dry mixture–two small, and one larger. Pour vinegar in one of them, and vanilla in the other. In the largest depression, pour vegetable oil.
  4. Pour water (or coffee) over the entire mixture and mix until the batter is smooth.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean.
  6. Cool and top with a frosting of your choice!