Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake

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We are loving this Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake because it’s rich and delicious, but oh-so-easy to make.Β If you haven’t guessed by now, I love a good chocolate cake. For example, there’s my Vegan Chunky Monkey Cake, my Vegan Chocolate Chai Cake, and my Vegan Texas Sheet Cake. It’s all about the cake!

Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake - a super simple, delicious chocolate cake that will leave you ready for another slice of this delicious chocolate dessert.

What is a Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake?

When my mom first started talking about Wacky Cake I was like, Wahhh??? Or, actually, I might have been a little more like, yeah, yeah, whatevs. But then one day my mom gave me her old recipe book, the one she’s been using for years! And then I started flipping through it and sure enough, there was a recipe for Wacky Cake and there it just so happens to be vegan!

I’ve done some research and see that some people call this a Depression Cake because it’s been around since the Great Depression. We’re not talking 2008 here people, we’re talking the 1920s. People didn’t always have access to milk and cream and eggs, so they made do. My mom tells me how sometimes for Christmas they’d get an orange and that was really special.

It certainly makes me look at the oranges I eat differently. We have so much to be thankful for.

Anyway, my mom and I took that recipe from her book and adapted it a little bit.

Shawn and I made a video to show you how we make it.

I couldn’t believe how easy it is to make Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake. No mixers. No exotic ingredients. No egg replacers. Just mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl and then combine them together and, Eureka! You’ve got a rich, moist, and delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake!

You could also create variations of the Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake by adding:

  • Chocolate chips could turn this into a Double Chocolate Cake
  • Chopped Walnuts to add a little extra flavor and crunch
  • Peanut Butter frosting could turn this into a Chocolate Peanut Butter Wacky Cake

Personally, a cake has to have amazing frosting to make my list, so I was sure to add this to the recipe as well. But if you want to skip that step, you can always just give it a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Also, I used coconut oil in this Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake recipe, but you can use vegetable oil in place of that if you can’t find coconut oil.

Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake

We hope you love this Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake as much as we do. If you decide to make this cake, snap a photo and use #namelymarly on Instagram or even Snapchat (I’m @namelymarly there). We love seeing your photos!

5 from 1 vote
Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake - a super simple, delicious chocolate cake that will leave you ready for another slice of this delicious chocolate dessert.
Chocolate Wacky Cake Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake - a super simple, delicious chocolate cake that will leave you ready for another slice of this delicious chocolate dessert.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9
Calories: 240 kcal
Author: Namely Marly
  • 1Β½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Β½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Powdered sugar or Chocolate Frosting (see below for topping
  1. Heat your oven to 350F. Spray a round cake pan with vegetable spray. You can also place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan and spray the sides with vegetable oil.

  2. Combine in a large mixing bowl the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Stir to combine.
  3. In a smaller bowl combine the vegetable oil, water, vinegar and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar or top with Chocolate Frosting*
Recipe Notes

*Make chocolate frosting by combining 2 tablespoons vegan butter, 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Stir to combine. It will be crumbly. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla-flavored plant-based milk. Stir to combine. Continue adding 1 teaspoon of plant-based milk at a time until you get a spreadable consistency.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Wacky Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 240 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 252mg 11%
Potassium 70mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 40g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 22g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0.7%
Iron 7.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

There’s some other delicious vegan chocolate cakes in this world. Check these out:

Whatever cake you’re polishing off, enjoy!

Updated by Marly · Permalink

19 Responses to Vegan Chocolate Wacky Cake

  1. Lovely recipe! As a sworn vegan, my mom will definitely appreciate it. Will share it with her right away πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Ella! I hope your mom loves it as much as my mom does…and me too! πŸ™‚

    • Crazy Baker

      Since white sugar is filtered through charcoal made from cattle bones, what sweetener do you recommend?

    • Some vegans elect to not eat white, refined sugar. Not me. I decided a long time ago that it felt too restrictive. First of all, there are some sources of white refined sugar that are not made via the process you describe, and it’s not always easy to tell which kind you’re getting. I wrote a post on 10 Ways to Be Vegan where I point out that you cannot be 100% animal cruelty free, so somewhere along the vegan spectrum, you are making choices. I respect people and the choices they make for the degree of veganism they choose for their lives. I’m sure you already know, Ella, there are lots of choices for sweeteners, including coconut sugar, sugar in the raw, etc. It’s typically sold in health food stores or in the health food sections of most grocery stores.

  2. Can I use gluten-free flour?

    • Hi Cathy! I made this cake using an all-purpose gluten-free flour last week and it worked fine. The batter was a little thick so I added an additional quarter cup of water. Make sure to include that chocolate frosting. It’s so good!

  3. Elizabeth

    Hi…What can I use instead of sugar that is Low GI….thanks….

    • You could try using coconut sugar which has a lower GI. I haven’t tried this myself but am a big fan of Truvia. Just a note though, whenever I’ve used sugar substitutes in a recipe, it tends to make it a little dry, so be aware of that. Let me know how it goes!

  4. What do you mean by, “Powdered sugar of chocolate frosting…” (In the ingredients list)?

    • I think it’s supposed to say ‘or’ not ‘of’.

    • That’s exactly right, Jorina. Dang fingers! It’s fixed now. πŸ™‚

    • That’s my silly fingers getting carried away. It should say Powdered sugar OR chocolate frosting. I eye roll myself. :\

  5. I just made this cake……. it’s just gone in the oven, yum!!!!!!!!! I can’t eat chocolate so I substituted the cocoa powder for carob powder & it tastes amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!!! I look forward to cooking more of your recipes

    • Oh, I’m so excited…and kinda of jealous too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this recipe…and now I want to make it again! πŸ™‚ Also, great idea for the carob powder. Check out my Peanut Butter Wacky Cake recipe too – where I used peanut butter powder instead of cocoa! πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Marly! Thanks for the recipe, I baked it just now, haven’t tasted yet, but I have a question. I followed your recipe, really tried to get the measurements just right, but when I took the cake out of the oven – it was risen unevenly and had deep cracks all over. Do you maybe know what could have caused this? Thanks!

    • Hi Goda. Thanks for your comment. Typically deep cracks in a cake can indicate the oven was too hot. And if it is raising unevenly it can be another sign of issues with the oven. Here’s a link to an article I found on cake baking issues and tips for resolution. We’ve enjoyed this cake recipe so many times – my mom makes it for us too – and haven’t experienced cracks or uneven rising. I even made a gluten-free version of the cake (using all purpose gluten-free flour) and it turned out great as well. I hope this is helpful.

  7. Thank you for the reply! I really loved the cake (had icing sugar on top instead of the frosting), so I’ll have the oven issue in mind next time I’m making it (with the frosting). By the way, I used coconut sugar instead of usual sugar and the taste was lovely!

  8. Love this cake for my son who has many allergies. Will definitely be making it for his birthday!
    Have you used this recipe for cupcakes? Wondering how it changes the cooking time?

    • I’m so glad to hear this cake will work for your son and his allergies, Megan! I would set the timer for 18 minutes or so and then check the cupcakes by inserting a toothpick (or piece of spaghetti) in the center of one of the cupcakes to see if they’re done. Hope you love them!


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