chocolate cake with frosting

Chocolate Wacky Cake with Buttercream Frosting

A few months ago I was craving chocolate cake, but lacked most of the necessary ingredients. My mom then suggested this cake, which has no milk, butter, or eggs. All the ingredients are kitchen staples (at least in my kitchen), and the cake is so easy you make mix it directly in the pan! This cake, named for my grandma’s friend who originally shared the recipe, is the first cake my mom ever made!

Beth's Wacky Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: Dessert

cake with frosting closeup of sprinkles


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an ungreased 8×8 pan, sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. (I put all in the pan and mix with a fork)
  3. Punch three holes in the mixture: one small, one medium, and one large.
  4. In the largest hole, pour the canola oil.
  5. In the medium hole, pour vinegar.
  6. In the small hole, pour vanilla.
  7. Pour the one cup of water over entire mixture. Stir well with a fork. I switch to a spatula after the batter comes together to ensure all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until set and a toothpick comes out clean.

I topped my cake with my simple, homemade buttercream frosting. It’s easy to throw together, but if you wish, the cake is also good with canned frosting as well!

Simple Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Category: Dessert

Slices of moist chocolate cake


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons half and half


  1. In a mixer, beat butter.
  2. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add vanilla and mix. Raise the speed slowly to ensure the frosting comes together.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of half and half (or cream or milk). This will make the frosting smooth and spreadable.


I do not usually add salt to frosting, but you can if you wish. A good pinch would be plenty for this recipe.

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