No Eggs. No Milk. No Butter.

What! No Eggs? No milk? No butter? How can a cake be baked without those ingredients, Dear Readers?

Not only can a delicious cake be created without those three ingredients, but my hunch is that a recipe sans those ingredients still hides within family cookbooks passed from one generation to the next.

Ragged-edge, food-stained, well-used cookbook catalogs from Grandma Lois or Great Grandma Helen bask in the limelight as a well-preserved family baking treasury.

The contents of that treasury began accumulating with pen and paper about a century ago.

Baking in a New Era

Now, however, with a few clicks of a computer mouse, my encyclopedia-plus computer will deliver that same simple eggless, milkless, and butterless recipe to my bright and well-lighted kitchen known as Miss NiNi’s food lab in the blink of an eye!

The recipe was titled Wacky Cake, Great Depression Cake, or Crazy Cake. Have you ever baked that recipe?

I had not. Yet, I recalled Mom having made neighbor Mrs. Struwing’s Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake decades ago. Her recipe though was a spice cake and included raisins.

The Crazy Cake recipe I share with you today is a down-home chocolate version—and is it ever tasty!

Easy and Delicious

The beauty of this simple wackily-made dessert is that it’s mixed directly in the ungreased cake pan. No electric mixer or hand-beating drudgery required. 

Once the dry ingredients are sifted together into the 9 x 13-inch cake pan, three wells are formed with a spoon. And then the mixing fun begins!

After my cake was baked and cooled, rather than cut the pieces into squares for serving, I used a circular cookie cutter to remove beautiful chocolate-cake circles from the pan. Granted, there are odds-and-ends pieces of cake. That’s okay! They make for great snacking!

A favorite icing or a more simplistic dusting of powdered sugar could complete the cake.

The cake recipe certainly is not outdated. Yet, updating this Depression 1930’s-ish Cake from ordinary to contemporary was on the how-to-tickle-the-taste-buds docket.

With a fine drizzle of creamy chocolate ganache swizzled over the one-inch-thick cake circle, an unsophisticated little piece of cake became decadently avant-garde.

This unique recipe made without eggs, milk, and butter is fun to make! It’s easy! And it’s wackily yummy!


Chocolate Wacky Cake


3 c. All-Purpose Flour

2 c. Granulated Sugar

1 t. Salt

2 t. Baking Soda

½ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

¾ c. Vegetable Oil

2 T. vinegar (white or cider)

2 t. Vanilla Extract

2 c. Ice Cold Water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13-inch ungreased cake pan.

Using the back of a spoon, make three wells into the dry ingredients. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into the second, and vanilla into the third well. Pour ice cold water over all and stir with fork until batter is smooth and well combined.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Frost with favorite frosting, dust with powdered sugar, or drizzle with chocolate ganache.

Miss NiNi