Chocolate crazy cake that is devilishly good without eggs or butter. This cake is rich, moist, delicious and super simple to put together. All you need is a bowl, a whisk, some pantry staples and a little bit of time.
This is my go to chocolate cake recipe! I use it as the base almost every time I need chocolate cake.
It is so easy to make. You can do it with a mixing bowl and whisk, no fancy equipment or ingredients required! It is sure to win you over as well!
I found this old fashioned chocolate cake recipe a magazine years ago and it quickly became my go to chocolate cake. It is so easy to put together and makes the softest chocolate cake we have ever had.
It is just a classic cake with rich chocolate flavor covered in a fudgy frosting. What’s not to love about that?
Why We Love This Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Recipe
It is a rich, moist cake that begs for you to get every last crumb. The texture is soft and inviting too.
There is no mixer needed, nothing fancy to do. Just ingredients that I always have in my pantry. In less than an hour, with no softening of any ingredients, you have a cake!
If you are worried about the coffee granules in the recipe, don’t be. Not one person detected it. It just makes the chocolate flavor deeper (and doesn’t hurt the color either!)
I have gone back to this recipe as a base every time I have needed a chocolate cake for another application. As it turns out, I need a lot of chocolate cake… so that is really saying something!
I have used it instead of a cake mix when making a Ding Dong Cake. It really comes together just as quickly as opening the box and I don’t have to remember to pick a mix up at the store.
Chocoholics love it when we finish the cake with shiny fudge frosting. It is smooth, luscious and that natural shine looks so inviting.
When using the fudge frosting, the middle layer of frosting almost melts into the layers of cake in such a luscious way. Mmmm!
If you aren’t in the mood for fudge frosting, never fear! There are so many great options. We really loved the creamy caramel sweetened condensed milk frosting on it as well!
This recipe doesn’t always have to be made as a layer cake either. It bakes great in a 9×13 and is an excellent base for something like a rolo poke cake!
The caramel makes delicious pockets of goodness in the cake and a nice fluffy ermine frosting coats it all!
I’ve also baked it up into mini bundt cakes and served it with peanut butter whipped cream. So as you can see, this recipe is super versatile.
Pretty much anything you need a chocolate cake recipe for, this beauty can fill in. Plus you are likely to have most of the ingredients on hand already!
Tips and Tricks:
This recipe is super versatile, use it for a 9″ layer cake, bake it in a 9×13″ pan or even make cupcakes or mini bundts out of it.
One of my favorite parts about this recipe is there are no ingredients that need to come to room temperature. You can whip up a cake whenever you feel like it.
You don’t need any fancy equipment for the cake, just a bowl and whisk will do. Just make sure to get all of the flour incorporated without over mixing it. That’s the key for a tender cake.
Have fun with it! This cake is a perfect starter cake if you want to get into making homemade cakes. It is also a great easy recipe for seasoned bakers.
There is a reason it gets rave reviews from everyone who makes it. Do yourself a favor and give it a go!
Dairy and Egg Free Batter
When you look at the ingredient list, don’t be surprised to find there are no eggs. It seems really strange, but it is correct… no eggs.
I think that is part of what gives the cake it’s great soft texture. I have plenty of cake recipes with eggs and those a great too, but in this instance the recipe is perfect without.
I have had several people ask me if it’s an accident that they aren’t in the ingredient list. While I do occasionally make mistakes like that, I assure you this time it is on purpose.
There is no butter or milk in the batter either. So the cake is great for people with sensitivities or even people who are vegan.
You will have to pick another frosting for sure, but the cake itself is the perfect base for whatever you decide to make!
Why do you add vinegar to this cake?
The vinegar reacts with the baking soda to create the bubbles that give your cake lift as it bakes. That is what gives this cake its soft texture and airy crumb.
How do you store leftover cake?
As long as you use a frosting that that doesn’t require refrigeration, the best way to store a cake is covered at room temperature. It will stay good for several days that way. For longer storage you can put extra slices in freezer containers and store them for up to 3 months. Just defrost and enjoy when you need a sweet treat.
More Fun Cake Recipes to Try:
If you want a smaller chocolate cake, try making a chocolate mayonnaise cake. It is a single layer of chocolate cake with just enough chocolate frosting on top.
For another super soft cake, try making a lemon velvet cake. Or if vanilla is more your style, make a pink velvet cake.
Check out my full collection of cake recipes for more inspiration!
Crazy Chocolate Cake
This chocolate depression cake recipe was developed during the Great Depression when it was hard to get eggs and butter. The cake is loaded with chocolate flavor and it is super tender and moist. It is our favorite chocolate cake recipe.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups hot water
- 3/4 cup oil
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two 9 inch round cake pans or a 9x13" pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a second bowl, mix together water, oil, vinegar, coffee and extracts.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- For a layer cake: Divide batter between the two pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Cool cakes for about 15 minutes and then invert onto a baking rack to cool the rest of the way.
- For a 9x13: pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean.
- Once completely cooled, frost the cake. We will always like the shiny fudge frosting, but also love this cake with cream cheese frosting and whipped cream frosting.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please view my disclosure page for more information.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.
Wednesday 25th of November 2020
Has anyone tried adding in raspberries or cherries to this recipe?
Friday 4th of December 2020
That sounds delicious. It is a really moist cake, so there is a possibility they would sink. You'll have to let me know how it goes if you try it!
Sunday 16th of June 2019
I like the fact that there are no eggs for those of us who are watching our cholesterol. Should be watching our waistlines too, but what the heck! ;-)
Friday 4th of December 2020
Ha! You have to have fun sometimes ;-)
Tuesday 12th of February 2019
Tuesday 17th of July 2018
In the recipe you baking time for the 9 x 13 pan at 50 min , that's strange because all my 9 x 13 cakes bake for bout 30 min, would u plz explain
Sunday 22nd of July 2018
That's what worked for me. Ovens do vary and so do recipes, you are welcome to start checking it earlier if you'd like.
Art from my Table
Thursday 17th of August 2017
This cake looks amazing! So moist! The sprinkles add just the right amount of color.
Monday 21st of August 2017
Thank you! It is a favorite of ours for sure. I love how good it taste and how easy it is to make!