This wacky cake recipe with peanut butter frosting is a delicious and decadent dessert that’s made using only one pan and pantry staples ingredients. A frugal and delicious cake that’s a perfect treat for those times when you are craving something sweet.
Wacky cake recipe
I’m not sure if you have heard about wacky cake recipe before! I honestly just recently discovered it and my life has been changed since. Why? Put simple, it’s A-MA-ZING and so easy to make you won’t even believe it! Best of all? It only needs some pantry staples. There are no eggs, or butter or even milk in this cake also known as crazy cake or depression cake!
Other cakes you will love:
- Dairy & egg free chocolate cake
- Double chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream
- Instant pot Oreo cheesecake
Oh and you mix everything in the same pan you use to bake it. The first time I made it I was completely sure that was a recipe for disaster, after all you are not greasing your pan. However the cake comes out perfect and you can comfortably slice it and serve it.
And can we please talk about that peanut butter frosting? The wacky cake frosting here is made with butter (or shortening), peanut butter and some confectioners sugar. Just whip until light and fluffy and you are all set. Super simple, easy and quick!
Why is it called wacky cake?
The wacky cake recipe gets the name from the fun way it’s mixed. If you think about it, it’s pretty crazy that you mix all the ingredients in the same pan you are using for baking it.
History tells that this cake became famous around 1940 and used during cooking demonstrations. Basically you mix all the dry ingredients, make 3 holes, pour each wet ingredient into a hole and mix with a fork or spatula until incorporated.
How to make a super fluffy wacky chocolate cake
One of the things I love the most about this wacky cake recipe is how incredibly fluffy it is! There are a couple of reasons why this is so light and airy that you can use when making any other chocolate cake.
- Go big on the baking powder
- Add some vinegar. The vinegar makes the baking powder react which results in a fluffier cake
These have been my mother’s tricks since forever and I was always amazed at the fluffiness of her desserts. I never truly believe this hack would work until I tried it myself and I’m now hooked!
For the cake you’ll need all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, white vinegar, vanilla extract, vegetable oil and water. So no eggs, no dairy!
For the frosting you need butter, creamy peanut butter, warm water, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Again, no eggs, no dairy! Yay!
How do you make wacky cake from scratch?
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Whisk until combined.
3. Make 3 depressions. Pour ingredients in each of these. Pour the water over the pan. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Make sure you get into the corners of the pan.
4. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Cool the cake completely on the rack.
6. Frosting: Place vegetable shortening and peanut butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add two cups of powdered sugar and beat until well blended and it begins to thicken. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water at a time.
Mix for 3 minutes or until it’s lighter and fluffy. If too thick, add a little more water and beat.
7. Spread frosting over the cooled cake.
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Wacky cake recipe
For the cake
- 1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Cup water
For the frosting
- ½ Cup butter room temperature
- 1 Cup creamy peanut butter room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons warm water
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 2 Cups powdered sugar sifted
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Whisk until combined.
- Make 3 depressions (or holes) in the dry ingredients – two small and one large. Pour the vinegar in one small depression, vanilla in the other small depression, and the vegetable oil in the third larger depression.
- Pour the water over the pan. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Make sure you get into the corners of the pan.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the cake completely on the rack.
For the frosting
- Place vegetable shortening and peanut butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Add two cups of powdered sugar and beat until well blended and it begins to thicken.
- Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of water at a time.
- Mix for 3 minutes or until it’s lighter and fluffy. If too thick, add a little more water and beat.
- Spread frosting over the cooled cake.
The cake was delicious, and I loved the frosting, but my cake didn’t rise was my only problem. But I will definitely be making again.
Hi Jennifer! I’m glad you enjoyed this cake. I wouldn’t worry about rising, this type of cake doesn’t rise much because of the way it’s prepared & because it’s egg & dairy free. As long as the batter bakes nicely, you’re good.