Grandma’s Wacky Cake

Dear Wacky Cake:

There are so many reasons I love you. First of all, you are small and the perfect size for my family of four. After two days, there are no leftovers to contend with. You do not tempt me from my counter top all week. I love that I can make a treat and also feel like I haven’t over done it or wasted any at the same time. Secondly, you are vegan. I am not vegan, but I love you anyway. Because you’re vegan, I don’t need to have any eggs, or milk or butter on hand to make you and that makes you rather special. It also means I can sneak as much raw batter as I want when I am making you, and I’m all about that.

Lastly, I don’t have to dirty any thing more than the dish you are baked in, a measuring cup and a mixing tool to make you, and we all know, fewer dishes = true love. Am I right? 

This Wacky Cake is a recipe from my grandmother’s kitchen. It is super versatile and inexpensive to make. You can stir in any flavorings or mix-ins you like. Chocolate chips? Good. Nuts? Delicious. Turn it pink just because? Do it! If you don’t have any frosting (or the ingredients to make it) on hand, sprinkle the top with some powdered sugar or cover it in whipped cream. Don’t have either of those things? It also tastes great without it! You seriously can’t go wrong! 

But wait a second, this bad boy has vinegar in it… Isn’t that totally gross you ask? Nope. Makes this sucker nice and airy. Give it a try. You won’t regret it!  

Our eldest graduated Kindergarten this week and this cake was her special request. In the example below, we left out the cocoa powder and replaced it with some vanilla and yellow food coloring as she wanted a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. A girl after my own heart and stomach apparently!

Grandma's Wacky Cake

This great little cake is simple and quick to whip up in a pinch when you're short on time and ingredients!
5 from 2 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 9" square pan
  • fork or whisk
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder optional (can sub for 1 tsp vanilla or other extract for different flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water


  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Mix dry ingredients together in an ungreased square pan
  • Combine wet ingredients in a bowl or large measuring cup and pour into dry ingredients
  • Mix well with a whisk or fork until combined. Be sure to get into the corners or you'll end up with floury edges.
  • Stir in any add in ingredients as you might wish.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 25-30 or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake is evenly and lightly browned.
  • Top with whipped cream, powdered sugar, frosting of your choice, or eat as is!

2 thoughts on “Grandma’s Wacky Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    My six year old made this by himself tonight (with a little help interpreting the directions from me). He was so proud! He added chocolate chips of course.

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