Wacky Cake

Chocolate Wacky Cake

I think that everyone should make a wacky cake at least once!  Although there are many variations on the recipe, it is always quick, easy, and vegan, which makes it a perfect cake to bake if you are visiting omni relatives whose pantries aren’t exactly bursting with vegan-friendly special ingredients.
This particular recipe is adapted from the popular Super Moist Chocolate Cake recipe on the VegWeb website, which is also very similar to this recipe for Wacky Cake.  Both recipes are very well-reviewed, so they’re worth checking out if you’re interested in a more traditional chocolate wacky cake recipe.
My take on wacky cake is a bit non-traditional.  For one thing, I like to use balsamic vinegar in the recipe since it goes well with chocolate.  The taste is not really apparent in the finished cake, but I still think that balsamic vinegar complements the chocolate flavor well.  Since the vinegar is only necessary for leavening purposes, you could also substitute apple cider vinegar or white vinegar if you prefer (I even read a recipe which called for lemon juice instead).  Another change I like to make is to replace some or all of the oil called for in the traditional recipe with applesauce in order to make the cake low-fat.  You can alter the ratio of applesauce to oil to suit your preferences, and even if you use oil for all five tablespoons (I would recommend a mild oil like canola, safflower, or vegetable oil), the cake is still relatively healthy.  The cake in these photos was made with no oil (and without a real cake pan), which certainly altered the crumb of the cake, but the final result was still absolutely delicious.  Also, I’ve never had any problems with using cold water in the cake, but using your favorite non-dairy beverage instead would certainly also be a good alternative.  Making three wells in the dry ingredients to add in the wet ingredients seems to be the agreed-upon method of choice for making wacky cake, but even if you simply add the liquid ingredients as you would in a usual recipe, I doubt it would make a real difference to the final cake.  Most recipes seems to suggest baking the cake for about 30 minutes, but I’ve always had to bake it for at least an hour; if you think your oven cooks things particularly quickly, you might want to check the cake earlier to avoid burning.  Finally, for the best results, you should let the cake cool before cutting it into pieces (unlike what I did for the slice in the photo below), which will allow for cleaner edges.
Wacky Cake is not necessarily a show-stopper of a recipe, but it’s a great basic chocolate cake that can serve as a satisfying dessert for almost any occasion.  I hope you’ll give it a try!

Wacky Cake

Chocolate Balsamic Wacky Cake
Yield: 1 cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (or use canola oil)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or use apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold water (or use non-dairy milk)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Make three wells in the dry mixture and pour the applesauce into one, the vinegar into the next, and the vanilla into the third.  Add the water to the mixture, and stir the ingredients together until combined.  Pour the batter into a prepared 8-inch cake pan.

Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean.  Enjoy!


December 25, 2009. Cakes.


  1. Laryssa replied:

    I know you don’t update this blog anymore, but I found this recipe in a pinch when I realized I didn’t have any white vinegar in my house. I made this cake for Mother’s Day, and my mom loved it! I made two layers and included a strawberry balsamic filling. Thanks for posting this!

    • Vegan Sweet Tooth replied:

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment; I’m so glad the cake was a hit for Mother’s Day! Your strawberry balsamic filling sounds delicious!

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