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Chocolate Wacky Cake with Chocolate Frosting

A glass pie plate filled with chocolate wacky cake with a piece cut from it on a white plate beside it.


This chocolate wacky cake is made without eggs, butter, or dairy. Despite the limited ingredients, the cake is rich and tender. The creamy chocolate frosting that crowns the cake is irresistible, but you can skip it if you’re observing a vegan diet or don’t have any dairy products on hand.

A glass pie plate filled with chocolate wacky cake with a piece cut from it on a white plate beside it.

Adapted from Jessie Sheehan | Jessie Sheehan Bakes | 2022

This chocolate wacky cake is a great, simple cake for when eggs, butter, and dairy products are hard to come by. And, most of all, it’s delicious!–Jessie Sheehan

Wacky Cake FAQs

What is a wacky cake?

Wacky cake originated during World War II, when ingredients were hard to come by and many things were rationed. It’s a delicious, spongy, cocoa-based dessert born from pure ingenuity. It is also sometimes called crazy cake, Joe cake, wowie cake, depression cake, and WW II cake. It’s wacky because it doesn’t require eggs, butter, or milk.

How should you store chocolate wacky cake?

The cake can be stored at room temperature, tightly wrapped, for up to 4 days.

Can you freeze wacky cake?

Yes, but it’s best if the cake and frosting are frozen separately. Tightly wrap the cooled, baked cake in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before frosting.

A glass pie plate filled with chocolate wacky cake with a piece cut from it on a white plate beside it.

Chocolate Wacky Cake with Chocolate Frosting

A glass pie plate filled with chocolate wacky cake with a piece cut from it on a white plate beside it.

This inexpensive, easy-to-make, dairy-free chocolate cake is rich and delicious.

Jessie Sheehan

Prep 30 mins

Cook 30 mins

Total 1 hr 30 mins

For the chocolate wacky cake

For the chocolate frosting

Make the chocolate wacky cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

  • Add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla, and whisk until fully incorporated and smooth.

  • Transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a moist crumb or two, 25 to 35 minutes.

  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Make the chocolate frosting

  • While the cake is cooling, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat the butter on medium speed until soft and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Whisk the sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium-sized bowl. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar mixture and 1/2 cup of cream to the butter in batches, beginning and ending with the sugar mixture.

  • Add the vanilla and salt and mix on medium until smooth, fluffy and spreadable, about 5 minutes, adding remaining cream, a tablespoon at a time, if necessary.

  • Generously frost the cake, decorate with rainbow sprinkles, if desired, and serve.

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 568kcal (28%)Carbohydrates: 85g (28%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 26g (40%)Saturated Fat: 12g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mg (15%)Sodium: 418mg (18%)Potassium: 251mg (7%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 64g (71%)Vitamin A: 510IU (10%)Calcium: 57mg (6%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published July 27, 2022

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.





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