Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tried & True Tuesday ~ Lemon Crazy/Wacky Cake

This week I am sharing another Crazy Cake recipe, Lemon Crazy Cake - no eggs, milk or butter.  


CRAZY CAKE, also known as Wacky Cake & Depression Cake - No Eggs, Milk, Butter, Bowls or Mixers! Super moist and delicious. Go-to recipe for egg/dairy allergies. Great activity to do with kids. Recipe dates back to the Great Depression. It's darn good cake!


I still cannot believe the amount of visits for these cakes since my first share of the Chocolate Crazy Cake last month. I absolutely love reading all the stories and comments shared on this Depression era recipe. Crazy Cake, also known as Wacky Cake, Vinegar &  Oil Cake, Depression Cake and many more names, is loved by so many.  I am thrilled that people who lost this recipe, found it again. And I am so happy people stumbled on this recipe for family and friends that suffer from egg and dairy allergies.  Everyone should be able eat real cake!  

You can learn more about the cake here, in my first post for Chocolate Crazy Cake. 

Since first posting the Chocolate Crazy Cake, I've added new flavors and a few mug cake versions too - you can check them all out by clicking the photo below:





Today I finally made a Lemon Crazy Cake.  It only took two attempts to get it perfect! The first try, I used fresh lemon juice in the water...it tasted delicious, was super moist, but was a little flat in the center.  The second try I added lemon zest and lemon extract....ding, ding, ding, ding...winner!!!

 


Lemon Crazy/Wacky Cake Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Cups flour + 3 Tablespoons (all-purpose)
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure lemon extract
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
  • 1 Cup water 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8" square baking pan, starting with the flour first.  Mix well. Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients - two small, one larger (see #3 in photo below). Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla and lemon extracts in the other, and the vegetable oil in third larger depression. Pour water over all.  Mix well until smooth.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes.  Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Cool.  Top with your favorite frosting ( I used vanilla for this lemon cake).  Enjoy!

Frosting Recipes
Vegan Fluffy Buttercream frosting
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (contains dairy)

Tips:
You can double this recipe, just use a 9x13 baking pan.  

You can add more lemon zest for a stronger lemon taste, or use lemon frosting or a lemon glaze.  

You can also mix the batter in a bowl for neater, easier mixing.  Be sure to follow the directions the same way - mixing the dry ingredients then making the depressions for the wet ingredients.  Don't forget to grease you pan. 

Although I have not used Gluten Free flour mixes for this recipe, many people have and said the cake turns out wonderful!  "Yes it is yummy and very moist. It even works with gf flour mixes!"




I will be sharing my Lemon Crazy Cake at this great party,


Thanks for stopping by!
Cheers!

92 comments:

Heather @ The Beating Hearth said...

I love lemon so this is my kind of cake. looks so pretty too with the lemon zest in there!

Maureen said...

I shouldn't have read this just before bed. Now, all I can think about is having a piece of lemon cake! How wonderful that your recipes are such a success.

Natalie @ NorthShore Days said...

Oh my !!! I need me some of that lemon cake!!!! I will make this next - yum!!!

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

Yum, you know I love my lemon!

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

Mary!!! I'm making this for Sam tonight!! Okay...I'm really making it for me, but don't tell!!

Sherry of Pondered Primed Perfected said...

Anything lemon sounds good to me. What a perfect flavor for spring! I still haven't made crazy cake but I have them all pinned for when I need some cake :) Can't wait to try this!!

Walking on Sunshine said...

I love lemon and this looks perfect and whacky! :)

We are having a Cookie Party this week for Foodie Friends Friday. Would love for you to come over with a cookie recipe or two to link up with us!

Kelly Patton Johnson said...

In the oven now. Hubby's favorite:Lemon anything. Putting a lemon glaze on it.

Lindseyj said...

Just made this... although I didn't have lemon extract so I substituted almond... it was AMAZING :)

matmedmera said...

Is that simple? I love it!

Jen said...

I didn't have any lemon zest or lemon extract. :( But I did see that I had orange extract and some fresh oranges. So I substituted the orange for the lemon and substituted the vinegar with lemon juice. I also only used 1/2 tsp of vanilla and added 1/2 tsp of butter extract. I made an orange icing with a bit of butter, powdered sugar, orange zest, dash of salt, orange juice and a tiny bit of orange extract! It all turned out wonderful!) You've got my mouth watering for trying your exact recipe!! Going to go out and get me some lemons! Thank You!

Jen said...

I didn't have any lemon zest or lemon extract. :( But I did see that I had orange extract and some fresh oranges. So I substituted the orange for the lemon and substituted the vinegar with lemon juice. I also only used 1/2 tsp of vanilla and added 1/2 tsp of butter extract. I made an orange icing with a bit of butter, powdered sugar, orange zest, dash of salt, orange juice and a tiny bit of orange extract! It all turned out wonderful!) You've got my mouth watering for trying your exact recipe!! Going to go out and get me some lemons! Thank You!

The Better Baker said...

Fabulous idea! Gotta LOVE Wacky Cakes! Thanks much for sharing at Weekend Potluck...please come back soon.

Sinea Pies said...

This looks and sounds WONDERFUL! Would you please share this on my Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop? It is still up now or you can wait till next week but do share it, OK?

New follower here, BTW.
Blessings,
Sinea
Ducks ‘n a Row

heartofacountryhome said...

yummy! Looks awesome! I make an Applesauce Cake that has no eggs. Easy and delicious! :)

Jeff said...

I saw this on Facebook and thought to myself, "Now here's a cake even a guy can make!" But I have a question that probably only a guy would ask. How do you mix the dry ingredients in a pan that's already been greased? Wouldn't that make some little clumps in the dry ingredients? Inquiring minds wanna know! I'm looking forward to giving this recipe (and the variations you previously posted) a try.

Mary said...

Hi Jeff,

Good question! It's a really old recipe, but it works. The mixture does stick to the greased pan, but don't worry about that, just mix it. This cake is not going to win beauty competition, but it's good. As for clumps, I don't have them...well, I have had a few over the years, when I rushed and didn't take the time to mix it well. What some people do is mix the batter in a big bowl (following the same directions), then transfer it to the greased pan. I always mix it right in the baking pan. It's an old recipe, but it works. It always turns out moist despite not having eggs, butter or milk. Chocolate, Lemon & Spiced are my favorites! I hope you like the cake! Thanks so much for the visit and question!

Anonymous said...

Love lemon & this looks so easy & good. Just wish you had a printer friendly button to print off copies of your recipes.

Mary said...

Thank you for the sweet comment. I have a print recipe link, you must have missed it - it's right above the ingredients.

Here is the link:

https://sites.google.com/site/sweetlittlebluebird/lemon-crazy-wacky-cake-recipe

Hope you have a great weekend!

Kate said...

Thank you for sharing all of your wacky cake recipes! Until now I was only aware of the Chocolate Wacky Cake, which has been very popular in our home. Thanks to you we can now have some variety. :)

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if this could be made with Almond flavoring as well??

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if it would be alright to sub melted butter for veg. oil as I am out..I wouldn't see how it would hurt, has anyone tried that?

Anonymous said...

I just made this and used vegetable oil just like the recipe, not melted butter. It came out wonderfully!! My son is allergic to milk, eggs and regular flour (I used gluten free four) It was a winner with him, and he is very picky! thank you much!!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if I can make this recipe in the form of cupcakes? Will try tonight!

Karen Cosme said...

The chocolate cake you call crazy cake, we all call "Mix in the pan cake" although I don't make it in the pan, I use a bowl. It has been mine & my family's favorite cake for years! Very moist, but not too sweet. I don't put ANY frosting on it. I am so happy to have the other Lemon & Spice versions now, they will be on my to do list right away! Thank you soooooo much for sharing the other varities! YUM YUM

Anonymous said...

My kids were raised on Wacky Cakes. I can't wait to try this version. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I tripled the ingredients because I need to make a three layer cake. It seemed a little runny! I hope it works!

Winter-Joy said...

I tried the crazy chocolate cake... I made them into cup cakes with a chocolate hazelnut frosting. It was delishious... My family couldn't believe the ingredients I used. They loved it... But now I'm tryi g to make a strawberry cake for a family friend. Do you have any suggestions on how to do so? Thanks in advance if you do...

Anonymous said...

I have been eating the chocolate Wacky Cake all my life. I was born in 1946. My mom would make it and let us eat it warm with butter on it. It is still a favorite of my kids, too. It always makes up think of Mom. She used to make the indentations for the ingredients, but as time went buy we stopped doing that. Still tastes the same. It is the best. I'm sure it came from the depression.

Anonymous said...

Would this work with whole wheat flour?
Would it not work if you mixed all the wet ingredients together & mixed into the dry?

Jesse Brixius said...

Can you subsitute the sugar for anything? (That u have tried with this recipie?)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, firstly thanks for this recipe as My Ethiopian maid is currently fasting upto Xmas and does not eat dairy and egg products. So I will try this out tomorrow for her sake. In the meantime, as I am not a baking expert, I am curious to know exactly what purpose do the three depressions in the dry ingredients serve? Does it impact the smoothness or quality of the cake? Thanks dear. (My name is Reshma and I live in Dubai)

Mary N said...

Hi Reshma! Because the cake does not have eggs, milk, butter or any dairy, the depressions help keep ingredients from mixing until they should mix (baking soda and vinegar) - this helps the cake to rise and be soft and yummy. People have said they mix the wet and then the dry...but I like to follow the rules because they have never failed me once! I'm not sure if you read, but there are several other versions/flavors for this cake - you can find them in my recipe section. I hope you enjoy the cake! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mary N said...

I think that would be great!

Mary N said...

Hi Jesse! I replied to your message but it's not here. ??? I have never used anything but sugar. I have read that others have used artificial sugar and it turned out. Maybe one day I'll give it a try and let you know!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how exactly you mix the ingredience after pouring the water... Do you mix everything at the same time or each depression filled with its own addition separately?

Mary N said...

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8" square baking pan, starting with the flour first. Mix well. Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients - two small, one larger (see #3 in photo below). Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla and lemon extracts together in the other, and the vegetable oil in third larger depression. Pour water over all. Mix well until smooth.

Galagirl01 said...

I made the chocolate today .. it was so good (and I'm not a chocolate cake girl) ... I wondered if there were other options .. going to try the lemon!!

BlueTulip said...

Oh. My. Goodness!!!!
I am making a Wacky Cake every week, forever.

Anonymous said...

I am a low carber and I am going to try your recipe using almond or coconut flour, Stevia and coconut oil in place of the higher carb ingredients.

Cyndy Napp said...

Please post how that turns out. Thanks.

Cyndy Napp said...

Please post how that turns out. I, too am watching carbs. I also though of adding the stevia and some poppy seeds. A little drizzle of glaze goes a long way. Much more calorie friendly than frosting I would think.

Mary A. said...

Hi Mary, I made this tonight using GF flour. I also substituted lemon juice for the lemon zest following the Common Ingredient Substitutions website because I didn't have a lemon zester. I'm also using a loaf pan because we've moved and I haven't found my 8" pans yet. The batter seemed thin. Is that alright or do you think I messed something up? I'll try to let you know how it turned out if I haven't buried my head in the snow in shame. :)

Jamie Riddle said...

So you mix EVERYTHING together after you pour the water over it?

Jamie Riddle said...

So you do mix EEVERYTHING together after you add the water?

Mary N said...

Yes! :)

Mary N said...

Be sure to mix your dry ingredients first! - then make the depressions and add the wet ingredients - then pour water over top and mix it all together!

TawanaB said...

I love wacky cake! Have been making it (seems like forever) lol. Because of my age this is an old recipe for my family. My mom made home made cakes all the time for me and her recipe book disappeared so it wasn't until recently that I found this recipe. I was wondering how to adapt it for other flavors and do really appreciate your time to try these and post them. I tried my own variation of lemon before I read yours LOL and it came out good but I bet the lemon zest and flavoring is better. I think I did the same thing you did the first time, not sure. I used 1/4 c. lemon juice and the rest water in mine. I also made a lemon drizzle frosting. Can't wait to see what my husband thinks of it. I seriously may never make another full cake mix recipe!! The chocolate is the moistest best chocolate cake I've ever had. Can't wait to try the Spice either.
Now here is my next adventure, I don't know if you have tried this or not but I am going to substitute half a cup of water for half a cup of cold coffee and see if I get a mocha type flavor. Sounds good to me but it may be horrid lol, I will let you know. Thanks again for all the recipes.

Bev Prine said...

This is in the oven now... doubled the recipe. Exchanged Coconut Oil for Vegetable oil. Smells so good!

Valkyrie said...

I've made the chocolate one with only 1 cup all purpose, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and it was great. Different, but great. I would imagine using it with these would be ok too, just slightly more noticeable.

Valkyrie said...

I made this tonight to recipe except I swapped the vinegar for lemon juice with pulp, but I added 3 tsp because I did'nt think the lemon juice would be as acidic as vinegar and I did'nt want to mess with the chemical reaction.

OH. MY. GOD. This seriously packs a lemony punch!!! The reaction turned out fine and it's still the moistest cake ever. Thanks for the adaptation!!!

Candi said...

Wow does that look good! My SIL fell and shattered her knee cap and is now in a wheel chair for who knows how long. I was looking for some casserole and desert recipe's I could make and take over. This is definitely going to be the first desert. Thanks soo much for sharing.

Kitty in Michigan said...

Just wondering....could I use honey as a sweetener instead of sugar? Do you have to decrease the other liquids?

Anonymous said...

Seems like you made some other kind of cake since you substituted so many of the ingredients

Anonymous said...

Well I made the cake yesterday! I was really looking forward to lemon cake...I must of done something wrong because mine did not rise. Anybody for a lemon square!

lispet said...

I just made this recipe as cupcakes. Amazing,moist, and chocolatey!

lispet said...

I just made this recipe as cupcakes. Completely satisfied my chocolate craving.

Lisette Petersen said...

Oops,I actually made the chocolate one. I was drooling over this lemon one. Gonna try it tomorrow!

Lauren Piper said...

I have been using melted butter for the longest time until i just read this recipe...so yes you can sub the melted butter for oil.

Lauren Piper said...

I have been making this cake for over a year now and have always used melted butter. I will be trying the oil the next I make it so in short yes you can use melted butter.

Anonymous said...

I just made this cake and wanted it to be soy free as well as dairy free. The only other oil I had was olive oil. I was a little worried about using the olive oil because of the strong flavor, but the cake turned out amazing!

Anonymous said...

I want to make my daughter a lemon cake for her birthday cake - she loves yellow and is allergic to dairy and eggs, so this is perfect!! I remember my mom making the chocolate crazy cake when I was a kid - loved it!
Do you think it would work to double the recipe and bake in 9" round pans?

mocodebebe said...

I have and love my great grand mother's chocolate wacky cake recipe. I can't wait to try this lemon version!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mary. Every caKe looks divine. I'm surely gona try this asap...have to get all the ingredients...my next family gathering surprise. God bless :D

Priya said...

Love the idea. Just that mine had a strong vinegar flavor and smell. Can I use some other substitute?
I put the chocolate one in microwave once, came out quite spongy and soft, but too dry to eat without frosting (also not the most good looking). Have you tried making cupcakes in microwave?

Kait Watters said...

I made it with coconut oil! Such a nice taste and smell. :)

Carol Bond said...

I made one of these cakes with half sugar and half Splenda and it was still a big hit and turned out fine.

Anonymous said...

I switched the lemon for mandarin. So yum! It doesn't need icing (frosting) but I made a mandarin flavoured icing anyway.

tbaz said...

My mother in law got the original (chocolate) Wacky Cake recipe from her kids' Home Ec class. It is a birthday staple in our family. People are always amazed at how good her cakes taste. I can't wait to try lemon!! I'm thinking the first maybe fell flat because lemon is an acid like the vinegar. It is the reaction of the vinegar and baking soda that makes it rise. Adding more acid might have thrown the balance off?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe. My son loves lemon cake, but has some allergies so this is perfect. Can't wait to make it for him. Thanks.

DeWitch said...

sounds yummy:) I love lemon and orange flavors for cakes

Anonymous said...

I just made the chocolate cake and I couldn't believe how good it was. Orange is next for me! Yum.

Paula B said...

Hi, have u tried this with coconut oil by chance?

Anonymous said...

My cake was really quite tough do you have any reasons why this might have been

Mary N said...

Lots of people have let comments stating they used coconut oil and the cake turns out wonderful. I need to try that next!

Mary N said...

Sorry to hear that. The only thing I can think of is that you may have baked the cake too long - oven's can vary - or you did not use enough oil and/or water.

Anonymous said...

I made.the lemon cake for church coffee hour and the chocolate Kahlua for my family. So moist and delicious and perfect for our Lenten coffee hours.

Anonymous said...

Made this cake today and it came out quite dense - I read that the baking time should've maybe been decreased, so I will try that next time I make this cake again. I liked how light the lemon flavour was and it went well with a lemon cream cheese frosting that I made. I made a dairy/egg-free chocolate cake all the time, and this is the first time I've tried a different flavour. I love the recipes on this site - I've made 3 of them already (including this cake), and my family has loved every one of them :)

Ilova Localfoods said...

Naaah, she only changed up the extract. Officially, that would be an orange cake, but unofficially, I'd call it delicious! All the main structural components are there, just a flavor shift.

Go Jen!! :)

bidness44 said...

Hello! I made the lemon cake yesterday, and it's already half gone. Delicious. I used a lemon from my backyard for the zest. The juice from the lemon made up some of cup of water...there was only about 2 teaspoons. I made a quick lemon glaze for the top. Perfect. Very happy to rediscover these cakes. They're so simple and easy to whip up quickly. PS remember in the 70's-80's the "Snackin' Cakes"? Now we know where they got the idea!

Lori said...

Made the lemon cake yesterday. Fast, easy and yummy. Hubby loved it! I used 1/4 cup lemon juice and 3/4 cup water. Cake baked up nice and high. Topped with a lemon glaze. Will try other flavours for sure. Thanks for recipe.

Diana said...

Lemon cake without eggs? Hooray! My daughter is allergic to eggs and since I'm nursing I don't eat them too. And I was soooo badly missing lemon cake, one of my favourites. Thanks for the recipe, I'heading to the store for lemons!

DDonaldson said...

Thank you for this recipe. I am always looking for egg free recipes for my son. This one is awesome! I did adapt it a bit so that I could add blueberries. It was so moist and really hit the spot without being too harmful to my waist line. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been making this cake for 50 yrs, last week I added 4 very ripe bananas and walnuts with a cream cheese frosting....Amazing!!!!!

amrit lattimore said...

My batter is quite runny is that how it's meant to be?

amrit lattimore said...

My batter is quite runny is that how it's meant to be?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you did a "poke cake" if that may be a way to add more flavor...just a thought

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've made the lemon version twice now with coconut and avocado oils and Pilsbury gluten free flour. Frosted it with raspberry spreadable fruit and sprinkled with coconut flakes. Very moist and sweet, dense. Next time I will add MORE of the lemon extract, as it wasn't quite lemony enough. Gluten free flour mixes are a little grainy, but worth it if you wanna avoid gluten and eat cake!!

Sue Oja said...

I've been making crazy cake for years! I amped up the chocolate recipe by using cold coffee instead of the water. (It's a great way to use leftover coffee, just put extra in an airtight container & store in fridge until you bake.) Frost with a basic buttercream frosting, but make a little bit of STRONG instant cappuccino (cooled) to thin it instead of milk. If you can't do dairy you can use powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cold coffee for a glaze. I call it my Mocha Loco Cake! I have also added chocolate or white chocolate chips to the cake batter. Another yummy frosting is to put Andes mints on while still warm enough to melt them and make them spreadable. You can add maraschino cherries to the batter also, but make sure you thoroughly dry the excess juice off them. ENJOY!!

Darlene Bachovin said...

Thanks for all the different flavor crazy cakes. My Granny used to make me the Wacky Chocolate one back in the 60's when I was a little girl. Now I make them. I look forward to trying all of the different flavors of Crazy cakes and the mug cakes.

Hope Rowan said...

I am making a 3D cake of a house for a house-warming party. Do you think this recipe would stand up to being a free-standing highly vertical cake? Thanks!

Hope Rowan said...

I am making a 3D house-shaped cake for a house-warming party. Do you think this recipe would stand up to being a free-standing highly vertical cake? thanks!