Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vanilla Crazy/Wacky Cake with Chocolate Ganache

We celebrated a big birthday last week, our oldest turned 18! For her birthday she requested three things for her celebration dinner - her favorite Naan Pizza with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil, my popular "Most Requested" salad and for dessert, Vanilla Crazy Cake with Chocolate Ganache. 

I have shared the Vanilla Crazy Cake before, but thought it needed to have it's very own page for the recipe. If you are not familiar with Crazy Cake, here is a brief introduction:
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!
Here is my daughter's Vanilla Crazy Cake topped with a rich, wonderful chocolate ganache. The ganache contains dairy, but I shared a link below for a dairy-free frosting option  for those with allergies or on vegan diets.  Our youngest has an egg allergy, so this is a cake the entire family can enjoy. 


Print Recipe 
  • 1 1/2 Cups flour + 3 Tablespoons (all-purpose)
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
  • 1 Cup water 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix first 4 dry ingredients in a greased 8" square baking pan.  Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients - two small, one larger (see #3 in photo below). Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla 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.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache (This recipe is for a 9x13 cake) 
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place heavy cream in medium size bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or until it begins to bubble/boil. When it starts to boil, remove from microwave, add chocolate chips and allow to sit and start to melt (about 1 1/2 minutes). When ready, mix well until chocolate is silky smooth.  If it's not smooth, it may need another 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave - do not boil.   Mix until silky smooth.  Once ready, add vanilla mix well and allow to sit for a few minutes then mix again and pour over cake and spread evenly.   Allow ganache to set a few hours before serving.  

More Frosting Recipes

Tips for Baking Cake 
For a stronger vanilla taste, you could add a 1/2 teaspoon more of vanilla for a total of 2 teaspoons.

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

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!"

Thanks for stopping by!


Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Look at you! Making something already yummy even more awesome! Yumm!

Bree said...

I've been making a scrumptious cake similar to this for years. It's called Busy-Day Chocolate Cake from Lucinda Scala Quinn's "Mad Hungry". I've always wondered about other cake variations, so I was super excited to find your recipe on Pinterest. I quickly got to mixing, but when it came to adding the vanilla, I noticed I didn't have enough. So, I used almond extract and made a delicious almond cake. WOW! It's soooooooo good! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe! I can't wait to try all of your other crazy cakes!!

saxbabe said...

Can this be made more Paleo? IE without gluten, refined sugar or inflammatory vegetable oil? Just wondering if it would work using gluten free flours, honey or maple syrup and probably coconut oil?

rachel said...

made this sevreal times as cupcakes and i always get this strong taste of soda, has it happend to anyone else? what should i do?
thanks in advance,
great recpies!!!

lynsey said...

Rachel - my chocolate cake version of this has half the amount of baking soda and salt, but treble the vinegar, maybe play with your proportions?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried fruit in these cake recipes? I want to try chopped strawberry in the vanilla one but not sure it would change the consistency.

Unknown said...

Yes, these cakes work wonderfully with gluten-free flours, and I've served them to gluten eaters and they vanished almost immediately. I've even been in the position of having had butter, but not oil, and again, the recipe worked. Chocolate chips are a nice addition to this, or the chocolate cake, as are toasted nuts. Orange or lemon extract in the vanilla cake, as well as some grated rind, are very nice, too - make a simple icing with butter, icing sugar and juice of the fruit rind you used to top it off.

Tammy said...

So I tried your crazy wacky spice cake last week and it came out amazing. We're having my son's birthday party tomorrow, so I figured I'd try the vanilla one, with a double recipe for the party.
Everyone commented that the cake was a little flatter than it could have been last week and I figured it was because I used a larger pan than you said, so I thought that using the larger pan for a double mixture would work.

I was wrong. :(
I used a circular pan which is about 11" diameter, I think, and the batter came to where I expected.
But after 35 minutes it was still completely liquid.
I ended up leaving it in the oven for about an hour and a quarter in the end, and even now, I suspect the very center is not quite cooked through and will be "fudgy".

I'm so bummed out because I was planning to make it really fancy, and cut it in half, into two cakes, and add cream and jam in between and then add icing and the Spiderman picture we had printed on sugar paper specially.

Any idea what I could have done to avoid disaster and still keep the cake taller (it came out to about an inch and a quarter high last week and I was hoping for closer to 3 inches for the birthday cake)...

Anonymous said...

Tammy could you have done 2 smaller in diameter and then put them on top of each other? I've just put a double batch in a circular about 9" pan and after 35 mins its looking ok i know when I've done a different version of the chocolate cake and done several batches it took ages and didn't rise a huge amount but it was still great when it was cooked.

this recipe does need more vinegar in it i think i remember having a problem with a soda taste fingers crossed for the one in the oven.

Anonymous said...

I tried the vanilla cake mix, seemed very easy as i had done with the chocolate cake. I used a conventional oven set at 180C seems to be good for all other cakes, i used high grade flour.
The cake was flat, didn't rise or fluff up as expected, and didn't smell like vanilla? It was disappointing, wonder what went wrong.

Anonymous said...

For 9" round pan
Do i hav to double the recipe
Kindly help i m about to bake

Unknown said...

For Canada Day, I made this cake with strawberries - red and whit, right? I doubled the recipe, folded in nearly about two cups of sliced strawberries and baked it in a tube pan till it tested done. It got raves from my neighbours, especially the one with an egg allergy! Thanks so much - this is such a simple recipe with so many possible variations. I think the next ones I'll try is vanilla cake with chocolate chips, or maybe raspberry and lime. Thanks ever so much for sharing the recipe. My goddaughter has even requested it for her birthday.

Dolayne said...

I've made the Wacky Chocolate Cake for as long as I can remember but I've never heard or seen any other "Wacky" flavors! YAY! I'm wondering tho, do you think bananas could be added to the vanilla for a banana cake?

Kay said...

In my experience the vinegar should read 1 tablespoon not 1 teaspoon and the cake should then taste o k and rise normally.

Ellie Reddekopp said...

So happy to see it works with gluten free flour! Off to try is gluten free and sugar free. Hopefully it works like that too!

Tash Jennings said...

Is this cake sturdy enough to split & layer? I want to make a layered rainbow cake for my daughter's birthday and one of her guests has an egg allergy.

Unknown said...

What flour did you use? Did you replace the sugar with anything? Was thinking honey...

Anonymous said...

Hi, Can these be made in to cupcakes?

Cakey said...

I added fresh plums and it was AWESOME!

Nicole Wagner said...

Hi just wondering how to modify the recipe for 3 round pans stacked to make a smash cake for my daughters first birthday. Has anyone had success with that?

Nicole Wagner said...

Hi just wondering how to modify the recipe for 3 round pans stacked to make a smash cake for my daughters first birthday. Has anyone had success with that?

Kat said...

Sweet recipe! I have it in the oven now :) I tried it by licking the stir spoon and it`s mind boggling.

It`s my first try with the vanilla wacky cake. I`ve made about 5-7 of the chocolate ones so I know a lot of the basics.

Unknown said...

Can this be converted to a banana cake? I want to make gluten/dairy free banana cake. Thanks for the help!