Super Easy One-Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake

A few weeks back, we were invited to dinner at someone’s house. I asked if we could bring anything, and they asked us to bring a dessert.

Whenever I have to bring food somewhere and it can be a dessert, I make this cake. I’m not vegan, but this cake is super easy and I almost always have everything I need on hand—it’s made with water!!!


Wooden Spoon
9 x 13 baking pan


3 cups flour (I use all-purpose, but I’ve made it with whole wheat in the past and it still turns out great).
1 to 2 cups sugar (the original recipe calls for 2 cups, but I’ve made it with 1 cup several times and it turns out great. Choose the amount based on how sweet you like your cake).
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola), plus a little bit more for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla (I’ve omitted this and replaced it with 2 teaspoons water before and the cake was still delicious)
2 cups cold water


Using a whisk, mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add all wet ingredients and mix with the wooden spoon, trying to get rid of as many lumps as possible.

Grease the pan with some vegetable oil and pour the cake batter inside.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out dry.

This time around I didn’t put ganache on it, but I usually do. If you’d like to “ice” it with ganache, you’ll need:

Medium saucepan
1 cup chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
1/2 cup to 1 cup milk or milk alternative if you want to keep it vegan (I use unsweetened soy)

In a saucepan over medium heat, pour a little of the milk and let it warm up for about 2 minutes. Then, pour all of the chocolate chips in, stirring constantly. Continue adding milk as needed until you achieve a nice shiny and smooth consistency. 1/2 cup milk is usually sufficient, but if you want a thinner ganache, I’ve used up to 1 cup before. You can also use cream/coconut cream if you want a thicker ganache, but I’ve always used soy milk as it’s what I normally have at the ready.

So technically this isn’t really ganache, but it’s not icing either, so I call it ganache :joy:


Oooh, looks yummy! I’ll have to try this one when my husband gets back to town. He prefers a vegan or dairy-free dessert.

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looks yummy!
I want to give it a try, maybe next weekend, since I try to consume my sweets on weekends (a mental trick to keep my sweet tooth in check!)


Looks delicious - I must give it a try! I actually have everything on hand.


Mmm. Looks delicious! You keep it unfrosted?

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We call this Wacky Cake and it’s my go to whenever I’m craving something yummy. My favourite is fresh from the oven.

I mix everything in the pan, no need to wash a bowl.


So funny you posted this today as I literally just made a similar recipe this morning. It’s my go-to for cakes around here, too, especially now as the Kidlet has a friend who can’t have anything remotely dairy or egg or it’s an epi pen and hospital trip to end the fun. I did it as cupcakes this time and used a vegan butttercream frosting recipe for the topper. :slight_smile:

(I’ve also done a vanilla and a carrot cake version and we liked them, too.)

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My hubby loves wacky cake, and is convinced his family invented the recipe.

I made vanilla wacky cake for the first time recently; I didn’t know there was a carrot version. A spice cake would be good, too.


hmmm, I remember hearing about Wacky Cake as a kid – now to research it :slight_smile:


Such a simple recipe! I’ll have to give it a try! I love that you can control the sugar so easily. I guess I probably can control sugar more in lots of recipes but I’m always afraid I’ll ruin something!

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That’s what I love about this recipe; it’s rare that I don’t have all the ingredients. Out of milk? No problem. Out of eggs? No problem. :blush:

I usually put my version of “ganache” on it, which is just melted chocolate chips and soy milk. I had to make this cake in a bit of a hurry, so I skipped the ganache this time. My recommendation is to increase the amount of sugar if you don’t use the ganache; it wasn’t sweet enough without it when I used just 1 cup of sugar.

That’s smart! Except I’m a bit of a disaster in the kitchen sometimes, so I don’t trust myself to not splatter my kitchen with batter if I mix it in the pan, lol!

Allergies are so scary. We’re really fortunate that no one is anaphylatic to anything here. There are mild skin reactions to some things, but nothing too serious.

I’ve used this recipe to make cupcakes as well. After all, aren’t cupcakes just mini-cakes anyway?

For almost all baking recipes, you can usually halve the sugar with no consequences other than the sweetness level :slight_smile:

Re: wacky cake, I had never heard it called that before! When I first came across this recipe, it was on some blog and was titled “Absurdly Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake.” I honestly can’t remember what blog I found it on, because when I looked for it again, I couldn’t find it. but I had written it down years and years ago, thankfully :slight_smile:


I just compared our recipes, mine is exactly 1/2 yours, probably why mixing it in a pan works. I use a fork to mix it, nothing flying around this way.

My recipe for Wacky Cake comes from a cookbook called Kim’s Cookbook for Young People, copyright 1971, my friend’s mom gave it to me for Christmas 1976, I haven’t tried any other recipes from it.

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