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Chocolate Crazy Cake

This chocolate cake is mixed up right in the pan you plan to bake it in. No eggs, milk or butter needed!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices (one 9x9 pan)
Calories: 257kcal


  • 2 cups (285 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (55 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup (320 mL) water


  • Place an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Spray a 9-inch square nonstick pan with baking spray.
  • Place the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt in the pan, and stir until completely combined. Make a large well in the middle of the dry mixture. Pour the oil, vinegar, and vanilla into the well.
  • Drizzle the water over the whole mixture then stir until completely combined. Wipe the inside edge of the pan to clean up any residual dry mixture.
  • Bake until just firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Place the cake to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  • Once the cake has completely cooled, top with frosting is using.


  • Measure Your Flour Accurately. Nothing will ruin a cake by adding too much flour to your recipe. It's one of the biggest mistakes bakers make. To measure correctly, weighing your ingredients is always best. But if you are measuring by volume (using dry measuring cups) then be sure to spoon the flour into your cup and level it off. Don't pack it down in or you will end up with too much flour which will result in a dense cake. You can read more here about How To Measure Flour
  • Check your baking soda freshness. Baking soda is what makes the cake rise, but its loses it freshness over time and can expire. Test your baking soda first in a small bowl with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to see if it bubbles. You can read more here about Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda.
  • Get In The Corners! I have made this cake a few times and I always find since we are making this in a square pan sometimes pockets of ingredients can hide out in the corners. So be sure to check those corners.
  • Don't Overmix. I say this often but for good reason. Once the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients the flour becomes hydrated. And when this happens a protein, gluten, forms. Now we need some gluten to form because this gives our cake structure. But too much mixing causes too much gluten to form and will result in a very tough cake. So mix just until the last of the flour is mixed in and then stop stirring.
  • Storage: You can store this cake at room temperature for up to 5 days. Just be sure to cover it well with plastic wrap or foil. If you decide to refrigerate it (because maybe you topped it with whipped cream or cream cheese icing) then be sure to cover it really well so it doesn't dry out. 
  • Icing Your Cake: I topped mine with a 1/2 batch of my EASY Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Or you could make this chocolate glaze from Epicurious and replace the milk with water.


Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg