Chocolate dump cake, also known as wacky cake, is an easy dessert that doesn’t even require a mixing bowl. It’s egg-free, butter-free, and super delicious!
Are you even ready for the easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make in your whole life? Prepare yourself: no bowl, almost no mixing, only eight ingredients.
It’s true. You’re not dreaming.
Angel food cake was my Grandma Myna’s specialty but this chocolate dump cake was her go-to when she was in a hurry. This cake is also known as “crazy cake” but it will always be Grandma’s chocolate cake to me 🙂
Why you’ll love this chocolate dump cake:
- No mixer (or mixing bowl!) required
- It only requires a handful of pantry staple ingredients
- It’s dairy- and egg- free
How to make chocolate dump cake
- Sift dry ingredients into an 8-inch square baking pan
- Make a well (an indentation) in the middle of the dry ingredients
- Pour the wet ingredients into the well
- Stir until completely smooth
Baker’s tip: Be sure your batter is totally smooth or you’ll end up with pockets of dry ingredients in your cake after it’s baked.
Note: in the recipe I say you can use either water or coffee. I prefer to use coffee because it deepens the cake’s chocolate flavor, but use whichever you prefer.
That’s it! Bake for about 30 minutes and your cake is done.
How to make easy chocolate frosting
- Melt butter in a small saucepan
- Stir in the cocoa powder until smooth
- Stir in powdered sugar, milk, and salt
- Add more milk a little at a time until your frosting is smooth and spreadable
Frost your cake, serve, and devour. (Then repeat as necessary. You might just start by making two chocolate dump cakes instead of one…It’s that good.)
What is crazy cake?
Also known as chocolate dump cake, depression cake, WW II cake, and wacky cake, crazy cake is an easy chocolate cake made without eggs, butter, or milk (since the cake was popular during a time when those ingredients were hard to come by).
Crazy cake is an EASY dessert that’s great for beginning bakers, and also for people who hate doing dishes because the cake is mixed right in the pan and is basically foolproof.
How to serve chocolate dump cake
I’m including a recipe for an easy chocolate frosting because I like a little frosting on my cake, but in truth the frosting is unnecessary. You can serve this cake without any kind of topping or frosting at all.
The frosting listed here isn’t traditional on a wacky cake because it calls for butter; my grandma always served hers with a dusting of powdered sugar on top.
But don’t limit yourself to chocolate frosting or powdered sugar on this cake! It’s DELICIOUS served with ice cream. Hot fudge and whipped cream would also be super yummy.
And you can totally use a different frosting here—cream cheese would be really good. Or maybe something minty? Your cake, your rules!
Did you make this chocolate dump cake? That’s awesome! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. And post a pic on Insta–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your gorgeous creations!
Chocolate dump cake is an easy, from-scratch chocolate cake that doesn't require a mixer or even a mixing bowl!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup water or tepid coffee*
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted if it’s clumpy
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 5 tablespoons milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into the baking pan.
Make a well (an indentatioin the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla into it.
Pour the water or coffee over that. Stir until smooth—be sure you don’t have any lumps in your batter or you'll end up with pockets of dry ingredients in your final cake.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool to room temp before frosting. (Or dusting with powdered sugar, etc.—see notes below.)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the cocoa powder; mix vigorously to eliminate any clumps. (You can do this in a bowl but I just mixed the frosting right in the pan I used for the butter.)
Stir in the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and the salt. Stir until smooth, adding more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
Frost the cake, then slice and serve.
- *I like to use coffee because it deepens the cake’s chocolate flavor but use water if you prefer.
- Uneaten cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to 2 days or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.
- The frosting here is optional. If you’re in a hurry or don’t like frosting, you can dust the cake with powdered sugar, serve with ice cream, or top with whipped cream—whatever you like.