Wacky Cake with No Fail Fudge Frosting

Wacky Cake with No-Fail Fudge Frosting l www.a-kitchen-addiction.com

Do you have a recipe that holds a special meaning to you or you vividly remember learning how to make? For me, it’s Wacky Cake. Wacky cake was the first cake that I learned to make from scratch. My mom taught me how to make it when I was in middle school, and it’s been one of my favorites to make ever since! From sifting the ingredients together to licking the spoon at the end (Don’t worry, there aren’t any eggs!), I still remember making this cake when I was young. Wacky cake is a simple, classic cake that is easy for anyone in the family to make!

One of my favorite things about this cake is that it is somewhat of a mash up between both sides of my family. I discovered that both of my grandmothers had a recipe for wacky cake in their recipe boxes, and the cake that I make is a mixture of both. It is a neat way to carry on the tradition of both of them in one cake.

Wacky Cake with No-Fail Fudge Frosting Recipe l www.a-kitchen-addiction.com

The name “Wacky Cake” comes from the fact that the cake doesn’t have eggs, butter, or milk in it. The recipe was developed around World War II when common baking ingredients were hard to come by. Don’t worry. You won’t miss the eggs or butter!

This rich, chocolaty cake is perfect for celebrating anything from birthdays to good grades to holidays! Once I learned how to make it, it somehow became somewhat of a tradition that I made this cake for my mom’s birthday. I suppose it was about time that someone made her a cake! Not that I minded, I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to have a slice of wacky cake.

Wacky Cake with No-Fail Fudge Frosting l www.a-kitchen-addiction.com

Topping the wacky cake is what is labeled as “no-fail fudge frosting” on my mom’s recipe card. And, it proves to be exactly that. If I could learn how to make homemade fudge frosting in middle school, anyone can make it!

The frosting tastes just like a thin layer of fudge has been spread across the top of the cake. Using McCormick’s pure vanilla extract ensures that the frosting has a rich, subtle vanilla flavor making it completely irresistible! My mom and I always made sure that we scraped out all of the frosting out of the saucepan with a spoon and spatula, because it just wouldn’t do to have any of it go to waste! Top with sprinkles that match the occasion, and you have a festive cake ready for any celebration!

Wacky Cake with No-Fail Fudge Frosting l www.a-kitchen-addiction.com

I’m working with McCormick to help spread the love of American Homemade baking and the unique stories that are behind recipes. Do you have a special recipe that has become a family tradition? Share your American Homemade story below!

Also, be sure to check out McCormick’s new FlavorPrint tool. It helps you find new recipes and recipe ideas from a series of questions based on your tastes and preferences. The more you use FlavorPrint, the more familiar it becomes with your tastes and the better the recipes it suggests will fit your personal flavor profile. I recently signed up and am enjoying discovering new recipes based on flavor combinations that I love! Sign up today so you can find new recipes based on your personal palate!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Wacky Cake with No Fail Fudge Frosting
Serves: 24
For the Cake
For the Fudge Frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking cocoa into a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until completely combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While cake is cooling, begin preparing frosting.
  6. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, baking cocoa, milk, and butter. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat.
  7. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
  8. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with a sturdy spoon until frosting is glossy and starts to thicken. This will take a few minutes.
  9. Pour frosting over the top and smooth across the top of the cake with the back of a spoon or spatula. Frosting will harden as it cools, so work quickly.
  10. Allow frosting to set. Cut into pieces and serve.

Disclosure: I was compensated by McCormick for my time, however, all opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. MMmmmmmmm!!! This cake really does look amazing (esp that frosting) wacky cakes are SO COOL! I esp. love that you combined your 2 grandmas’ recipes!

  2. This is awesome! I’ve never heard of a cake like it! I’m pinning to try for sure! No eggs or butter! Crazy :)

  3. This cake looks great. I haven’t heard of wacky cake before. I love the frosting and sprinkles. This is a winner all the way around.

  4. I love wacky cake! My mom also had a wacky chocolate chip banana cake I remember fondly, I’ll have to hunt down the recipe :)

  5. I love the name of this cake! : ) Family recipes are the best – I think recipes that have meaning behind them seem to taste better! haha

  6. This cake sounds perfect!

  7. I love how spongy the cake looks. Very light and airy :-)

  8. We called this crazy cake and it was the first cake recipe I ever learned to make too! I still think it’s the absolute best chocolate cake. I usually pair mine with caramel frosting, but this fudge frosting sounds fabulous!

  9. You had me at fudge frosting!! The sprinkles add the perfect touch :)

  10. Celebrating a friend’s birthday tonight – I think I just found dessert.

  11. I have always wnated to try a wacky cake. I think this will be the one to try! That fudge frosting would be fantastic on it’s own!

  12. I love that the first cake your Mom ever taught you to make is called Wacky Cake! How fun! :-)

  13. Loving the name – WACKY! Cool that both of your grandmothers had this recipe in their recipe collection! I love that it’s such a simple and basic chocolate cake recipe…a recipe everyone should have! Plus it looks like it has lots of flavor! Sounds so rich! I’m all about eating the batter, with or without eggs…ooops! haha just too yummy! Totally want to make this and try the batter now 😉 Thanks for sharing, Jessica!

  14. Chocolate cake, fudge frosting, and sprinkles…three things that I love!!! What a fun cake and I love the name!!!

  15. what a great cake! my family makes depression cookies which have a similar history, except, obviously date from the depression.

  16. On the name alone I feel I’ve got to give this cake a try. My family will love anything named “wacky”! And since the frosting is “no fail” I’m sure I will be quite successful baking this cake! It’s very festive!

  17. It would be positively “wacky” how much of this cake I could eat on my own! It looks amazing, Jessica!

  18. This looks so good, and I love the no fail fudge frosting!

  19. Fun, whacky, and gorgeous!! I want the whole thing to myself with a side of sprinkles. sign me up for fail-free fudge frosting (say that 10 times fast! 😉 Mouth….watering….. xoxo

  20. I love that this cake is a part of your baking heritage. Such a great story and decadent dessert!

  21. No fail fudge frosting sounds like my kind of recipe! As always, looks perfect!

  22. This cake is so fun! And certainly is wacky. I can’t believe it has no eggs in it!Craziness but in the best way.

  23. Family recipes that have sentimental deliciousness are always the best! Bite after bite of fond memories. :) What a great recipe to have when you want to bake but are out of eggs! Anything labeled “no-fail” is a big plus! Thanks for sharing.

  24. it looks yummy!

  25. Wow such a fun name! I’ll have to make this with the kids because it looks so simple yet so delicious! Love the addition of the sprinkles!

  26. What a pretty “wacky” cake, Jessica! I think the first thing I ever baked was banana bread (my dad’s favorite) but I love this chocolatey masterpiece. 😀

  27. Hahaha gotta love the name! this cake looks super fun and easy to make!

  28. This looks so delicious…and I love that it was one of the first cakes you made by scratch! Those recipes never leave us, do they?

  29. Oh I’ve never had wacky cake before but I think I’m missing out after seeing this! Love the fudge frosting too!

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