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Chocolate Wacky Cake Cupcakes — No Milk, No Eggs, No Butter!

This simple recipe uses neither milk, eggs, or butter, but the results are amazing!

Get ready to be surprised! This recipe for delicious chocolate cupcakes uses neither eggs nor butter, but they come out delicious. Pretty wacky, isn’t it?

Why Wacky Cake?

This method has been done for ages—cooks had to get creative when certain ingredients like eggs and butter were rationed, as they were during the Depression. They turned to good old vinegar and baking soda for leavening.

This style of cake went by many names: Depression Cake and Wacky Cake, to name a few.

But no matter the name, the results are a cake that’s as moist and delicious as you’d demand. Plus you only need a bowl and a spoon to mix!

chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting

Chocolate Wacky Cake Cupcakes

Course Snack
Cuisine American


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (if you’re using self-rising flour because that’s all you have, leave this ingredient out).
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omit if using self-rising flour)
  • 1 cup brewed coffee (or 1 cup of boiling water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of instant coffee)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons oil


  • Directions:Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt until combined.
    In a separate bowl, mix together the coffee, vinegar, vanilla extract, and oil.
    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. The mixture will be thin and slightly lumpy but don’t over mix.
    Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 of the way full. Place in oven on the center rack and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Keyword chocolate crazy cake cupcakes, Chocolate Wacky Cake Cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Decorating Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting in Pastry Bag

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack. Once completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting and decorate! Makes 12 cupcakes.

Susan Higgins is the Farmers' Almanac's Web Content Editor & Social Media Manager. She is a freelance writer/editor, copywriter, blogger, and writer of short fiction. Her passions are advertising, cooking, the ocean, libraries, pets & animal welfare, Netflix binges, and finding the perfect book at her local library.

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Diane Macaluso

How do you think they would come out with a gluten free flour such as Cup4Cup. My granddaughter is allergic to wheat, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts.

Jeannie Robinson

Have you any other dairy and egg free recipes it is for my 6 yr old grandson who is allergic to dairy – eggs – chocolate – yeast and several other things but these are the common ones – his mum finds it very hard to get products to suit him – even crisps or sweets xo


Can you substitute for the coffee? I don’t like coffee


Coconut extract or just omit it.


Can I bake this in a cake pan?


I always baked mine in a cake pan. I think it takes @ 28 minutes – give or take a couple of minutes.

Cheryl Freeze

Can you omit the coffee? I’m repulsed by the smell of it and have never tasted it, of course.


Hi, Cheryl. I’ve been making Wacky Cake for about 50 years. My recipe said using boiling water. They tasted like my favorite flavor – chocolate! 😉


Is there a recipe for the frosting used in the picture too?

Patty K

Hi! I was just wondering about eggs . There are no eggs in this recipe. Should there be ?


From the beginning of the article:
“Get ready to be surprised! This recipe for delicious chocolate cupcakes uses neither eggs nor butter, but they come out delicious. Pretty wacky, isn’t it?”


Does anyone know how to modify this recipe for high altitudes? Thanks!

Angellis Susan

Rule of thumb for high altitude cooking is more flor and less sugar.


Just made these today. Can’t wait to try them out! They look delicious!! Also, I made a homemade chocolate icing!

Rosie K

I love that you don’t use eggs or butter because in the winter it seems with all of the recipes we make we tend to run out of eggs and butter! Love it! <3

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