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


  • 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.

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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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.

Susan Higgins

Hi Diane, we haven’t tried it. But if you do, and it comes out well, we’d be interested in hearing! Gluten-free flours behave differently and may need the leavening of eggs and soda/powder.

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

Susan Higgins

Hi Shirley, it really don’t add any coffee flavor but enhances the chocolate flavor.


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?

Susan Higgins

Hi Angie, here is a yummy buttercream frosting recipe you might enjoy:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (do not use margarine)
4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons heavy cream

To make the frosting: Beat softened butter for 3-5 minutes until pale in color. Add powdered sugar then the heavy cream. Beat for 3-5 minutes until fluffy. Frost cakes using either a pastry bag with decorative tip and pipe it on or simply frost. Makes 24-30 cupcakes.

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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