Easiest Vanilla Cake (No eggs, No milk, No butter!)

The easiest, most delicious vanilla cake recipe you can make with simple, affordable pantry staples! No eggs, no milk, and no butter needed! One bowl, 30 minutes and no mixers needed! Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free.

vanilla wacky cake

You can never go wrong with classic recipes, like a classic banana bread, classic chocolate chip cookies, and this foolproof vanilla cake.

Vanilla cake is hands down, one of the most underrated desserts, in my opinion!

I’m not even kidding- This is the best and easy vanilla cake recipe you’ll ever make.

Vanilla Crazy Cake Recipe- Vegan and Gluten-Free! 

This Vanilla Crazy cake– often referred to as a vanilla wacky cake and vanilla depression cake is the vanilla version of this crazy chocolate cake

Like it’s chocolate cousin, the vanilla crazy cake gained popularity during the depression era when staple ingredients were hard to come by. 

Just like the chocolate version, it is made no hard to find ingredients. It’s cheap to make, super simple and requires no fancy kitchen gadgets.

There are no eggs in it, no milk and no butter needed, but you’d never tell.

It tastes JUST like your favorite vanilla boxed cake mix- Moist, sweet and fluffy at the same time. 

It also happens to be naturally vegan (no dairy!) and gluten-free, thanks to the gluten-free flour used. 

BONUS- See my tips below for how to make it sugar-free, too! 

Vanilla crazy cake

How to make a vanilla cake from scratch

Whether you are a team chocolate cake or not, you will LOVE this ingredient list and even simpler instructions!

The Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour– You can use either all-purpose flour (standard) or gluten-free all-purpose flour (as I used). Texture-wise, I didn’t notice a difference between the two.
  • Sugar– White sugar or a mix of white sugar/brown sugar is best. I wouldn’t recommend using all brown sugar, as I always find the flavor overpowering. See notes below to keep this recipe sugar-free.
  • Baking soda– Unlike baking powder, baking soda gives the vanilla cake some ‘lift’, but also leavens the cake. 
  • Salt– Believe it or not, salt brings out the sweetness, and a necessity for any cake, muffin or brownie! 
  • White vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice)– This is what replaces the eggs, and also gives the cake stability (you don’t want the cake sinking!). I prefer white vinegar, but lemon juice also works. 
  • Canola oil (or oil of choice)!– Any standard oil is fine for this recipe. I used canola oil, as it is what I had on hand, but you can also use vegetable oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, etc. 
  • Vanilla extract- A MUST for any baked good, but especially for this vanilla cake! 
  • Water– To mix everything together! 

The Instructions

Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C/350F and preparing a square baking pan by covering in parchment paper. Leave around an inch on each side overhanging, so you can remove the cake out of the pan easily later!

Then, in a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Form 3 wells (depressions) in the dry mixture, and add the vinegar in the first one, the vanilla extract in the second one, and the oil in the third one. You’ll then slowly pour the water over the top. Using a whisk or wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until fully incorporated.

Transfer the vanilla cake batter into the lined baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out the center clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, frost the cake once it has cooled. 

Vanilla Depression Cake

Easy Frosting Ideas

  • Cashew cream cheese frosting– This is my go-to white frosting, and uses cashews to form a cream cheese frosting texture. Click here for the recipe
  • Vanilla glaze– A simple glaze using powdered sugar, water and a dash of vanilla extract. 
  • Store-bought frosting– Do it the lazy way and use your favorite store-bought vanilla frosting. 

How to make this cake sugar-free

Easily make this cake sugar-free, by replacing the sugar with one of the following-

  • Monk fruit sweetener– Granulated monk fruit sweetener can be used, and is the best alternative to white sugar. You can cut back on this by 1/4, as it is super sweet.
  • Swerve– Similar to monk fruit, swerve uses erythritol to keep the sugar out and calories low. 
  • Baking zero-calorie sweeteners– Baking Splenda and baking aspartame can be used, but I’d recommend cutting back, as it is twice as sweet as table sugar. 

TIP: Be sure you enjoy the taste of the sugar-free sweeteners, as the flavor can be very evident, once the cake is baked. 

Easy Vanilla Cake Recipe Tips

  • Do not over-bake the cake, as it continues to cook in the pan as it cools. Check around the 25-minute mark, and adjust from there. 
  • For easy removal, ensure there is an inch of baking paper (parchment paper) overhanging the edge of the baking pan.
  • For the best tasting vanilla cake, stick to canola oil or vegetable oil. I’ve found coconut oil to sometimes have a slight flavor. 
  • I don’t recommend 0ther types of flour, as that changes the texture. Wholewheat (wholemeal) flour can leave the cake chewy, and oat flour can leave the cake dense. 
  • Try to use a good quality vanilla extract, as opposed to a cheaper type, or imitation vanilla. Trust me, you’ll be able to tell. 

Storage Tips

  • To store: Store vanilla cake in a sealable container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days. The cake can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 
  • To freeze: Place vanilla cake in a freezer-friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Let the cake thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Vegan Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

More delicious EASY pantry dessert recipes

eggless vanilla cake

Easiest Vanilla Cake (No eggs, No milk, No butter!)

The most EASY and delicious vanilla cake recipe, that is made with no eggs, no milk and no butter! Often called a Crazy Vanilla Cake/Wacky Cake/Depression cake, it's made with cheap pantry ingredients and takes just 30 minutes! One bowl, vegan, gluten free and dairy free.
5 from 1025 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 9 Pieces
Calories: 217kcal
Author: Arman


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour gluten-free, if necessary
  • 1 cup sugar * See notes
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoon canola oil ** See notes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a square pan with parchment paper, leaving an inch over each side overhanging, for easy removal.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Form three caves (depressions) in the dry mixture. In one, add the vinegar. In the second, add the vanilla extract, and in the final one, add the Oil. Pour the water over the top and using a whisk or wooden spoon, mix together, until fully combined.
  • Transfer your vanilla cake batter in the lined pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, frost the cooled cake.


* You can use all white sugar, or part white/brown sugar. You can also use a sugar free substitute, as referred to in the body of the post. Avoid using all brown sugar (coconut sugar), as it will darken the cake and also have a slight molasses flavor. 
** Any oil works- vegetable oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, etc. 
If you love easy cake recipes, you'll love this cinnamon swirl bread and this cinnamon bun cake

Key Recipe Equipment and Ingredients


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg | NET CARBS: 34g
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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    142 thoughts on “Easiest Vanilla Cake (No eggs, No milk, No butter!)

    1. Hi Arman! Happy Quarantine!

      I remember these quick snack cakes from my childhood! Although not healthy ones. I love your recipes… I think the single mug cakes are what I use most.

      But today… I’m making this recipe! It’s in the oven now. I added chocolate chips…. because…. well, CHOCOLATE!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

      Perhaps you could correct the recipe section…. it says to add vinegar twice… no mention of oil, and it doesn’t say to add the water before mixing. Thanks!

      Stay safe!

    2. Greetings from Down Under, this cake looks awesome,& I can’t wait to try it, the only thing is I don’t really have a “sweet tooth”, (I’m more of a “savoury” type of gal), so could I reduce the sugar to maybe 3/4 cup? Or would it affect the taste & texture of the cake too much?
      Thank you again
      With kindest regards

      1. Hello Reet, I’m in Melbourne 🙂 Hope you are staying safe.

        Unfortunately, I don’t recommend changing any of the ingredients as this will change the texture of the cake. I too, have a savoury tooth. I often just omit the frosting and make sure to have a black coffee with it 🙂

    3. Arman! This cake is AMAZING. It was so easy to bake & the cake is so moist. I can’t believe any leftovers are still in the house, but the taste & moist (sorry heh heh) texture are even BETTER 2 days after I made it. You’re the best! : )

    4. Hello! I was wondering, why is it that this cake doesn’t use baking powder? Is it okay to add baking powder, but reduce the baking soda? If so, in what proportion? 🙂

    5. I’ve made the chocolate version of the same recipe and used less sugar. It did not change the texture of the cake and the taste was absolutely delicious!

    6. Hi! Thank you SO much for the limited amount of ingredients, as I cant go shopping outside very often. The cake is in the oven right now. I look very forward to seeing how i turns out! ( It smells so good right now!) Thank you so much!

    7. I saw someone ask if they can reduce the sugar. I made it today with about 2/3 – 3/4 of a cup (the last of the bag I had) and it turned out fine. Dense and moist. Not sure if it’s exactly how it’s meant to be but still good 🙂

    8. I tried this for my husband’s birthday with chocolate buttercream and OMG this was undoubtedly the best cake I’ve ever baked. The fact that it was soooo easy and quick made me try the chocolate variant today😄 please do share low calories frosting recipes

      1. Fabulous! For sure- If you have access to sugar free confectioners sugar, mix some cocoa powder with it, and thin out using milk or water 🙂

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