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.
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!
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!
- 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!
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.
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.
- 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.
More delicious EASY pantry dessert recipes
- 2 Ingredient Dough Cinnamon Rolls
- Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- No Flour Monster Cookies
- Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake
- Caramel Cookie Dough Bars
Easiest Vanilla Cake (No eggs, No milk, No butter!)
- 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.
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Thank you! The chocolate cake has made me your fan! Looking forward to more 😊
if i wanted to use gluten-free flour, would all the measurements remain the same? Also, would i be able to make this in a 8-inch round pan? thanks!
I don’t see why not 🙂
Hi, I’m super excited to try this. Can you please give the recipe for the vanilla glaze? I cannot find a recipe online that only uses your mention of powdered sugar, water and vanilla. Others use dairy. Thank you!
Sure, try one of these recipes- https://thebigmansworld.com/keto-frosting/
Beautiful rise and texture! If you cut half of the sugar you end up with a wonderful, flavorful loaf reminiscent of cornbread. Gone in seconds.
absolutely delicious 🙂 I topped it with a powdered sugar water glaze and berries and it was perfection.
That sounds delicious!
I wish to make a layered cake, any change in measurements for 2 6-inch round cake pans?
Haven’t tried, feel free to experiment and see 🙂
what would the cooking time be for a 6″ round cake and also would this cake need simply syrup to stay moist?
I haven’t tried it in a 6 inch cake pan, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it and see. It is moist even without syrup 🙂
Just wondering what brand of gluten-free flour? I have had a terrible time finding one that works. Thanks.
I use bob’s or Dove Farms
I used apple cider vinegar & grapeseed oil, came out very doughy
Perhaps you underbaked it or your oven didn’t it cook evenly.
No white vinegar but I have apple cider vinegar.. can I use that instead ?
can i use oat flour?
I don’t recommend it for this cake, it will dry it out
I made this cake for my one year old’s birthday. I cut the sugar back, reduced the water and added a banana and applesauce to it. It came out great. Going to try adding an egg today to try and get it to be a little fluffier for his party.
😀 So good to hear! 🙂
I’m concerned with making this using a GF flour. I love Bobs 1to1 and use it strictly. The problem I’m having is that with GF + egg free cake recipes, the cake turns out dense and chewy without any rise. I’m wondering, is this normal for a GF + Egg free recipe? I’d like to know what I’m getting into before making this cake and wasting all the ingredients. Thanks for the help!
This is great it actually tastes good!!! Thank you
Loved the flavor when my Mom made it for my birthday in February. She said she had to cook it a lot longer than listed.
Flash forward to today … making it myself, and it’s taking longer, too, but I did double it.
Thank you! Love Wacky Cake, but never thought of a vanilla version (prefer it!).
What’s measurements if I make this using only 3/4 cup of flour? Sorry horrible at math
Halve everything, use a google calculator.