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

5 from 2310 votes

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 2310 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
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    165 thoughts on “Easiest Vanilla Cake (No eggs, No milk, No butter!)

    1. 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!

    2. 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!

    3. 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.

    4. absolutely delicious 🙂 I topped it with a powdered sugar water glaze and berries and it was perfection.

    5. what would the cooking time be for a 6″ round cake and also would this cake need simply syrup to stay moist?

      1. 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 🙂

    6. Just wondering what brand of gluten-free flour? I have had a terrible time finding one that works. Thanks.

    7. 5 stars
      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.

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