Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

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Classic Chocolate Chip Snack Cake is so good and SO EASY. Easy enough for kids to help with and quick enough to make as an after school snack.

slice of chocolate chip snack cake on white plate

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I first made Chocolate Snack Cake right after Rosie was born, while on maternity leave. Now, I made this Chocolate Chip variation while quarantined and doing remote school. I like to bake in stressful situations.

This cake, a variation of Wacky Cake, has no milk, butter, or eggs making it vegan. It came about in the Depression era when those ingredients were scarce so it was perfect during lockdown when grocery trips were also limited.

It whips up really quickly and makes a small cake, which is perfect for our family. Whether an afternoon snack or to satisfy a sweet tooth, this cake should be in your recipe box.

forkful of cake on a white plate


  • Flour – All purpose white flour.
  • Brown Sugar – I use light brown. Dark brown will work as well.
  • Baking Soda – For rise.
  • Salt – For balance.
  • Water
  • Oil – Vegetable oil. You can sub applesauce, if you prefer.
  • Vinegar – White vinegar works along with the baking soda to add fluff to the cake. 
ingredients laid out to make cake


STEP ONE: To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together.

STEP TWO: Stir in the water, oil, and vinegar and mix until just combined.

STEP THREE: Pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

collage of overhead shots of mixing bowl making cake


I like to top it with powdered sugar, but you could also add a chocolate frosting like my chocolate buttercream or a chocolate milk frosting. It’s also excellent warm, topped with ice cream.

overhead shot of cake in square baking dish


I have tested swapping the vegetable oil for applesauce in this recipe and it works well, but you’ll get a denser cake.

closeup of cake slices lined up


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Click here for a complete list of cake recipes.

slice of chocolate chip snack cake on white plate with text overlay


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slice of chocolate chip snack cake on white plate

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Classic Chocolate Chip Snack Cake is so good and SO EASY. Easy enough for kids to help with and quick enough to make as an after school snack.
4.71 from 57 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 servings
Calories 284 kcal


  • 1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • cup oil
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • cup chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar optional for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350 and set out an 8 x 8 baking dish.
  • To a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add in the water, oil, vinegar, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove and let cool on a cooling rack. Once fully cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.


Serving: 1gCalories: 284kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 57mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 15IUCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Tiffany says

    5 stars
    Love this easy recipe. Easy, quick, satisfies my sweet cravings. I did use milk in place of water.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Happy to hear that 🙂 Thanks for reporting back!

  2. Jodi says

    5 stars
    OMG, this reminds me of the boxed “snack” cake we used to make as a kid. It is SUPER easy to make and no eggs/butter but DELICIOUS without anything on it. I will definitely be making it again!!!

  3. Katie Emery says

    5 stars
    Just made this today and LOVED it! Reminded me of my childhood. Thank you ❤️

  4. Kat T. says

    5 stars
    I can’t express how happy you have made me. I’ve been missing those snacking cakes I grew up with only needing to add water to the mix. This is the best recipe I’ve tried . If you’re looking for a recipe like that look no further this one is it ! Thank You so much

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yay! You’re welcome 🙂 thanks for letting me know!

  5. Judy says

    5 stars
    Amazingly good. I wasn’t expecting much with no milk, butter or eggs but did not miss them at all. A keeper!! Thanks!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thanks, Judy! I’m glad you gave it a shot 🙂

  6. Mark Tripp says

    5 stars
    Great Recipe as is. Grandkids love it!
    Would it make a difference if I added
    1t vanilla extract?
    Thanks Melissa

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thanks Mark 🙂 I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference but it will be a good addition.

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