Chocolate Snack Cake, sometimes called “Wacky Cake”, is a simple, dairy-free, cake made from scratch that is perfect for the kids to help with! This rich dessert is made from pantry staples and makes a small cake perfect for those chocolate cravings.
Whipping this chocolate snack cake up is a breeze – all you need is one bowl & a spoon!
It makes the perfect small size, when you’re wanting a sweet snack, but don’t need want to make a full size cake.
It happens to be vegan, like my chocolate chip snack cake, zucchini brownies or cinnamon sugar pumpkin donuts, but you’d never guess it.
This vintage recipe originated in the Depression-era when dairy products were scarce.
I promised myself I wouldn’t neglect Persnickety Plates after Baby #2 arrived, which was silly, because I kinda knew it wasn’t a promise I could keep. Rosie is 7 weeks old already and I’m just now introducing her to you.
Despite being busier than ever, I haven’t lost the urge to bake. I’ll be doing three other things and thinking about whipping something up. That’s how this cake came about.
Why you’ll love this easy chocolate cake
It’s simple! You only need one bowl, one spoon, and pantry staples.
It’s dairy free – depending on which chocolate chips you use, it can easily be vegan/dairy free.
Dress it up – Top it with powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, etc.
Equipment you’ll need
- My favorite mixing bowls – love the grippy bottoms
- 8 x 8 baking dish – having the lid is so convenient
- Powdered sugar dusting wand – totally useful and totally cute
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Flour – I use all-purpose white flour.
- Brown Sugar – Using brown sugar instead of white sugar makes the cake extra moist.
- Cocoa Powder – Unsweetened cocoa powder. You can even use dark chocolate cocoa powder, if you like.
- Baking Soda – For rise.
- Salt – For balance.
- Vegetable Oil – I’ve also tested this cake using applesauce, either will work, but I prefer the fluffiness the oil gives.
- Vinegar – White vinegar reacts with the baking soda to give rise.
- Vanilla Extract
- Chocolate Chips – Optional, but a good idea.
- Powdered Sugar – Again, optional, but it adds a nice touch & sweetness to to the top.
Luckily, this cake is really simple to make – you just need one bowl and a spoon, which means Julia was able to help and it was done while Rosie was napping.
How to make a Chocolate Snack Cake
Making this cake is so easy!
- STEP ONE: To a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- STEP TWO: Add in the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
- STEP THREE: Stir in chocolate chips.
- STEP FOUR: Pour the batter into an 8×8 baking dish and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar & serve!
Tips & Suggestions
- You can swap out the oil for applesauce, if you want. I tried it both ways. It makes for a denser cake that has really good flavor. I preferred the texture of the vegetable oil version – it’s a bit fluffier.
- The powdered sugar on top adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- Serve this cake under some vanilla ice cream for a real treat!
Need more chocolate recipes? Try these:
- Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
- 7Up Chocolate Bundt Cake
- Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Brownies
Click here for my entire collection of dessert recipes.
Easy Chocolate Snack Cake
Originally published July 17, 2017
Now, onto my girl.
Olivia Rose (“Rosie”) joined us on May 27th via c-section. I had cholestasis with Rosie, just like I did with Julia so it was scheduled this time.
She has stolen all of our hearts and despite her small start, she’s turning into quite the chunk. The squishier the better in my eyes.
I had so much fun designing our birth announcements with Minted so I thought I’d share them with you!
They have so many pretty options. I opted for one of their new foil pressed announcements and it adds such a nice touch. We’ve gotten tons of compliments on them.
I can’t wait to design our first “family of four” Christmas card =)
Thank you to Minted for providing me a credit to make our announcements!
Aww, what a precious little cutie Rosie is! Congratulations to you and your family, Melissa! 🙂
Melissa Williams says
Thank you, Deb! ❤️
I’m making this for my 4-H cake hope I do well
Melissa Williams says
You will do great. I hope they like it 🙂
Martha Vranesevic says
Great Recipe! A very long time ago I have tried this recipe from a different website and you are 100 percent correct, this cake is delicious and easy to make and if you are craving chocolate try it and you will love it.
Your daughter is very cute. She is now about 6 years old. They grow up very fast.
Melissa Williams says
Thank you Martha!
Yes, she’ll already be 6 next month. Time is a thief!