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Cocoa “Crazy” Cake

January 21, 2012

This Cocoa Cake is actually a variation of the popular “crazy cakes” that have been around for a while. The thing that makes them “crazy” is the fact that you can mix the ingredients right in the cake pan making them incredibly quick and easy.

This recipe is from a 1986 cookbook called The New American Diet, by Sonja L Connor, M.S., R.D. and William E. Connor, M.D. It is lower in calories and fat than many cakes, but it “hits the spot” when you just want a bit of chocolate snacking cake.

You could probably mix the ingredients in the pan, but I used a bowl. I think it’s easier to get everything well-mixed when you don’t have to work around the corners of the pan.

It had been years since I last made this cake. I found that it is still a great recipe for a quick dessert. You could frost it, but it is fine topped with just a dusting of powdered sugar.

The only thing I would do differently next time? Similar recipes include ½ teaspoon of salt, and I would add that next time. I think the authors of the book were concerned about sodium levels, but a bit of salt would have rounded out the flavor a bit more. I added it to the recipe below.

If you’re in the mood for a quick treat, Cocoa Cake may be just what you need!



Cocoa Cake

(Adapted from a recipe in The New American Diet, by Sonja and William Connor)


(print the recipe)


Makes one 8×8-inch cake or 12 cupcakes


Dry ingredients

1½ cups all-purpose flour (180g)

1 cup sugar (I used maple sugar, but regular is fine)

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon (Optional, to make it Mexican Cocoa Crazy Cake)


Wet ingredients

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 cup cold water


1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.


3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl.


4. Stir well with a fork or whisk until well blended.

5. Pour into an ungreased 8×8-inch pan. (Or make 12 cupcakes in a paper-lined muffin pan.)


6. Bake cake for 30 – 35 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. (Bake cupcakes for 25 – 30 minutes.)


7. Cool, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.



If you’re interested, here are the numbers for 1/12th of the cake or 1 cupcake:

154 calories

4 g fat

28 g carbohydrates

152 mg sodium

1.8 g protein

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2012 8:43 am

    Nice…a healthy chocolate cake!! Double the pleasure – you can enjoy it without guilt!!!

  2. Baker Bettie permalink
    January 22, 2012 11:01 am

    This sounds really good. I’ve heard of a cake called “crazy cake” where you use a diet soda in it. I’m not sure what the exact recipe is but it is supposed to be low calories. But this sounds and looks really good!

  3. January 22, 2012 11:45 am

    Quick and easy as it should be! looks delicious and chocolatey 🙂

  4. January 22, 2012 1:28 pm

    OK–It kills me that this “old” recipe is from the 80s! Geeesh! 🙂

  5. January 23, 2012 9:14 pm

    Excellent. I will ceetainly try this out

  6. January 30, 2012 8:14 am

    My favorite kind of recipe! I love when you can throw all of the ingredients in one bowl and get a delicious outcome, flavors uncompromised. Yum!

  7. January 31, 2012 8:33 am

    I’ve never heard of crazy cake but I LOVE that you can mix everything all up in one pan and bake it!


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