|Main ingredients||Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, vegetable oil, white vinegar, vanilla extract|
|Cookbook: Wacky cake Media: Wacky cake|
It is commonly believed Wacky Cake may have been created as the result of rationing during World War II, when milk and eggs were scarce. Active ingredients in wacky cake include flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, vegetable oil, white vinegar and vanilla extract. Some recipes add brewed coffee as an additional ingredient. The cake may be topped with icing or confectioner's sugar, or even served plain.
The cake is considered a popular delicacy at bake sales in numerous rural regions of the United States.
Usually served with just a dusting of powdered sugar, or buttercream frosting, there is also a frosting/glaze recipe sometimes found attached that also is made from "ration" ingredients.
There are several variations on why this confection is referred to as "Wacky Cake" Many people believe that its lack of eggs or the unconventional "divot wells" method of preparation. Another legend has it that a small child, while seeing the cake being made stated, "oil and vinegar in cake! that's salad dressing!! Mom, you are Wacky!" The legend is so pervasive among Italian American households that many believe theirs to be the family which is both the inventor of the cake and the coiner of the name.
In many Italian-American households it is often the traditional birthday cake. Sometimes the cake is cooled, removed from the pan and shapes are cut out, or the entire top may be decorated with butter cream frosting.