Whether it’s time for a smash cake or a birthday cake for any age, this allergy friendly cake is sure to hit the spot. Optionally gluten-free, this vanilla wacky cake is perfect for adults and kids allergic to eggs, dairy, and nuts.

No eggs. No dairy. No nuts.

Optionally gluten free.

Want chocolate? Try our Egg-free Dairy-free Nut-free Gluten-free Chocolate Cake.

But first, make sure to join our awesome (No Nuts Please) Facebook page here!

Wacky Cake or Crazy Cake or Depression Cake

This type of cake made with basic ingredients became popular during The Great Depression when supplies were in limited supply. It doesn’t use milk, butter, or eggs which is actually what makes it semi-allergen friendly.

Call it what you want, but this extremely simple cake has been passed down for generations and has gotten different names as time passed.

But does it still taste good?

Yes! It’s sweet, it’s spongy and it’s got a good rise. Eat it plain, with an elegant dusting of powdered sugar, or topped with frosting and sprinkles. It’ll work any way you want it to!

Here’s what some readers say:

Awesome! My son has food allergies and he celebrated yesterday his 3rd Birthday at his preschool. The kids and his teachers loved the cupcakes, they couldn’t believe they had no dairy and eggs! Thank you so much!
These were enjoyed by all and even asked for more!
Good recipe, especially if you use the egg. Used it for my sons bday party and everyone loved it. I would maybe make it a different flavor, like cinnamon snickerdoodle, because the vanilla doesn’t stand out much. However, it was still good as vanilla.
I used gluten free flour, they turned out pretty good!
Delicious and perfect! My baby has a Dairy, egg and peanut/nut allergy so I needed to find a safe recipe with her first birthday coming up! She loved it, I loved it and my other kids loved it! I did use coconut oil and white vinegar specifically
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Nut-free Flour

1. If wheat agrees with you, I recommend King Arthur all-purpose flour packaged in a paper bag, as they are milled in dedicated wheat-only facilities. If you are allergic, double check on King Arthur’s website as manufacturing practices may change.
king arthur flour

2. For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free blend such as Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.

Products from Namaste Foods are allergen friendly and free of wheat, gluten, egg, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy. All their products are Top-8 allergen free and can be found in grocery stores and online. They have their own dedicated facility and offer regular as well as organic varieties.

I love that Namaste Foods is a women-owned and family-operated.

Egg-free Cake

As written, this recipe contains no eggs. However if you are not allergic, I recommend adding in 1 egg to make it taste even better.

Egg-free Dairy-free Nut-free Cake

Even my kid’s got into the decorating. My son topped his frosting with finely chopped Oreos and a mini-Oreo.

My daughter colored her frosting with unicorn colors and added sprinkles and a mini-Oreo.

Original and Double Stuf varieties of Oreos are made on peanut and tree-nut free lines. Oreos make great toppings!

We like Pillsbury Frosting, which is free of nuts, dairy, and eggs.

 Cherrybrook Kitchen has a chocolate frosting mix that is from a peanut and nut free facility. Dedicated equipment free of dairy, egg, and gluten. They also carry a vanilla frosting mix.

Miss Jones Baking frosting is made in tree nut and peanut-free facilities (with the exception of coconut oil). It comes in a variety of flavors.

The Festival brand of sprinkles are from nut-free lines.

For a gluten-free cake option, use a gluten-free blend such as Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.

5 from 7 votes

Vanilla Wacky Cake (allergy friendly)

A delicious allergy friendly cake that is egg-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. Great as a smash cake or birthday or any occasion. Can be made into 12 cupcakes.

Course Dessert
Keyword dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup water


  1. Mix all ingredients together.

  2. Pour cake batter into 8.5" diameter x 1" cake pan.

  3. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or 15-20 minutes for cupcakes. Done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Notes

  1. Oil can be melted coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, etc.
  2. Makes 1 cake: 8.5” diameter x 1” tall or 12 cupcakes.
  3. For a double layer cake, make 2 cakes and stack them with frosting or jam in between.
  4. For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free blend such as Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.
  5. As written, this recipe contains no eggs. However if you are not allergic, I recommend adding in 1 egg to make it taste even better.

Want chocolate? Try our Egg-free Dairy-free Nut-free Gluten-free Chocolate Cake.
What’s your favorite way to eat birthday cake?

Be sure to pin it:

Allergy friendly cake that is egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free.

50 thoughts on “VANILLA WACKY CAKE”

  • Hi, this sounds great. I’m making this as a smash cake for a little one who just had an anaphylactic reaction, most likely to eggs. I have a question that may sound silly… Did you grease and flour the pans as you normally would?
    Thank you

    • Hi Heather!
      I just use the same oil I used in the recipe to oil the pan. If by chance I use a rectangular pan, I’d line it with parchment paper to get the cake out super easy. Hope that helps!

  • Have you tried this with cupcakes? My granddaughter is having a sleepover and I am wanting to make cupcakes. This child has a peanut allergy and I believe dairy allergy. I need this to be a good recipe with no issues. I no very little about theses allergies and definitely don’t know how to tweak it my recipes to make this work. I want something good to where I am not having to make different batches for different kids. Please help

  • Hi! I tried this recipe for my stepdaughter who has dairy, egg, and peanut allergies. When I took it out of the oven the inside was not fluffy or dried like the box cakes I’m used to making.
    Is it supposed to be like that? Did I do something wrong? The only change I made was using soy milk instead of water.

    • Because it is egg-free, it’s not as fluffy as regular cake, but the cake should be dry when it’s done baking. Using soy milk instead of water shouldn’t make any difference. I’d check for done-ness with a toothpick and keep adding 5 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.

  • I’m wanting to make a large sheet cake like an 11 x 15 will this turn out if I triple or quadruple it?

  • I’m wondering if I can use almond flour for this recipe? IF I do, do I need to add an egg substitute or xantham gum? Thanks!

  • 5 stars
    I have 2 girls. 1 of them has an egg, nut and dairy allergy. Still a newbie at finding allergen free recipes. This recipe is awesome! We also tried the chocolate version, they both loved it.

    • 5 stars
      Great recipe! Would I be able to substitute the oil for shortening? If so what would the right measurement be? Thanks for such a great recipe! My nephew has a lot of allergies and this is perfect for his birthday cake.

        • Hi! I’m making this for my daughter’s 3rd birthday! I have 2 questions:
          1. Can I substitute the sugar for maple syrup And what would be the substitute amount for it since it’s liquid?
          2. You mentioned egg makes it taste better, in case of egg allergies, can I add a 1/4 of apple sauce to add that moisture?

          • Happy Birthday to your daughter! Sorry, I don’t know what the substitution would be since I have not tried it with maple syrup. For an egg allergy, no need to add apple sauce since the cake tastes great without it.

    • Hi Dani, I’ve never made this into a smash cake, but how about starting at 350F for 20 minutes. Then check for doneness with a toothpick every 10 minutes. Just stick the toothpick into the center of the cake. If there is wet batter on the toothpick, bake a little longer and re-check until you get a clean toothpick.

  • Hello! I was wondering if you used self rising or all purpose flour for this recipe? Thank you!

    Also what flour is safe for a child with a peanut allergy? Preferably one at a grocery store and easy to find

    • Hi Shyanna! I used all-purpose flour and recommend King Arthur Flour as they are milled in dedicated wheat-only facilities. If you are allergic, do check with the company as manufacturing practices may change.

    • Hi! Looking to make this for a little girl that is allergic to soy, dairy and nuts. Just wanted to know what kind of vinegar you use, as I’m in the UK and want to make sure I use the right one!

  • 5 stars
    I made this cake about a year ago as the birthday cake for a friend with many allergies. It was so well loved that it has been requested for every occasion since. Thanks for this awesome recipe, my friends cannot get enough and I love a recipe that I can make for my friends with severe allergies!!

  • This looks great for my son’s birthday, thank you! Can I use anything else for the vanilla extract? My son is allergic to that too. Thanks!!

  • 5 stars
    i was a bit nervous when asked to make a dairy, egg and nut free cake especially when i looked at the ingredients….. WOW this cake surpasses all expectations, its light and fluffy. its moist and best of all it tastes great. this is a new favourite for my allergy customers and even makes my top five.

  • Hi,
    Recipe looks great, I’m thinking of making it.
    Do you have any suggestions for a more natural form of sugar? I’m going to leave the sugar out but was hoping to substitute with something else.

    • Hi Rebecca, You could try coconut sugar, but it will make the cake darker. Although I haven’t tried it, honey or maple syrup should work, but you’ll need to reduce the amount of water in the recipe to compensate for the increase of liquid.

    • Hi Linda, That would depend on what he is allergic to. If you need a gluten-free option, try a gluten-free blend such as Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. But first, please make sure that he is not allergic to any ingredients in that flour blend.

  • This recipe sounds great! Do you have a recommendation of a flour that is gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and xanthum gum-free? Thanks!

  • Hi l am gluten free, lactose free and egg free l tried this cake and it comes elastic l don’t know why every cake l do it will be horrible ,I want that beautiful fluffy cake, l love cakes and I love to bake a lot please l need your help thanks Sandra Scerri

  • 5 stars
    We love this recipe. I add chocolate chips and use “Simply Delish” instant pudding for the frosting !

  • 5 stars
    Small family gathering for the holidays needed to be nut free and egg free, among other things. I used this cake as the basis for a trifle with three kinds of berries, sugar free jam, and Greek yogurt instead of pudding. Everyone loved it and I was so happy that the dessert was safe for my grandson ! Making it again today for small birthday gathering. for grandpa!

  • 5 stars
    I made the cupcakes and my family loved them. Can you tell me the measurements for a sheet cake 13×18 to serve 20-30 people please? I want to make this for a friend daughter graduation gift. Thank you for all of your help.

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