Wacky Pineapple Cake has a story attached to it. When I was first married and experimenting with cooking and baking, my aunts used to send me many wonderful ways with food.

Here is one card I found recently in my repertoire of recipes, Wacky Cake. It could have been named Chocolate Wacky Cake because with the cocoa called for in the recipe, that’s exactly what it is. A Chocolate cake.

However, as much as I like chocolate and I’ve made it this way many times, I decided to go for a change, and eliminate the cocoa in my original recipe and add pineapple instead. It turned out great.



The recipe card has yellowed with age and as you can see by the date, 1968, I’ve had it for nearly 50 years. However, the Wacky Cake phenomenon is even older than that, nearly an antique.


You might wonder how a cake came to be known as wacky cake. Well, here is the history on it.

This cake is also known as Depression Cake, Crazy Cake, Three-hole Cake, Mix-in-the-pan Cake, and Mixed-Up Cake. Yet another story says that a child saw what the ingredients were and said, “Oil and Vinegar in cake? That’s salad dressing, Mom. You’re Wacky.”


Very simple and versatile, this cake is great for vegans and those with dairy and egg allergies.

This particular recipe calls for oil, but I substituted applesauce for the oil to make it completely oil-free. I also use half whole wheat flour and half of some type of whole grain flour such as spelt or oat flour. You can also use cold coffee or orange juice in place of the water.


More on the background of this cake: It’s a Depression Era cake that was born during the rationing of ingredients during World War II. Butter, milk and eggs were not only expensive, they were also scarcer than hens’ teeth. Seems the housewives would sit around talking about how they could still bake and make things taste good without the usual butter, milk and eggs. It does call for an unusual ingredient, namely vinegar.  A chemical reaction occurs between the baking soda and the vinegar that produces the rising action of the cake.


It’s true. You can bake without butter, milk and eggs and still have a moist and delicious sweet to enjoy.  The directions for this cake are to make it in the pan it’s baked in. One pan. Although, I have mixed it in a bowl with very good results. The only reason I do this is because I don’t want a messy baking pan. By the time you put all the ingredients in the baking pan, make your wells to add the liquids, then stir, you’ve got a messy pan. It’s just me, though.

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If it doesn’t bother you, go ahead and mix, bake and serve from just one pan. owever you decide to do it, the results are worth it.

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Remember: Getting old does not have to mean getting sick. Our bodies are wonderful machines and given the right foods can not only prevent diseases., but can actually reverse them.

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Wacky Pineapple Cake

Wacky Pineapple Cake by Carol Fitzgerald


  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 15-ounce can of crushed pineapple including the juice
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl
  • Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl
  • Combine all ingredients and mix well
  • If you haven't already mixed it in your baking pan, pour the batter into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan
  • Bake in preheated 350º oven for 35 - 40 minutes