This cake is my children’s favourite. I get “mom this is the best cake ever!” or “you are the best”. Ya, that makes my heart sign. If I make the cake when they are home, they are right in the kitchen helping out with the measuring. When I make it when they are in school and they come through the door, they smell it right away and come running to find it cooling on the counter. Wow, that brings back memories of my own childhood.
I have tried a few (dozen) cake recipes throughout the years and this one is by far, the simplest. From start to finish it takes me about 45 mins including baking time. It’s moist and dense yet not overly sweet and has no eggs or milk in the recipe! In the last week and a half, I’ve made it three times. That should say it all. This cake is a great base for just about any icing. This time, I’ve made a white chocolate butter cream icing but I’m thinking maybe a caramel or peanut butter in the future.
Actually I thought I had lost the recipe some time back. We were chocolate cake-less for a year or so. I kid you not, I didn’t make a chocolate cake for about a year. Wait, come to think of it I did try another chocolate cake recipe for my son’s Mine Craft birthday cake and it was terribly dry. During that chocolate cake hiatus I would google every combination I could think of to find THE chocolate cake I remembered. Doing a little research after I found my recipe tucked away between two books, I discovered that this is a version of a depression era recipe. Other terms used for this type of cake are crazy cake or wacky cake.
I’m in no way a perfect baker and I do make a considerable mess in the kitchen sometimes. OK, pretty much all the time !! I have the picture to prove. Get lost in the mess I say !!!!
- 1-1/2 cups of flour (regular all purpose, nothing fancy)
- 3 tablespoons of cocoa (sifted)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 cup brown sugar (or white sugar or a combination of both)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 5 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup very cold water
- 1 cup room temperature butter (I used salted)
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 oz white chocolate chips (melted)
- Place the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk them together.
- Make three (3) medium size wells or holes in the dry mixture. In well number one you will pour the vanilla, in well number two you will pour the vinegar and the last one will be the oil.
- Pour the water over everything and mix with a whisk until there are no more lumps. You don't need a stand mixer for this, regular elbow grease will do.
- Pour the cake into a greased pan of your choosing.
- Bake at 350 deg. F for 25-30 mins. (depending on the pan size) The good old toothpick test will let you know if it is ready.
- Melt your chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler
- In your stand mixer, place the butter and the powdered sugar. Start off slow with the mixing and then bring it up to speed for 2-3 mins until light and creamy.
- Scrape sides and add vanilla and cream. This is where I just eyeball it for the cream or milk. Adding more will give you a softer icing, adding less will give you a stiffer icing.
- Add melted chocolate (it should be cool now) and mix again.
- This is where you can verify your texture and add more cream if need be.
- Let this mix again for maybe 2-3 mins or until desired fluffy goodness.