Crazy Cake

by - 12:20 AM

It was my parents anniversary recently, so I made them a chocolate cake, as well as cooking a fancy dinner. Here you see me about to enjoy a piece of that cake by the light of my laptop screen. ;-)

Crazy Cake

3 cups flour 2 cups sugar 6 Tbsp cocoa (I make it heaping, for extra chocolately goodness) 1 tsp salt 2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 Tbsp vinegar 3/4 cup vegetable oil 2 cups cold water Sift together dry ingredients. Make three wells - two small, one large. In a small well put the vanilla, in another the vinegar, and in the third large well put the oil. Start stirring, pouring in your water immediately. Blend thoroughly. Preheat oven to 350º Cupcakes - makes roughly 24 (more or less). Bake 12-15 minutes, test for doneness with toothpick, it can take longer depending on your oven or size of cupcakes. Layer cake - two 9" round pans, greased and floured with wax or parchment paper on the bottom. Bake 25-30 minutes, test for doneness with knife. Remove sides of cake pans and cool before icing. Pan cake - 9"x13" (or similar) pan, grease and flour, bake 50-60 minutes until done.

You can ice this style of cake in the pan, while it's still warm, if you like it that way. This is a wartime cake recipe that comes from my British grandmother. Because perishable ingredients were hard to count on, this recipe doesn't use any at all! It is also very forgiving. For example the original recipe uses melted shortening instead of vegetable oil. Oil is my preference and it made no difference in quality. I've also used olive oil when I ran out of something lighter and it still turned out perfect!

When I've run short unexpectedly on cocoa I melted chocolate to make up the difference. The only ingredient I would avoid compromise on is the cocoa and the vanilla. Don't go artificial on the vanilla, and buy good cocoa or chocolate. If you've got someone with an egg or dairy allergy it's a great recipe to use without sacrificing quality. I expect its even easy to turn it into a vegan recipe too. It's dense and stable the way a good homemade style cake should be. Great traditionally iced or cubed and layered into custard. Oh, another nice variation I've made is Potato Crazy Cake. Substitute one cup of flour with a cup of cooked potato well mashed or riced. Mix it with the 2 cups water to keep it from hardening up. This variation makes the cake even more moist. I expect if you wanted to try out your own variations, it would prove a very forgiving recipe.

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