I am easily distracted and a chronic procrastinator. This combined with smart phone ownership means that I spend more time than I should just surfing the web. It sometimes pays dividends, such as my discovery of the wacky cake.
The wacky cake was created in the USA during the Depression era. It is a simple one-bowl recipe that promises to deliver a delicious chocolate cake without using more expensive ingredients such as butter, eggs and milk. Sounds to good to be true? Almost.
I will admit that it is not the best chocolate cake that I have ever eaten – for me, the best kind of chocolate cake is a dense and sticky mud cake – nor is it as good as the Simply Delicious Chocolate Cake. It definitely has its merits though. It is a moist cake with a good crumb. It is egg and dairy free and works well with commercial gluten free flour mixes (although I haven’t tried this for myself), so it is suitable for people afflicted with a range of allergies and intolerances as well as vegans. It is quick, cheap and easy to make and a great cake to bake with children. For these reasons it deserves a place in my baking repertoire. Next time I make it though I will add some dark chocolate (maybe a 100g) to the batter to boost the flavour.
It is a very simple cake which can be made into something special with the addition of your favourite flavourings, fillings or frosting. I kept it simple and served the cake with a Deliciously Easy Frosting.
The original cake recipe is from the USA and so uses natural cocoa with baking soda as a leavening agent. If you use Dutch process cocoa, as I do, then it is advisable to replace the baking soda with baking powder. The reasons for this are a bit technical and I don’t feel the need to rehash it when David Lebovitz has already explained it so well here
The recipe is all over the web but I’ve only just recently discovered it so I have to ask – am I the last person to have heard of this? Have you ever baked a wacky cake?
3 tbsp cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda*
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line a 20cm (8inch) cake tin.
Place the first five ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the remaining ingredients. Gently fold the mix until smooth. Pour into the cake tin and bake for approx 35 minutes.
*If you are using Dutch process cocoa powder then it is best to use baking powder instead of baking soda.
Deliciously Easy Frosting
90g (3oz) dark chocolate
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp golden syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
Heat the chocolate until it only just melts (I used the microwave). Add the oil and syrup and stir until smooth. If the chocolate is too hot and runny let it sit a while to cool. Spread over the sides and top of the cake. I then placed the cake in the fridge to let the frosting set (I do live in a very warm climate!).