Wacky Cake – it’s crazy good. And fast. And easy.
Are you culinarily challenged due to a complete lack of experience & skill in the kitchen? And are you expected at least occasionally to present a homemade offering at family gatherings? Does this frighten you? Well, fear not. This may be the one cake that you can make with no skills and few dishes. An easy little something to make for New Year’s.
The provenance of Wacky Cake is said to date to World War II when milk, butter, and eggs were rationed. This cake has none. What’s surprising is the richness and flavor it achieves without any of them. It can be mixed and served in the same pan and is good with a dusting of powdered sugar & a side of vanilla ice cream or a quick chocolate icing.
To get started you need an 8 X 8 pan. It can be metal or glass and it doesn’t even need to be greased. Mix the dry ingredients right in the pan or a bowl if you prefer. They may be whisked together or you can mix with your hands. I do it by hand to make sure that the chocolate powder is completely incorporated. Make a well in the center.
Next you mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl and pour them into the middle of the flour. Gently whisk out the lumps and put in a preheated oven. Once it’s done serve it World War II style as you see in the picture below with an austere dusting of rationed sugar or you can whip up quick post war batch of icing.
This icing is equally easy. You just melt the butter, chocolate and powdered sugar in a double boiler, let it cool to room temperature and then beat it until fluffy.
If you don’t have a double boiler fill a pan with about an inch of water then find another pan or pyrex bowl that fits over it. The steam from the boiling water underneath in bowl one will melt the ingredients in bowl two. Hence the name “double” boiler.
Once this is done, so are you. It’s all ready to enjoy as an after dinner desert or in front of the TV watching a rerun of ‘The Dirty Dozen.’
- Dry ingredients:
- 1½ cups all purpose flour (or cake flour)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa (Hershey's dark)
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- Liquid ingredients:
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup cold water
- Optional Icing:
- 1 cup butter
- 1⅓ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar
- for mocha icing add 1 tsp. of instant coffee or espresso
- For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a square 8 X 8" pan
- Mix liquid ingredients together in a bowl.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid.
- Whisk out the lumps & bake till a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- For the icing:
- Melt butter, chips & sugar in a double boiler.
- Let completely cool then beat until fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.