I’m popping in with a post today that’s as swift and sweet as the cake I’m talking about. This chocolate-infused confection has changed my life when it comes to whipping together last-minute lunchbox snacks, dessert for dinner guests, classroom party treats, or something to pass along to a neighbour or family member who’s helped us out in some way.
Based on recipes from the wartime era, it’s made without milk, eggs, or butter, which were heavily rationed all those decades ago, and can boast a minimal amount of clean up since the ingredients are whisked together in the pan they’re baked in. I familiarized myself with a similar version of this recipe from Mad Hungry, a beloved cookbook, but quickly realized I had received something much the same from a school mom whose child has many food allergies. She referred to it as a wacky cake, but regardless of the name you use, I think we can all agree that it’s delicious and a must-have recipe for every home cook’s back pocket.
The Easiest Chocolate Cake Ever
My favourite way to ‘frost’ this cake is to scatter handfuls of chocolate chips over the cake while it’s still warm. I leave them for four or five minutes, or until they’ve melted completely, then spread them over the cake for a quick icing. Alternatively, feel free to use your favourite buttercream, or serve the cake with whipped cream and fruit. There is no wrong answer here when it comes to topping the cake – it will work with whatever you decide is easiest for you.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups granulated or cane sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup water
- 6 tablespoons canola, sunflower, or safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using an 8" x 8" baking pan, dump the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into the middle of the baking dish and whisk to combine. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and well combined.
Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. You can insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake to test for doneness, or press down light in the middle with your fingers; if the cake bounces back, it's cooked through.