With index finger, make 3 holes in flour mixture. Pour butter into first hole, vinegar in second, and vanilla in third.
Immediately top cake with chocolate morsels and bake 3 minutes longer--just until morsels soften. Spread the chocolate evenly over the cake.
Cool to room temperature and serve with ice cream. Traditional wacky cake recipes use all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, vegetable oil, and vinegar to yield a basic chocolate sponge cake, seasoned only with salt and sometimes a splash of vanilla extract.
But if you like to experiment with different flours when baking, DIY oat flour is perfect as a substitute in quick breads like banana bread and carrot cake where gluten development isn't a priority and moist, tender results are desired. And while this may seem like a bare-bones recipe, we've added a couple of ingredients, tips, and tricks to lift this poor man's cake into higher spirits.
We don't call for a specific type of cocoa in this recipe, so you can choose to use your favorite kind. Ditched cocoa is alkalized, which means it does not react with baking soda in recipes; natural cocoa powder is an acid, and will react with baking soda.
Without butter, a large part of the flavor of this cake relies on your choice of oil. Most wacky cakes keep things super simple and only call for granulated sugar.
We call for a blend of granulated and brown sugar for extra flavor and better texture. A 2:1 ratio of granulated to brown sugar provides the cake with just the right amount of additional moisture without edging it into grumpiness, and the small amount of molasses in the brown sugar plays well with the cocoa's fruitiness.
Instant coffee is a not-so-secret ingredient we like to add to our chocolate dessert recipes to intensify the cocoa flavor. If you're not a fan of it or simply don't have any on hand, feel free to substitute in vanilla extract or skip it entirely.
If you love a good chocolate-orange pairing, the optional orange zest in the icing becomes non-negotiable: citrus oils in the zest perk up the plain Jane royal icing, making this depression cake the every man's dream. Try topping with a half batch of chocolate buttercream or just a simple dusting of powdered sugar.
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Grease an 8” square pan with oil, lining with parchment if desired. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, instant coffee or vanilla (if using), and boiling water until smooth.
Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir in oil, sugars, vinegar, and salt until fully incorporated. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make icing: In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest (if using), cocoa, instant coffee (if using), ½ cup powdered sugar, and juice or water until completely smooth. Set aside until ready to use, giving the mixture a stir before pouring.
Dust top of cake with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, then generously drizzle icing all over. June Die Senior Food ProducerAfter working in numerous restaurant kitchens throughout NYC, June Die joined the Relish team as Test Kitchen Assistant and chief baking expert with a passion for bread dough, peanut butter, whipped cream, and gluten free cookies.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. The cake recipe also contains no eggs or milk, which is why it was a popular treat during lean times.
WackyCake is delicious eaten on its own, especially with a cold glass of milk, but we added a layer of fudge frosting and chopped toasted pecans to make it more decadent. Some testers in our Test Kitchen said it reminded them of a Texas Sheet Cake but much easier to pull off.
Instructions Checklist Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 °F. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into an ungreased 8- x 8-inch baking pan; spread mixture evenly in pan.
Pour 1 cup water evenly over entire mixture in pan. Step 2 Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
03/24/2008 Delicious and easy cake ! I only make this recipe now- I sometimes omit the cocoa for a plain white cake or add some grated/chopped apples and cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves for an apple spice version.
01/08/2008 I'm making this in the form of cupcakes for my daughter's 1st birthday party. She is allergic to milk and eggs.
I did a trial run last night and these taste just like regular cake to me and my husband. I used Pillsbury's cream cheese icing to frost them.
Icing sugar, margarine, a little milk and some almond extract. Make the icing first, then add a little almond extract at a time until desired taste is reached.
I have also doubled this, put into a Wilton character pan (greased and floured) and had great results as well. I mix it all up in a bowl first and then pour it into a greased pan.
03/15/2006 This is the one my mom makes, and I was happy to find it here. I made it today for an after dinner treat, but it didn't make it that long.
I have never had it with any frosting of sort, so I decided to top it with a thin chocolate icing used on “Texas Cake and it was mouth watering. WARNING, if you make this cake, as I learned long ago, DO NOT OVER MIX the batter.
It just needs to be blended, and it's ready for the oven. I ice this with the icing from a Texas sheet cake (you cook it and pour it on hot and let it set up).
09/14/2011 My mom made this often cake when I was growing up, and it's great to find it here. The recipe is only slightly different from my mom's.
We usually serve this cake warm, with peppermint frosting. My mom described the history of the recipe slightly differently.
She's a vet from WWII and explained that the cake was named WackyCake in honor of the WAC (women's air corps) women who developed the recipe. Milk and eggs were scarce during the war.
The combination of the frosting (which tasted marshmallow) and the chocolate cake ended up tasting like a sophisticated moon pie!! The cake was very moist, and the frosting went well with it.
02/08/2011 I was excited about this recipe because it is so simple and cheap and people seem to love it! Just perfect for what I'm looking for since I bake cakes to sell here in Central America.
I wanted to make a kind of chocolate cake (real chocolate is so expensive here) and the ingredients seemed so perfect. It did rise very nicely, but I found the taste rather bland.
It lacked a lot of sweetness and chocolate flavor for me. I think I will try this recipe again but changing it up a lot, for example add banana, like one reviewer suggested.