Wacky for Wacky Cake

Posted by Adam | Posted in , , | Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I was introduced to "Wacky Cake" at a very young age. It is originally a recipe that my late grandmother used, which was passed onto my mother, and now onto me. I know what you're thinking... that's a lot of history right? Exactly. My grandmother raised 12 children, so that's a long history of chocolately smiles and finger licking.

There's a bunch of reasons why I love this recipe. First, you always have all the ingredients on hand at your house. There are no eggs, no milk, and no butter. Wait... no butter? Yup. And this cake has such great mositure and fluffy texture you won't miss it a bit. Let's face it, butter is getting a little expensive anyways. According to the almighty wikipedia, Wacky Cake doesn't have any of those above items because of rationing during the war time, which makes sense. My grandmother was raised around that time, so I can see how the recipe developed. The other main reason I love it is technique, (or the lack thereof). This cake is easily thrown together, dry in one bowl, wet in the other, and folded and mixed together. The cake seems very watery, but that's ok. It firms and rises up beautifully in the oven.
Wacky Cake
Recipe by Grandma VanDerWerken (RIP)
-3 cups flour
-2 cups sugar
-2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-3/4 cup canola oil
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 Tbsp white vinegar
-2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350*, and center the oven rack. Grease a 13x9 pan, or 2 rounds.

In one bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. In another, mix the wet ingredients: oil, vanilla, vingear, and water. Pour the dry into the wet and mix well with a spatula or spoon. Don't worry if the batter seems watery or thin, it will thicken up in the oven.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cake springs back to touch.
The cake is moist, chocolately, and not so sweet your teeth hurt. It is a classic in my family, and an instant favorite of anyone who has tried it. While I have tried other chocolate cake recipes, I always go back to this one. I just recently recieved Dorie Greenspan's Book... which every baker on the internet raves about, so I have to see if she can trump it. I'll keep an open mind, but I kinda doubt it. Maybe it's because I have such a strong connection with this simple cake. So in the words of Rob Scheider of The Waterboy... "You can dooo iiit!"

Some random things I'm thinking about... to go with the wacky theme:
1. Always wear sun screen your first time at the beach in a year
2. If someone finds $100 in the ocean, try your damnest to be their best friend
3. The new Usher cd is awesome
4. When working out... keep your rest periods between sets at 60 seconds or less
5. Too much raw fish or sashimi can make your head feel funny
6. If you have back pain or aches, it's not normal, and you shouldn't have to just "live with it"
7. There's always a reason for chocolate cake
8. Beautiful weather and laughing at yourself can take care of many problems

I know I've done alot of chocolate things lately... I'm kinda chocolated out. Someone else take the reins from me. Sorry if the post today is weird... swear it's the cake.

Comments (10)

Ahh, the original vegan-friendly cake :0)

Haha, love the random thoughts!

I've made wacky cake before for my cousin who has an egg allergy, but it was nowhere as moist as yours. Mine even had a funny sour aftertaste! The next time I need to make an eggless cake, maybe I'll try your grandmother's recipe. By the way, I also just got Dorie's book! I can't wait to try the recipes, but I notice that her desserts tend to have more butter.

Oh my gosh, this was the very first cake I ever learned to make. I used to bake it all the time as a kid. In fact I was just thinking about it the other day...thanks for the nostalgic trip :) and yours looks gorgeous! Oh and that quote is SO funny.

Your comment on my blog made me smile :0)

No, I haven't hosted a baking event, since I wouldn't know where to begin; and there's so many events that DO take place, that I never really considered doing one of my own.

Simple is sometimes the best. :)
Older recipes passed down are always a treasure.

oh what a lip smacking gooness!! the photos of this wacky cake is enough for me to imagine how good it taste :-) delicious!

I am firmly in the camp that one can never have too much chocolate.

This cake reminds me of a "crazy cake" I made a few years ago where you put the dry ingredients in the pan, poke holes, and pour the wet over it. The vinegar makes the baking soda in the dry ingredients foam up before you mix it together. The cake was thin, but dense and moist. Very tasty.

Veggie- Ya know I just realized that the cake totally is vegan friendly. It's been 'going green' for generations :)

Well if you ever host one... you'll def have a flock of fans.

Steph- That's sweet that you got the book also. Let me know what recipes you're thinking of trying. I agree that there is quite a bit of butter everywhere. Sometimes you can change the amount, and sometimes you can't.

Laura- Yeah it's funny how this cake is often a young baker's first. Glad I could send you back to the days of LA Gear high tops.

Hendria - I totally agree. Classics are always classics.

Dhanggit- Thanks alot. There was plenty of lip smacking, and the pan was licked clean for sure.

Shorty - That cake probably turns out very similar. I like how incredibly easy that sounds.

That cake sounds easy and looks nice and moist and fluffy.

This is also super delicious with some canned cherries added. We make it in my family with fudge frosting or powdered sugar on top. Yum :)