Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wacky Cake

I had some friends over for dinner the other night.

And seriously, I see bloggers with mason jars and flowers and ribbons and none of it's particularly difficult, but the overall effect is impressive and takes a bit of effort.

My parties are, um, effortless (and that's putting it in a nice way). Like, "oh, could you open that drawer over there and grab some napkins?" after we'd already dug into take-out pizza. But...

My mom did clean up the piles of paper on our dining room table. That's a big deal.

And spinach deep dish pizza? Also a big deal. Especially because we've been at college where the pizza is good, but not Chicago-style deep dish. One slice of this and you're full.

To give you an idea of the size, this is a full-size dinner plate, and the pie is about an inch thick. 
It's from Piero's, our favorite place to get deep dish. Spinach is the best because you get some vegetables, but also it makes the cheese layer twice as thick so you feel like you get twice as much cheese.

For dessert, we dug into this cake. Have this recipe in your back pocket. Literally all of the ingredients come together in one pan, and then you throw in in the oven.

It is more moist than any box cake with pudding in the mix and full of rich chocolate flavor.
[Bonus: it's also dairy, nut, and egg-free!]

Nutella warmed up in the microwave makes a nice, lazy-man's frosting. Everyone had seconds. I kid you not, we are 4 college girls, and we ate the majority of the cake in one evening.

It's a keeper.

Wacky Cake
Yield: 1 8x8 inch cake


  • 1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (0.75 ounce) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt directly into the baking pan, then add the sugar. With your finger, poke 2 small holes and 1 large one in the dry ingredients. Into one of the small holes pour the vanilla, into the other one the vinegar, and into the larger one the oil.
  3. Pour the water over all the ingredients and stir the ingredients together with a table fork, reaching into the corners, until you can’t see any more flour and the batter looks fairly well homogenized.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is springy and a tester inserted in the center comes out dry. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack, then cut and serve it from the pan. 
  5. A drizzle of warm nutella is an optional but amazing finishing touch. A drizzle of cherry jam would make a great quick black forest cake. Or simply a dusting of powdered sugar to keep it simple.
Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.

Note: Though I haven't tried it, you could probably replace the cocoa powder with flour for a vanilla version of the cake. (I wouldn't, but some people prefer vanilla...different folks, different strokes, man.)

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