Veg in Cow Country

cooking (and eating) vegan and vegetarian in the midwest

Crazy Chocolate Cake August 3, 2011

Filed under: Baked Goods,Chocolate!,Comfort Food — vegincowcountry @ 12:44 am

The story I’ve heard about this recipe is that it was created during WWI or WWII because of rationing. Neither of my grandmothers had ever heard of it, but they were living on the farm and didn’t have problems finding eggs and butter! Despite the family’s lack of understanding of my avoidance of animal products, this cake has become the standard birthday favorite because it is so nice and moist. I’m happy… even if I do occasionally have to make the frosting with butter to keep the peace!

My favorite variation on this recipe is to use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder – even though I’m not normally a fan of dark chocolate, this is an exception!

This recipe makes about a half of a cake, or a 9″x9″ pan. I have made it as a 9″ layer cake, but I mix the layers separately as sometimes cake recipes don’t double. I haven’t experimented with doubling — why risk wasting all of that chocolate?? I have also made this in two 6″ round pans, which makes a darling little birthday cake for a small group.

1 1/2 c unbleached white flour
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder – Hershey’s Special Dark is best
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c cold water or coffee (I prefer coffee)
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp vinegar (white or apple cider)

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients (except vinegar) in separate bowl; add to dry ingredients and blend. Add vinegar and stir briefly. Pour into greased 9×9″ pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 25-35 minutes. 9 servings.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

½ cup Earth Balance margarine or butter, softened (My dad, who is on a low cholesterol diet, prefers Earth Balance buttercream)

1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla

¼ cup cocoa powder

 Mix margarine and cocoa powder; add vanilla; slowly add powdered sugar until frosting is the right texture. Spread on cooled cake.


6 Responses to “Crazy Chocolate Cake”

  1. I’m looking through your blog now. This sounds like a classic chocolate cake recipe to me! I think you’re right about the vinegar making it fluffier. I think my mom’s devil food cake recipe used vinegar. I have that recipe. I should go look….. Nah.

    • vegincowcountry Says:

      Thanks so much for visiting, Charla! 🙂 BTW, I got some better photos of this cake last week and just added them. Makes me wish there was some of that cake left…!

  2. vegincowcountry Says:

    Brad, I have not tried subbing apple sauce for the oil, but it is a good idea. I would think it would work pretty well, as this is not a complicated recipe. Let me know if you try it!

    • Brad Says:

      Another question. What does the vinegar do in this recipe? Why is it there? I’m not doubting that it should be, but just trying to learn somethign about baking.

      On a more general note, I wish you would post more! You’ve got a great blog!

      And did anyone ever tell you you look a little like Audrey Hepburn?? 🙂

      • vegincowcountry Says:

        Ha ha thanks, Brad! I’m not 100% sure what the vinegar does, but it does have a reaction with the baking soda that makes the cake lighter and fluffier than some vegan cakes, which are sometimes kind of dense. And I am sitting down tonight to add a few new entries. 🙂

  3. Brad Says:

    Have you ever tried this with apple sauce instead of the oil? I have used standard box cake mixes, substituted apple sauce for the oil 1:1, and it turns out great. Moist and tasty. I wonder how it would work in this recipe. It seems to me it really cuts down on the fat and calories if you could do that–and all natural apple sauce has to be better for you.



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