Wacky is a fun term to use for this deliciously different chocolate cake! Wacky Cake is heavier than regular chocolate cake... gives you something to bite into. The texture is similar to the One Egg Cake Mom used to make - or maybe a little lighter than shortcake. I don't know when my Mom started making Wacky Cake, but in doing a little research, rumor has it, that Wacky Cake could have been popular during the depression because it doesn't use eggs or milk. It was quite a treat when I was growing up - and SUPER easy to make! I've also seen this same recipe called Crazy Cake or Egg-less Cake. Personally I like Wacky cake the best. :)
The directions call for mixing this cake right in the pan you're baking it in, eliminating having to wash a mixing bowl. If you'd rather mix it in a mixer the results are the same.... AND you can lick the bowl without any fear of salmonella from raw eggs. (not that I let that stop me on other batters HA!)
Last week was spring break. The little girls had fun mixing this cake sharing it with the family. Sometimes we put chocolate frosting on this (particularly if we use it for a birthday cake), but most of the time we like to leave it plain and just serve it with ice cream. YUM! MY favorite way to eat Wacky Cake, is to let it get a couple of days old, a tad dry, put a piece in a bowl and cover with milk or half and half. Oh my! I'm pretty sure they will serve it this way in heaven! When I was little, we often had a milk cow. Once the cream had risen to the top of the container of milk, someone had to skim the cream off using a small measuring cup. Often that cream was so thick it clung heavy to the sides of the cup. Even the heavy whipping cream at the store is thinner than I remember some of that fresh cream. I LOVED when it was my turn to lick that cup out! THAT is the type of cream we poured over our cake... sort of a "heart attack in a bowl" I guess, but man was it GOOD!
3 C. flour
2 C. sugar
6 T. baking cocoa (6 T. = 1/3 C. if you want to save time measuring)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Sift the above together and put in an ungreased 9x13 pan. Make 3 holes in the dry mixture; 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small. Put 3/4 C. oil in the large hole, 2 T. vinegar in the medium hole, 2 tsp. vanilla and 2-3 drops of red food coloring in the small hole. Pour 2 C. cold water over all and stir with a fork until well mixed. (be sure to catch those edges and corners to get all the dry ingredients mixed in!) Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool and frost if desired.
Joy's Notes: I never sift my ingredients in this. I just dump all the dry ingredients in the cake pan and mix with a fork before adding the liquid ingredients. If your cocoa or flour has lumps, use the back of a large spoon and press the lumps out. This recipe can be halved really easy and then baked in an 8x8 pan. The reaction between the vinegar and baking soda is what makes the cake rise - so be sure to mix the liquids around good so the vinegar is evenly distributed through the batter. Sometimes this cake sinks a tad in the middle.... a good opportunity to add more frosting there to level it out. :o)
Here's the recipe I use for chocolate frosting.... you know me, I don't measure this stuff well, so it's a guess on amounts.... if it's too thin - add more powdered sugar, too thick - add a T. more milk. :)
2 - 2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
3 T. butter or margarine melted
3-4 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix with beaters until light and fluffy. Spread on cooled cake.