Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wacky Cake- America's Test Kitchen

Another recipe from my America's Test Kitchen cookbook. This recipe for Wacky Cake caught my eye when I noticed that it didn’t contain eggs, milk or butter. It also has a very interesting method of preparation (see picture below). One of the things I love about my America's Test Kitchen cookbook is that with some of it's recipes it gives a little history of how the recipe came to be. This one was of particular interest to me.

This is what my book said:
While the name implies comical roots, Wacky Cake was actually born out of the seriousness of wartime rationing. At various times during the world wars, eggs, butter, sugar, and milk were all in short supply, so inventive home cooks and home economists did their best to create dishes with limited ingredients. Wacky cake is a moist chocolate cake prepared, miraculously enough, without eggs or butter.

After reading this I couldn't help but be grateful for all of the wonderful ingredients we have at our disposal. Despite these hard economic times, we truly are lucky and things really could be worse. I also thought about how amazing those women must have been to survive such a hard time cooking for their families when necessities weren't readily available to them. I think it is so cool that even though this cake was born during wartime that the women still took the time to invent a chocolate cake they could make. I like to think they did it to lift the spirits of their families. I can see this being a favorite birthday cake back then.

Wacky Cake (moist chocolate cake)

America's Test Kitchen cookbook

(this is a picture from http://itsdinnertime2.blogspot.com)

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

In the 8x8 pan mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one well put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened.

Bake at 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.

Though this cake is usually served without frosting, I made a simple chocolate frosting to pour over the cake as soon as it came out of the oven. Just a little butter, vanilla, cocoa, icing sugar and milk. I just make it to taste. This cake is so incredibly moist and much to my pleasant surprise was just as moist- if not more so the next day. Though I have been craving this since I made it on Friday night I don't think I'll be making it any time again soon. Brad and I ate the whole cake ourselves over the course of two days. YIKES. It really was that good though!


Jill said...

hi natalie. i have yet to make those tasty looking donuts, but i sure will let you know when i do. :)

can you send me an email? jill dot skousen at gmail dot com. i will send you the tomato soup recipe i have.

also, the pumpkin cookies!

Sara said...

This cake sounds great - I have a friend whose daugher can't have eggs or dairy, I am going to pass this on to her.

Anonymous said...

I have been searching for this receipe for years, my Nanna used to make this cake for us as children. We used to get her to make it always and then my sisters and I used to fight over licking the spoon then eagily awaiting to eat the cake. Thank you for the receipe it brings back so many happy memories that I can now pass on to my children.