War Cake. Joe Cake. Crazy Cake.
Wacky Cake is a timeless recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. It is touted as a Depression era cake and originated during wartime rationing when ingredients such as milk, butter and eggs were scarce.
This cake contains no dairy (making it the perfect dessert for our vegan friends) and relies on some Mt. Vesuvius action – a vigorous bubbly reaction between the vinegar and baking soda – to make the cake rise. You can even mix this cake in the same pan you bake it in!
For a more intense chocolate flavor you can substitute half or all of the water with cold coffee.
This cake was baked in a countertop Cuisinart Convection Steam Oven.
Why use steam to bake a cake? Not only does it help prevent cracking on the top of the cake, but it keeps the cake moist. This moisture makes for a more delicate crumb in your baked goods.
You can top this simple cake with the icing of your choice or simply dust it with confectioners sugar or even serve it plain. Don’t be concerned if the top of the cake cracks somewhat, it will still taste good AND you can cover that up with the frosting of your choice!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons Dutch Process cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 cup cold water
- Place the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and stir together with a whisk.
- Make 3 small holes in the dry ingredients.
- Pour the vanilla into one hole, the white vinegar into another hold and the vegetable oil in the last hole (you might want to make this last hole a little bigger to accomodate the entire volume of oil).
- Pour the cold water over the ingredients and mix by hand until just mixed through.
- Pour into a lightly greased 8x8-inch baking pan.
- Place the CSO rack in the middle of the CSO before placing your 8x8-inch baking pan in the CSO.
- Place the baking pan on the baking rack and turn the dial to Bake/Steam.
- Set the temperature to 325 degrees F. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
- Insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake to check for doneness. If the cake is done, the toothpick will come out clean. If you have batter or wet crumbs on the toothpick when you remove it, your cake needs more baking time.
- If needed, bake the cake for an additional 5 minutes before removing the cake from your CSO.