I’ve heard this type of chocolate cake go by a few different names including Wacky Cake and Chocolate Depression Cake. The recipe is unique in that it doesn’t use butter or eggs and yet it still results in a cake that is moist, light, and chocolaty. The recipe originated from the Great Depression and WWII era when access to eggs and butter were limited. The vinegar in the recipe reacts with the baking soda to provide leavening. You’d honestly never know it didn’t have eggs or butter!
I was making a cake for a friend recently who is vegan and I had a very hard time finding a good recipe. I tried some brownies from a popular blog that were a total failure. To be fair, they were comparable to other vegan baked goods I’ve had, but not nearly as good as regular brownies. I didn’t want to make a cake that was ‘good for a vegan cake’, I wanted to make a cake that was just good.
And this cake is good. Vegan or otherwise, it’s delicious. Chances are good that you already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen to whip up this cake. The fudgy frosting is perfect on top of the light cake and it would be even better with a handful of fresh berries on top. The cake was a hit with everyone I served it to and our small crowd polished it off in no time.
- 1½ cups (213 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
- 4 rounded tbl. (22 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbl. white vinegar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 tbl. vegetable oil
- 1 cup coffee
- ⅔ cup full fat canned coconut milk (plus more if needed)
- 12 oz. chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the vinegar, vanilla, oil, and coffee and stir until combined. Spread the batter into an ungreased glass 8 inch square pan. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Set aside to cool completely.
- Pour the coconut milk and chocolate chips into a glass bowl set over a pot of boiling water. Heat and stir until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cool, beat the ganache for several minutes at medium speed until it has a light and fluffy texture. If needed, add additional coconut milk until you reach a spreadable consistency.
- The ganache will be thick and a bit challenging to spread. Drop it by small spoonfuls over the surface of the cake, then use an offset spatula to gently smooth into an even layer.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker