What’s a girl to say about this chocolate cake except that it is pretty darn close to perfect. And I say this for the following reasons: it is chocolate cake, it is easy to make, it has very few ingredients, it calls for oil instead of butter, it comes from an awesome new cookbook, the Cherry Bombe Cookbook, but is a recipe that has been around for forever, and the frosting is pink. When I looked through the Cherry Bombe cookbook musing about what to bake from it, and stumbled upon the photo of a slice of this cake, my musings came to a screeching halt, and the baking began immediately.“Crazy,” or “wacky” cakes, as they are sometimes called, were depression-era cakes that came about when ingredients like eggs and butter were scarce and pricey (thus this cake has neither). They are vegan, therefore, and if you frost them with something dairy-free, a vegetable shortening-based buttercream, for instance, they will stay that way. This particular crazy cake is wildly moist, deeply chocolate-y, and made in a glass pie-plate which the retro-obsessive in me, loves.I tweaked the recipe only a tad – calling for more cocoa powder, and Dutch processed, to boot, an extra bowl to sift ingredients into to avoid spillage, combining all of the wet ingredients in a measuring cup, and baking the cake for a bit longer than called for in the original. I also used my own recipe for cream cheese frosting, that includes some butter, as the frosting recipe in the book calls for none. Your go-to-on-the-regular chocolate cake is the result and I can’t imagine you won’t be as excited as me about putting it into the home-baked sweets rotation.
Easiest "Craziest" Chocolate Cake (ever)
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup cold water
For the Frosting
- 1/2 stick of unsalted butter room temp
- 4 ounces cream cheese half of one packet, room temp
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
- pinch of salt
- a drop or two of red food coloring
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, soda and cocoa powder; then whisk to fully incorporate. Add the dry ingredients to a nine-inch glass pie plate. Combine the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a measuring cup and pour into the pie plate.
- Stir with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated and smooth. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a moist crumb or two.
- While the cake bakes and then cools to room temp, make the frosting.
For the Frosting
- Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on medium high speed, beat the butter/cream cheese until smooth and uniform. add the vanilla and beat again.
- Place the the confectioners' sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add about a half cup of the sugar at a time to the mixer bowl, beating thoroughly until combined after each addition. once all of the sugar has been added, add the red food coloring and increase the speed of the mixer to medium or medium high, and beat the mixture til smooth. do not over mix or the frosting will lose structure.
- Once the cake has cooled, generously spread the frosting on top of the cake while still in the pan. Decorate with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or some red sparkling sugar. Serve slices directly from the pan. The cake will keep for 3 to 5 days tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.