I was recently asked to try a coconut balsamic vinegar and give my opinion. I used it in recipes you’d expect: Apple Sorghum Salad, Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant, and Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts. But, I also wanted to do a think-outside-the-box dish. A dessert perhaps? WHAT????
Then I recalled a chocolate cake recipe, called Wacky Cake, I found years ago in a lady’s club cookbook. At the time, I thought it was so named because all of the ingredients were put in a bowl and mixed at once. Now that I have made MANY cakes from scratch, I realize it’s because there are NO eggs, butter, or milk. Crazy, right?!
Wacky Cake came into frugal existence during the days of rationing, when these ingredients were hard to come by. The recipe called for cocoa, oil, baking soda, sugar…and white vinegar. At first glance, vinegar sounds like a horrible ingredient for a chocolate cake. But then I remembered, you can make buttermilk by combining milk with vinegar. So suddenly the vinegar didn’t seem so odd….until I realized there was no milk in this recipe. Hmmmm.
Since I’d made the cake before and knew it tasted good, I decided to take a chance and use the coconut balsamic vinegar. (I like to live on the edge….or, at least, nearby.)
Believe it or not, the Chocolate Wacky Cake came out utterly delicious! It was moist, firm, rose beautifully, and chocolatie. Day 3 tasted just as good as Day 1. There was no Day 4.
I topped it with a Brown Sugar Frosting (Betty Crocker’s recipe), which was the perfect complement to the rich chocolate. I’ve included the recipe below.
Note: You can make 29 cupcakes from this recipe. Bake them at 350º F for about 17 minutes.
CHOCOLATE WACKY CAKE
- 2 cups (387g) granulated sugar
- 3 cups (364g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (41g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 T vinegar (I’ve used both white and balsamic)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup (165ml / 141 grams by weight) vegetable oil
- 2 cups (473 ml) water
- 1 T instant coffee granules (you can probably use 1 cup of coffee & dilute it with 1 cup water if you don’t have the granules – but I’ve never done this myself)
Heat water to boiling and add the coffee granules. Stir and let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients. You can do this on low speed of an electric mixer, an egg beater, or a whisk.
Pour into a greased and floured 13″x 9″ baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until top springs back when lightly pressed (mine baked for 34 minutes). Let cool completely before frosting.
BROWN SUGAR FROSTING – covers a 13″x 9″ cake
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar, measure before sifting
In a saucepan melt butter. Over medium heat, stir in brown sugar and bring to boiling. Lower flame to low and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add milk, increase heat, and bring to boil. Then, remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
Sift powdered sugar to prevent lumps. Gradually stir into butter/sugar. Place saucepan into a bowl of ice water, and stir continuously until spreadable, but not too thick.
Frost cake. Let set at least 20 minutes before slicing.