Hey, you! (Yeah, you!) Summer’s coming. Let’s go to the playground! Oh, or maybe the roller rink. Or both. Sorry…this cake makes me feel like I’m about 12 years old again. And I’m loving it. (Slumber party, anyone?)
This is one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have, hands down. It’s also one of the easiest to make.
This cake is made without eggs, milk, or butter, which makes it a take-off on some war-time cake recipes, when certain ingredients were rationed. It gets its poof from the reaction between the vinegar and baking soda.
This cake doesn’t have a ton of ingredients, but definitely resist the temptation to toss anything additional into the batter. Really. This cake is moist, dense, and super chocolate-y.
The Angry Chef suggested that it would be a great base for those homemade Hostess cupcakes that have been popping up all over the internet.
In terms of serving, you could frost it (try my Creamy Chocolate Frosting), if you like. But all this cake really needs is a little powdered sugar. Maybe a tall glass of ice cold milk or a nice, hot espresso.
That said, I dare you not to just sit down with the pan and a fork.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake: A note on cocoa powder
Just to clarify, be sure that you use unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipeï¿½not hot chocolate mix that has sugar in it.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake: A note on pan size
This recipe makes a large, 13 x 9 cake.
To make a layer cake, split the batter up between two 8-inch pans. If you do that, cut baking time down to about 28-30 minutes.
Or, for a single, smaller cake, cut the recipe in half and bake for 28-30 minutes in an 8-inch pan.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
2 Tbls. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups water
spray oil to grease the pan
Makes one 13-inch x 9-inch cake
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake: Make the cake batter
Lightly spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with oil. Line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Press it down so it sticks and set the pan aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Mix together with a whisk until uniform.
Depending on the brand of cocoa you use, the dry mixture will probably be a really light brown. That’s just fine.
Add the oil to the dry ingredients. (I used regular ole pure olive oil.) Toss in the vinegar and vanilla extract.
Pour in the water.
Mix just until the batter comes together.
You don’t want to overmix it, or you risk the cake getting a little tough. Just smoosh any big lumps against the side of the bowl to break them up.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake: Bake the cake
Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
Smooth it out so the surface is relatively level. Pop it into your preheated oven and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
When it’s done, the cake should be firm to the touch (when you press on the surface with a finger, the indentation should spring back), and slightly darker brown (but not crispy or hard) on the edges.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving.
Keeps well for about 4 days (if it lasts that long), tightly wrapped, on the counter.