Friday, March 30, 2012

Wacky Cake

You know what makes this cake wacky?  No eggs or milk!  So... I guess it's a certified vegan dessert.  (Except the frosting, which originally didn't have butter or milk, but my family added them at some point for taste.)

We've been making Wacky Cake in my family since I can remember, and it's always been the go-to dessert  for every birthday.  My aunt learned it in her childhood from a school friend.  Apparently, Wacky Cake is a  US depression era dessert, when people had to rely more on their pantry non-perishables.  Curiously enough, even though my aunt grew up in Peru, her school friend had US relatives, so I'm pretty certain my Peruvian family has been making an American dessert classic all these years, without knowing it.   I love the idea of recipes being passed through oral tradition, and it goes something like this  Person in US --> Peruvian relative --> daughter --> my aunt -->  my mother  --> me  --> you

This is also a great dessert to make with  your kids, since its a pretty straightforward single bowl concoction.   Babygirl is still too young, and doesn't have the attention span, but she did stir the wooden spoon a few times, and thus did participate.

One of my favorite things growing up was decorating the cake.  I would use Lentejitas (the Peruvian M&Ms) and make all sorts of visual patterns and pictures using the different colors.  Sometimes it was geometric, sometime we'd spell things, but it was always festive.

Cake a la mode


  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F
  2. On a large mixing bowl, mix all the sifted dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cocoa).  Mix with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl, in no particular order (oil, water, vinegar, vanilla).  Mix thoroughly with a large wooden spoon as you add each one.  (you don't need to use any electric blenders)
  4. Put mixture on a buttered 9" mold, and bake for 50 minutes.  At that point, check with a knife if the cake is made, otherwise, leave inside for 10 - 15 more minutes.  The knife should come out streak free.
Chocolate frosting

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. On a small bowl, sift sugar and cocoa.  On a different small cup, mix corn starch into milk
  2. Melt butter on a small pan, under low heat
  3. Add dry ingredients to butter and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, and quickly add milk/corn starch mixture.  Add vanilla and salt
  4. Keep stirring on low heat for 15 minutes or more until mixture feels thick, yet still liquid.  You do NOT need to see the bottom of the pan when you stir.  This frosting will not have the consistency of store-bought hard frosting
  5. While still warm, pour frosting on cake, it should move like a liquid.  After it cools, it will harden.
Toddler Ratings    heart healthy: no, but it's a special occasion dessert, all part of a balanced diet      spicy: no      easy to chew: yes      ease of preparation: simple      reheating: not necessary     food groups : sweets

No comments:

Post a Comment

add your message