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This is my favorite chocolate cake.  It mixes right in the pan and just about everyone can eat it.  When made as directed it has no wheat, gluten, dairy or egg.  If egg or dairy are your only concerns, then go ahead and make this with regular flour, no special adjustments are necessary. 

This is an old "cowboy cake" recipe.  It was made from the things on hand on the chuckwagon-- cooking staples and no eggs or butter which were difficult to transport in trail conditions.

Step 1: Ingredients & Equipment


2 ½ cups flour* or wheat-free flour blend ; or Bob's Gluten-Free Baking flour plus 2 teaspoons xanthan gum; or whatever blend you prefer) (*Reminder- regular flour is not gluten free)
1 ½ cups sugar
1/2 cups cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups cold coffee (or make with instant coffee or just use cold water)
~~~~~~~
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

You will also need an ungreased 9" x 13" baking pan, measuring cup and spoons, a fork, a small cup or a ramekin, and a cooling rack if you have one (so it will cool faster and you can eat it sooner).


Step 2: Start Mixing the Dry Ingredients

Preheat over to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Put flour, 1 ½ cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt into ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Stir well with a fork. Really make sure to get the corners.

Step 3: Then Liquid Ingredients

Form 3 wells in mixture.  Pour oil in the largest well, vinegar in the middle one and vanilla in the smallest.

Step 4: Coffee

Pour cold coffee over all ingredients and stir with fork until well mixed, but do not beat the batter.

Step 5: Topping

Combine remaining sugar (1/4 cup) and cinnamon in ramekin or small bowl.  Sprinkle evenly over batter.  Bake in 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 35-40 minutes.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Cool on baking rack, cut and enjoy with very little mess to clean up.
<p>Fantastic recipe - came together easily and turned out perfectly! Rose nicely and tastes great!</p>
What's the purpose of the vinegar?
Here comes the science bit...<br><br>The vinegar is the source of acetic acid which reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda to form (amongst other things) carbon dioxide which will help the cake to rise.<br><br>https://www.facebook.com/MrBakewell
I'm curious about the coffee thing. I'm making this for my daughter's 2nd birthday, so I'd like to substitute soy milk or coconut milk or something else wet that doesn't taste like coffee. <br><br>So my questions are: is the coffee just to make the stuff wet? Can you taste the coffee in the cake?
This a great cake--I've been making it for over thirty years now. Found the recipe I use in Marlboro cookbook that a grocery store was giving away as a handout.
Looks great! I love making cakes in the pan they're baked in.

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