Introduction: How to Make a Wacky Chocolate Cake

Hello! My name is Mia Rose, and this Instructable is on how to make a Wacky Chocolate Cake. In specific, Wacky Chocolate Cake (also known as Crazy Cake or Depression Cake), is a delicious dessert that can easily be made in last minute situations. Having been passed down since the Great Depression, the ingredients that are used in this recipe may seem strange to you. However, I assure that you will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome, as I know this cake to be just as moist, and flavor-packed as any other Chocolate Cake, if not better.

This sweet treat is great for anyone who is allergic to dairy products and/or eggs since neither of these ingredients are required. Additionally, this cake can be altered for those of you who aren't allergic to anything. I will make sure to add those comments in the directions, as well as an icing recipe for those who have allergies, and for those who don't. In conclusion, I hope you enjoy this dessert, and I encourage you to have fun experimenting with it! Happy Baking!

Step 1: Gathering Your Ingredients

Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 c. All-purpose flour.
  • 1/4 c. and 2 tbsp. Cocoa (unsweetened).
  • 4 tsp. Baking soda.
  • 2 c. Sugar (preferably brown sugar, but white sugar works just as good).
  • 1 tsp. Salt.
  • 2 tsp. White vinegar.
  • 2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract.
  • 1/2 c. and 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil (possibly substituted by 1/2 c. and 2 tbsp. of butter or margarine).
  • 2 tsp. Baking powder (heaping teaspoons)
  • 2 c. Water (or whole milk, whatever you prefer).

These are all of the ingredients necessary for making the cake specifically, but you'll need additional supplies if you plan on making the frosting as well. Here is a Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Icing Recipe:

  • 1.4 C. and 2 Tbsp. Dairy-free margarine.
  • 1/4 C. and 2 Tbsp. Hot water.
  • 1/4 C. and 2 Tbsp. Cocoa powder.
  • 4 C. Powdered sugar.
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract.

(Obviously, the frosting is what makes this cake even more decadent, but it is really your choice whether you add it or not). Here is another frosting recipe for the Non-Allergic people:

  • 1/2 C. Packed brown sugar.
  • 4 tbsp. Butter.
  • 2 tbsp. Milk.
  • 1 1/2 C. Confectioner's sugar.
  • 1 tbsp. Cocoa powder.
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract.

(These recipes might need to be doubled, depending on the type of pan you use). In addition, there are several different working utensils that are necessary while making the Crazy Chocolate Cake. Altogether you will require :

  • One large bowl.
  • Measuring cups.
  • A tablespoon.
  • A teaspoon.
  • A whisk.
  • A hand mixer.
  • A bundt pan or two 8" by 8" cake pans.
  • A spatula.
  • A butter knife
  • Two plates
  • One medium bowl

Begin by finding a clean available work surface in your kitchen, and upon gathering and making sure that you have enough of all of the ingredients, wash your hands, and move on to Step 2: Mixing Your Ingredients.

Step 2: Mixing Your Ingredients

To Begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After that you will need to get out a bundt pan or two 8" by 8" cake pans, and spray them with either baking or cooking spray ( for example, I am using canola oil). Make sure that your pan is thoroughly sprayed, as you will want your cake to come out of its pan easily after it is finished baking and has cooled.

Once you are done, set the pan (or pans) to the side, and retrieve a large bowl that will be easy to use for mixing. We will start by adding all of the dry ingredients (including the 3 cups of flour, 1/4 c. and 2 tbsp. cocoa, 4 tsp. baking soda, 2 c. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. baking powder). Note that you might need to sift your flour depending on what brand you are using, and how clumpy it is. Furthermore, make sure to incorporate it all with a whisk, and once you're done, make a well in the center of your bowl.

Finally, add in all of the remaining wet ingredients [such as the 2 tsp. white vinegar, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 c. and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (see substitutes in Step 1), and the 2 c. water (or milk)], and again combine well with either a hand mixer, Kitchen Aid, or the whisk from earlier. Check to ensure that there are no lumps in the batter, and finish by using a spatula to scrape out all the batter, and move it to the pan. You are now ready to move on to Step 3: Baking and Your Finishing Touch!

Step 3: Baking and Adding Your Finishing Touches!

When the oven has reached 350 degrees, put the batter on the middle rack, and set a timer for thirty minutes. It normally takes up to 35 minutes for this cake to bake, but the time frame can differ by five or ten minutes. I encourage you to check it after 25 minutes with a toothpick. If you put the toothpick into the cake and it comes out with batter still on it, then you cake still needs time to cook; if your toothpick comes out with no batter on it, then it is ready to take out. When finished, remember to turn the oven off, and let the Bundt (or whatever kind of pan you're using) cool on the counter for 30 - 40 minutes.

While cooling, clean up, and if you would like to have frosting, now would be a great time to make it. For each recipe, the instructions are the same: measure out and pour all ingredients into a large bowl and use a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid to thoroughly combine. another thing to add is that your frosting will taste better the longer you mix it for, so if you have a Kitchen Aid, just leave the frosting to mix for at least 15 - 20 minutes. For your convenience, I have added in the recipes for the frosting again.

Here is the Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Icing Recipe:

6 Tbsp. dairy-free margarine.

  • 1/4 C. and 2 Tbsp. hot water.
  • 1/4 C. and 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder.
  • 4 C. powdered sugar.
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla extract.

And here is the recipe for the Non-Allergic people:

  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar.
  • 1/4 C. butter.
  • 2 Tbsp. milk.
  • 1 1/2 C. confectioner's sugar.
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder.
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla extract.

After making the icing (if that is what you choose to do), use the two plates to flip the cake out of its pan, get a butter knife, and lather the cake with this rich topping. Smooth it over with the same knife, and finish by decorating however you like. As you can see, I decided not to decorate my bundt, but you could put fruit, or even crushed candy-canes on your creation. Have fun with the decorating, and I hope that you enjoyed baking this cake as much as I did!

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