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Crazy (Chocolate) Cake

February 22, 2019

Recipe adopted from Cuisine at Home magazine.  [Recipe makes (2) 8-inch rounds, or (28) standard-sized cupcakes].

Although this recipe goes by many odd names and variations (wacky cake, crazy cake, dump cake, and cockeyed cake to name a few), they are all different from your typical chocolate cake recipe due to the fact that no eggs or butter are used (thus, it's naturally vegan!).  After doing a little research, I found out that this recipe was popular during the Great Depression, which explains the lack of these ingredients.

Now I've never been a huge cake fan, but crazy cake is completely different from your standard yellow or chocolate cake.  In addition to being insanely easy to whip up (no KitchenAid needed, although feel free to use if you prefer), this cake stands out above others due to its moistness.  The worst thing in the world is a slice of cake that crumbles all over the place when you cut into it, and I assure you, this will not be a problem.  With ease and texture aside, yet another reason why this recipe takes the cake (sorry, guys) is the flavor.  By using a small amount of coffee, the cocoa balances out nicely, without being a coffee-flavored cake.  Combine this recipe with a nice chocolate ganache (made from coconut cream and dairy-free chocolate chips), and you'll have all you need to whip together the world's best chocolate cake.

INGREDIENTS:

14 1/4 ounces (~3 cups) all-purpose flour
14 ounces (~2 cups) organic granulated sugar
1 1/2 ounces (~1/2 cup) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups water, warm
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans, place an 8-inch diameter piece of parchment paper in the bottom of each pan, and spray the tops of the papers.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.  Add the salt.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add the water, oil, vinegar, coffee, and vanilla.  Whisk just until combined.

Divide the batter equally between the two pans.  [Side note:  If using a digital scale, it will be roughly 1 lb 10 1/2 ounces in each pan].  Bake for 30 minutes, or until the center of each cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, and then invert them onto a wire cooling rack.  Cool completely before icing.  [Side note:  If you wish to make these ahead of time and ice later, let the cakes cool as directed, and then wrap them in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil, and freeze.  Let them thaw slightly before icing].

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