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December 01, 2006

Emergency Backup Cake

The original name of this recipe as I found it was Amazon Cake. Similar recipes often go by the name "Wacky Cake". Mr. Spaceling thinks it ought to go by the name "Easy, Tasty Cake", but I find that insufficiently evocative. I prefer to think of this as the Emergency Backup Cake. Why? Two reasons:

My sole original contribution to this recipe was to add a bit of cinnamon to the batter, and to top it with a mixture of confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Having had this cake both with and without the cinnamon, I actually think the cinnamon makes it taste more chocolatey in a strange way.

The Ingredients

For the cake:
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's natural cocoa. In theory, the cocoa used in this recipe not be Dutch-processed, so that it will be acidic and react with the baking soda. I notice that Debbie over at Words to Eat By seems to have used a mix of Dutch process and regular cocoa without harm to the recipe. I suspect the vinegar provides all the acid needed.)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water
For the topping (these amounts are very approximate - basically, you want 1 parts confectioners sugar to 1 part cocoa and 1 part cinnamon):
  • ~1 tsp. confectioners' sugar
  • ~1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • ~1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Note: After making this cake a second time, and actually measuring the ingredients for the topping, I edited down these quantities a bit. If you think they used to be larger, you're not hallucinating.

The Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 inch cake pan. (I spray mine with Pam.)
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a larger bowl, stir together the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined, and pour into the cake pan.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top springs back when pressed. (The last time I made this cake, I think I took it out a little too soon, and it sank in the middle. The cake tasted fine anyway.)
  6. When the cake is cool, turn it out onto a plate. Stir together the confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon for the topping, and use a small sieve to sprinkle it evenly over the top of the cake.

Posted by spaceling at December 1, 2006 08:42 AM

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