The World’s Easiest Cake

Pretty much as with all of our recipes, this comes with a story—growing up in the fifties, my mother was not much of a pie baker but she was a wonderful cake baker.   One of the most popular at the time, was Wacky Cake.  Translated that meant that you would mix all of the dry ingredients in the bowl you used for baking; made three indentations for the liquid ingredients and then pour cold water over all. What resulted was a rich, delicious cake that we loved!
When the Inn first opened, we hosted an all day meeting.  Before we were doing our own catering, the world famous, Moosewood Restaurant (and Moosewood is our neighbor—two blocks away) catered lunch.  Winnie was preparing to serve lunch and said as she was setting out this lovely cake–“you MUST try our vegan cake!”   My brother happened to be at the Inn at the time and we simultaneously took a bite.  Then looked at each other and in unison said, “It’s WACKY cake!!”
The moral of this story is that little did we know on the north side of Syracuse in the 50’s that we would be ahead of our time!
Feel free to frost with a lovely cream cheese icing; a chocolate ganache or just place a knife and fork across each other and sprinkle with powdered sugar creating a fun picture on top of the cake.
But most of all, enjoy!


1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup very cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
5 Tablespoons oil (canola preferred)

My mother’s recipe goes like this:  Sift dry ingredients into a 9X9  inch pan.  Poke three holes in the dry ingredients and into each put vanilla, oil and vinegar.   Pour cold water over all and stir well.
My preferred method is to use a mixing bowl to be sure that I have everything well incorporated.  I also grease the 9X9 inch pan.
Bake 30 minutes (usually not a minute more) at 350.

The William Henry Miller Inn
Lynnette Scofield
Bed and Breakfast Foodie

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