Vanilla Wacky Cake. I have been making Chocolate Wacky Cake for years and years. It has always been a family favorite.
I got the original Chocolate Wacky Cake recipe from my friend Linda Wilson. Linda was my best friend in high school and we were pretty inseparable. She lived right across the back yard from me.
We spent many hours listening to records together and dreaming about the day when we might actually have a boyfriend. We even bought a book together one time entitled, “How to Get a Teenage Boy, and What To Do With Him When You Get Him.”
Yes, there actually was such a book. I kid you not.
No, it did not work. I think a more apt title might have been “How to Scare Away a Teenage Boy.” haha
Linda’s mother Cecile was a beautiful cook and she used to make this Chocolate Wacky Cake. It was so delicious and moist and had a cooked, almost pudding like, chocolate frosting. I loved it when she made it.
She shared the recipe with me and I have been baking it to accolades ever since. You can find that recipe here
. Its delicious! Especially if you like chocolate cake, and I do!
This Vanilla Wacky Cake recipe is one I have adapted from a baking book by Yvonne Ruperti, entitled One Bowl Baking. Simple from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts.
It is one of the books I had in the UK that I decided to replace. I am being quite picky about which books I replace actually. This one was lucky enough to make the cut.
I wish I could have brought my vast collection over with me, but alas I could not. It was much cheaper to just leave them behind and then replace them as and when. At least that is what I thought.
The reality is a bit of a different story. It seems some of my books were actually irreplaceable. So there you go. My loss, another’s gain. It doesn’t really matter in the end, not really.
Anyways, I decided to replace this book and this is one of my favorite recipes in the book. Its a fabulous family friendly cake that uses no butter or eggs!
You can of course, mix and bake it right in the pan, but I always mix it in a bowl and then pour the batter into the pan. It is a “Depression Era” recipe dating back to when baking ingredients were often hard to find or to afford.
It was also a great cake recipe to use during the war when rationing was in force. Being eggless and butter-less also makes for a great emergency cake when you need a dessert at the last minute but have run out of eggs or butter.
You can also make it Vegan by substituting rice milk for the whole milk in the recipe. I am not a Vegan, but its nice to know that it is an option for them!
If you are wanting to mix this right in the pan, you will need to use a metal non-stick 9-inch square baking pan. We didn’t have one of those, so I used a Pyrex and mixed it outside the pan.
You will need to spray the pan with some nonstick baking spray and then measure all of the dry ingredients in the pan to thoroughly combine.
Make a well in the centre of the pan and add the oil, vanilla and vinegar, pour the milk over top of everything and mix it all together.
She says using a rubber spatula helps you to get the batter into all of the corners when you are mixing it up.
You can frost it if you like with a chocolate or a vanilla buttercream icing. I chose to just dust the top simply with some icing sugar.
My father is a Diabetic as am I, and I didn’t think we needed all of that extra sugar and fat with a buttercream icing on top. The cake doesn’t really need icing I feel. Its plenty sweet just as it is.
It does take a whole lot of vanilla. Five whole teaspoons. This makes it nice and rich. You could use half the amount of Vanilla paste if you wanted to and that would also be very delicious.
As you can see, it is a lovely moist and delicious cake with a beautiful crumb. This is the kind of cake that you can enjoy just as is eaten out of hand. A snacking cake as it were.
Or you could cut it into slices and spoon sliced and slightly mashed strawberries over top, with perhaps a dollop of whipped cream. Oh that would be delicious for sure.
I think it would be nice topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, with perhaps some loosened strawberry jam spooned over the ice cream. Doesn’t that sound yummy?
Or better still, split the cake and fill it with jam. That’s how my dad loves his vanilla cakes. With a ribbon of jam running through the middle.
It would also be nice served with a chocolate sauce or a lemon sauce. Its really a very versatile cake I think.
Myself, I would love it with tinned peaches. I adore sliced tinned peaches. I have not had any of those in a long time now. They would go beautifully with this cake.
She included a yummy variation for this cake with a very Polynesian feel to it. She suggested adding a couple teaspoons of finely grated lime or lemon zest and some chopped shredded sweetened coconut in with the dry ingredients.
I am betting you could also use orange zest in much the same way, and perhaps add some ground cinnamon.
This delicious cake could be a jumping off board for any number of flavors, I suppose. Why not add some almond extract and chopped maraschino cherries and toasted walnuts.
If you added some mixed spice or warm baking spices you could make it into a simple spice cake. Oh that would be really delicious with a brown sugar frosting. You could even add chopped dates.
There really is no end to the ways you could vary this deliciously simple little cake I think. My wheels are turning in overtime now! I do hope you will bake it and find it to be as delicious as we thought it to be!
*Vanilla Wacky Cake*
Makes one 9-inch cake
An eggless, butter-free cake that is perfect for when you need a cake but are are lacking the normal necessary ingredients. You can make it vegan by substituting rice milk for the milk in the recipe. Cakes like this became very popular during wartime rationing and the great depression.
2 cups (280g) all purpose plain flour
1 1/4 cups (240g) granulated sugar (In the UK use castor)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
1 TBS vanilla extract
4 tsp white vinegar
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/gas mark 4. Spray a 9-inch square non-stick baking pan with low fat cooking spray. (You can also use a pyrex dish but it may take longer to bake.)
Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda a bowl and whisk together until evenly combined. Make a large well in the center of the mixture.
Whisk the oil, milk, vinegar, and vanilla together and then pour into the well. Using a whisk, combine the ingredients together until completely combined and smooth. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until golden brown and just firm. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, with only a few moist crumbs.
Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.
Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares to serve.
Variation: You can add two tsp of finely grated orange, lemon or lime zest and 1/3 cup (28g) of shredded sweetened coconut to the dry ingredients.
This was the perfect cake to showcase my sister’s pink depression glass plate. She only has the one of these. I also thought that it was another opportunity to show off another one of my hand embroidered tea towels.
I do so love to embroider. And now I won’t have a man around to ruin them, so why not indulge myself.
I must apologize for the old format printable recipe today. My Recipes Generator isn’t working properly. I hope they get it fixed soon. I pay a lot to have that recipe card feature and I want it to be working!
Also my photos are a bit naff as the lighting on the day I cooked this cake was really poor. Generally speaking the lighting in this house is not very good at all. I do so hope it is better when I get into the new place.
If not I may have to invest in a light box. Watch this space.
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