Every now and then, mamas crave for something sinful and sweet… preferably with a touch of chocolate. Running after a toddler and breastfeeding a baby is really hungry work. I’m not really the sort of person who has their fridge and pantry stocked up with junk food and sweets. But I usually have all the basic ingredients on hand to whip up an indulgent treat when the craving hits.
One evening I found myself longing for a bite of some chocolate cake… however being the end of the week, I was out of some core ingredients. Butter. Eggs. Milk. All necessary elements required to make a decent cake. Or so I thought.
Then I found this impossible recipe. A cake with no butter, eggs and milk. They’re calling it Crazy Cake. Because you have to be crazy NOT to try it.
It’s soooo easy to make, no creaming butter and sugar or electric mixers required. Apparently it can even be mixed together straight in the baking pan, no bowls necessary.
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 cup white sugar (I reduced the amount to a 3/4 cup)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Combine first 5 dry ingredients. Make 3 depressions in the dry mixture – two small, one larger.
Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in the large one. Then pour the water over everything. Mix well until smooth.
Bake in a greased cake tin or pan for 25-35 minutes. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before removing.
The result? A super soft and moist cake that was ready to eat in less than 40 minutes from start to finish. Now that is crazy!
This great article on the LA Times mentions that the history of this cake can be traced back to World War II, when rationing forced bakers to deal with shortages of key ingredients like eggs and butter.
If you’re interested in the science behind what holds this cake together: In a normal cake, eggs and flour supply the protein required to set and hold the cake. Without eggs, you don't have much to hold the cake together. Using vinegar as a substitute creates an acidic batter to help the proteins to set faster. Also, forming the three holes, then pouring water over all and stirring allows the oil to float on top of the liquid, letting the water get directly to the flour to form gluten.
I’m filing this recipe in my my four ingredients category. Technically there are more than four ingredients in this recipe, but I think the absolute simplicity of this recipe warrants it to be categorised under this tag.
Linking up to a DinoMama's Foodie Fridays