I LOVE to bake. It is not uncommon for me to wake up on a Saturday morning, see Boyfriend off to work, and spend the rest of the day in the kitchen with my favorite blue apron, the Miranda Lambert station on Pandora, and my dog observing me from the dining room while I do my “marathon baking.” Marathon baking = baking 3 or more baked goods in one day. I am constantly showing up at work with tupperware, glass dishes, and of course my fancy cupcake carrier containing a variety of baked goods to share with my co-workers. My biggest baking passion is cakes, most specifically cupcakes, but really cake in any form will do. Are there really people out there who turn down cake? Long story short, I have eaten, baked, and read up on a variety of cakes. I have an entire Pinterest board to devoted to cake. It’s a little intense.
Moving on, I stumbled upon a cake on Pinterest entitled ‘Depression Cake.’ So, naturally, I was curious as to whether this cake was rumored to cure or perhaps cause depression. Turns out, the recipe was developed during the Depression because it uses ingredients that were not rationed at the time (a.k.a. no butter, eggs, or milk). I found this recipe on The Tasty Cheapskate blog and I am forever thankful that I did. I made it for a co-worker’s birthday, forgot it on my counter, but then brought it in the next day to everyone’s delight. Super moist, super chocolate-y, super everything you could ever want in a cake.
2 c flour
2 c sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c warm water
2/3 c oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all dry ingredients in a 9×13 inch baking dish with a wisk. Once thoroughly mixed, add the wet ingredients the baking dish and wisk together with the dry ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. My oven tends to cook fast, so I baked mine for 25 minutes and it was ready to come out.
As the Tasty Cheapskate points out:
1.) Awesome that everything is mixed in the dish itself because it saves having to wash a big mixing bowl. (I was skeptical about mixing everything in the dish, but the results were wonderful).
2.) It’s okay to have some lumps in the batter.
Dry Ingredients in dish…
Wet ingredients + dry ingredients in dish…
I attempted to make The Wacky Frosting she features on her blog (which looks amazing), but my lack of patience got the better of me. I didn’t let the milk and flour thicken enough on the stove and I also didn’t beat the butter enough. So, by the time the frosting was finished and I had already poured the frosting onto the cake, yes poured, that’s how soupy it was, I never should have put it on the cake, I could visibly see the lumps of butter. So, there I was at 9:30 at night, gently scraping the frosting off the cake into the sink. (I was too annoyed with my failed frosting attempt at that point to take any pictures of it. You should be thankful, not pretty.) I then set out more butter to soften and ended up making a delicious chocolate buttercream from the cookbook, ‘Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor’ by Anne Byrn.
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
3 c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3-5 tbsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Place the butter and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is soft and well combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the sugar, 3 tbsp milk, and vanilla extract. Blend with the mixer on low for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute more. I added 1 more tbsp of milk to decrease the stiffness of the frosting.
It made about 3 cups of frosting, which was plenty to frost the cake and would be enough to frost 24 cupcakes.
This cake got the best chocolate cake rating by myself, Boyfriend, and various co-workers/friends.
This cake is truly irresistible. Just revisiting the pictures now makes me want to run into my kitchen and make another one!