My mom used to make a version of this cake when I was a little kid. The internet tells me this kind of cake was popular in the depression, when people didn’t always have eggs and milk around. Wa-la, awesome vegan/poor man’s cake. If you want to make people oo and aah, bake them this cake. If it’s somebody’s birthday, bake them this cake. If you have to bake lots of cake for a Sunday matinee concert to raise money to repair a moldy concert room, bake this cake—it makes 20-25 pieces. If you have a big cake pan and a fork, but no bowl, bake this cake—you make it right in the cake form. If you have a friend convinced that all vegan baking results in heavy flour bricks, bake them this cake. It is delicious, even without frosting.
Click Clack Cake!
In a pretty big cake pan (we’re talking like a foot by more than a foot here, for all smaller pans, halve everything) combine:
6 cups flour
4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup cocoa
and, if you have it lying around, a few pinches of vanilla or vanilla sugar. If not, no big deal.
Mix everything together with a fork until the cocoa is evenly spread out among the flour. Don’t forget to get the extra bits in the corners.
Dig two little holes in your dry-ingredient mixture. In one hole pour 1 + 1/2 cups vegetable oil (any kind is fine, but I wouldn’t recommend olive oil because then the cake ends up tasting kind of weird) and in the other, 4 tablespoons vinegar. Then pour 4 cups of cold water all over everything, and mix with your fork until smooth and even.
Bake for 45-55 minutes at—oh crap, my oven doesn’t have temperatures on the knobs, just numbers from 1 to 8, so bare with me— about 4 or 5. To check if it’s done stick a knife in the cake. When it comes out clean it’s finished.