Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wacky Cake - Secret Recipe Club

For March Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned The Tasty Cheapskate.   Jean, the blogger behind The Tasty Cheapskate, says :

"I grew up neither cooking nor eating much. There were so many other things to do (like exercising compulsively. And high school! Cuteness! Grades! Rah!). And though my mom made most of our food (cheapskatery was a major theme of my childhood), I still managed not to learn to cook. I only ate foods, after all, with no fat, and the concept of whole foods was a little lost on us, (as it was on many in the '80s and '90s). We were more in the fat-free margarine camp (oh look, I can see my liver glowing). So fortunately, I've gotten past all that. I cook now. And eat. Good things, very good things (no offense to all the weirdo diets out there). Though--for the record--I'm still really cheap (not margarine cheap, my friends, but cheap). It's in my bones." 

Stop by and check out Jean's blog, lots of tasty recipes!!

Normally for SRC, I have a hard time deciding just which recipe to make.  For the second month in a row, I had no trouble deciding.  Early in my travels around Jean's blog, I found her recipe for the Wacky Cake.  Wacky Cake is perhaps the first cake I ever baked.  I remember how much fun this cake was to make and still have the recipe card written in my grade school handwriting.  Not familiar with a Wacky Cake?  The cake is made in the pan, has no dairy or eggs but does have vinegar.  I've always thought the addition of vinegar is how the cake got it's name. Some say the cakes name came from the depression era and was considered wacky because of the omission of eggs or dairy, which were rationed during that time.

If you have kids or grandkids, this is a great cake to make with them.  Everything gets dumped into the pan and when you add the vinegar, it may even fizz.

Wacky Cake
Recipe courtesy of The Tasty Cheapskate
Serves, well, it should serve at least 24
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: $.88
(flour: .16, sugar: .32, oil: .12, cocoa: .18, other stuff about .10)

2 C flour
2 C sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. espresso powder (this is my addition)
2 C warm water
2/3 C oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla (or 1/2 tsp mint) extract

In a 9x13 inch pan, mix dry ingredients
Add wet ingredients.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick (knife, fork, whatever) comes out clean. Note: It is possible that if you bake this in an aluminum pan, vinegar/baking soda will react and cause it to taste like metal, so use glass or a non-reactive metal.


  1. I have not heard of whacky cake...thank you for the history! Great selection for SRC.

  2. Sounds like a nice easy cake:@)

  3. She sounds like a fun blogger - and this sounds like a great recipe!

  4. I've got to make this cake for my vegan/vegetarian son! He would love it!

  5. I've never heard of a Wacky Cake before but it looks so simple and yummy I am going to have to try it. I wonder if it would work with gluten-free flour?

  6. I love that recipe. Hope you liked it. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda and makes it moist--a similar reaction as if you'd use buttermilk or yogurt (both acidic) with a cake that called for baking soda, but this one has no dairy. Thus, the vinegar. Interestingly, this depression era cake is now a hip vegan cake.

  7. I have a recipe for a similar cake but I never knew it was called Wacky Cake - LOL. Love the recipe and the name!

  8. I am terrible baker and a one pan, throw it all together, is my kind of cake!

    Enjoyed your blog post.



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