Sweet Tooth Moma…
My mother traveled far and wide in her quest for sugary treats. I’m pretty sure that’s why she learned how to bake. Fortunately, Daddy came from a very long line of gifted bakers. Aunt Ruth taught Moma the basics, along with her specialty—Coconut Cream Pie! But where the recipe for Wacky Cake originated nobody seems to remember, only that it (in its many variations) was always a hit at our house, and still is!
Tonight, we’re celebrating my friend Peggie’s birthday at Joy Builders 101, a class which five of us facilitate. Four out of five have gone gluten-free (GF), therefore, each will receive a cupcake from the GF bakery. The rest of us in the class will be chowing down on the gold standard of chocolate wonder—Wacky Cake, positively dripping with gluten and sugar.
This delicacy is a confusing concoction because a couple of typical cake ingredients are missing. There’s no butter and no eggs, and yet it was the melt-in-your-mouth cake that provided the yummy finale of many a meal in my youth.
My brother, Bill, started making it when he was eight or nine, and that was a lonnnng time ago. I followed in his footsteps as we made this dessert a Harper hit! Since no one in our family is considering opening a restaurant, I think it’s safe to divulge the secret of this cocoa delight. Here’s the basic recipe:
Put all ingredients in a bowl then mix well.
1½ c. flour
1 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 t. baking soda
¼ c. cocoa
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. coconut oil
1 c. cold water
Bake in 9” square pan for 30 minutes – test with toothpick…it’s done of it comes out clean.
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Then, there’s also an upside-down version that we named:
Wacky Goo Cake:
Mix cake as shown above, pour into baking pan, and then sprinkle with the following dry mixture:
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. white sugar
4 T. cocoa
½ c. nuts
Pour 1 cup of water slowly over all the batter and bake as directed. When the cake’s done, let it set for about 5 minutes and then invert it onto a tray—scrape the additional “Goo” from the bottom of the pan to top the cake.
Horrors! Today I decided to do something new–pour Texas Brownie cooked icing on the cake. The cake had already cooled when the frosting hit it (and it was supposed to be warm.) Now the cake looks like it’s topped with volcanic rock! Mt. Vesuvius Cake!
I’m optimistic. There’s a Wacky Cake under that rubble that’s bound to be delicious! And besides, the birthday girl will never know the difference. She’s eating that GF cupcake. Where’s the fun in that? Oh well, each to her own.
My brothers, Bob and Bill, say Wacky Cake is best served warm topped with ice cream without icing. Why didn’t I listen to them?