This simple cake popularized in the 1930’s when ingredients were scarce, is a perfect no-fuss dessert requiring neither butter, milk, nor eggs. Also called Wacky Cake, some recipes call for preparing everything in the pan. However, we find it can be a bit messy and sometimes the cake sticks. Subbing a cup of cold coffee for the water gives this cake a deeper flavour.  This cake is nice enough with a dusting of icing sugar or on its own, but feel free to top with your favorite frosting, glaze or dollop of whipped cream.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
5 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water (or cold coffee)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease an 8×8 ” pan

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl.

Make three small holes in the dry ingredients―one slightly larger than the other two. Pour vinegar in one, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger one. Pour water over all. Mix well until smooth. Pour into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch pan.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and sprinkle with icing sugar or frost with your favourite frosting.