When you read a recipe title like that, what can you do but start to bake? This is the easiest cake I know how to make, so much so that sometime Ant requests it 35 minutes before he wants to eat it. (It takes 30 minutes to bake.)
There are three main things I like about this easy cake. First, it calls for pantry staples that I always have. It doesn't require an egg, baking chocolate, or even milk. The chocolate flavour comes from cocoa and the liquid is water. Even so, it is tasty enough to fool guests into drooling praise as if it used speciality ingredients.
Secondly, this dead simple cake requires only one mixing bowl and a whisk. There is no creaming of butter, no melting in a saucepan, no folding, and moistening. When time is of the essence (or laziness has reached a peak) then washing up more than one bowl seems so distasteful. This cake is bowl-efficient.
And thirdly, this is the recipe that introduced me to the easiest icing in the world. While the cake is cooling, sprinkle over it a handful (1 cup or 250 ml) of chocolate chips, broken chocolate pieces, After Eight mints, or Terry's Chocolate Orange slices. Voila! Instant icing. What a trick, that I now use regularly and with gusto.
Without further ado, the recipe for the easiest chocolate cake, soon to be snacked on at your house, too.
Chocolate Snacking Cake
adapted from The New Canadian Basics Cookbook by Carol Ferguson
1 1/2 c (190 g) flour
1 c (250 g) sugar (or 2/3 of this)
3 T cocoa
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 T mild vinegar (white, white wine, cider, or any mild vinegar)
1 t vanilla essence
1 c (250 ml) warm water
1/2 c (60 g) chopped walnuts (optional)
1 c (250 ml) broken chocolate pieces, or a handful of After Eight mints, or half a Terry's Chocolate Orange (optional)
In a mixing bowl, first combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir.
Add the oil, vinegar, vanilla essence, and warm water and mix well.
Add walnuts (optional).
Pour into an 8" (20 cm) square cake pan.
Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 30 minutes until a sharp knife comes out clean.
Cool on a rack. While the cake is still hot, sprinkle it with the broken chocolate pieces. Smooth it out when melted.