I’m sure many of us have that one thing we bake over and over again until it becomes second nature to us. For me, this one-bowl chocolate cake is it. I’ve been making this recipe for probably 28 years now, long before I knew what veganism was. It’s my go to. The recipe I make when time is limited, company is coming over, or I just need a treat.
The original recipe for this cake comes from the Canadian classic publication, Harrowsmith Cookbook. Like a lot of Canadian parents in the 70’s and 80’s, this series of books along with the likes of Susan Mendelson and Bonnie Stern, played a key role on our nightly suppers, shaping what I eat now as an adult. Years later the original pages in the Harrowsmith recipe are caked in cocoa and oil. Spills from my younger self now make it impossible to flip through the book without it naturally falling open to this “wacky cake” recipe.
The term “wacky cake” comes from the fact that this cake naturally contains no eggs, dairy, or butter. Wacky, right? Originating from the time of the Second World War this recipe uses as little ingredients as possible. A crucial adaption in a time when rations limited what you could access. Now over 70 years later, this cake remains a staple. It makes a great treat for those who are dairy intolerant, egg intolerant, or vegan, and it’s perfect for those times when you just need a treat and don’t have much in the way of groceries.
1 1/2 cups flour (I used a sifted red fife)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
4 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. sea salt
5 tbsp. neutral oil (I used avocado)
1 cup room temperature water
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup cooked, mashed yam
1/3 cup melted dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Begin by making the cake. You can either use a bowl for this or mix the ingredients in the baking pan. Either one works, but personally I like to use a bowl.
Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking power, baking soda, and salt together. You may want to sift the ingredients to make sure there are no lumps, but this isn’t necessary.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Poor into a lightly greased 20 cm (8 inch) baking pan and bake in a 180° C (350° F ) for 30 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when lightly touched. Let the cake cook in the pan.
Once the cake is cool it can be iced. To make the icing combine all the icing ingredients in a blender or small food processor and purée until smooth. Ice the cake and decorate as desired. It’s best to place in the refrigerator for the icing to set, but it can also be enjoyed as is.
For longer storage keep the iced cake in the fridge. Un-iced cakes can be kept on the counter in an airtight container for a few days.
Keywords: chocolate, vegan, cake, one-bowl, snacking, yam, icing