This World War II vintage cake — it's egg- and dairy-free, reflecting the rationing
of those times — is dark, moist, and delicious. Over the years, this has been one
of King Arthur Flour's most requested recipes. And, even though the "stir it all
together in the pan" method is traditional, go ahead and stir everything together
in a bowl, if that feels more comfortable.
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa or natural cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vinegar, cider or white
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square or 9-inch
round pan that's at least 2 inches deep. If you don't have a 2-inch deep pan
in either of those sizes, use a 9-inch square pan.
Traditional method: Measure all the dry ingredients into the prepared pan.
Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out
three holes, or indentations. Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar
into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third. Take the cup of water
and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Stir all the ingredients together
with your fork until well blended.
Updated method: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour
the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly
combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted into the
center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Serve the cake right from the pan; warm from the oven, it's wonderful with
a big glass of milk.
Or, once cool, frost the cake with this simple chocolate frosting: Heat
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips with 1/2 cup half & half until the chips melt.
Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake.
Hands-on time: 5 mins. to 10 mins. Baking time: 30 mins. to 35 mins. Total time: 35 mins. to 45 mins. Yield: about 16 servings
While the original, non-dairy version of this recipe calls for water as the liquid,
feel free to substitute milk, for a slightly richer cake. Or try cold coffee, for
a mocha version; or even 3/4 cup water mixed with 1/4 cup rum, for an "adults only"
Note that the picture above shows the cake cut into 9 servings, instead of the
16 servings noted in the nutritional information. We thought it simply looked better
cut that way; but we encourage you to serve it in 2" squares, which yields 16 servings.
Nutrition information: Serving Size: 1 (2-inch) piece (45g) Servings Per
Batch: about 16 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140 Calories from Fat: 40 Total Fat:
5g Saturated Fat: 0.5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 150mg Total Carbohydrate:
22g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 12g Protein: 2g
* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA
Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted
Recipe and photo credit:
King Arthur Flour - kingarthurflour.com.