I love old community cookbooks. Churches, garden clubs, PTAs I don’t care where they came from, I think they are all great (although some of my personal favorites are Junior League cookbooks). This recipe for Crazy Cake happened to come out of a Country Folks cookbook. If you are not familiar with Country Folks it is a weekly farm newspaper for commercial farmers located in the North East. I picked up this cookbook at a Farm show in Syracuse a few years ago. The recipes are all submitted from readers, mostly farm wives in the North East, and are their most treasured recipes. When thumbing through the cookbook at the show I was instantly intrigued by the crazy cake recipe, that has no eggs, milk or butter in it, I thought for sure there was a typo. I overlooked what I thought must be clearly a mistake and bought the cookbook.
I actually had the cookbook for a while and used it very frequently before I revisited the Crazy Cake recipe. It was while I was flipping through looking for a recipe I had not tried yet, I ran across the crazy cake recipe again. I decided what the heck, why not? But before I attempted baking a crazy cake for the first time I hit the interweb looking for similar recipes so I could check out reviews. It seems that the origins of crazy cake are unknown, but it is widely believed Crazy Cake may have been created as the result of rationing during World War II, when milk and eggs were scarce. This cake comes together beautifully and is now a favorite in my house, frosted or not. It is very easy to whip up a crazy cake, I think it may even rival a box cake mix, but the results are undeniable, a timeless recipe for a homemade chocolate cake.
When we do frost Crazy cake I use a simple chocolate ganache. But it is equally good with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8x8 pan
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 5 heaping tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup cold water
- Preheat 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
- Place the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together by hand. Add all the wet ingredients until well combined.
- Pour into prepared a 8×8 pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
This recipe doubles nicely! Just back doubled batch in 9×12 pan for about 30-35 minutes.