King Arthur Flour’s website has become one of my regular internet stops. The company has a pretty amazing selection of baking products, utensils, and supplies at good prices. The company’s website is also a good recipe source, and after 222 years in business, they have plenty of them! I printed a chocolate snack cake recipe several days ago, and mixed it up after dinner. My unofficial definition of “snack cake” is a quick-to-prepare cake moist and flavorful enough to be served without frosting, and this recipe showed promise of hitting that mark. The recipe dates back to an undefined “wartime”, which I’m guessing would be World War II. My grandmother told stories of using ration stamps to buy sugar and finding creative ways to cook with whatever ingredients she had available. The recipe has been one of King Arthur’s most popular over the years. It is very appealing today because it can be made with pantry supplies normally on hand, is relatively low calorie, has no cholesterol, and is low in saturated fat if made with canola oil (which I did). The recipe offers four different liquid options and based on your choice, the cake can be a vegan treat as well. It is called a cake-pan cake because you can mix and bake the cake in the same pan, although I elected to use a mixing bowl.
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional – I didn’t have this on hand, so I used instant coffee)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush”
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup of liquid using your choice of one of the following 1) cold water; 2) cold coffee; 3) milk; or 4) 3/4 cup water plus 1/4 cup rum (I was in the mood for mocha rum cake, so I used 3/4 cup coffee and 1/4 cup light rum)
Preheat oven to 350°. Measure all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, or a greased 8″ or 9″ cake pan. If you use an 8″ pan, it should be at least 2″ deep. (The recipe calls for a round pan, but I used a square 8″ pan.) Whisk the ingredients together thoroughly, and make three indentions. Pour the vanilla in one indention, vinegar in the second, and vegetable oil in the third. Pour the cup of cold liquid you chose directly over the other ingredients. Stir until well blended. If you mixed the ingredients in a bowl, pour into the greased pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Fair warning: the cake served warm may not come out of the pan so beautifully, but the taste will more than compensate for the appearance. The cake has a light texture; the chocolate, coffee, and rum are darkly delicious. Add a small scoop of ice cream, and you have a dessert that won’t break the calorie bank!