Wacky cake is a moist chocolate cake prepared, miraculously enough, without eggs or butter. Despite the omissions, we found that the cake tastes great.
Why This Recipe Works
While the name implies comical roots, Wacky Cake was actually born out of the seriousness of wartime rationing. At various times during the world wars, eggs, butter, sugar, and milk were all in short supply, so inventive home cooks and home economists did their best to create dishes with limited ingredients. Wacky cake is a moist chocolate cake prepared, miraculously enough, without eggs or butter. The cake relies on the last-minute combination of vinegar and baking soda for leavening. The reaction between the two causes the batter to bubble vigorously, and thus, rise. The cake has to be prepared in its baking pan; otherwise it doesn’t rise nearly as well. We made wells in the dry ingredients, added the wet ingredients—oil, vinegar, and vanilla—to the wells, and then added water and stirred quickly (but not too much) to blend the batter just moments before we put it into the oven. Streaks of flour remained in the quickly mixed batter.