My Everyday Or Pantry Chocolate Cake Recipe — Perfected!

Since discovering a recipe for an everyday chocolate cake in an old Everyday Food magazine, I’ve made it several times. But it never seemed quite right. Unless you add frosting, the cake never seemed to have much going for it.

After some experimenting, however, I’ve come up with an everyday chocolate cake recipe that you can make from things you probably keep in the house — with no milk, eggs or refrigerated ingredients. In fact, depending on how you feel about sugar, this could even be considered a vegan recipe.

And since you mix it right in the baking dish, there’s less cleanup than with most cake recipes.

Here’s the simple recipe:

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Whisk the following ingredients together directly in an 8-inch square baking dish:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Once combined, push the dry ingredients to the outside edge of the dish and add the following to the middle:

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup cold water

Using a whisk and a spoon if necessary to get into the edges, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until a relatively smooth batter forms. Then cook for 35 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Here are a few tips:

  • It’s essential that you cool this cake before serving it, and it will stick to the pan a bit.
  • If this version still isn’t sweet enough for you, you can make an icing or use a canned icing. You can also drizzle with chocolate syrup — preferably one without high fructose corn syrup.
  • If your vanilla extract is a good brand, you may not need quite so much of it.
  • Keep in mind that this isn’t a decadent restaurant-style cake, nor is it a diet recipe. But it makes for a good dessert to have a couple hours after a quiet dinner at home. And it won’t leave you feeling guilty.
  • This recipe makes excellent muffins. Just decrease the cooking time and add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips or nuts, if you like.

So there you have it. A simple pantry chocolate cake you can have at your home every day. In fact, you probably have everything you need to make it right now.

And since there’s essentially no cholesterol or animal products, there’s no reason not to have a second slice.

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