Monday, April 2, 2012

What's Wacky About This Cake?

We grow up with so many foods, it's impossible to remember the first time we ate them.  Meatloaf, green beans, mashed potatoes -- who can remember the first time?  Foods we first try in adulthood are different.  We can often remember the exact circumstances when we ate something new.

Oddly enough, wacky cake is one such food for me.  Even though it has been around since probably the 1930s, wacky cake first came into my life when I was pregnant with our first child.  We had gone to visit my in-laws in Ohio.  I think it was probably a Saturday night, and I wanted chocolate cake.  The husband and I were watching a little TV in the family room, and I mentioned that I had a real craving for chocolate cake.  (Maybe I mentioned it more than once; I can be kind of needy when chocolate is involved.)

Join me on the porch for wacky cake topped with whipped cream.

My wonderful mother-in-law never said a word, but she got busy in the kitchen and in no time at all, she brought me a square of delicious homemade chocolate cake, still warm and topped with melting chocolate icing.  Can you imagine a better mother-in-law than that?  She made me feel special and loved; how could I forget that day?  Wacky cake has been kind of near to my heart ever since.  True, it's not fancy or impressive, after all, it was developed in the Depression as an inexpensive cake that didn't require eggs, but as my mother-in-law said, you always have the ingredients on hand.  I've made this cake many times over the years, sometimes with icing or sometimes topped simply with ice cream or whipped cream.  I enjoyed it as a first-time pregnant woman, and I still enjoy it today.

The lady who introduced me to wacky cake
and the child who caused the craving.

Wacky Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.

In large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda.  Make 3 wells in flour mixture.  Put vanilla in first well, vinegar in the second, and melted margarine in the third.  Pour water over mixture.  Mix well with fork.

Pour into greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, or allow to cool and frost with chocolate icing.


  1. What a great mother-in-law. How kind is she! I've never heard of whacky cake but it does look like my kind of chocolate cake - rich, dark and moist! xx

  2. You do have a sweet MIL!!
    I grew up on Wacky Cake.
    My older sisters or my mother
    would make this on a cookie sheet
    for our huge family gatherings.
    Thanks for visiting my post!

  3. Looks delicious! That was so sweet of your mother in law!

  4. I love wacky cake! It is oneof our favorites around her! Thanks fo sharing!

  5. Aww that is so sweet! What a great mother in law. mmm....chocolate cake is my big weakness btw.

  6. This could be dangerous! Mmm.

  7. Sounds great. I've tried to make chocolate cake from scratch and have never been good at it! Time to practice.

  8. What a lovely mother in law and what a great name for a cake! Who wouldn't love a slice of wacky cake?!? (And I'm pretty excited as I think I have all those ingredients in my cupboards).

  9. What a sweet woman! That so great that this recipe has such a family connection for you.

  10. I love this! Although it's pretty dangerous to have the knowledge that I can make chocolate cake at any time (I DO have all the ingredient on hand!). It looks delicious too.

  11. I have a great M-I-L, also. But she was never good enough to make me CAKE!!

  12. What can I say? I could eat this cake any time!! Lovely story behind it too. Maggie xx

  13. I LOVE this post! Great craving to have while pregnant, and even greater that your mother in law made it for you! Great picture at the end there too. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Visiting today from Blogging Buddies.

  14. PS - Now following you on Pinterest as well. =)

  15. Thanks for sharing this recipe and this great story with us. Sounds like a wonderful woman behind that wacky cake creation all those years ago.

  16. That's a fascinating recipe, and a wonderful story! The cake looks delicious! It's also funny that you mentioned the very meal my daughter prepared for us last night! Haha!

  17. Oh my gracious! That looks amazing! This recipe is bookmarked for later. We've been trying to diet and I stress the word "trying", but it looks wonderful! Can't wait to try it.

    What a sweet mother-in-law you have, by the way. And what a sweet picture. Nothing better than someone who feeds you your cravings when you're pregnant! That means LOVE!

  18. I love your story and the cake. It looks delicious!!!

  19. That sounds yummy. Especially eating it warm. You have the best MIL!

  20. So glad you stopped by and liked my crib spring memo board! Glad to find you!

    Never heard of wacky cake but I don't turn my back on anything chocolate. Sounds like you have great memories of it - aren't the best memories linked to food!

    My girls would love baking this with me - going to give it a shot!


  21. Such a yummy looking cake and sweet story! Precious photo too! :)

    Kindly, Lorraine

  22. Oh what a lovely little story, she sounds like a fabulous woman. :)

  23. I've never heard of this and I definitely need to try it.


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