Wacky Cake

Wacky Cake

Fridays was always Pizza Day in my elementary school in Texas. Sure, they served it with onion rings and corn (which I wouldn’t touch) but I begged my mom to let me eat at school those days because what kid doesn’t want PIZZA and WACKY CAKE for lunch. (and with a carton of milk, this is part of a nutritional meal, right? I’m sure those days are long gone.) BUT, lucky for you, I have, in my possession, the secret passport to all those youthful fantastic fridays.

In grown-up world, I found this was a handy recipe for other reasons. I have a friend in the Netherlands that is allergic to eggs of any kind. This cake requires none, so I often made it for dessert when he came over. It’s simple to bake and uses ingredients you most likely have on hand, so in the-school-carnival-needs-cakes-for-the-cake-walk-or-desserts-for-teacher-luncheon-tomorrow-pinch, this is your go-to recipe! I’ve included the icing recipe below, but if you’re feeling lazy or need to be efficient, a can of Duncan Hines chocolate frosting will be just as good (if not better – yum!)


3 cups (375 grams) white flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) cocoa powder
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
3/4 Tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (480 ml) cold water
3/4 cup (170 grams) melted butter
1 Tablespoon vinegar
3/4 Tablespoon vanilla


Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius) Grease a 9 by 13-inch (20 by 28-centimeter) pan.

In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa, sugar, soda and salt together. Add water, butter,  vinegar and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cocoa Icing


1/2 cup (113 grams) melted butter
1/4 cup (25 grams) cocoa powder
1/3 cup (80 ml) evaporated milk (See Pearl of Wisdom below)
1 pound (3 ¾ cups or 450 grams) powdered sugar
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla


Heat butter, cocoa and milk in a pan until it comes to a boil. Add sugar and vanilla and beat. Spread onto cake while it is still warm (but not too hot!)

Pearl of Wisdom: Evaporated milk and condensed milk both are canned milk products that have had water removed from them. The major difference between the two, is that evaporated milk is unsweetened and condensed milk is sweetened. I have found both products in Netherlands and Belgium, although evaporated milk is more common. While these products are typically stocked in the baking aisle of American grocery stores, I have found them with the coffee and coffee creamers in Netherlands and the unrefrigerated milk sections of the Belgium grocery stores.  Just keep your eyes peeled for Geevaporeerde Melk or Lait Concentre.   

About Celeste Bennekers

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