Birthdays in my house are often an exercise in How Much Sugar Can I Get Away With in One Day for the kids. And the one we celebrated this week for the newly-minted 12 year old was a case in point. Let me present Exhibit A:
Did I mention yet that my kids each want to decorate their own cakes every year? No? Well, then, Exhibit B:
Though once in a while, they pick out something that requires more Mom-decorating than others. This one below (and the idea for the bunnies and the eyeballs—from two separate cakes, mind you) comes from my kids’ current favorite cake decorating cookbook:Cake My Day.*
And another favorite was the cake they turned into a cell model:
The one thing all of these cakes have in common is what’s underneath the frosting—the Best Damn Chocolate Cake. My friend Tracy, who gave me this recipe about ten years ago, named it as such. And she had every reason to. This cake is light, fluffy, and moist. It’s so good, I haven’t made any other kind of chocolate cake since I got my greedy, grabby hands on it. And I’ve been searching ever since for it’s vanilla equal. (Still working on that.)
Not only is this the Best Damn Chocolate Cake, but it’s also unbelievably low-maintenance and super simple. It takes all of nine ingredients that you probably have in your cupboards right now, you throw everything into the bowl and mix it, then put it in the oven to bake. No special instructions, no fancy ingredients, no room temperature-ing, melting, whipping, or fluffing. Nada. You can’t get anymore straight forward than this.
The magic of this cake is in the reaction between the vinegar and baking soda. As soon as you mix the wet into the dry ingredients, bubbles start forming and you can see them in your batter. Which means that you want to be able to slip this cake into the oven as soon as you’re done mixing it to ensure that you’re harnessing that chemical reaction to give your cake perfect lift.
I’ve heard tell that this recipe has been around forever. My mom had heard about it way back when, but I’m not sure she ever made it. I can understand why. I mean, I’ve seen it called either Chocolate Depression Cake or Chocolate Vinegar Cake (and, seriously, WHY? Why would you call it that? Who’s gonna want to eat it with THOSE names?). Tracy had the right idea with hers: Best. Damn. Chocolate. Cake.
It is perilously similar to Bec’s gorgeous and quickValentine’s Day chocolate cakerecipe, but the biggest difference is that this recipe makes a larger cake. It’s standard size—one 13 x 19, two round layers, or 18-20 cupcakes.
One of our favorite ways to make this cake is by throwing chocolate chips in the batter and baking it up as cupcakes. No frosting needed, just super rich, chocolatey goodness.
You’re welcome. <3
- 2 1/4cupsall purpose flour
- 1 1/2cupsgranulated sugar
- 1 1/2teaspoonsbaking soda
- 1 1/2cupswater
- 1 1/2teaspoonsvanilla
- 1 1/2teaspoonsvinegar
For Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
- 1cupsemi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F/177 C. Grease, flour, and line bottoms with wax paper either one 13 x 19 or two round layer pans. If making cupcakes, line muffin tins with papers.
Combine dry ingredients in bowl, then add liquids and mix well. If making the chocolate chip cupcakes, stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan(s), and bake immediately: cakes for about 30 minutes, or cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
允许cake(s) to cool completely before frosting.
*蛋糕我的天!is an Amazon affiliate link.谢谢!Please see the right sidebar for more info.