Two variations of Crazy Cake, with a variety of toppings: powdered sugar, sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds.
I can tell which recipes out of my mother's homemade and Kinko's bound cook book are my favorite because they are the greasiest, most wrinkled, and most stained pages out of the book. Among these recipes are Apple Pie, Sourdough French Bread, Pancake Non Pareil, and Crazy Cake. An all time fave, Crazy cake is a super basic chocolate cake that takes practically no time, tastes fantastic, and is healthier than your average cake. I keep the ingredients on hand and whip it up whenever we're craving something sweet. It is vegan, which means it contains no butter, milk, or eggs, making far less calorie dense than other cakes. This is the cake I requested for almost every birthday growing up. My mother says the recipe came from Parade Magazine circa 1953, though I have seen it recently called by different names in The Joy of Cooking and in Everyday Food Magazine.
It is also very adaptable. Lately I have been playing with the ingredients looking for an even healthier yield by substituting some whole wheat flour, and decreasing the amount of sugar by up to 50 percent. My mother always made it in a square cake pan, but it can be made in a muffin tin for individual servings, and mini muffin tin for bite sized pieces, or my newest favorite, a tart pan, which you can cut into elegant wedges.
Here is the original recipe, followed by some variations.
Crazy CakeSoundtrack: Where the Wild Things Are- Karen O and the Kids
from CWB Recipes
Preheat oven 350 F
Sift together in a mixing bowl:
1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbs breakfast cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Add to dry ingredients:
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbs salad oil
1 cup water over all
Mix until smooth and pour into greased 8" cake pan. Bake for 35 min.
Serve plain or with desired topping.
-sifted powdered sugar
-homemade whipped cream
-sunflower seeds (top before baking)
-nuts (top before baking)
Even Healthier Variation:
-substitute 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
-reduce sugar by 25-50%. Especially if serving with an icing or whipped cream.
-add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts for additional protein and omega-3s
Almond Cupcakes variation:
-omit the breakfast cocoa
-substitute 2 tsp of almond extract for the vanilla extract
-substitute 1 cup soy milk, almond milk, or regular milk for the water
-add 1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds.
-pour into greased muffin tin, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick emerges clean