Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are you familiar with wacky cake?

Recently, I was perusing my photocopies of old family recipes in search of inspiration. I was hoping to find a casserole since it’s officially turn-on-the-oven weather, but instead I came across something even better: a delightful dessert called wacky cake.

I remember when my grandmother had given me that recipe. We had spent the afternoon in her dining room at the farm with boxes and books of her recipe cards strewn about the table. With each recipe she saw, a story followed—both long and short. And when she found this one, she was thrilled as she had forgotten about it. “Oh, wacky cake!” she said. “I used to make this with your mom and uncles. This is the best cake. It's a keeper!”

Wacky cake is so named because if you look at the recipe you’ll scratch your head when confronted by the absence of eggs, butter and milk. (At least that is my theory, if you have a better explanation, please, by all means share!)

Likewise, the method of mixing is surprisingly simple: you just throw all the dry ingredients together in the baking pan and then make three holes to add the remaining liquid ingredients. The reaction of the vinegar with the baking soda makes the batter bubble and froth and provides all the leavening this cake needs.

Some say the recipe came about in the Great Depression, while others contend it came about during World War II, but no matter—this recipe is made for tight times with its lack of expensive ingredients. And yet it’s also vegan, which makes it appealing for those who prefer to avoid or cannot consume dairy.

I was dubious about how the cake would taste, but this is a rich cake,  spongy and soft. The original recipe called for cocoa, but I thought it would be interesting to make a wacky apple cake. This was also moist with a hint of spice and the crunch of nuts. And in keeping with the simplicity of the recipe, I decided to forgo icing it and instead just sprinkled the top with powdered sugar.


Because of both its ease of use and its science-experiment nature, this is a terrific recipe to make with kids. My grandmother recalled making it with my uncle Austin when he was a boy (though he almost put in a cup of baking soda once instead of a teaspoon, which could have been very interesting!) It works well as a quick evening dessert, and a warm slice goes well with a cup of coffee on a chilly fall morning.

I’m glad I now know about wacky cake, which—if you think about it—isn’t very wacky at all!

Wacky cake
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup cold water (not iced)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine dry ingredients in flour sifter and sift into an ungreased 8x8 square or a 9-inch round baking pan. You can also use a 9-inch cast-iron skillet.
3. Poke three holes into the flour mixture. In the first hole, or the vinegar. In the second hole, pour the vanilla. In the third hole, pour the oil.
4. Then pour one cup of water into the pan and mix very well.
5. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or less, until done.
6. Cut in squares and sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
Notes: You can jazz this basic wacky cake with cinnamon, ancho powder, brown sugar and by using coffee instead of water. You can also use nut oils to give it a different flavor. If you don't want a chocolate cake, omit the cocoa and add another teaspoon of vanilla. As you can see, wacky cake is very, very malleable to what you desire and the only limit is your imagination!

Wacky apple cake
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
5 tablespoons of canola oil
1 cup cold water (not iced)
1 cup of diced Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored (1 medium-sized apple).
1/2 cup of chopped pecans

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine dry ingredients in flour sifter and sift into an ungreased 8x8 square or a 9-inch round baking pan. You can also use a 9-inch cast-iron skillet.
3. Poke three holes into the flour mixture. In the first hole, pour the vinegar. In the second hole, pour the vanilla. In the third hole, pour the oil.
4. Then pour one cup of water into the pan and mix very well.
5. Stir in the apples and pecans.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or less, until done.
7. Cut in squares and sprinkle top with powdered sugar.

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90 comments:

Kendall said...

Sounds awesome...definitely going to be trying this out soon.

Anonymous said...

This is great, and I've never seen anything like it. Making tomorrow!

I Wonder Woman said...

I had forgotten about this! A family friend, a super-frugal woman, used to make this in a jelly roll pan to stretch the servings.

Starr said...

I've heard of this cake before, but have never made it. Now you have my interest piqued!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I'd like to make this just to see the vinegar and baking soda bubble up! ;)

Anonymous said...

Seems like it is called wacky cake because of the reaction of the vinegar with the baking soda more so than the exclusion of staple ingredients.

ellis said...

I am so weirded out to see this on a blog! This, out of any recipe from my "heirloom" recipe files, is THE family recipe- we call it Crazy Cake. I am seriously stunned to see it show up! (I am also stunned to think that it's vegan- I've been eating it my entire life, so it honestly never even occurred to me that it's abnormal in that it doesn't contain eggs, butter, etc) But I hiiighly recommend the cocoa version- the vinegar adds a little something and makes it a very unique and delicious treat.

Sonja said...

I am new to this blog, but it is very well. I also try to eat as vegan as possible, so how ironic that I stumbled upon this recipe.. Thank you!!

Sonja said...

I'm sorry, I didn't re-read the last posting I sent, and saw I hadn't finishing writing it as I clicked Post! :( I meant to say "What a well written blog." I really am happy to have stumbled upon this neat page and this vegan recipe. What a treat :) I have added you to my favorites list. Thank you!

Margaret said...

The chocolate version was the first cake I ever made, as a kid. Only we called it something else, and I can't remember what. Probably just "crazy cake" or some such. I'm definitely going to try the apple version--way to go!

Helene said...

Never heard of that before. Thanks for talking about 'wacky' cake.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I am not familiar with this cake, however, I can say that it looks delicious! Both versions are very tempting...

Cheers,

Rosa

Scribbit said...

This is too funny--I thought we were the only ones with this recipe. My mom used to make it and you're right, it is the best!

Our recipe is ever so slightly different but the basic is still there! We love wacky cake!

Meeta said...

totally wacky and scrumptious. i have a basket full of apples so this is going to be tried out!

Olivia said...

That's the craziest baked thing I have ever seen! Even more so than the growing Amish bread we used to make at home.

And you're right about the turn-on-the-oven weather. Roomie and I have in the past day eaten our first cooked at home meals in weeks, if not months.

Homesick Texan said...

Kendall--It's indeed awesome! Enoy!

Anon--Hope you like it!

I Wonder Woman--Yep, it's great if you're on a budget.

Starr--You should definitely try it.

Susan--Um, I may have oversold the drama just a bit, but the cake is still very good.

Anon--Ah, yes, I bet you're right!

Ellis--No way! And isn't it wonderful?

Sonja--Thanks and while I'm not known for my vegan recipes, this one is a real keeper.

Margaret--You can't beat the rick simplicity of the chocolate version.

Helene--You're very welcome!

Rosa--Oh, it's soooo delicious! And easy, too!

Scribbit--Hooray for wacky cake!

Meeta--Yep, it's a wonderful way to use up some of those apples.

Olivia--Now you have me intrigued--what's growing Amish bread?

mike said...

While the recipe may indeed be titled
Wacky Cake....I think we call ours
a Cluster Cake. I'm all over the Granny
Smith apples....eye-ballin' my mid morning
stack about 4' away...a G'Smith and
a Pumpkin Spice Kashi bar.....JACKPOT !

Tabby said...

That sounds great, something even a non-baker like myself can make. Thanks!

HoneyBSweet said...

I recently developed lactose intolerance...and though there is lactose free milk, that doesn't go for butters, cheeses, and the rich dairy products...I can't wait to try this dessert..I love baking and what a fun way to bypass the normal stuff!

Sabayon said...

I love wacky cake! My Mawmae's recipe file indicates it was taken from her high school home ec class in 1942, so it was at least popular in WWII, but no way to say if it was invented then. It seems unlikely though since it calls for sugar, which was not too expensive in the depression but heavily rationed during WWII (Mawmae's recipe tells how much saccharin to replace it with, yuck), so my bet is on the depression if anything.

She sure is strange! said...

Yum! I may put my girls(8 and 13) up to baking this after lunch, we need some chocolate around here according to my 15yo son! We'll use coffee instead of water and add cinnamon too. I'd make it sooner than after lunch but I'm out of vinegar(we use it for everyday cleaning)!

I think the Amish bread Olivia wrote about is that sour dough starter stuff called Amish Friendship Bread. That'd be my guess.

Molly

Anonymous said...

According to Cook's Country magazine, Wacky Cake was created in the 1940's and got its name from its "wacky" mixing method of making three holes in the dry mix into which were poured the vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla.

kkryno said...

I've heard of this recipe just recently(well okay; in the last year or so!) I'm looking forward to trying it. I've been looking for one my Grandma used to call "Toss-Apple Cake." I've been kind of obsessed with finding it.
By adding the apples to this recipe, it looks like it might do the trick!

Evy said...

Thank you for posting this recipe.I am going to make the apple version today. I love your blog!
Evy from Tejas

deb said...

I love a cake with a good name; sounds like a perfect weekday night experiment. (Also, I just realized I had typed this whole comment with the caps lock on. I was almost THAT commenter. Um, I fixed it.)

Have fun in Mississippi!

Evy said...

Check out this story on NPR!
There's something universal about the wacky cake! Thanks for posting it--
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6521353

Anonymous said...

What an awesome recipe! I'm teaching my 8 yr. old daughter to cook and this is a great introduction into baking. Thanks for sharing!

Brenda in Texas said...

I recently started baking wacky chocolate cake
for my sweetie. He has high cholestrol and this recipe didnt need eggs. I was surprised at how moist and good it was.

codyd said...

This reminds me of a recipe for something called simple cake, or simple chocolate cake (from a moosewood cookbook?)... uses a similar technique, ingredient list and vinegar reaction. Doesn't matter what you call it, I'm sure it's whacky good, or crazy good or even simply good!

ps. had to search before posting, moosewood has a recipe for vegan chocolate cake at http://www.moosewoodrestaurant.com/recipes_archive.html#53.

I'm all over your apple version though! great for a brooklyn fall desert.

deceiverofmen said...

hey, what happened to south beach? :)

I've always been afraid to try wacky cake (i think its called crazy cake in the fredericksburg cookbook) because of the vinegar. But I suppose it's be so easy since i rarely have eggs and milk around. Adding apples reminds me of a "healthy" cake one of my gym teachers taught us to make. Getting cake mix and replacing the oil with apple pie filling. It was always so delicious (though i think the high sugar content and bleached flour would disqualify the healthy moniker).

so now i am on south beach and have been wanting to make cake ever since the temperature dropped. This post is torture! ;)

Culinarywannabe said...

Sounds so unique- and appropriately named. I love recipes that have memories to go with them. Since my family wasn't so big on cooking, hopefully I'll have some to share with my own grandkids someday! :)

Jesse said...

It sort of sounds like dump cake, the way it's put together. I had a roommate for a year from San Angelo and she made us dump cake all of the time. But this one really is wacky, as it seems to become a little science experiment right before your eyes. Totally wacky - I love it!

Keesha aka PrissyCook said...

Add a little milk and red food coloring and you'd have red velvet cake. :)

codyd said...

After rereading this post I went ahead and made the chocolate cake as listed... I'll be surprised if there is any left in the am, it is that good!

Jennifer Stanford said...

I can't believe you guys have heard of Wacky Cake. The chocolate version was in a cookbook my mama gave me for Christmas when I was a little girl. It was wonderful because when we were out of the usual cake making stuff, we could always fall back on this recipe. It is so moist and yummy. It doesn't last long!

Jerry said...

You my dear always find the best nostalgic recipes! This sounds so yummy with coffee! Glad it came out the way you wanted. But my question if not this cake, what would it have been?

Olivia said...

Yes, exactly what Molly said about the Amish bread! Thanks Molly, I couldn't remember that much, I was pretty young last time my Mum made it.

Homesick Texan said...

Mike--I reckon there are several names for this--but no matter as it's all good!

Tabby--Yep, it's super simple.

HoneyBSweet--You won't miss the lack of dairy in this one.

Sabayon--Hmmm, I hadn't thought of that. Though perhaps in the Depression they used cane syrup or molasses instead.

She sure is strange--I use vinegar for everyday cleaning, too! It's such a wonderful thing.

Anon--Well, then, it was the 1940s. Thanks!

KKryno--Hmm, I'll have to see what I can find about "toss-apple" cake--sounds fun!

Evy--Thank you and enjoy!

Deb--OH NO!!! YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THAT COMMENTER!!!!

Anon--It's wonderful for kids!

Brenda--I know--I was surprised at how moist it was, too!

Codyd--Yes! It tastes so much like fall when it has the apples and cinnamon. And thanks for the Moosewood link--I love her recipes.

DeceiverofMen--Er, diets and I don't get along, too well! Though you could experiment with almond and soy flours to make this more carb-friendly. Good luck with the diet!

Culinarywannabe--I agree, recipes with memories always makes for the best food.

Jesse--It is like a science experiment--who knew?

Keesha--With cream cheese icing! What a great idea!

Codyd--Yay! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Jennifer--It doesn't last long, does it?

Jerry--I'm saving that one for the book!

Olivia--Oh, good--I'll have to see what I can find out about that.

Julie said...

I only read about wacky cake last year and have not yet made it. Now that you and other commenters have talked about how good it is, I'm more inspired. And I love the fact that it's so easy!

Homesick Texan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! We used to make this cake as kids but the recipe was lost many years ago. I can't wait to make this for my family this weekend!

smithmott said...

I first found this cake in a King Arthur Flour Company Cookbook. According to it, the cake belongs to the 'family' of vegetable oil cakes invented during World War II when butter, eggs, and milk were rationed. I like it b/c it's easy to make, easy to clean up, I usually have all the ingredients, and it's less sweet than a lot of current cakes.

i do wonder about the wacky part though!

Christina said...

I've never seen an apple version. Our family version of what we call crazy cake is dense and moist and incredibly chocolate-y--it is loaded with chocolate, and it is soo, sooooo, soooooo good. I can't wait to try this new version.

Bee said...

As much as the Internet has enriched our recipe sharing lives, I do feel a lot of nostalgia for the days of recipe cards with "From the kitchen of . . ." printed at the top. I love the idea of "found" recipes; but how funny to discover how many people already knew this one. I'm surprised that I don't, as I doubt there are many degrees of separation between my grandmother's baking and yours. I can't wait to try it, and would go the kitchen right now but I just pulled some butterscotch brownies out of the oven.

As for the scientific experiment part, it reminds me of the baking soda volcano which is, I'm sure, part of every grade-school child's repertoire.

Amanda said...

"Wacky Cake or Crazy Cake. In a way, this is a variation on Chocolate Pudding Cake...But it takes the "quick-and-easy" one step further: The cake is mixed in the baking pan. That's part of the wackiness. Another is that the batter contains vinegar and water, but no eggs. Like Chocolate Pudding Cake, this one is shortened with oil instead of butter or margarine."
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 467)

Cheryl A said...

I've never thought to take the cocoa out... Hmm, neat idea with the apples and spice. We make it all the time. Works nicely as cupcakes as well.

Lyra said...

Ah wacky cake. I grew up with this recipe, one that my father's best friend (from back in their boy scout days) gave me when I was a little kid. It is always easy and delicious and makes good cupcakes as well. But I never tried an apple version, what a good idea! I'll have to try that out now.

Anonymous said...

This is also a great fasting cake dessert for Orthodox Christians

Homesick Houstonian said...

Really, i can replace flour easily for south beach. I'm accustomed to using whole wheat flour (though i'm tempted to give quinoa or amaranth a try). Its the sugar I can't figure out. For some reason Erythritol gives baked goods a strange cold sensation in the mouth. Stevia tastes awful. I don't believe in Aspartame/saccharin/Splenda as healthy. Maybe Agave Nectar? But it doesn't work quite the same as sugar when baking.

Perhaps I don't get along with diets so well either. heh.

Nandita said...

Absolutely loved your recipe. Tried it this morning - made a banana version - here it is
http://saffrontrail.blogspot.com/2008/10/wacky-banana-cake.html

Thanks again!

Mhiran said...

Made the chocolate version (except 1/4 c. cocoa & apple cider vinegar) for my husband's birthday cake with my 2 boys (3 & 6) - they each made a layer... very successful all around! Thank you for introducing us to this! I also live in the mountains, and this cake worked beautifully at a high altitude.

ann said...

Oh man, that sounds like some fun cake to bake! I'll have to give it a try with my nephew, maybe this Christmas. Thanks for the fun recipe Lisa!

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

I just found you, Texan! I live in Tyler, Texas, home of the roses and many pine trees. I don't bake all that much anymore. But if a Texan boasts about it, I gotta try it! Enjoyed my visit.
Brenda

Idaho Quilter said...

I have you listed on my blog as a favorite read, I remember this cake, from my mother making it, can't wait to make it. thanks for your wonderful down home cookin.

BigCNYC said...

Love your blog. I grew up in Ft. Worth but like you the big city came-a-calling. I still need to love good BBQ. I went to Hill Country for the second time on Saturday. Have you been to Dinosaur's uptown? Do you have a recipe for 7-up cake?

Vicky Lynn said...

Just wanted to say I tried your butter biscuit recipe this weekend. These were the best biscuits I have ever made. Recipe was simple and very successful. Biscuits had a great flavor, were fluffy and moist and had a good heighth. Looking forward to making more of these!

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

sounds great - and looks delicious!
Congrats on being listed on blogsofnote! That's where I found your blog. Perhaps eventually my blog will join yours on the list! :)

Jenevieve said...

So last night I was all, "Hmm, I have an hour until the baby goes to sleep, and I really want to bake something, but I don't have any eggs. Hmmm...--Wait! I know!" So I cruised over this way and baked the chocolate one (but with 4T. powder instead of 2). Somehow, this afternoon, there is no more cake left, any my husband and I have stomachaches. Weird.

bren@flanboyanteats said...

hi stranger! heard of it, but never made it personally. u make the apples look so darn good it's worth making...

Paula said...

This is so clever! One would have to be wacky to not like this wacky cake! I love it, and I love your recommendation to make this with the kidlins!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Very interesting! I've never heard of this (though when I first started reading this recipe, I wondered if you were going to be talking about "dump cake"--what an awful name). I like the sound of the apple version. I think I'll make it this afternoon! The ancho version sounds good too :-)

AngAk said...

does anyone remember Betty Crocker Snakin' Cakes? They came in a box and you just added the water and vinegar and oil and stirred and baked and presto, you had a cake. I'm sure they modeled this after the wacky cake recipes.

Brandon Jones said...

I made the apple version of this last night and my wife and I LOVE it! The next time I make it, I may substitute prunes and walnuts for the apples and pecans just to see how that tastes! Thanks for the recipe!

Shannon said...

My Grandmother has a recipe just like this. She called it Crazy Cake. It has been a staple in my house for birthdays for as long as i can remember. I think i might have to make this cake for my own birthday soon. Thanks for reminding me!

Audrey said...

I knew about the chocolate version (it's the cake I make myself for my birthday every year) but I can't wait to try the apple cake.

Erica said...

I also grew up with this cake... but we called it "One Pan Chocolate Cake" and my mom would make it with a chocolate icing. Very rich and very delicious. My brother can eat a whole one himself! :)

Alice said...

I just found this blog and I'm glad I did! This wacky cake sounds so good ...and looks beautiful too! The apple version must be delicious...

Dianiewill said...

I enjoy reading your blog, and being that I am also a homesick Texan who lives in Michigan, I can seriously relate.
I am constantly looking for food that reflects where I grew up and what I enjoyed as a kid and with my family. Some of my best memories, even though I was a born and raised city girl from Houston, were memories of sitting on my great grandmother’s porch in Wortham, Texas shelling peas or snapping beans. It was a spiritual ritual, part of a family coming together to commune about friends relatives, neighbors, and current events, and it always ended up with a great meal. One of my own personal favorite meals was my mom’s “pantry soup” which is just what it sounds like: a tomato based soup with lots of usually canned vegetables and some sort of leftover pot roast or roast beef hash or brisket slices or even chicken pieces, whatever we happened to have handy. My grandmother used to make beans in the crockpot all the time, all shades of red beans and all shades of flavors (dark rue, light rue, no rue, Mexican chilies, but BBQ sauce, etc.) and would serve them over rice, over mashed potatoes, or with cornbread. Now that I am here in Michigan, the recipes have been altered slightly. I live with someone who swore they did not eat beans of any kind. That’s a difficulty for me, ‘cause I do love me some beans! Now, seven or eight years later our house makes all kinds of beans, and I even have the neighbors eating red beans and rice and white bean chili and they have me eating that Yankee chili concoction with all the beans and tomatoes. It aint my Tex Mex chili, but it does grow on you, and can be delicious if done well. My own personal recipe I would like to share is for a white bean chili that is a quick and easy crock pot dish. It’s a northern white bean recipe, but with my own southern seasoning directions (use an actual roasted chicken, skin and parts and all, instead of canned or cubed breast meat- go figure!) I hope you get the chance to make this easy dish and enjoy it with your family. I know you already have some similar recipes and there are a million white bean chili recipes out there, this one is Beans an Chicken, and its yummy.

Adios fellow transplant, and thanks for the great blog.
Dianiewill

Poppa Zao said...

This sounds similar to War Cake, which recipe I found in Fannie Farmer.

Shannon said...

This sounds yummy, I think I will make the apple version for Sunday breakfast this week.

I am a long time lurker. I found your blog when living in Jakarta and I decided it was time to learn to make some of my favorites from home the morning I found the teenage boy spooning leftover beef rendang onto bread and topping it with sliced cabe peppers. His defense was it was the closest thing to carne guisada tacos he had seen in a year. I tasted it and it was good but brutally hot!!!

Now we are in Germany but thanks to you (Ok and the commissary at the base that has the ingredients) we will be having sapodillas for desert this week and tamales for christmas! My kids may be growing up overseas but they are still Texans!

Lael said...

My mom has kept a copy of Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home on her cookbook shelf for as long as I can remember. In the dessert section is a "Six Minute Chocolate Cake" that matches this very same concept, and it has been one of my favorite cakes for years. I always use coffee instead of water and sometimes substitute carob for the cocoa. I've shared this version on my blog too. But what I really wanted to say is that I can't wait to try it with apples!

Emily said...

I grow up eating wacky cakes. And in fact the first cake I ever baked was a wacky cake ... how I managed to mess it up, I'll never know.
thanks for the walk down memory lane! Maybe I'll try the apple version with my daughter this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

We discovered the original "wacky cake" recipe online, supposedly invented during wartime when eggs, butter, etc., were rationed or impossible to get.
We were looking for a birthday cake for my daughter who is allergic to dairy, and as luck would have it, her sister is allergic to eggs. So this recipe is a great find if you have allergies in the family.

Anonymous said...

All of the women in my family make something very similar to this- made with no vinegar or cocoa, but a generous amount of vegetable oil and walnuts!

This cake is Christmas down in Johnson City. I love it with a simple sugar glaze, or some homemade cinnamon ice cream!

Just found your blog today, and man, do I want to get back to Texas. Just looking at these recipes makes California food look awful!

-another homesick texan

Kid from Australia said...

I made both versions yesterday after stumbling onto your blog. They were fantastic! This is definetly a keeper, thanks for sharing.

Daniel said...

We made this the other day in our "new" cast iron cookware - it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

Jessica said...

My mom and I used to make the chocolate version when I was very young!

We called it "Magic Cake!"

Judy Sanders said...

What a wonderful recipe (wacky cake) to pass down to your children and even further than that. It's a treasure that will certainly be passed down in this family. What a keeper. Delicious. Judy S.

Anonymous said...

I began making this cake in the early 60's but it is very hard for me to make it now. My children, especially my twin boys loved it, it was their favorite. One of the twins began fighting cancer in early 1979. It was a battle that lasted over 5 years. Shortly before he died his twin and wife were to come by for a visit. My daughter and I had little money but I did have a chocolate cake mix. When they arrived the twin who was ill had decided to come with them. He came out of the kitchen beaming, with the cake in his hands. I had to tell him it was not a Wacky Cake and his face fell and he carried it back to the kitchen. I remember his disappointment every time I make a Wacky Cake.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the apple version! Wacky cake was one of our favourites growing up and is so quick and easy to make. A real great recipe for me as I board and don't have a pantry! When I made it last night I wondered if I could use the same concept with other flavours and here you have it! Thanks! More things I can bake without the need of a pantry!

Anonymous said...

This was the first "scratch" cake my sister Kath and I could make. In Peg Bracken's wonderful "The 'I Hate to Cook'Cookbook," it was called "Cockeyed Cake." I think it was the name that attracted us to it in the first place! It is delicious and handy, because you almost always have the ingredients on hand. Thanks for the apple version--sounds great!

Andrea said...

Just made this for the first time - needed a cake for a vegan friend. It is amazing!!! Thank you so much.

txcharley said...

Just ran across this post and had to share a favorite memory of this cake. My kids and I used to make this all the time - they LOVED to mix it up. One time, we were cutting the cake and found something in the bottom of the pan that wouldn't cut. Not having any idea what in the world it was, we unearthed the fork that my sone had used to mix it. The fork had fallen in and he didn't say anything - just left it in there to be baked along with the cake!!! Of course, we just ate around the fork and put it into the dishwasher when we got it loose!!

My "kids" are not 39 and 40 and we still laugh about that special cake!

Crazy Radishes said...

Hi Lisa! I first grabbed this recipe when you first posted it years ago and have been making it faithfully since then. It is absolutely fantastic, so easy! And I can't believe how rich it tastes. I use it as the base of my German Chocolate Cake recipe. I've blogged about it and credited you with a link, I hope that is all right with you. If you don't with me to write it up please let me know and I will remove it.
Blog entry here: http://bit.ly/fPtxvV

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Crazy Radishes--it looks great!

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Just made this, so yummy! I can't wait to tweak it a bit and play with ways to use other flavors. Like someone else said, I bet it's great with pumpkin too! Thanks for sharing!

Granny Lindie said...

LOVE IT...when we were first married was a cake I made often, CHEAP to make. We have been married 48yrs. THANKS for a happy memory! WIll have to try it with apples an pecans..yum! Grannie Lindie

Love livin' in Central Texas! said...

Quick question - Did your original recipe call for lard as opposed to canola oil? If so, did it go in the pan as a solid or liquid?

Also, any thoughts on making this gluten free?
Thanks!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Central Texas--It called for vegetable oil. Perhaps you could substitute a gluten-free baking mix for the flour, but I'm not well versed in gluten free baking, so I don't feel completely comfortable giving advice on the topic.

Love livin' in Cental Texas! said...

Lisa, Thank you so much for answering. I REALLY enjoy your blog and wish you well!

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