Crazy Cheap and Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

No, this cake ain't healthy, nor is it gluten free or sugar free, but it's got something going for it- its cheap and its easy and its vegan and it doesn't use any ingredients that are hard to find and it's ultra easy to make. Pretty much its a good desert to make if you want to whip up a recipe last minute and you have no eggs or butter or milk or anything like that in the house... or if you have those, but want to save those ingredients for another use to keep your cake as frugal as possible.
And oh- it's moist and yummy and soft and did I mention really, really yummy?
I used to make this cake a lot, usually with carob powder instead of cocoa powder, but it's absolutely terrific both ways.

My husband hasn't had this cake in a while, even though it's his favorite- so I whipped it up to surprise him by serving it at the party in honor of our daughter's birth this weekend. (No, my husband isn't sugar free or gluten free- though I think it would be a good idea for him to be, he's an adult and he can make his own decisions, so I figure if he's going to eat it anyhow, I can make a treat for him like this...)
I have to say, I'm a bit jealous that he can eat it because it was one of my favorites as well.

I didn't make up this recipe, its known as Crazy Cake and has been floating around the internet, and has been passed on long before that- it originates from the Great Depression, when people didn't have money and cooked from scratch... kind of like what people should do in the economy today, which is kind of why Great Depression recipes have become more common lately- because they're good, yummy, and cheap, and nearly everyone is broke but likes good food.

Crazy Cake Recipe

3 cups flour (white or whole wheat, any is fine)
2 cups sugar (white or brown, either is fine)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder or carob powder
3/4 cup oil (any will do)
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together until it is a completely uniform mixture.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well, ideally with a whisk, so that there are no clumps.

3. Pour into a 9x13 baking pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until it a toothpick stuck inside comes out clean.

P.S. Try not to devour it all at once... I used to make double of this cake because one batch was just never enough.

Have you ever made Crazy Cake before? Do you think you'd try this one out?
What is your favorite type of cake? 

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Have you tried making this to be GF w/one of your homemade GF mixes??

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