King Arthur Flour's Original Cake Pan Cake

I have always wanted to make this funny sounding recipe.

You assemble all the ingredients in a cake pan. No bowls to clean and you use what you have on hand.

The original recipe is also known as a "depression cake", made during the depression era, using no eggs, just water and cocoa and some coffee if you were lucky.

I have seen it made all different ways, one blogger using beer and cinnamon, someone else using orange juice and zest, another using chocolate chips and making a white icing.

The King Arthur Flour site suggests all different liquids and mix-ins, so be daring.

I went all out.
I used buttermilk (cause I had it!) instead of the water, and cider vinegar, again, because I didn't have regular white vinegar.
I also used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. So many changes, but the cake came out delicious!

I will post the original recipe with my changes in parentheses.

It is supposed to be eaten warm from the pan (my kind of cake!), preferably with a tall glass of milk.
It was even better the day after baking.

King Arthur Flour's Original Cake Pan Cake: (adapted from the KAF website)

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) cocoa (I used Hershey's brand)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tsp cinnamon (my addition)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vinegar (I only had cider vinegar)
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil (I used a mild olive oil, of course)
1 cup (8 ounces) cold water (original recipe), coffee (next inspiration), milk (later inspiration), or 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup rum (latest inspiration) (or buttermilk, which is what I used!)

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Measure all the dry ingredients into an 8" or 9" round or square cake pan; if you use an 8" pan, make sure it's at least 2" deep. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations.

Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the oil into the third.

Take the cup of cold liquid (water, coffee, milk, etc.) and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Note: If you've used espresso powder, adding coffee will make this a mocha cake. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until they are well blended.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve right from the pan; warm from the oven.

Easy and delicious! Hard to believe something so simple could be this delicious.

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Ciao Chow Linda said…
I love how you decorated the cake with the impressions of the spoon Stacey . I do believe this looks like something that's in my future.
The JR said…
Can't beat something that simple.
Helene said…
I love this cake. My mom always made it with just water and cocoa, it's always moist and delicious! Brings back memories!
Anonymous said…
Stacey, it has always been my understanding that when old recipes called for vinegar they meant cider vinegar.

White vinegar was usually reserved for pickling and cleaning things.
Stacey Snacks said…
Good to know, the recipe just says vinegar, so I assumed it was regular old vinegar. I always have cider vinegar, so I guess I was just lucky!
Thanks for the info.
Anonymous said…
Hmmm, call this 'Yoga Cake', the recipe's so darn flexible...I got everything in I need (including wacky Bragg's Cider Vinegar w/THE MOTHER!) EXCEPT for cocoa. I'm thinking of substituting
Starbuck's Hot Chocolate Mix from the enormous cannister we received at Xmas - I'll just lessen the amount of sugar some. Do I dare?
I need a chocolate fix right now, love it with the coffee!
Foodiewife said…
Only you would think of decorating the cake with the three spoons impressions. Very clever! I've seen this recipe, and keep saying I should try it. You beat me to it, and good to know you liked it. KAF recipes are pretty much fool-proof.
Joanne said…
I love the idea of mixing all the ingredients together in the rustic!
Can't wait to make this cake! I love the history behind it too.
Melodie Monberg said…
When I was a kid, my mom would make this cake every week. We called it Wacky Cake because of the wacky way to make it. Thanks for bringing back a very good memory!
Oui, Chef said…
Oohhh, I have some buttermilk AND Stout in my fridge....who gets the call?