Chocolate cake

Freida, a vegan baking goddess if there ever was one, asked me about this recipe when I saw her on the street yesterday, so now you all get to have it. I know it’s good because it’s the most food-stained page in Shannon’s copy of Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. :)

Basic Six-Minute Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • 1½ cups unbleached white flour
  • ⅓ [one-third] cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water or brewed coffee
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Sift together dry ingredients into an 8”×8” square or 9” diameter round baking pan. Mix wet ingredients except vinegar, pour into pan, and stir until smooth. Add vinegar, stir quickly, then immediately bake for 25 to 30 minutes. (You should see pale swirls in the batter as the baking soda and vinegar react.) Glaze when cool.

Suggested additions to make this recipe more exciting: 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, freshly ground nutmeg, freshly ground cardamom, or fresh orange or lemon zest. This cake goes well with a glaze like the one I described for the banana cake earlier. (You’ll need about ½ pound bittersweet chocolate and ¾ cup hot water, milk, cream, or tofu-soymilk purée, or more if you feel like cutting the cake horizontally and icing between the layers.)

Random tip of the day: if you coat your pan with margarine, then liberally dust it with flour, your cake will be able to rise easily up the sides while baking, making its top significantly more level. This will allow you to layer multiple cakes in tiers.