This dessert is mixed in the same pan that it's baked in. Do you know what that means? Minimal dishes. Yeah for the Chief Dishwasher in our house (ahem...ME!)
Sometimes desserts in our house take over the kitchen...making cookies with a four year old cover almost every available counter, so this was a welcome change! Because the prep is mostly stirring, it's an easy cake for kiddos to help whip up.
My husband was out of town on business for a few days, so my son and I made this together in the afternoon as an activity. And we both had two big pieces after dinner...and then maybe I snuck another after both boys were in bed. The cake is very dense and moist, and it was a fun distraction to keep everyone occupied when Daddy was gone. (Plus there was no one there to see how much cake I actually ate...if no one sees it, it didn't really happen, right?)
There are no eggs or dairy in this cake, so if that is an issue in your house, this might be worth a try. In my house, this is a pantry-raid dessert for when I don't want to run to the grocery store!
recipe adapted from melskitchencafe.com
Serves 6 to 8
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 8-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in pan. Make 1 large and 2 small craters in dry ingredients. Add oil to large crater and vinegar and vanilla separately to remaining small craters. Pour water into pan and mix until just a few streaks of flour remain. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan if it isn't level after mixing. Immediately put pan in oven.
Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 23-25 minutes. Don't overbake or the cake will be dry! Cool the cake in pan, then dust with confectioners’ sugar. The cooled cake can be stored tightly covered in plastic wrap for 2-3 days.