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This chocolate cake might be the easiest cake in the world to prepare, and it’s incredibly versatile, lending itself to a layer cake, bundt cake, or cupcakes. Though this is a pretty common recipe, I want to give credit to Jennifer Raymond, for it was in her cookbook The Peaceful Palate that I first saw it.
- 1-1/2 cups (188 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) canola oil
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 cup (235 ml) cold water
Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C or gas mark 4). Lightly oil a Bundt pan, 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan, or muffin tins.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Create a well in the center of your dry ingredients, and add the vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water. Mix until just combined. Pour into your prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If making cupcakes, check for doneness after 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack. To remove the cake from the pan, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool completely before frosting with Chocolate Frosting or with Buttercream Frosting (page 231 of The Joy of Vegan Baking). You may also dust with sifted confectioner’s sugar and top with fresh raspberries.
Yield: One 9-inch cake (23-cm) or 8 cupcakes. Double the recipe for a layer cake or a bundt cake.
Serving Suggestions and Variations: Add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or a teaspoon of chili powder for a ‘Mexican Chocolate Cake.’
What’s the Difference?
- Cacao: The tropical evergreen tree and its dried and partially fermented beans that are processed to make chocolate, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter.
- Cocoa Butter: The ivory-colored, naturally occurring fat in cacao beans. Cocoa butter is the basis of white chocolate.
- Chocolate: The general term for the products of the seeds of the cacao tree, used for making beverages or confectionery.
- Cocoa Powder (Unsweetened Cocoa): Made when chocolate liquor is pressed to remove most of its cocoa butter.