Friday, August 21, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

No, I'm not actually baking cakes this week. I mean, I very well could be, what with the nonstop rain (we had an actual creek running through our backyard Wednesday afternoon; it had its own current and everything, flowing all the way off into the distance toward the road....) and the abandoned exercise (ouch, the three-mile run I lamely did the other day made me hurt) and the unabashed dessert consumption (yum, those zucchini-chocolate-chip cookies brought home from Christopher's office)....

Uh, where was I?

No, I'm not baking cakes right now. But I do like to make homemade cakes on occasion, and a friend recently requested my specialty cake recipe, so I figured I'd put it up here for anyone else in search of a good cake. Which should really be everyone.

This cake is from Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, and it's an odd little no-eggs cake that ends up super moist, fudgy, and dense (but semi-low, so just be aware; it's not going to be a big high fluffy tall cake, what with the no eggs and all). The cookbook includes a chocolate buttercream icing recipe, but a.) it's made with a raw egg, which seems strange and outdatedly risky (salmonella, anyone?), though that has not stopped me in the past; and b.) I have recently discovered the Magnolia Bakery vanilla buttercream icing recipe--the one made from a pound of butter and six to eight cups of powdered sugar--and people, need I say more? I think you can do better than raw eggs. But I'll give you here the cake:

Homemade Chocolate Layer Cake

2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wait 10 minutes before starting to make the cake. Meanwhile, flour and butter two 8-inch round cake layer pans and set aside. When the 10 minutes are up, thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Pour in the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely.

When cake is completely cool, spread your preferred icing on one layer. Top with the other layer, then spread the remaining icing all over the cake. Chill the cake at least 30 minutes, then bring to room temperature before serving.


Mnmom said...

YUM! I am SOO making this on Sunday, that is if the twins don't rope me into clothes shopping at MOA. I'd rather chew on tinfoil than go to MOA.

WANT the zucchini choc chip cookie recipes.

Shan said...

The zucchini-chocolate-chip cookie recipe was not mine, so I can't pass it one! But...YUM! And, a vegetable! So, they're health food! Right?!

donna said...

You rock, Shanny! I'll be trying both!