Wacky Cake – A Blast from the Past!

      Remember when we used to make Wacky Cake? This is a recipe that appears in a cookbook that Stafford High School Home Ec. students made during our sophomore year. We each designed and constructed our own unique cover for the book and then cut and pasted mimeographed recipes (contributed by fellow Home Ec. students) onto sheets of paper that were inserted between handmade tabs. Think maybe my artistic boyfriend (Barry West) helped me design the cover!
     I took this recipe book back to share at our recent 46th class reunion. And, since it was out, thought it would be only fitting to include a recipe from that book on our blog.
     Barbara Asher’s recipe for Whacky Cake (that’s how we spelled it in Stafford) seems typical of a dessert from that era. It is a cocoa-based cake that includes no eggs or milk. While it may have roots in WWII (when rationing was in effect), we continued to make this cake in 4-H and Home Ec. classes well into the 1960s. Not only was it inexpensive to make, it was mixed in the baking dish, so preparation and cleanup were kept to a minimum.
     Although I haven’t made this cake in years, two of my cookbook contributions (from long ago) actually are already included on our blog: Meatballs and Blarney Stones.
     By the way, Barbara Asher married Jerry Hildebrand – both were graduates of Stafford High School, class of 1965.

Whacky Cake  (Makes one 9” cake)
Recipe is typed as it appears in book with my additions in parenthesis.
1½ cups (all-purpose) flour
1 cup (granulated) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (baking) soda
¼ cup (unsweetened) cocoa (powder)
1 tablespoon vinegar (either white or cider work)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Wesson® oil or melted shortening (any vegetable oil will work)
1 cup cold water

1.     Sift together dry ingredients into 9” (ungreased) baking dish. Make 3 holes in ingredients. In first hole put 1 T. vinegar; second hole put 1 t. vanilla; third hole put 1/3 c. Wesson oil. Over all pour 1 c. cold water and mix well.
2.     Bake at 350° (in a preheated oven) for 25 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
Typically the cake was sprinkled with powdered sugar or topped with icing, or even served plain.
From 1963 (the year we made the cookbooks) to 2011 -- our class float at Stafford's Octoberfest .

No comments:

Post a Comment