Anyway ... If my dad were alive, I would not be making this cake for him or even talking to him about it. Even though The Depression was ancient history, he could still get pretty riled up about it. As I mentioned in my Vegan Applesauce Spice Cake post two years ago, if the subject came up and my mother (whose family had not experienced the same hardships his had) said anything at all, he would have to tell her once again (loudly and at length) that she didn't know anything about it. I can still see that vein popping out ... and me thinking "Here we go again!"
But back to the cake ... Back then, a dusting of powdered sugar might have been quite extravagant. But since this is just the Great Recession rather than the Great Depression, maybe we can splurge on a little whipped cream or buttercream frosting (unless you're vegan)? Please leave a comment about the cake, that era, vegan cooking, stuff your parents argued about, anything at all!
PS I saved a piece for three days, just for test purposes, and it was still fresh and fabulous! I had thought it might dry out since it has no eggs.
One-Bowl Chocolate Cake - Depression Cake - Vegan Chocolate Cake
(Makes one 8-inch round layer)
1 1/3 dip-and-sweep cups (6.67 ounces/189 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces/18 grams) sugar
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) water (or cold coffee, if you have it)
1/3 cup organic canola oil (I know, I know, they didn't have organic canola oil back then!)
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Grease, grease and flour, or spray with cooking spray one 8-inch round 2-inch deep cake pan (Don't even bother with shallow cake pans!). And a circle of parchment paper in the bottom will ensure successful removal from the pan, if you have that concern. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Note: If you want to get fancy and make a sweet little layer cake (the size I make for an afternoon tea), divide the batter between two 6-inch round 2-inch deep cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
2 In 2-quart bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously for about a minute, or until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Run a knife through the batter a few times to break up any large air bubbles. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick.
3 Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack to cool completely.