Friday, April 6, 2018

Crazy Cakes

Vanilla and chocolate wacky cakes are super simple, delicious and completely vegan, perfect for birthdays!


Full disclosure – I had intended to write and post this recipe earlier this week – as in, on my birthday (Wednesday) – but by the time I got around to looking at my computer and editing photos and whatnot, it was about 11PM and I couldn’t think of a single word. Luckily, the cakes were much easier to make – and since I did wait I was even able to take some photos of the decorated pieces. Every year for my birthday, my Home Ec classes get to decorate cake as a little fun activity. Home Ec isn’t exactly a hard class, but there is generally more work involved than maneuvering a piping bag – and as an added bonus the kids get a hit of sugar in the middle of the afternoon when they’re dragging (and I get to send them home right after – sorry Mom and Dad!).

This year, though, instead of me making the cakes for every class, I had my grade 7 and 8 groups make their own cake to decorate. In my classroom, we have very little in the way of electric appliances (case in point, I have to bake everything at home). Cakes, therefore, have to be simple and minimal effort – one bowl, a few measuring cups and a whisk or spatula is ideal. Since this group is relatively good in the kitchen, following recipes and even cleaning up after themselves, I gave them the option of making chocolate or vanilla wacky cake. They chose one of each, which worked for me!

One of the things I love about wacky cake is that it’s really easy to make them allergy-friendly. We have a few vegetarians, one vegan and a few dairy and egg allergies to cater for in that class, so with the recipe already being egg-free it only took a swap for the milk for everyone to enjoy. I chose a type of non-dairy milk that I’ve never used before – pea milk – which has a rich flavour and milk-like texture with no “beaniness”, even when unsweetened and unflavoured. The kids gave me a bit of a side-eye when I opened the bottle, but the resulting cake was met with nothing but praise.

The only downside of a cake this easy is that it’s far too simple to make a lot of them! While the kids were excited about being able to decorate big pieces of cake, the decorating icing turned the multipurpose room into a veritable Jackson Pollock painting. Luckily food dye washes out – eventually!

Wacky Cakes

Vanilla Crazy Cake
Makes 8 large or 16 two-bite pieces
1 ½ cups + 3 tbsp flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla
⅓ cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk (I used pea milk + 1 tbsp vinegar)

Chocolate Crazy Cake
Makes 8 large or 16 two-bite pieces
1 ½ cups flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
⅓ cup canola oil 
1 cup buttermilk (I used pea milk + 1 tbsp vinegar)

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8” square pan.
2.      Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
3.      Pour into the pan, smoothing the top.
4.      Bake 35 minutes.
5.      Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
6.      Cool before frosting.
No NI for this one (yet), will update soon!

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