Monday, April 23, 2012

Vanilla Powder Wacky Cake

Another recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Fat and Happy Food Blog - she has a lot of unusual recipes... grab a cup of coffee and surf her blog!

I remember making these in home ec in the 60's - and made them for my family... Wacky cakes became popular during the depression because ingredients were hard to get so they contain no butter or eggs. To make them even quicker, they are stirred in the same baking pan you will cook them in! So... less to clean up.
Instead of using cocoa as the base, she used vanilla powder. To keep the calories down, she opted for applesauce in place of the oil, for that reason, the texture of this cake is reminiscent of a quick bread. When you get a good forkful of the cake, a blueberry and the crumb topping, it makes for one good fat and happy bite.

Tips and Techniques: Switch up the flavor of this cake with ease by changing the fruit filling. Try Strawberries, peaches or apples! If you don't have vanilla powder, either add an extra tablespoon of the Grand Marnier or add a teaspoon of liquid vanilla extract.
  Burwell General Store Recipe Swap: Blueberry Applesauce Wacky Cake with Crumb Topping

Blueberry Filling for Wacky Cake
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbls sugar
squeeze of lemon
1 tsp corn starch

Make the blueberry filling first.  Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use. This step can be done a day or two ahead of time.

Butter Crumb Topping
2 Tbls butter, room temperature
2 Tbls flour
2 Tbls powder sugar

Place all the ingredients on a plate, use a fork to mash the dry ingredients into the butter. Once it is all combined, set aside until ready to use.

Vanilla Powder Wacky Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbls vanilla powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbls Grand Marnier
5 Tbls applesauce

Have the blueberry filling and the crumb topping ready. Once you add the vinegar to this cake, you need to work quickly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have the one cup of water ready. In a greased 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 baking dish, sift in all the dry ingredients and stir with a fork. Make 3 holes in the flour and place the Grand Marnier in one hole and the applesauce in the second. Quickly add the vinegar to the third and then pour in the water while stirring everything together with a fork.

Spoon the blueberry filling over the top of the cake, and then crumble the butter crumb topping on top of the filling.  Place in the oven until a toothpick comes out just about clean, the crumb topping will not brown so don't look to that as an identifier. My cake took around 40 minutes or so but keep an eye on it - it's better to under cook this than over cook.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly. If serving this warm, a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipping cream would be a fantastic addition.