How many of your childhood memories involve food? My Grandma Ivy used to make a simple, single layer chocolate cake with a rich cocoa flavor. A “naked” cake before this was a thing, this dessert was served right out of the pan. The secret ingredient was vinegar, combined with baking soda to create a light and airy crumb.
I later learned that “vinegar chocolate cake” was a baking technique adopted during the Great Depression when things like butter, eggs, and milk were scarce.
We didn’t miss the eggs or dairy–it was just a delicious treat at Grandma’s kitchen table.
This recipe is perfect for those times when you need a quick dessert that comes together in minutes. It’s also perfect for aspiring kid-bakers because it requires just one bowl, a wooden spoon, and a pan. My ten year-old daughter and her friend made this one afternoon, taking turns with measurements and stirring. No creaming butter and sugar and adding one egg at a time. No alternating flour with liquid. No folding of egg whites or fussy lining and flouring of layer pans. No mom control freak moments, because it’s just that easy!
I loved sharing one of my favorite childhood recipes with my daughter. I also loved having a quick recipe at the ready to set my ten-year old loose in the kitchen. I’ve seen modern takes on this recipe and many add frosting. I like to keep it old-school, adding just a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.
Bonus: What once fulfilled a need for dessert during an economic crisis might also fill a modern-day dietary need–it’s egg and dairy-free!
One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe (Egg-free and dairy-free!)
Do you have a favorite childhood recipe that you share with your kids?