This is my mother-in-law's grandmother's recipe from the Depression era. When eggs and milk were in very short supply she created this recipe out of need. It is our favorite cake AND it is easy to make! No mixer is needed. Just a light whisking gets it all mixed. Don't let the fact that it is vegan fool you - you'd never guess it by the taste! Enjoy!

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
40 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 9x13-inch cake
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

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  • Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda together in a bowl; add water, canola oil, and vinegar. Mix until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan before slicing.

Nutrition Facts

335 calories; protein 3.9g 8% DV; carbohydrates 59.2g 19% DV; fat 10.1g 16% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 212.6mg 9% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (18)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/20/2013
Delicious! I used Turbinado sugar instead of white coconut oil instead of canola and white distilled vinegar instead of acv. I'm not vegan but my husband and daughter is and we all loved it. Read More
(8)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
04/06/2014
I hated it to be honest. It was too moist and I think the vinegar ruined it. I refused to eat it after my first bite. The only reason I didn't give it 1 star is because my friend actually thought it was ok. Read More
(1)
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
10/19/2013
Delicious! I used Turbinado sugar instead of white coconut oil instead of canola and white distilled vinegar instead of acv. I'm not vegan but my husband and daughter is and we all loved it. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
09/08/2013
This is a great recipe! Very dark rich and flavorful with a semi-dense texture. I didn't have milk and was low on eggs so I made this cake and it tastes very good. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
02/14/2015
I turned it into cupcakes. Followed the recipe precisely. But used a cupcakes form. Tried it 3 times. Tasted great. I have added cranberries blueberries (turned out a bit too moist) raisins and walnuts i mean the options are great. Perfect texture great taste (did you say vinegar?). Highly recommend! Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2014
I used cupcakes form. Great taste right texture. Would never tell its vegan no smell of vinegar. Second time I made it with raisins then walnuts. Highly recommend Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
07/29/2014
Turned out great and was easy to make. Made this for a co-worker's farewell party who is vegan and even the non-vegans enjoyed! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
08/15/2014
My mother inlaw Alice was alergic to eggs and egg producks she also use to make this cake I am making this recipe followed instruction to the letter tasted the batter and there is no vinegar taste but i mixed all the liquid ingrediants in a separte bowl and added to dry ingediants a little at a time beating well with a whisk between additions.Batter is smooth and dark.Baked the cake it is high and smells great.I think for those who said it taste like vinegar the trick is to mix the liguid ingrediants.I am going to ice this cake with nutriwhip which is a milk free oil based whip cream that need to be beaten and top it with fresh fruit. One thing i did notice it took almost an hour to cook. Hope my vegan friend likes it. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/11/2014
Yummy! This cake is really good and I would recommend you to make it. It is good and Vegan! Read More
(1)
Rating: 2 stars
04/06/2014
I hated it to be honest. It was too moist and I think the vinegar ruined it. I refused to eat it after my first bite. The only reason I didn't give it 1 star is because my friend actually thought it was ok. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
06/27/2018
Excellent taste and texture easy to bake vegan-friendly. The non-vegans among us (myself included) couldn't tell the difference. Read More