Must. Have. Cake. Now.
The title of this cake reminds me of one of those commercials from Chef Boyardee called “Tame the Beast.” Have you ever seen it? In the commercial a monster rips apart the kitchen looking for food and takes out the container of ravioli. Within bites, the monster turns into a ravenous child. This commercial just screams “emergency.”
Imagine a chocolate cake craving like that.
Now imagine having that cake in 20 minutes. How’s that?
The reason this is called the Emergency Chocolate Cake is that it can literally be made for emergencies, be it a last minute bakesale request or a massively demanding craving. It takes 5 minutes to mix and 40 minutes to bake in a square pan, or if you must have it NOW, make cupcakes and bake for 15 minutes. I made it in a 8 by 8 pan and produced a staggering, sink-your-teeth-into-it cake.
And oh yeah, this cake has a secret ingredient. And no eggs. And the crumb is so light. And the color is a beautifully reddish brown. And the chocolate flavour shines through because it isn’t overly sweet.
Don’t save this cake for emergencies, whip it together now and have your cake in half an hour.
Emergency Chocolate Cake
adapted from The America’s Kitchen Family Baking Cookbook
makes enough cake to satisfy
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa (this gives the beautiful reddish brown)
1 cup water
1 cup mayonnaise (secret ingredient!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 by 8, 9 by 9, or hell, 9 by 13 pan (note the time adjustments). Or line two 12 cup muffin pans with paper liners.
Whisk all dry ingredients together. Here comes the fun part: dump all wet ingredients in the bowl and mix all together. Mix! Do it until the streaks of mayonnaise disappears and batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan(s). You will get all this done before your oven is done preheating.
Bake 40 minutes for 8 by 8 pan, 30 minutes for 9 by 9 pan, 25 minutes for 9 by 13 pan, 15 minutes for cupcakes. Be sure to check a few minutes early. If a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean, it’s time for cake.
Pour some milk and cut big slices. Guaranteed to make children happy.