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Dot’s Crazy Cake: Food My Mama Usta Make

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The family saying goes: “The more neglected when mixed, the better the cake tastes!” In other words, don’t mix it too much. This is my Grandma Dot’s recipe, dating from the 1940s. My mom made it a lot when I was a kid. It’s a light cocoa cake, a hit that’s great to serve anytime. You can dress it up with frosting, but I prefer it plain or with fresh berries. (Note: The vinegar is not a typo!)


Dot’s Crazy Cake

1-1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons high quality cocoa (Droste brand)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon white vinegar

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup cold water



1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

3. Then in the bowl, make three holes in the dry ingredients. Pour the vanilla, vinegar, and vegetable oil in the holes. Then pour the cold water over all. Mix, but not too much.

4. Bake in a square, ungreased pan at 350° F for thirty-five minutes. Don’t over bake; it tastes best moist. Cool for fifteen minutes, and sift confectioners’ sugar over the top if desired.

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