Friday, October 2, 2009

birthday cake traditions

I am making Charlie's birthday cake today for his sleepover birthday bash he is having with his friends tonight-he had requested the classic Hanson Crazy Chocolate Cake. This is the most baked cake in my family, used for nearly every birthday or special occasion from the time I could walk. And we love it. Now my little family does too!

Of course, I can't find my copy of the recipe. Because I only have about 500,000 recipes scattered throughout my house, in various boxes, books, files and drawers. Another project someday.

I did find it on the internet, and learned that this cake first gained popularity during the Great Depression, as it does not contain eggs. It is easy, moist, and always turns out delicious. Who knew? I love finding out about recipe origins. Can you get a degree in that? Recipe archeologist? I think I may have found my new career. I can start digging in my own house.

But what I did not find is the recipe for the classic frosting we always make to go on top, which requires cooking flour and milk on the stove for the base. So I guess I will be giving my mom a call. For now, here is the recipe for the cake-I am guessing most of you already have it in your stash, but just in case you don't:

Crazy Chocolate Cake

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Ghiradelli)
3/4 c. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. cold water.

Combine all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. (you can also mix it up right in your 9 x 13 cake pan, if you want to make it even easier.) Make three holes in the mix. Pour oil into one hole, vinegar into another, and the vanilla in the last one. Then pour the cold water over all of it and mix it well. If you are making it directly in the pan, make sure to get the corners!

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

I will edit this later and put the frosting recipe on, so you can have that too.

Charlie has requested a dirt bike cake, so after the cake has cooled I will be cutting part of it off, then reassembling it into rocky terrain covered with dirt frosting, chocolate rocks, pine trees, and dirt bikes jumping over logs. Hope it doesn't end up on Cakewrecks. ( )

Photos tomorrow!


  1. Oh...I totally cannot wait to see those pictures. You are an awesome mom!


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