Cheap Chocolate Cake

This recipe has been my husbands favorite dessert for as long as I've known him.  It is his birthday cake of choice every year, and I get pleaded with to make it at least once a month.  We call it Cheap Chocolate Cake, simply because it is cheap to make.  It has no milk, butter, or eggs in the batter, and is made from basic pantry staples.  It is sweet, moist, gooey, and oh-so chocolaty.  The crowning glory is the icing that sets up into a thick, glaze-like frosting, which in turns oozes down into the very cake itself, due to the holes you poke in the cake with a fork.  This cake is great out of the oven, but is even
better the next day. 

Cheap Chocolate Cake
3 Cups all-purpose flour (this cake works great with whole wheat pastry flour)
2 Cups sugar
1/3 Cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cups oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
2 Cups hot water

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Pour the oil, white vinegar, vanilla, and hot water into the well.  Gently mix with a fork until combined.  Do not use an electric mixer.  Bake in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish, for 30-35 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.  Cool completely or at least until the cake is barely warm.

For the Glaze:
1/3 Cup milk (any fat percentage works fine)
1 Cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (added at the end)

In a small saucepan bring the milk to a simmer, then add the sugar and cocoa.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes at a full boil, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.  After glaze has cooled for a few minutes, whisk in the vanilla.  Now use a fork to poke holes in the surface of the entire cake.  Pour the glaze over the cake, and spread evenly with a spoon, making sure the whole surface is covered.  Let cool until the glaze has hardened.  It will become smooth and hard to the touch once cooled.  This hardening process may take just a few minutes, or up to an hour.  So make sure you keep an eye on the glaze while it is cooling in the pan.  You don't want it to set up in the pan, and not be able to pour it over the cake. Serve and enjoy!  This cake keeps very well for several days...if it lasts that long. :)


Unknown said...

Temperature of oven?

Unknown said...

oops! Sorry, i'll fix that. :) 350 degrees.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's probably understood that the oil goes in with the wet ingredients?

Unknown said...

Anonymous - Yes the oil goes in with everything else. I made this cake a couple days ago and noticed I missed putting the oil in the instructions. Fixed it now :)

Anonymous said...

If you can believe it, this is similar to the sheet cake recipe that the lunch ladies at my school made every other Friday (alternating with cherry cheesecake). Nobody believes me when I say my siblings and I had delicious school lunches, but hey, it was a rural school in the '70s. We were spoiled. :)

Thanks for the recipe! I can't wait to make it. Great memories.

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing! Do you know of any changes for high altitude?

Unknown said...

Hi there! You shouldn't need to make any adjustments to this recipe for high altitude baking. :)

Cassandra said...

If I don't pur cocoa does it make it a vanilla cake ?

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