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Emergency Chocolate Cake – Quick & Easy Recipe

As we all know, dragons are particular to cake, scones, and other baked…

As we all know, dragons are particular to cake, scones, and other baked goods, so it’s a difficult yet vital part of my life as an author that I must research said baked goods.

Research is a necessary evil.

And every now and then I run into problems. That might be an urgent need for banana cake, or finding myself desperate for a chocolate hit, both of which I’ve covered previously. However, sometimes things take an even more dire turn, and one finds oneself without cake ingredients. Quelle horreur! And when one needs cake, one needs cake.

Luckily (especially as I discovered myself in this exact situation the other week, just after all our stuff arrived in the moving van from France – so I had baking pans again, but not a lot of everything else), I have a solution.  And while, like the Porridge Cakes, this may not be a W.I.-approved recipe, it is most certainly a dragon-approved one. And Kim-approved. And it would be Little Furry Muse-approved as well, if I hadn’t been quick enough to move the plate.

emergency chocolate cake recipe quick easy no eggs no milk no butter

Well, why is it *there* if it’s not mine?

This recipe is generally known online as Wacky Cake, as I guess the ingredients could be termed wacky? I don’t know. I’ll call it Emergency Cake, as it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t need any fresh ingredients (we made it a lot on the boat when I was growing up, and I still make it when I visit my dad and his girlfriend). It’s also ridiculously tasty, and lends itself to all sorts of flavour variations.

As far as that goes, it’s pretty forgiving – leave out the cocoa and add some spices and chopped nuts, then glaze with lemon icing. Or add half a cup of desiccated coconut and top with vanilla icing and more coconut.  Or (my personal favourite), use coffee instead of water, and add some more coffee to the icing. And there’s no need to ice it (it’s lovely with just a dusting of icing sugar), but, well. I don’t think I’ve ever turned down the chance to add icing to a cake. I do use a serious cheat’s icing on this, too, so I’ll add that into the recipe.

Go forth and bake!

Emergency Chocolate Cake

1 ½ cups flour

1 cup sugar

¼ cup cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup hot water

5 tbsp oil (technically vegetable oil, but I only happened to have olive oil, which worked just fine)

1 tbsp white vinegar (again, I didn’t have any, so used red wine vinegar)

1 tsp vanilla

Prepare a cake tin by greasing and flouring, or lining with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven to 180C.

Chuck all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick comes out with crumbs attached, around 40 minutes (depending on the oven. The oven in the new house is … interesting …)

Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar, or topping with icing of your choice.

Cheat’s Icing:

Icing sugar

Cocoa (if using)

Knob of butter (maybe 2 tbsp?)

Boiling water.

Sift icing sugar and cocoa together, then add softened butter. Splash in a tiny bit of boiling water, and mix enthusiastically. Keep adding boiling water in very small amounts until the butter is worked all the way through the icing and the mix has achieved the desired consistency.

Lick bowl thoroughly. All that butter will just clog up the sink.

emergency chocolate cake recipe quick easy no eggs no milk no butter

And now it’s over to you, lovely people! What’s your favourite type of cake or baked

goods? Are you more a savoury or a sweet person? Let me know below!

baking, cake, chocolate cake, recipes

  1. Lynda Dietz says:

    I love the idea that I can make emergency cake! Thank you for the recipe for sure. I’m also a firm believer in not clogging up my sink drains wtih butter. I’m looking out for the environment, I am.

    My daughter found a recipe for cake/cookie in a mug that she makes in the microwave when the mood strikes, but I’ve told her to never share the recipe with me. I can only imagine how often I’d make it.

    That cake looks so good in your photos . . . I’m jealous that Layla got so close to it!

    1. kimwatt says:

      Ooh, I need to try cake in a mug! Because the problem of making cake while the SO’s away is that I do tend to eat the whole thing… I mean, I can’t let it go to waste, right?

      And thank you! It’s really a surprisingly tasty cake, and quite light considering the ingredients. Plus so ridiculously easy that there’s really no excuse not to have cake. Not that I tend to make any excuses against cake, but for people that do…

      1. Lynda Dietz says:

        You don’t need those kinds of people in your life.

      2. Jean Hall says:

        My husband would LOVE this cake since he is lactose intolerant. I’m always on the lookout for recipes that don’t call for dairy. This sounds great and super easy. Thanks for sharing!

        1. Kim Watt says:

          Aw, I’m so glad it’ll come in handy! It really is so easy, and every time I make it I’m surprised by just how tasty it is. I hope your husband likes it just as much!

  2. jevvv says:

    I can see I really must get back into baking 🙂
    Also: ***cheats*** icing? – for some of us this is normal icing 😉 (at least in my growing-up-Kiwi home)

    1. Kim Watt says:

      I apologise for the baking pressure, but not for the results! 😉 And yes – it was perfectly normal icing to me, too, and I only discovered buttercream icing in my 20’s, when I considered it posh icing for cakes I made for charter guests. It was only much later that I realised that buttercream is apparently regular icing in the UK…

  3. Mary Sharpe says:

    I am grimly trying to lose some weight. Then I find myself reading this recipe. Fortunately I remembered – no more cake. For now, at least… Trouble with chocolate cake is it is so much nicer with cream to “ ‘tice it down” as my mother used to say.

    1. Kim says:

      Cream is ALWAYS such a nice little touch. Especially if one warms the cake a teeny bit beforehand …

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