The Wowie Cake – Otherwise known as the Salad Dressing Cake
Or Best Vegan Cake EVER
Or A Depression Cake
Recipe adapted from Annabelle Carter Lee
This cake has quickly become a family and friends favorite – it’s quick to make up, never fails and is rich, moist and chocolatey. Minty and I had a lot of fun filming the video together – there’s something extra special about a mother and daughter baking together. Thank you Annabelle for introducing this magnificent cake into our lives and sending me the straight sided pans so that I can make the perfect layer cake every time. I made it for Didier’s birthday yesterday and knowing there was cake the neighbors marched on over, armed with Champagne, to sing Happy Birthday.
A word about it being naturally vegan – made from oil and vinegar – so basically salad dressing with cocoa powder – that’s the soft and moist cake part – but I like to slather it in traditional buttercream frosting – so obviously this then takes it out of the vegan category! I did make up a separate bowl of coconut cream frosting for my vegan friend and neighbor Claudia – but this is a work in progress and still a little too runny to use to decorate the cake so for now I’m sticking with the regular buttercream frosting.
I added a shot of espresso to the recipe instead of plain water. I find the coffee brings out the flavor of the chocolate and adds depth of flavor to the cake. I’m not sure if it was the weather, the addition of caffeine or the speed with which I whipped up Didier’s birthday cake but the cakes rose more in the oven and everyone agreed it was lighter and even more delicious than previous versions of the cake.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup Dutch cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 espresso + cold water to make up 2 cups of liquid
2/3 cup vegetable oil (we used Thrive (algea oil) but coconut oil or Crisco but NOT Canola Oil)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
8oz softened butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 shot of espresso (cooled)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the base of two cake pans with parchment paper and wipe the sides with kitchen towel dipped in a little oil.
- In the bowl of the KitchenAid electric stand mixer sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt)
- Add the wet ingredients, (espresso, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla) and mix until smooth stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Divide between the two pans and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Invert cake out on to wire rack to cool and peel off parchment paper.
- Once completely cool sandwich and cover with your favorite frosting. We used chocolate buttercream frosting in ours but if you want to keep it vegan you could dust the top with powdered sugar and serve. Enjoy! WOWIE!
- To make the frosting in the stand mixer beat together the butter, cocoa powder, confectioners sugar and espresso until totally combined and ready to spread. Place 1/3 on top of one cake and sandwich together. Then frost the top of the cake with the remaining frosting and top with a sparkler.
- Sparklers make the cake… and the Tops Malibu sparkler toppers are our favorites – be it heart or star or numbers. And the large sparklers are great for any and all celebrations.
And yes there was left over cake – eaten by Rémy for breakfast after a dark and very stormy night… woken by huge thunder bolts and lightening, very very frightening…