This Busy Day Chocolate Cake is an irresistibly moist, tender, decadent one-bowl chocolate cake. I can almost guarantee it’s going to be love at first bite. No eggs, butter, or milk . . . it’s so simple to make!
I’m bringing back an old post today because the world is a little unsettling right, and I think we could all use a little more chocolate in our lives. If you ask me, chocolate makes everything better.
I first posted this Busy Day Chocolate Cake over six years ago. I loved it then and I still love it today. I’ve also seen this cake called Wacky Cake and Depression Cake. Kind of some funny names, right? This cake was created back in the Depression Era when ingredients were expensive and scarce (sound familiar, at least the scarce part anyway?).
This cake is perfect! It couldn’t be easier to make, is tender, not too dense, chocolatey, and might just be one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever eaten.
Do any of you remember the birthday cakes that McDonald’s used to have?
It was the most delicious chocolate cake ever! I know over the years they changed the way it was decorated, but the one I so vividly remember had white frosting, yellow frosting piped around the edges, rainbow nonpareils, and a sugared Ronald McDonald on top holding balloons (you should google it). It was honestly the best cake! As a kid, having your birthday party at McDonald’s or the Ronald McDonald Party Room was just about the coolest thing ever. And the best part was you got one of their birthday cakes.
You could also buy their cakes and take them home which was so cool! For my birthday one year, my husband ordered me one because he knew how much I loved them. Yes, even as a 20-something year old, I still wanted a cake from McDonalds, I loved them that much!
Anyway, this Busy Day Cake reminds me so much of McDonald’s birthday cakes. In fact, with white buttercream on top instead of chocolate frosting, it might just be a dead ringer. I actually can’t believe I haven’t made this ever with white frosting . . . definitely know what I’ll be making this week. Maybe I’ll even throw on some rainbow nonpareils and pipe a yellow border of frosting (not sure I can find a sugared Ronald McDonald, haha).
This cake is simple and uncomplicated to make. Requires basic pantry staples and can be whipped up in no time at all. Trust when I say make this ASAP!
TIPS FOR MAKING BUSY DAY CHOCOLATE CAKE:
- You can double this recipe, just use a 9×13 baking pan.
- The original recipe called to mix this cake right in the pan, but I prefer mixing it in a bowl first. I’m kind of a neat freak, and stirring the batter in the pan and having
- Because this cake is so simple to make, it’s a great thing to make with your kids while they’re stuck at home during this quarantine time.
WHAT OTHER FROSTINGS WOULD BE DELICIOUS ON THIS CAKE?
I love this cake with chocolate frosting, but it would be delicious with so many other frostings. . . buttercream, peanut butter frosting, cream cheese frosting, etc. You could also just dust it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or just leave it plain.
Oh one more thing, this cake is fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or peppermint ice cream.
Hope you’re staying sane through all of this! Be safe!♡♡
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
CHOCOLATE SOUR CREAM FROSTING: (or any frosting of your choice)
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, soda, salt and cocoa. Make a well in center of flour mixture and add vegetable oil, water, vanilla, and white vinegar. Whisk until well combined and then pour the batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 23 to 28 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool and frost with frosting or dust with powdered sugar.
- In a medium bowl mix combine butter, cocoa, sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, mix on low until combined. Increase to medium speed and mix until smooth and creamy. (*Can add milk or more sour cream if needed to get the desired consistency.)
Originally posted February 3, 2014
Recipe Source: Cake adapted just slightly from MadHungry.com