I love cake. OHMYGOD do I love cake. And I'll be honest, this is not the best cake ever, but when you just WANT CAKE (and come on, we all know there are times when nothing will do but cake!), this is FAST and YUMMY. Why buy a mix when you can literally throw things into the baking dish itself, bake for 20 minutes, and then happily scald your tongue on home-made cake? I couldn’t say.
Susan Katz’s brilliant 1978 “Just Desserts – Fast but Fancy” is one of my favorites. She has so many ideas that I would like to quit my day job to cook each and every one of them… well, I can dream, right? She even has a chapter entitled Desserts for Dinner. (She has also written a book called “100 ways to use yogurt besides eating it out of a container” – LOVE her to death!). When the sudden NEED FOR CAKE struck me, I turned to her and she did not disappoint.
This recipe – better than cake mix, I swear – is fun in that you mix it right in the baking dish. Seriously people, you are going to have cake SOON, and barely any dishes to wash! GET ON THIS! Even kids can do it, in fact it is perfect for them. Don’t have a mixer? Or are you just lazy? Who cares. YOU can make cake.
The only trick is that she’s not kidding when she says “There must be no delay in baking after adding vinegar” because that will activate the baking soda, and if not baked right away, the cake won’t rise. So be sure to have all your ingredients out in advance. This is as good a way to reinforce the practice of mise-en-place if I ever knew one! There: justification for baking cake: to teach yourself the importance of proper kitchen prep. (Not that you needed any justification.... )
You can frost this cake with just about anything, or heat up a nice glaze of chocolate, butter and a little grand marnier, or perhaps whisey and black cherries…. Possibilities are endless. You’re welcome.