The past 48 hours have been crazy, crazy, crazy. And I’ve been thankful for that.
I thought catching up on work was the craziest part. Then I thought attempting to brave the store the day before Thanksgiving was the craziest part. And then I thought the craziest part was when my aunt called me, saying “Oh no, we already have pumpkin pie, can you just pick up bottled water?”
So I moped a little bit yesterday, thinking of all the pumpkin pie ingredients that would go unused. I gazed longingly at my can of Libby’s and dreamed of perfecting the flaky, doughy crust. But then my mom called, and like all good moms, gave me some great advice: “Honey, if you want to bring something, just bring something. If you want to and don’t, well, that’s just crazy.”
Indeed, Mom. Indeed.
Crazy Cocoa Cake
Makes up to a 9″ x 13″ cake
- 2 c. flour
- 1 c. sugar, optional*
- 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. soy milk (or another kind of non-dairy milk, if you want to keep it vegan/parve)
- 3/8 c. applesauce
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 1/4 c. hot water
*I’ve seen some recipes for this type of cake that call for sugar in the “dough” that makes up the cake. I left it out because 1) I like to avoid excess sugar, and 2) I forgot it the very first time I made this cake and didn’t even notice. It was still delicious, but had a bit more of a dark chocolate taste to it. Use your preferences as a guide – just know it can be made with only the 1 cup of sugar!
- Preheat your oven to 350°. Lightly grease the pan of your choice (I used a 10″ pie pan to be festive, but this recipe can make cake up to a 9″ x 13″ pan size)
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/4 c. of the cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar (if using the extra one cup). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Once combined, pour the wet mix into the dry, and mix until a thick dough forms.
- Spread the dough into your pan of choice. The dough may need some convincing to spread, as it will be thick, but give it time and it’ll be just fine.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, hot water, and remaining 1/2 c. cocoa powder. Pour over the dough mixture in your pan, making sure to saturate the dough as best as possible.
- Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan for at least an hour – the dough will absorb some of the additional cocoa/water/sugar liquid and get extra moist during this time.
I covered mine with caramel and chocolate chips to make it a bit more dressy and, heck, do you always need a reason to add caramel and chocolate chips? I didn’t think so!
It’s such a delicious, rich cake, and one of the best parts is that it’s a relatively healthy dessert, considering there aren’t eggs/dairy milk/butter in it. My family loved it. One of my cousins took a huge bite, looked at me and said “I don’t know whether I should hate you or love you for this, so I’m going to just keep eating it.” You’re welcome, dear cousin. You’re welcome.
It was a wonderful cake, a wonderful day, and no better way to celebrate how much I have to be thankful for. And I am – I’m thankful for life, for love, for family and friends, and for you, dear readers.