Improve "Crazy" chocolate cake recipe, anyone?

Does anyone else have a recipe -- probably depression era -- for a chocolate cake that doesn't have eggs or butter? My grandmother gave me the recipe -- two times! -- before she died. But it's not the same when I make it -- it's not as rich or as chocolate-y. Should I just put in more cocoa? Chocolate chips? Any suggestions? I usually cover it with a ganache to finesse the fact that the cake itself isn't as delicious as hers was.

I'd love to make it for my grandfather's 97th birthday in a few weeks, but I want it to be fabulous!

Here's the original recipe: 1 1/2 c. flour; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1 cup sugar; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 3 Tablespoon cocoa; 1 Tablespoon vinegar; 6 Tablespoon oil; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1 cup cold water

  • Posted by: ERoth
  • August 30, 2019


Lori T. September 1, 2019
I inherited a similar recipe from my grandmother and mother. Ours calls for using cold coffee instead of water though. I usually make up a cup of espresso to use, and find it works well to enhance the chocolate flavor without giving you a coffee flavor. I also use a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder- the natural sort, not the dutched varieties.
ERoth October 22, 2019
Thank you!
boulangere August 31, 2019
Vanilla tends to boost the perception chocolatiness, so I'd suggest doubling it to 2 teaspoons. Also consider increasing the cocoa to 4 tablespoons, which is equal to 1/4 cup. The teaspoon of baking soda should be adequate to the increase.
ERoth October 22, 2019
Thank you!
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