According to that ultra-reliable resource, Wikipedia, wacky cake was created out of necessity due to the rationing of eggs, milk, and butter during World War Two. I think it would be interesting to ask someone of that era if they ever baked wacky cake because they lacked everyday staples. Once again I’m reminded of the abundance I have at my disposal and do not want to take that for granted.
In spite of a packed fridge, I tried out this bare bones chocolate cake. Admittedly, I topped it with some goodies to jazz it up a bit, but Jim and I enjoyed it and I would bake it again.
Due to copyright laws, I can’t copy the entire recipe for you, but, as always, it’s just a click away. And, as usual, I tweaked it to better suit my preferences.
Recipe My Substitution
vegetable oil homemade applesauce
1 cup of sugar 1/2 cup of sucanant (unrefined sugar)
all purpose flour white whole wheat flour
I used to be a slave to recipes. Can you relate? If I didn’t have a prescribed ingredient, I’d run to the store (which is easy to do when you live in small towns). I gradually started substituting so I wouldn’t have to go buy something. Now I view recipes as suggestions and replace ingredients with healthy choices that I have in the pantry.
One Wikipedia explanation I read regarding the origin of wacky cake involved a little boy that ran into the kitchen and asked his Mom what she was baking. She bemoaned that the refrigerator was rather bare and dessert would be made a little different that evening, void of eggs and butter. He exclaimed, “What a wacky cake!”
Maybe when we cook, we should challenge ourselves with how wacky we can make our desserts. Wacky with strange sounding ingredients like sucanant, wacky without calorie dense oils, wacky with healthier flours that are different to our taste, wacky because our recipes may need to look a bit foreign in order to eat well.