Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chocolate Cakes - Wedding, Bundt, Mud and Wacky

We have had lots of chocolate cake lately.
First there was chocolate wedding cake (Stephanie's favorite) and then a couple of chocolate birthday cakes for her October birthday.The picture above is chocolate bundt cake. Her stepmother made the first one up in Virginia and then I made one. I just used a moist chocolate cake mix but I put in only 2 eggs instead of 3 and I substituted strong coffee instead of water and baked it in a bundt pan. I made a simple glaze of butter, cocoa, confectioner's sugar and coffee but it was a little too thin so it just soaked right in. You can't see it but you can taste it.

The other cake I made was a version of Mississippi Mud Cake. It was also a little like Wacky Cake. I include both recipes here. Do you remember Wacky Cake? It was popular when I was a teenager because 1) it was wacky 2)it was cheap to make and 3) it tasted fantastic. I still make it sometimes because it is just enough for a square cake pan and it takes almost no ingredients to make.

Here are the somewhat modified recipes I used from a great cookbook called "A Collection of the VERY FINEST RECIPES ever assembled into one Cookbook". It was published in 1979 by Becker Publications, Inc. in Hayward, California. I think someone gave it to me. The cover is missing but it said something on the inside about the publishers being typesetters who created many, many cookbooks for various fundraisers. They picked out the best of these recipes and created this cookbook. Since I was a typesetter myself and worked on a couple of cookbooks, I was curious right away. Then I looked inside and found every old recipe I had ever tried to find. What I like best is that every recipe is someone's family favorite.

Mississippi Mud Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening (I used 2 sticks of margarine)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 Tsp. salt
2 Tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (I put this in the frosting rather than the cake)
1 large package of marshmallows (I left this out)

1 box of powdered sugar
1 stick of margarine, melted
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup evaporated milk (I just used regular milk)
1 Tsp. vanilla

Cake: Cream sugar and shortening. Beat in eggs by hand. Sift flour, cocoa and salt together. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla and nuts (or not). Pour into greased oblong cake pan and bake for 25 minutes at 300 degrees. Sprinkle cake with rows of marshmallows. Increase heat to 350 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes. (I left out the marshmallows and baked the whole thing at 325 for 25 minutes.

Frosting: Combine powdered sugar and cocoa. Add melted margarine, milk, vanilla, stir in nuts and pour over cake.

I never use a whole box of powdered sugar. I just use a lot more than I'm really comfortable with until the frosting is the right texture. This makes a wonderful fudgey glaze on top of the cake.

Wacky Cake

1 cup of sugar
3 Tbs. cocoa
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 cup cold water
6 Tbs. cooking oil
1 Tbs. vinegar
1 Tsp. vanilla

Stir dry ingredients together into an 8" x 8" baking pan. Make 3 holes in dry ingredients. Put vinegar in one hole; oil in one hole, and vanilla in the last hole. Pour cold water over all and stir with a fork until moistened. Do not beat. Bake 25 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Leave in pan and frost.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs. cocoa
2 Tbs. melted butter
2 Tbs. milk or evaporated milk
1 pinch salt


  1. Wacky Cake! Are we the only two people on earth that still remember Wacky Cake? I still make it and love it. Sometimes I don't even bother to frost it. How can anything that simple be so good? I hope everyone who reads this makes one.

  2. I almost never frost it either. Glad you remember it, too.