There has been a copy of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook in my house for as long as I can remember. You know the one…It’s bright red, with white lettering, and regardless of the edition, features over 1000 recipes from green bean casserole, to New York cheesecake.
The first one I recall seeing was my Grandma’s tattered and well loved 1950 edition. Then there was my Mum’s hardcover, published in the1980s. And now I have my very own copy, the soft cover, with a spiral spine. (Of course I have my Grandma’s original tucked away safely for nostalgia’s sake.)
According to my Gran, recipes such as this one were a staple in war-time kitchens everywhere. Since fresh groceries were of high value, and often in low supply, it was common to bake with recipes that didn’t require valuable commodities such as butter and eggs. In modern times, baking without these items is more likely to be a lifestyle choice, or dietary consideration, rather than necessity. In my case, I often bake to accommodate the needs and likes of my friends. There are a few vegetarians, several vegans, and one who cannot eat too much protein.
And so, with its lack of eggs, milk or butter, this “accidentally vegan” cake recipe is easily the most well loved page in my Betty Crocker cookbook. (The drips of batter, and spills that adorn the page serve as proof.) – Tita Suicide (a.k.a. @Cupcakedujour)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white or cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water
*I often substitute wheat-free flour in this recipe, and it comes out just as nicely!
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch round pan or 8-inch square pan with shortening; lightly flour.
3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, stir oil, vinegar and vanilla until well mixed. Vigorously stir oil mixture and oil into flour mixture about 1 minute or until well blended. Immediately pour into pan.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.
5. Top / decorate as desired.
6. As prepared (without frosting), each serving contains 230 calories, 10g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 37g total carbohydrate and 3g protein.
If you’re in the Seattle area this weekend you can experience more of Tita Suicide’s hospitality at Lo-Fi on April 1st at the SuicideGirls Take The Northwest soiree to mark the closing night of Emerald City Comic Con. Full details can be found here.