This Crazy Chocolate Olive Oil Cake recipe has stayed with me through all the stages of my life as an easy, go to chocolate cake. It’s also called, “Wacky Cake” or “Chocolate Depression Cake.” It mixes up in one bowl and is a delicious dairy free chocolate cake. Super easy and super delicious!
Why so crazy? Well, let’s start at the beginning, which was when I was in sixth grade…(That’s right, sixth grade…so you might want to go get yourself a drink or something :)
I had a friend who was already in middle school and she was taking home economics. She told me about this new recipe they made, called, “Crazy Cake.”
She said it was a super easy cake to make and it was really delicious. As a passionate, but novice baker, I was excited to try it, so she gave me the recipe.
Why is it called, “Crazy Cake”?
The first reason why this cake is crazy is because you don’t even need a bowl to make it! You can mix it up in the same pan you bake it in!
You just whisk together your dry ingredients, then make three holes and add your oil to one, vinegar to another and finally vanilla to the last one.
Then you pour water over all of it and mix it up and bake it. Anyway, that’s how you’re supposed to do it.
The recipe she gave me on a little slip of paper, however, did not say to mix it up.
And I, being a dutiful rule follower, did not mix it up.
I even went against the advice of any clear thinking adult in the room because I thought the whole reason it was crazy was because you just poured the water over all of those dry ingredients and baked it and out popped a delicious chocolate cake! #fantasybaking
And what do you think popped out of the oven? Yep, a big wet pan of flour, water and all of the other ingredients that never were incorporated.
It was clear this cake needed some mixing. But it was too late. It was a soggy hot mess of cake ingredients. It was such an easy cake to make, I decided to try it again, this time, writing “MIX UNTIL WELL BLENDED” at the bottom of the recipe in my best 6th grade penmanship.
This time, out popped a fluffy, moist, delicious chocolate cake! I’m not certain, but it might have been the first cake I ever made by myself.
I never frosted it. We (my brothers and sisters) could barely wait for that. We liked eating it warm out of the oven plain or with just a dusting of powdered sugar.
The second reason why this cake is crazy is because I’ve taken it through an update and am now using olive oil in it!
Of course, the olive oil is perfect in it! I love using olive oil whenever possible because I prefer it’s health benefits. And, if we’re eating cake, we might as well add a few health benefits if we can, right?
Oh, and then I added espresso powder, because I have it in my pantry and try to use it every time I’m baking something chocolate. The espresso powder really enhances the chocolate flavor.
Who knew this recipe would also save me when I started baking for vegan friends?
That’s right, the third reason this cake is crazy is because it needs no dairy based ingredients! (Okay, so maybe that should have been the first reason…)
Anyway, you can make it even if you have no eggs, no butter, no milk on hand!
But I……I had heavy cream and chocolate on hand :) and therefore, I knew I would be making ganache. As I mentioned, I actually rarely frost this cake.
But this time, yes this time, there was going to be ganache! I could hardly wait to pour that luscious chocolatey goodness all over the cake.
I didn’t wait for the ganache to cool.
As soon as it became glossy and wonderful, onto the cake it went!
You’ll see some of the shots of cake pieces have glossy ganache and some of the shots are after it set up to a more fudgy frosting. Soooo good either way!
And if you’re me, and the ganache has already set up, you take a piece and warm it for a few seconds in the microwave and have warm hot fudge cake with a scoop of ice cream. Definitely a winning move. Trust me on that.
Or, be like my daughter who didn’t want it warmed up; she ate the cake first, having pulled the full layer of fudgy ganache off in one big sheet to save for last. #fathersdaughter
This Crazy Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is crazy indeed. It’s an old cake (much older than I) and there are more than a few recipes with various names out there for it.
This one is crazy easy, crazy delicious and here’s the thing…I don’t do the whole mix it up in one pan anymore (what?!?)
I must have been scarred by that first attempt years ago, or perhaps I’ve baked too many scratch cakes. I prefer to just mix up the dry, mix up the wet then combine them for the best result.
So, let’s just say I don’t follow the directions. Yep, I’m a rebel now, carving out my own path and writing my own rules…
I know. Crazy, right?