Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Cheap And Cheerful Cake

sues cakeSue, over at The Quince Tree published this excellent recipe earlier  in the week. Apparently it dates from the Depression era in the USA. Like many WW2 cake recipes, it uses bicarb and vinegar in place of eggs. Without the icing, it is a vegan cake.

This makes about 16 pieces depending on how big you cut them! Grease an 8'' (20cm) square or a 9''(22cm) square cake tin with butter, marg or oil. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven)

Mix together in a bowl

  • 1½ cups/9oz/250g plain flour
  • 1 cup/9oz/250g granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ cup/ 1oz/30g/4 tablespoons cocoa powder


  • 1 cup/8fl oz/240ml water
  • ⅓ cup/3fl oz/90ml/ 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar (any will do)

Mix well and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 30-35 mins.  Leave to cool before turning out. Ice if liked once it is completely cool. [Buttercream made with 3oz of butter, 6oz of icing sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk and a dash of vanilla extract]

Sue’s Suggested Variations
To make a plain cake omit the cocoa powder but increase the amount of flour by ¼cup/1oz/30g
Add chopped nuts or a handful of desiccated coconut. Glacé cherries, chocolate chips or dried fruit are other possibilities. Instant espresso powder added to the batter and the icing makes a lovely coffee cake.


Here’s my cake – before I cut it into 16 squares. I replaced one teaspoon of water with a tsp of Camp Coffee Essence, and made my icing with a dash of Camp rather than vanilla . I only used 2oz butter and 4oz of icing sugar, as I didn’t want it to too thick. And I topped it with walnut pieces.

It was really quick and easy to make, using ingredients from the store cupboard. I used the cup measures. The cake turned out beautifully moist. I couldn’t really taste the coffee in the sponge, maybe I should have omitted the cocoa from the sponge and just used flour. The icing was definitely coffee flavoured.

Thank you for this one, Sue!


  1. I'm going to try this cake. It sound delicious.

  2. I think I shall try your coffee version as well as the original chocolate one that Sue shared as I can see my girls liking both!

  3. I wish now I had put a few chopped walnuts into the batter - but I didn't think of it till it was in the oven!!

  4. I am planning on making this on saturday. I often make a coffee cake and lately have had to double the amount of Camp Coffee that I use to get a decent flavour. I have bought some instant espresso and will try making a strong mix of that up for the next one.

  5. Looks wonderful! As soon as I make some vegan friends, I'm baking it!


  6. I admire your restraint when it comes to icing Angela!
    Glad you liked it and thanks for the mention.

  7. Sounds great, I'm going to try it.

  8. Mmmm, sounds nice! I'd like to make a chocolate cake!! If only I could be bothered!x

    1. It only took about 45 minutes - I made the icing whilst the cake was cooking., so it was ready to spread on once the cake had cooled. I am sure CBC would love it.

    2. It only took about 45 minutes - I made the icing whilst the cake was cooking., so it was ready to spread on once the cake had cooled. I am sure CBC would love it.


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