Sometimes you just want a little bit of cake. Nothing fancy or fussy, just moist chocolate cake, with a few chocolate chips, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Yes you could add frosting and sprinkles and fancy it up, but it's not necessary. This is one of those old fashioned snack cakes, made popular in times of scarcity. There's no milk or eggs in the batter so when your cupboards are relatively bare you'll still know you can satisfy that sweet tooth. The main liquid is water and you can substitute coffee or orange juice if that's what you like with your chocolate. It's a one bowl cake that relies heavily on the flavor of your cocoa powder so use the good stuff. I prefer Cacao Barry Extra Brut, I buy it in bulk on Amazon and use it for everything. And of course, if you don't have butter hand you can substitute vegetable or coconut oil. It's a very flexible recipe that makes a tender cake with a clear chocolate flavor that brings me back to my childhood.
Easy Chocolate Snack Cake
1 1/2 cups / 225 grams all purpose flour
1 cup / 200 grams sugar
1/3 cup / 75 grams cocoa powder
1 teaspoon / 5 grams baking soda
1/2 teaspoon / 3 grams fine sea salt
1/3 cup / 75 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon / 15 grams vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon / 4 grams vinegar
1 cup / 225 grams cold water
1/2 cup / 85 grams bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°F. (165°C.)
Butter or lightly oil an 8-inch square baking dish.
Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend thoroughly. Add the melted butter, vinegar, and vanilla and mix lightly to blend. Add the water and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture forms a smooth, shiny batter, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the cake is set and springs back lightly when pressed gently with a finger or a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.