Happy May Two-Four

Ahhh...summertime and the living is easy. At least, it will be for the next six months in Canada. Today is Victoria Day, a national holiday celebrated in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. This holiday is always celebrated the third Monday in May, and usually falls on or around May 24th. Thus, we affectionately call Victoria Day, 'May Two-Four'. Well, partly for the date, and also for the fact that a lot of 2-4's (cases of beer) are indulged in to mark the official start of Canadian summer. It's definitely a day for celebrating!

Beer aside, Canadians really appreciate summer. I have friends currently mapping out every weekend, trying to squeeze in every drop of warm weather fun possible. Personally, I like to sit back and just relax, which sums up how I spent my day in the sun. Unfortunately, it means I didn't really do much cooking, and also little writing. Fear not my friends, as I did manage to put together a delicious tribute to her Majesty, in the form of a chocolate cake.

I became intrigued with Crazy Cake a few months ago, after stumbling across it on AllRecipes.com. I admit, my nerd senses just had to know what was so crazy about this cake, particularly since it had 5 stars. It is a recipe that has its origins from the era of the Great Depression, when ingredients like eggs, butter and milk were in short supply. In the picture, it appeared to be a rich, fluffy, chocolate cake like the kind I've been trying to perfect for my husband, who absolutely loves chocolate cake. 

So, I decided to give this old recipe the test, and see if comments like 'this is the cake I make when I want chocolate cake', and 'wonderfully moist and flavourful' were apt. A quick look at the ingredients, and I was skeptical:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water

  • Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing. 

  • Vinegar?! I had just discovered the 'crazy' part of this list. Then, after thinking, I put it together - it's the reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda that provides the leavening quality that eggs would give. It also helps retain moisture in the cake, because I must say, the finished product reminded me of those old commercials: "there's pudding in the mix!" It's too bad "it's got vinegar in the mix!" just doesn't have the same appeal. Nonetheless, it was easy to put together, taking 10 minutes. I used a silicone bundt pan, which required baking the cake for about an hour. It popped out of the pan perfectly, and while warm, I drizzled a chocolate glaze over the top. The little nerd was so impressed, he took the pictures - not bad for a four year old:

The final test proved to be too much for my waist. Crazy cake is crazy delicious. It is very moist, light, chocolatey, but not too sweet. In fact, one piece rings in at 250 calories, making it a 'lighter' chocolate indulgence. My best friend LibbyLou just called and exclaimed that this was 'the best F*^&$^%g chocolate cake I've ever had - and I don't even like chocolate cake!'. It's hard to argue that point.

I therefore deem Crazy Cake fit for the Queen, although I think the real queen was the savvy cook of the Depression era who put this masterpiece together. She deserves to be celebrated!


  1. oooh...I've been wanting to make a cake. This will be "the one". Rosemary

  2. Hey kit. nerd thanks for this simple recipe. It looks great. I will definitely give it a try asap as I am absolutely sick of terrible store cakes that are either sickly sweet or taste like chalk or both. I might try to source some interesting cocoa to add a flash of chocolaty brilliance. Thanks, your f/b friend ~MV

  3. OMG Carrie!! This post makes me feel like a kid again! I used to have so much fun with this cake, making the 3 wells and pouring the different liquids into each LOL When I was 12 and just getting into the kitchen, I used to screw up so many cake recipes and ended up binning most of them - they were just terrible :P Crazy Cake though,never failed me! Not once. Think I'll do this again, with my son, for old time's sake ;)

  4. Thankfully, Avery couldn't eat all of his so I got to finish it for him!
    I told my MIL about it. SHe said HER grandmother use to make that cake.

  5. I will attempt to make this...how could I not! Sounds delicious....Bet Chris was your biggest fan...or was it Kitty??


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