About two years ago I stumbled over this recipe on Instructables and I have made it about once a week since then. It’s easy and reliable. It’s also unashamedly vegan and yet delicious. Just make sure you stir it very gently.
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp malt vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup warm water
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. You’re supposed to sift dry ingredients for this sort of cake, but I don’t even own a sifter. I just hand the dry ingredients to my five-year-old daughter to measure out while I turn on the oven and get out the cake tins.
It works best if you mix all the dry ingredients lightly together, then add the liquids and very gently combine them by scraping the sides of the bowl and folding them together. The lighter your touch, the better your cake.
Once the batter is mixed, pour it into a cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. The time it takes will depend on the shape and size tin you’re using. You can reduce the water in the mixture to make the cake cook more quickly, but you need at least 3/4 cup of water. Be really careful not to overcook – like most vegan cakes it will turn dry and a little rubbery if it goes over. Undercook it and it’ll be moist or even a little gooey in the middle.
This cake batter also makes perfectly acceptable cupcakes, and these will cook in 12-20 minutes depending on the size.