Throw away your box mixes. This cake is super easy (so much so that I have been known to whip up a batch of cupcakes just for the hell of it).
This recipe dates back to the Depression Era – hence why it is called Poverty Cake, no one could afford eggs or butter. I got this recipe from my dear friend Beth, via her Aunt Joan.
I have posted the original recipe and then below my variations including cupcakes, layer cakes, funny shaped pan instructions and the Mexican chocolate poverty cake. Also below are chocolate and vanilla frosting recipes.
The cake pictured was for my nephew’s 5th birthday, it is the poverty cake recipe and the vanilla frosting recipe listed. We decided to make it vegan because our youngest nephew can’t have soy, dairy or eggs. (It was a hit! He ate his cupcake using the plastic dinosaur as a fork… so adorable! Love that kid!)
Poverty Cake (original recipe):
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp white/cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly in an 8×8 glass pan. You do not need to grease the pan. Yes, really.
2. Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl or Pyrex measuring cup (which makes the next step easier).
3. Make three divets in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the divets.
4. Carefully fold the mixture until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed. Make sure to get the edges, bottom and corners of the pan all incorporated. Add chocolate chips during the folding if using. DO NOT OVER MIX.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick, if it come out clean, you are good.
IT IS A VEGAN CAKE SO IT WILL DRY OUT QUICKLY. I live in a dry state so this happens faster than most places. This cake is best the day of or the day after but be sure to store in air tight containers or cover with a tight layer of plastic wrap.
Okay so an 8×8 is great but what about a layer cake? Batch o’ cupcakes? T-rex pan?
The original Poverty Cake recipe is the equivalent of a one-layer 8/9″ round cake.
If you are using an odd pan, follow the directions of said odd pan – ie. The Wondermold pan (aka barbie skirt pan) used as the volcano above took a double recipe of poverty cake and I followed time and temperature on the pan instructions. I haven’t had an issue with doing this with various odd sized or shaped pans, comes out perfect every time.
VERY IMPORTANT: No matter which pan I am doing, I always follow three rules for a perfect poverty cake:
1. Baking pans other than an 8×8 glass pan get a spray of non-stick baking spray.
2. Always make 3 divets in the dry no matter how many recipes worth I am making.
3. Fold fold fold and do not over mix.
Below is a chart for cupcakes and rounds, amount of recipe and time needed to bake (this is all done at 350 degrees):
||TIME TO BAKE
|two, 8″ or 9″ rounds
Mexican chocolate poverty cake:
Replace 1/4 cup cocoa with a 1/4 cup Mexican cocoa (available at Savory)
FROSTING! These lovely frosting recipes are from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. These taste better than the damn Wilton frosting recipe or tub o’ frosting, plus they work well for decorating and are easily made soy-free if needed.
Vanilla frosting (single recipe, enough for 12 cupcakes):
1/2 cup shotening
1/2 cup margarine
3 1/2 cups confectioner sugar*
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup soymilk/soy creamer or other dairy-free milk (hazelnut milk works really well)
Chocolate frosting (single recipe, enough for 12 cupcakes):
1/4 cup shotening
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup unsweetned cocoa powder**
2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar*
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
3 Tbsp soymilk/soy creamer or other dairy-free milk (hazelnut milk works really well)
1. In a mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip together shortening and margarine.
2. Add all the other liquid ingredients.
3. Slowly add confectioner sugar (and cocoa if doing chocolate frosting) in small batches.
4. Once all the sugar is incorporated, set your mixer to high. This will add air and create the super fluffy creamy frosting.
*to make your own confectioner sugar (commercial confectioner sugar is not vegan): add one cup of granulated sugar and 1 Tbsp of cornstarch in a coffee grinder – grind on finest mode – empty in container and repeat until you have enough confectioner sugar – then clean out your coffee grinder so your husband isn’t upset over the mess you made. 😉 Store any extra in an air tight container.
**for Mexican chocolate frosting replace 1/2 or all of the cocoa powder with Mexican cocoa.
Other things I have made with these recipes are Ho-Ho Cupcakes with a whipped coconut cream filling and topped with a chocolate ganache and a 4-layer Mocha Cake with Chocolate Crumble.
FOR HOW TO MAKE THE CAKE LISTED ABOVE GO TO: https://goodveganfood.wordpress.com/how-to-make-a-volcano-cake