I've been following along with many of the ideas from this list of Lenten practices this year, and one of the best ones so far has been Day 25, bake a cake! I'm not sure if baking is exactly a spiritual practice for me, but I definitely appreciated the excuse to do more of it! Since I didn't have a ton of extra time, I turned to the 'hasty cakes' section of Vintage Cakes. I love Julie Richardson for providing this section - it's so great for those occasions when I want to quickly find a recipe that will be simple to prepare. This recipe is both easy and fun - you get to make a little cocoa-baking soda-boiling water volcano in your mixing bowl! The resulting cake is super moist with a mild chocolate flavor, and the leftovers keep well. This isn't over-the-top chocolate-y, although you could certainly add a ganache glaze if you want to take it in that direction. It reminds me of the flavor of a Texas sheet cake, so it has an old-fashioned, nostalgic flavor, at least to me (Texas sheet cake is a favorite of my grandma's). I definitely give it two big thumbs up!
Easy Chocolate Bundt Cake (adapted from Vintage Cakes)
Makes 1 cake, serving 8-10
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and place it on a large rimmed baking sheet to make it easy to take in and out of the oven.
2. Whisk together the cocoa and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the boiling water. Add the butter cubes, and whisk until they are melted. Whisk in the oil. Set aside to cool while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk the egg mixture into the cocoa mixture. Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold together with a rubber spatula, stirring to just combine - a few lumps are okay.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.
6. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, and then invert onto a serving plate.