Alison Holst's Crazy Cake

9:00 pm on 2 August 2004

This easy (school holiday?) cake is made without eggs, butter, milk or an eggbeater! Its surprisingly good texture and interesting flavour make it well worth trying!

Makes a 20cm square cake.


  • 1½ cups standard (plain) flour
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp each cinnamon and powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


Heat oven to 190°C (180°C fanbake), with the rack just below the middle. Line the bottom and two opposite sides of a 20cm square pan with baking paper. Butter and flour the uncovered sides of the pan, or coat with non-stick spray.

Sift the first six ingredients through a sieve over a fairly large bowl. Stir in the sugar with a fork, leaving a depression in the centre. Measure the oil and add it to the dry ingredients, without stirring. Add the vinegar and vanilla to the measured water, then tip them into the flour-oil mixture. Stir with the fork until the mixture is smooth and no dry lumps remain.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until the centre of the cake springs back when pressed, and a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Leave cake in the pan for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Dust with sieved icing sugar. Serve cut in squares for dessert. Top with whipped cream and fresh or partly thawed raspberries; sliced drained canned peaches; or sliced bananas and raspberry jam.

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