When I was freshly diagnosed with my dairy allergy, I was lamenting to a friend that my days of cake were behind me. Not so fast, she said. You've gotta try this recipe for "Amazon Cake." No dairy needed. Well, I've no idea what part of the "Amazon" this thing hails from, but tongue firmly planted in cheek, I gave it a whirl and added some geographic flair.
Chocolate-chile Spiked Snack Cake
If you recall the boxed "Snakin' Cake" of the '70s this is something like that. Needs no frosting. A dusting of confectioner's sugar if you like. Or ice it, you could even make a double batch and frost it. Here, I've added a hint of heat, a bit of Kahlua, and some espresso. You may easily omit all three - using a full 1C of water. Ancho chile is a mild chile with chocolatey undertones, it pairs well with chocolate.
Making with or for kids, simply omit the chile and Kahlua. You could pretend that dusting it with confectioner's sugar is making it snow!
- 1 ½ cups sifted flour (I use 1 C AP and 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
- 1 C cold water minus 1 TBSP
- 1 TBSP Kahlua
- 5 tablespoons corn oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt. If using, include espresso powder, chile here.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, measure 1C of cold water, replace 1 TBSP of it with 1 TBSP of Kahlua, if using.
- Whisk together the oil, vanilla and vinegar with the water.
- Whisk into the dry ingredients, blending until completely lump-free.
- Pour into a greased 9-inch round cake pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed gently. Cool before removing from pan (yes this matters) and dusting with confectioners’ sugar, or frosting if desired.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.