Just about five years ago, well before I lived here, I drove up to Portland from southern California to stay with Sharin, one of my closest friends. One of the nights of our stay, her friend decided to bake us something sweet. Since there was a big bunch of delicious strawberries, he chose to alter a recipe he had liked before, a "wacky cake", and change it to one made with fresh berries. I can recall sitting on the porch on that hot summer night and having my friend come out to get me, saying "you better get inside quick, or you're not going to get any cake". When I entered the room, I found six people hovering over a cake pan in the middle of the floor with forks, picking at it to the last crumb like a bunch of vultures. Luckily I was able to get a few bites and goodness, it was scrumptious.
Thankfully the baker of this wonderful cake, Mark, was able to remember what changes he made and was nice enough to email me the recipe a few months later. The other morning I had a bunch of strawberries that needed to be used and low and behold, I decided it was time for this cake.
Wacky cake is traditionally made without milk or eggs, which is why it is believed to have been created as the result of rationing during World War II, when milk and eggs were scarce (thank you Wikipedia!). This one is obviously altered from the original, since it is usually always a chocolate cake. It is extremely moist and not unlike a sponge cake.
Feel free to bake this in whatever pan you like. I think that it works best in a regular round cake pan, but I chose to use mini bundt pans the other day and it worked out fine- Just make sure to alter the baking time accordingly.
Strawberry "Wacky" Cake: altered by Mark Ritter from How It All Vegan
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup strawberries, mashed to a pulp with a food processor or potato masher (measure after mashed)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vinegar
5 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a 8" or 9" cake pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, strawberries, vanilla, oil, and water. Add wet mixture to the dry and mix gently.
Pour into cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Test with a knife to see if done.
When cooled either glaze or dust with powdered sugar.