We celebrated my son’s birthday recently, and one of the boys attending his party is allergic to eggs. I’d been planning to make a chocolate cake, and I remembered a recipe we used to make years ago from Peg Bracken’s hilarious I Hate to Cook Book. She called it “Cockeyed Cake,” and the recipe relies on a combination of vinegar and baking soda for leavening instead of eggs. Sounds weird, I know, but the resulting cake is moist and chocolatey, with absolutely no hint of the odd ingredients. It’s also super easy to make.
When we brought the cake out and I whispered to my son’s friend that the cake didn’t include eggs, his face brightened and he said, “This is a first!”
Rich, Fudgy Chocolate Cake Recipe with No Eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and lightly grease a 9- by 13-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Use a spoon to make three wells in the flour mixture. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour the cold water over all, and stir well until the batter is smooth. I use a small silicone spatula to scrape and stir the bowl.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. (This cake sometimes dips a little in the middle when it cools. If that happens, you can either use a sharp knife to carve off some of the top of the cake to even things up, or fill the indentation with frosting, or just not worry about it.) Makes 12 to 15 servings.
Since this was a kids’ chocolate cake, I made a simple chocolate ganache glaze from milk chocolate chips, cream and butter. You can use semisweet or dark chocolate chips for an adult dessert, and you can can also substitute brandy or liqueur for the vanilla.
Simple Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting Recipe
1 cup heavy cream
1 12-ounce package milk or semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pour the cream in a small saucepan, and heat over medium until it comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Let sit for a minute or two, and then stir until the chips are melted. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the vanilla and stir. Allow the ganache to sit for about two hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Pour over the cake and let it sit, undisturbed, until it sets.
I topped the cake with Talenti Peppermint Bark Gelato (slogan: “Better ingredients make happy spoons”), which happens to be egg-free as well.