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Grandma’s Crazy Cake

July 9, 2011

Sometimes life needs to slow down a bit.  You know, simplify itself.  Like since when did taking your kids to see fireworks for Independence Day become so involved, so complicated?  When I was a kid (hehe I love saying that!)  the Fourth of July involved a lazy afternoon barbeque with friends dropping by here and there finished off with a marshmallow roast and some fireworks in the backyard.  Simple.  Perfect.  For some reason I was accused of being lame this year when I dragged my feet at the thought of taking the kids out for fireworks.  It will also probably be the last year I’m accused of being lame 🙂  Against all my arguments I packed the 3 little ones into the car and headed out for the 30 minute drive.  So first, they all fell asleep about 10 minutes into it (this had nothing to do with the fact that their usual bedtime is at 8PM).  It’s OK, we’ll wake them up.  We get 5 minutes away and the fireworks start…20 minutes early…it was still light outside.  We spent the next 20 minutes navigating mass crowds of people walking down to the river, finding a spot where we could still catch some of the fireworks (someone insisted we could see them at a park on a hill a mile or so away…yes, you could, 10 years ago before the trees grew in) and parking.  Yeah, we caught 1 minute of the grand finale while waiting at a traffic light.  We then spent another 20 minutes trying to get out of the traffic we had just put ourselves in. So in total I spent just over 2 hours attempting to be a non-lame parent and ended up seeing 1 minute of fireworks and then had to explain to my kids at midnight as we’re putting them to bed finally why they had not seen any fireworks.  Reason number 352 why life needs to just slow down and simplify itself.

So I said all that to bring you a perfect summer barbeque dessert at its simplest. Just to clarify this is Grandma’s Crazy Cakenot Grandma’s crazy cake.  My Grandma was anything but crazy 🙂  I don’t have a story behind this recipe, we just grew up eating it every summer.  It doesn’t need much, just a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a dollop of cream and some berries.  It’s light, moist, not too dark, not too sweet, and can be cut in squares, thrown in a tupperware container and brought to any picnic or barbeque.  I hope you have a simply wonderful summer 🙂

whisk together the dry ingredients

add the wet ingredients

pour the batter into a 9×13 pan and bake

crazy easy

crazy yummy

crazy addictive

Grandma’s Crazy Cake
Yields 12 servings


1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (white)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Butter and flour the bottom and sides of the pan and shake excess flour out.  Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  In another small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup combine water, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and  bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Place the pan on a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.  Serve with a dusting of confectioners sugar or with fresh whipped cream and berries.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2011 2:10 pm

    Very yummy looking cake I have to say. It looks incredibly moist and chocolaty. Definitely buzzing this 🙂

  2. July 9, 2011 3:36 pm

    It’s a family favorite with all your western relatives too! Chris makes it for his boys birthdays every year.

  3. July 9, 2011 4:12 pm

    Looks good! Yummy!

  4. July 9, 2011 6:25 pm

    Yummy this cake looks delicious!! 🙂

  5. July 9, 2011 6:55 pm

    Sitting down with family and friends to eat this cake rates far better in my book than the non rewarding hassel of getting to a good place to see the fireworks! Delicious cake-yum!

  6. July 12, 2011 12:18 am

    It is crazy good 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  7. July 12, 2011 10:12 pm

    It was very Yummy!!! My husband and I loved it! In fact, he had more than one piece~!

  8. I luv sweets permalink
    June 22, 2013 3:02 pm

    this looks so deliciously moist and inviting! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

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