Kidlet's birthday was this past week. He was looking forward to it for weeks. BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY. Why? These vegan crazycake cupcakes. OMG.
I've been making this extremely frugal depression-era recipe for years now, initially because the only major allergen in it is wheat. But crazily enough, it's become the favourite of chocoholics and family members. My husband's uncle will eat three helpings in one sitting. We're not allowed to buy chocolate sheet cakes anymore--they're too sweet. I'm serious. Everyone goes crazy for this decadent, rich chocolate crazycake, proving that there was actually more to the name than simply that someone was crazy for making an amazing cake that shockingly required no eggs or milk.
Allow me to share with you a TRUE STORY of exactly HOW CRAZY this chocolate cake makes people (e.g. my son), before I share the half-size cupcake-optimized version of the recipe:
6 AM: *kid comes running in our room, hubs and I pretend to be asleep*
6:15: *kid comes running in our room, hubs and I pretend to be asleep*
6:30: *kid comes running in our room, hubs and I pretend to be asleep*
6:45: *kid comes running in our room, hubs and I give up and wish him a happy birthday*
6:49: Are you going to make me crazy cake now?
7:00: Make me cake now?
(me): No, later.
7:03: Daddy, I'm sad cause mommy won't make me crazycake.
7:15: I am so excited! CAKE!
7:20: Cake cake cake cake cake...
7:25: ...CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE ....
(me): GO PLAY MINECRAFT, I'LL MAKE CAKE LATER.
8:30: Are you going to make it n--?
8:45: MOM. YOU PROMISED TO MAKE ME CHOCOLATE CRAZYCAKE.
(me): FOR THE SAKE OF THE ENTIRE PANTHEON, THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER, AND ELVIS ON BURNT TOAST, CAN WE GET TO 9 AM BEFORE YOU START HAVING TO BE A BAG TO ME ABOUT CAKE? IHAVENTEVENHADMYTEAYET.
9:01: MOM IT'S 9AM. Can you make my cake now?
(me): *pretends not to hear*
9:10: HOW ABOUT NOW?
(me): *pretends not to hear*
9:20: MAMMA CAN YOU MAKE MY CRAZYCAKE NOW? I WANT TO EAT THE BATTER.
(me): Not for breakfast.
9:30: YOU NEED TO BE NICE TO ME CAUSE ITS MY BIRTHDAY AND I SHOULD GET WHATEVER I WANT.
(me): *gives up all hope of getting anything else done today until I make &#!&$@# cake.*
10:20: *Cake IS IN THE OVEN. Gives kid the bowl of batter and flees the country.*
(OK I didn't flee the country. But I did consider it.)
10:22: Is it done yet? *still licking bowl*
10:23: Don't forget to put icing on it.
10:24: You're going to make icing, right?
11:00: *Bowl of batter is beyond gone. Kid tries to use fingernails to scrape out tiny micro-particles of remaining chocolate crazycake batter. This sounds like nails on a chalkboard, so I take the bowl away from him.*
11:01: Can I taste-test a cupcake?
11:02: When are you going to frost them?
(me): They have to cool.
*kid discovers spoon I used to mix crazycake batter on the counter and flees with it. I say nothing out of fear he'll come back.*
11:28: *Discover chocolate fingerprints everywhere, on everything. End up in straitjacket.*
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cups brown sugar (white granulated will also work just fine)*
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder or cacao powder
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp light olive oil or canola oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cold water
* If you've subbed for the Stevia baking replacer successfully, let me know in comments.
Start to preheat oven to 350F and drop 12 paper liners into the holes of a standard-sized cupcake tin.
In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients until well mixed. Using the spoon, create three "wells" for the oil, the vinegar, and the vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to their respective wells, then pour the water over the top of everything. BY HAND with the spoon (or a spatula) stir until everything is well mixed and you have a slightly bubbly, pudding-like batter. Let the kids have the bowl (it's OK! No raw eggs).
Immediately portion out into the 12 cupcake tin liners, and set to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes pass the clean toothpick test.
Cool and frost if you like--Nicole has a vegan chocolate frosting that is thick, or there are vegan ganaches. You can also dust these cupcakes traditionally with powdered icing sugar.