Super-Easy Chocolate Cake

Need a chocolate cake in a hurry? No mixer is required—just two bowls, a whisk, and a rubber spatula. This cake contains no eggs or dairy, making it vegan as well. Sift the cocoa powder before measuring to remove any lumps.

Makes one 9 x 13-inch base cake (about 13 cups crumbs)


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup sifted natural cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups room-temperature water

2/3 cup flavorless vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of a 9 x 13-inch rectangular pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.

3. Whisk together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla in a medium bowl.

4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously until combined and smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

5. Bake of r about 25 minute, or until a toothpick inserted in the center shows a few moist crumbs when removed. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. The cake is ready to use. Alternatively, double-wrap the pan in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day before proceeding.

Note: For ease of preparation, I make this in my stand mixer, but you can get perfectly fine results if you whisk briskly by hand.