Orange Chocolate One-Pan Cake (and Spoon With Me Turns Two!)

Oh, Valentines day…For the young, a day of greeting cards with candy hearts and glitter covered shoeboxes and sugar-powered antics.  For the old(er), it’s a day some love to hate for it’s commercialism and schmaltz, and for others, a day to show love with thoughtful gestures, and of course, good food.  For me, it’s become a milestone of a different kind.  Two years ago today, I published my first post on a little blog called Spoon With Me.

If Spoon With Me were in a relationship, it would be snuggling on the couch watching Netflix on a Tuesday night.  If my blog were a toddler, it’s favorite word would be a toss-up between “no!” and “mine!”.  If Spoon were a student, it would have just earned it’s associates degree. However, I have a feeling that Spoon’s going for a PhD, and in that case, we’re just getting started!

Thank you for reading, cooking, and cozying up with me in the kitchen this past two years–may we have many more adventures together in year three!

Orange Chocolate One-Pan Cake

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Makes one 8″ round cake (I doubled the recipe as part of a little experiment)

The one-pan cake, a.k.a, the “wacky cake” was born in the depression era to be made without milk or egg ingredients.  In my version, I added whole wheat pastry flour (not to be mistaken with regular whole wheat flour), and orange zest.   It comes together quickly, and emerges from the oven moist, and scented with a slight tinge of bitter orange.  As always, feel free to add put your own spin on the recipe–I imagine it would be heavenly with the addition of a handful of dark chocolate chips, or drizzled with an orange powdered sugar glaze.  

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • grated zest from 2 medium oranges (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  • oil or butter for greasing

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Grease an 8″ round cake pan that is at least 2″ deep with the oil or butter.  Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, espresso powder, and orange zest into the cake pan and whisk until combined.  Don’t worry if there are tiny lumps of cocoa powder remaining.

Create three wells in the dry ingredients.  Pour the oil into one well, the vinegar in the second well, and the vanilla into the third.  Pour the cup of cold water over everything and whisk well until combined.  Use a spatula to incorporate any remaining dry ingredients from the bottom and sides of the pan.

Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes until set, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist, but clean of crumbs.  Sift powdered sugar over top to serve.



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4 responses to “Orange Chocolate One-Pan Cake (and Spoon With Me Turns Two!)

  1. Happy Birthday, Spoon With Me! It’s better than ever. Now it just needs to be discovered by the masses of ill-fed, under-inspired minions, longing to taste and see FOOD FABULOUS!

  2. Maria O'Brien

    Happy Birthday Spoon with Me! Why, I can remember when I changed your diapers….
    Have a great Valentines Day!!

  3. Maxine Guest

    Thanks, Jen. This not only looks delicious but is a simple recipe and will fit in my toaster oven! Most important “it is chocolate”. Congratulations on your second successful year and we will be looking forward to a fantastic third and the PhD. Happy Sweetheart’s Day…..Grandma loves you too!

  4. Happy Valentine’s Day Jenny! It looks delicious!

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