When this months Recipe Swap recipe came through for a wacky cake, I thought how fun, and what easy cleanup. A wacky cake is one of a group of cakes that were popular in the depression era; popular thanks to their ease and accessibility to cheap ingredients. Containing no eggs or butter, they are stirred together in the same pan as cooked in.
The recipe swap rules state you must change at least 3 ingredients and/or the cooking method; essentially make it your own. Initially I set out to keep true to the depression ease and simplistic-ness of the original recipe and ingredients, but somehow Grand Marnier fell into my cake and it just went from there.
Instead of using cocoa as the base, this was my first opportunity to use one of my new Strange Ingredients a friend sent in, vanilla powder. To keep the calories down, I opted for applesauce in place of the oil, for that reason, the texture of this cake is reminiscent of a quick bread. When you get a good forkful of the cake, a blueberry and the crumb topping, it makes for one good fat and happy bite.
Tips and Techniques: Switch up the flavor of this cake with ease by changing the fruit filling. Try Strawberries, peaches or apples! If you don't have vanilla powder, either add an extra tablespoon of the Grand Marnier or add a teaspoon of liquid vanilla extract.
Burwell General Store Recipe Swap: Blueberry Applesauce Wacky Cake with Crumb Topping
Blueberry Filling for Wacky Cake
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbls sugar
squeeze of lemon
1 tsp corn starch
Make the blueberry filling first. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use. This step can be done a day or two ahead of time.
Butter Crumb Topping
2 Tbls butter, room temperature
2 Tbls flour
2 Tbls powder sugar
Place all the ingredients on a plate, use a fork to mash the dry ingredients into the butter. Once it is all combined, set aside until ready to use.
Vanilla Powder Wacky Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbls vanilla powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbls Grand Marnier
5 Tbls applesauce
Have the blueberry filling and the crumb topping ready. Once you add the vinegar to this cake, you need to work quickly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have the one cup of water ready. In a greased 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 baking dish, sift in all the dry ingredients and stir with a fork. Make 3 holes in the flour and place the Grand Marnier in one hole and the applesauce in the second. Quickly add the vinegar to the third and then pour in the water while stirring everything together with a fork.
Spoon the blueberry filling over the top of the cake, and then crumble the butter crumb topping on top of the filling. Place in the oven until a toothpick comes out just about clean, the crumb topping will not brown so don't look to that as an identifier. My cake took around 40 minutes or so but keep an eye on it - it's better to under cook this than over cook.
Remove from the oven and cool slightly. If serving this warm, a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipping cream would be a fantastic addition.