This wartime cake has survived the intervening years for several reasons: it contains no cholesterol, it can be put together right in the pan it's baked in, and it is a dark, moist and delicious chocolate cake, despite being only about 138 calories per 2" square serving (or small wedge, from a round pan). Over the years, this has been one of King Arthur Flour's most requested recipes. And, even though the "stir it all together in the pan" method is traditional, go ahead and stir everything together in a bowl, then pour into the pan, if that feels more comfortable.

Follow our step-by-step photos for making this cake at 
our blog, Flourish.

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vinegar
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil
1 cup (8 ounces) cold water (original recipe), coffee (next inspiration), milk (later inspiration), or 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup rum (latest inspiration)
Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Measure all the dry ingredients into an 8" or 9" round or square cake pan; if you use an 8" pan, make sure it's at least 2" deep. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations.

Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third.

Take the cup of cold liquid (water, coffee, milk, etc.) and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Note: If you've used espresso powder, adding coffee will make this a mocha cake. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until they are well blended.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve right from the pan; warm from the oven, this Cake-Pan Cake is wonderful with a big glass of milk (skim, of course!)

Once cool, frost with this simple chocolate frosting, if desired: Heat 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips with 1/2 cup half & half until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake.

Yield: 12 to 16 servings.

Tip: Want to make this cake using self-rising flour? Omit the salt, baking soda, and vinegar, and substitute 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour for the all-purpose flour.

Nutrition information per serving (60g): 188 calories, 2g protein, 28g carbohydrates, 7g fat, 1g fiber, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 203mg sodium, 17g sugars, 0mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 2mg calcium.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 5, March 1991 issue.