Cakes, Desserts, Vegetarian

Emergency Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Birthday Cake

Last Monday was my cousin Melyssa’s birthday. At 6:00, I realized I hadn’t planned to bring anything to eat to her celebration, and that wasn’t gonna fly with the food appreciators and pregnant ladies expected to be in attendance. Also, I wasn’t sure if anyone was bringing a birthday cake! I was due to arrive at the festivities an hour later. What to do?
I decided to go with a cake. I knew I had that Wacky Cake recipe somewhere, the one where you mix everything right in the pan and bake it, and it somehow turns into the most delicious chocolate cake ever. The recipe is weird because you don’t even grease the pan and it calls for vinegar. Fortunately, it also uses oil instead of butter, which was good because I was fresh out. I threw the cake together (with love) in about 2 minutes and got it into the oven before dinner. As we ate our pizza, I contemplated how I would frost it. My standard in-a-hurry icing solution is to throw chocolate chips over the cake while it is still hot out of the oven, then smear it around a few minutes later until the cake is glazed. I still think this is a great way to go, but then I remembered that Melyssa loves sweet treats with a touch of salt. This is the recipe I came up with. By the way, it worked out really well because one of the guests was vegan and another was allergic to milk.

(Last Minute) Decadent Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Birthday Cake (that is Also Vegan)
1 ½ C. Flour
1 C. Brown Sugar
½ C. Cocoa
1 t. Baking Soda
½ t. Salt
1 C. Water
6 T. Canola Oil
1 T. White Vinegar
1 t. Vanilla (I’m not going to say it must be pure, because I cheat at home)

Mix the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, soda and salt right in an 8” round cake pan. Add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Smooth into the pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until cake tests done in the middle. While the Cake bakes, mix up the frosting:

½ C. Peanut Butter (Yum Bakery‘s is excellent)
3 C. Icing Sugar
1 T. Vanilla
Soy Milk (or regular)
1/3 C. Chocolate Chips
Fleur de Sel or some other fancy salt you spent too much money on and don’t use enough

Cream the peanut butter, icing sugar and vanilla together, adding just enough soy milk by tablespoonfuls until the frosting is smooth.

When the cake comes out of the oven, don’t even take it out of the pan. Spread the frosting over it, breaking all the rules about waiting for a cake to cool completely, blah blah blah. You’re in a hurry, right? Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, then a pinch or two of salt. Rush to the party with the hot cake, which will cool on the way and be a big hit. Don’t forget the candles!