Sundays With Sparky: Chemistry Cake (In Chocolate or Chocolate Chip)

I am hereby re-naming the inaptly named "Wacky Cake," a product of WWII rationing that regained popularity in the 1970s. It is not at all wacky, but is a product of...of...SCIENCE!!! Yes,  your third-grade volcano project makes the cake fluffy, its delicate texture from only sugar, oil and flour. It does not pass muster as a breakfast food because it's naturally vegan, containing neither eggs nor milk.  The ingredients are as basic as you can get: flour, sugar,oil,  flavoring, baking soda and vinegar.  Yes, you heard me - vinegar! It's leavened by carbon dioxide gas released by the reaction of those last two ingredients whose molecules combine into sodium acetate, water, and CO2.

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Image courtesy of www.middleschoolchemistry.com

I've decided to do this as a photo gallery, since it's more about method than materials.

Ingredients: Chocolate Chemistry Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar for garnish

Chocolate Chip Chemistry Cake

1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vinegar
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

(or, for microwave version using a glass loaf pan: 1/2 plus 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 3 tbsp chopped walnuts, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup water, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 1/2 tsb vinegar, 1/2 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips.)

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