Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The irresistible temptation of chocolate Crazy Cake February 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:47 AM


WHAT IRRESPONSIBLE MOTHER allows her son to eat chocolate cake for breakfast?

Me, apparently.

Monday morning, after my 16-year-old leaves for school, I discover cake crumbs on a plate.

Since my husband does not eat breakfast and since I had not yet plated a piece of cake, I determine the obvious offender to be my teen. “Some breakfast,” I think, lifting the cake pan lid to reveal only four remaining pieces. And I just baked this cake Saturday afternoon.

I am tempted, like my boy, to eat a piece for breakfast. But I quickly slam down the lid, grab a bowl and a bag and consume a serving of sugar-laden cereal.

Later, I wonder, “What’s the difference?” A piece of chocolate Crazy Cake would have tasted so much better than that colorful, crunchy cereal. And I figure the amount of sugar consumed would have been a toss-up.

Cake. Cereal. Cake. Cereal. Cake. Cereal. Cake!


Yes, next time I’ll choose the chocolate cake for breakfast.

I feel obligated to explain how a chocolate cake that I baked on Saturday could have all but disappeared by Monday morning. Well, I baked the cake for Sunday lunch at my oldest daughter’s place in Minneapolis. Nice mom that I am, I left about half the cake with Amber.

Whether she ate a slice of cake for breakfast, like her brother, is none of my concern. But I would hope, truly hope, that I was a more responsible mom while raising her.


Here’s the recipe for my all-time favorite, decadent chocolate cake:

Crazy Cake

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

½ cup cocoa

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. soda

¾ cup vegetable oil

2 cups cold water

2 Tbsp. vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then dump in vegetable oil, water, vinegar and vanilla and mix. Pour the batter into a 9 x 13-inch cake pan and bake 30 – 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Source: The Cook’s Special 1973, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Vesta, Minnesota

When cool, frost the cake with this equally decadent chocolate frosting:

Buttercream Chocolate Frosting

6 Tbsp. butter

½ cup cocoa

2 2/3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter in a small mixing bowl. Add cocoa and powdered sugar alternately with milk, beating to a creamy consistency. Add another tablespoon of milk if necessary. Blend in vanilla. Frost the cake.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling