Let Them Eat Cake! Easy Chocolate Cake Kids Can Make


By Rebecca Lemar

My 5 year old asked, “Mom, can we make a cake?”

Why, why, why me, why now? I’ve never just made a cake for no reason! And I do not recall ever making one from scratch.

I own a total of 4 cookbooks that I am always eager to use, but rarely do, but I decided to give it a go. I turned to the Moosewood collective for a great chocolate cake recipe that’s easy to make with children. In fact, I told my sweet boy the measurements and ingredients and he did everything, including eating the final product with great satisfaction. All the ingredients were in my cupboard and I felt fancy making the “rich, gooey, super-simple, semi-sweet chocolate and fruit glaze that’s ready in five minutes.”

There are all sorts of reasons to just make a cake. It took a boy to bring me to my first. Bon appetit!


Presto Chocolate Cake

1 cup unbleached white flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

¾ cup water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup fruit jam or spread

2 tablespoons milk, cream or water

Preheat the oven to 350degrees. Butter and dust with flour and 8- or 9- inch square or round cake pan.IMG_6198

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs to the butter one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, combine the water and vanilla. Add the flavored water by thirds to the creamed mixture, alternating with the flour mixture and beating after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides. 30 to 35 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the cake is done, combine the chocolate chips, jam and milk in a small pan and warm on low heat, stirring constantly until melted. When the cake is done, glaze the top right in the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

“Presto, Chocolate Cake” by Moosewood Restaurant New Classics 2001


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