This dark, moist, and delicious chocolate cake epitomizes how simple cake can be. Using vegetable oil instead of butter means you can just stir it all together quickly, and also makes it vegan. Over the years, this cake has been one of King Arthur’s most requested recipes. It’s truly a cake for all reasons and all seasons.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" square or 9" round pan that’s at least 2" deep.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
- Serve the cake right from the pan, or let it cool, and frost it with a simple chocolate icing: Heat the chocolate chips with the half-and-half until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour or spread over the cake. For a nondairy icing, substitute 1/3 cup cold brewed coffee (or water) for the half-and-half.
- Store cake, well covered, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.