Chocolate Vinegar Cake

In the list of “firsts,” baking a cake may not rate quite as high as a kiss, but it’s a close second. We found this out when soliciting cake recipes for our cake project. The stories and recipes came rushing in. Here, reader Julie Legg shares her memories of her first chocolate cake. We love it for its simplicity and honest flavors. You will too, experienced baker or first timer.

My family has made this cake through four generations, and it’s the first cake I ever made. I was 9 years old, and my mom asked me to make the cake for them to take to a party. She gave me the recipe and went to take a bath. I must have gone to the bathroom door a dozen times to ask questions, but I baked up one really moist cake. The ingredients are simple—you have them in your pantry.

Vinegar Cake

11/2 cups all- purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa, plus more for dusting cake
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm water
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Mix well. If the batter isn’t very loose, add just a bit more warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get a thin batter. This will make a very moist cake.
3. Pour into an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cook and dust with cocoa. Serves 16.

Per serving: 141 calories, 5g fat, 0mg chol, 1g prot., 22g carbs., 0.5g fiber, 152mg sodium