This guest blog post is written by Taleen Benson of justastasty.com
This allergy friendly wacky cake is so easy to make and perfect for any occasion! This cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free, making it safe and delicious treat for everyone to enjoy. The orange and coconut bakery emulsions add a deliciously tropical flavor that is completely irresistible.
Wacky cake, or Depression Cake, is the perfect allergy friendly dessert because it’s made without eggs, butter, or milk. We developed this recipe in honor of our 60th anniversary this year! This treat was made popular during WWII, when a lot of your traditional baking ingredients were inaccessible due to rationing. Its popularity heightened once again in the ’60s when the children of the Great Depression, now adults, introduced this simple recipe to the dessert table for their families to enjoy.
Get More 60th Anniversary Themed Recipes Here!
The cake comes together in just a few easy steps. We start by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl – many bakers like to combine these ingredients right in the ungreased cake pan, but I find it easier to whisk in a medium mixing bowl, just to ensure it’s all incorporated.
From there, you’ll transfer the dry mix into the pan and create three wells for the wet ingredients. The oil goes in one well, the vinegar goes in the second, and LorAnn Madagascar Vanilla Extract and Orange Bakery Emulsion go in the third well. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda, which helps achieve the lift we’re looking for in the finished cake.
Finally, you’ll pour the orange juice and water on top and mix it all up with a fork. Told you it was easy! The resulting cake is rich, fluffy, and extra moist. The Orange Bakery Emulsion and Organic Madagascar Vanilla Extract really elevate this chocolate cake, and no one will even know that it’s gluten-free and dairy-free! Baking with LorAnn Bakery Emulsions is my go-to option, especially when baking for those with special dietary needs. All of their flavors are allergy-friendly, pack a punch, and add rich and delicious flavor to any treat.
Once the cake has cooled, top it off with this delicious dairy-free coconut cream frosting. The process is very similar to traditional buttercream. Start by beating the non-dairy butter until smooth and fluffy, then add in the powdered sugar. Finish with your favorite non-dairy milk and LorAnn Coconut Bakery Emulsion.
Use LorAnn’s Liquid Orange Gel Food Color to achieve this beautiful orange hue! This gel food coloring is so vibrant and a little bit goes a long way. I suggest using a toothpick to add a little at a time until you have your desired shade.
And when it comes to decorating, the sky’s the limit. While you could always spread the frosting onto the cooled cake using an offset spatula, why not take it up a notch with some fun piping? This style is so easy to recreate because it doesn’t need to be precise. There’s so much room for creativity here, and all you really need is a few different piping tips and some piping bags.
Want liquid gel food coloring tips? Click here to get LorAnn’s easy guide to liquid gel food coloring along with a blending chart for tips in creating bold colors in all your culinary and confectionery creations.
You can opt for different shades of orange, or just use two tips and pipe orange and white frosting. Either way, this cake is a total showstopper and sure to impress your guests!
Here’s my best tips in creating this fun and vibrant design using piping bags and a variety of piping tips.
- Before tinting the frosting, separate it into three bowls. Tint one portion a darker shade, one a pastel shade, and leave one white.
- Use three different piping tips, one for each color.
- Start piping with one color, leaving gaps to fill in with the other two colors. Alternate sizes, starting with larger flowers and filling in any empty spaces with smaller flowers.
- Ultimately, have fun with it! The best thing about this particular design is you can really get creative and create your own patterns (or no pattern at all!).
- For cleaner slices, chill the cake for 30 minutes after frosting to allow the frosting to set up.
Scroll To Get Recipe!
Wacky cake, or Depression Cake, is the perfect allergy-friendly dessert because it’s made without eggs, butter, or milk. This simplistic treat was popular during WWII when a lot of your traditional baking ingredients were inaccessible due to rationing. Its popularity heightened once again in the ’60s when the children of the Great Depression, now adults, introduced this simple recipe to the dessert table for their families to enjoy. The orange and coconut bakery emulsions in this recipe add a completely irresistible and deliciously tropical flavor.
This recipe is dairy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free, making it a safe treat for everyone to enjoy!
For the cake:
1 ½ cups (222g) gluten-free flour blend
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup (80ml) canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon LorAnn Organic Madagascar Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion, Natural
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
Piping tips and piping bags
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. Transfer into an ungreased 8” square baking pan.
- Use the back of a large spoon to create three wells in the dry mixture. Pour the oil in one well, the vinegar in the second well, and the vanilla extract and orange emulsion in the third well.
- Pour the orange juice and water on top of the entire mixture and use a fork to mix well to combine. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add the non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Add the coconut emulsion and beat briefly to incorporate.
- Divide frosting into three bowls. Tint one bowl a dark shade (3-4 drops), the second bowl a pastel shade (2 drops), and leave the last bowl white.
- Transfer each frosting into separate piping bags fitted with a tip.
- With one color, begin piping on cooled cake, leaving gaps to fill in with the other two colors.
- With the remaining piping bags, and alternating colors, pipe large flowers in the gaps.
- Fill any remaining empty spaces with smaller flowers.
About the Guest Blogger:
Taleen Benson believes gluten-free and eggless baking should be easy, approachable, and Just As Tasty as traditional baking. With thousands of social media followers and readers whipping up her tried and true favorites, Taleen’s recipes are perfect for anyone looking to enjoy allergy-friendly versions of classic treats. She’s the author of Just As Tasty: Gluten-Free & Eggless Baking Through the Seasons and is constantly dishing up new recipes at justastasty.com.