Wacky Chocolate-Orange Cake with Orange Frosting

"When I first saw this recipe (on the label of a white vinegar bottle - where else?), I thought "Vinegar in a dessert? This must be a joke!) So I made the recipe, just for the heck of it, and found it surprizingly yummy!"
photo by Vye367 photo by Vye367
photo by Vye367
photo by Vye367 photo by Vye367
photo by shampagne photo by shampagne
Ready In:
1 cake




  • ---- THE CAKE ----.
  • Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  • Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into an 8" x 8" baking pan.
  • Make 3 holes in the dry ingredients.
  • Place oil in the first hole, vinegar in the second hole, and vanilla in the third hole (again, I kid thee not- trust me on this one!).
  • Pour orange juice over everything and mix well.
  • Spread batter evenly in the pan and bake in dish that the batter was mixed in.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until center is firm.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Refrigerate leftovers (if any).
  • ---- THE FROSTING ----.
  • Combine gelatin, orange juice, and cold water in small saucepan.
  • Let stand until thick.
  • Place over low heat, stirring constantly, just until gelatin dissolves.
  • Remove from heat and cool, but do not allow to set.
  • Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened.
  • While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin to whipped cream mixture.
  • Whip at high speed until stiff.
  • Spread thickly on the cake.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Loved the cake, but I believe you made a mistake when you said to add water, I just added the orange juice and found it sufficient. Also I made a butter cream frosting instead and added orange juice and orange extract to it. Thank you for enhancing my days...made it twice already!!!!
  2. I followed this recipe to the T...and it turned out wonderful!! Visually as well. Will be posting a picture of the end product. I hope it entices you to try it too. :)
  3. Forsuch an easy and quick cake this is very good. I think the orange juice is what makes it so much better than the original wacky cake (never liked it). Frosting is excellent, easy to make and light and can certainly be used on other cakes. Highly recommend this frosting if, like us, you do not like a heavy sugary topping.
  4. Very nice cake. I had to toss the frosting though. Everything was going fine until suddenly the cream was starting to separate into a cottage cheese type of substance rather than continue to stiffen. I believe I followed the instructions as written (I'm kind of OCD in the kitchen... and only in the kitchen), but perhaps I'm wrong. It was my first time making a frosting with gelatin. I ended up just whipping up 3 parts heavy cream with 1 part powdered sugar and added vanilla and orange extracts to taste. Spread it on the cake and dusted the whole thing with cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, and a little orange zest. Quite enjoyable. Vinegar, who knew?
  5. Very yummy! I left off the icing, being too lazy, and used wholemeal flour to make the cake a bit healthier. This was really easy and the best part for me is that it didn't require any beating - which is always annoying when you want to make a cake quickly. Thanks for the new cake recipe!


  1. I made this cake with a vegetarian and type 2 diabetic in mind, substituting soft whole wheat flour for the white flour and 3/4 cup fructose for the sugar. I also increased the cocoa to 4 tablespoons. Because of the gelatin in the frosting, I substituted a simple orange/chocolate ganache which worked well. I made it by grating about 1 teaspoon of orange zest into 1/2 cup of whipping cream, heated it till steaming, and poured over 6 ounces of finely chopped semi sweet chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted, and mixture thickens. Pour over the cooled cake. Including the orange flavour makes a more interesting variation than the original Wacky cake.


Gavin "Miller" Duncan passed away November 12, 2004 in Laurel, MD from complications of a "broken" heart. The outpouring of support from the Recipezaar community while his health was declining was a huge comfort to him and even "perked him up" a bit in his final month. Miller was a huge asset to Recipezaar, not only due to his incredible collection of recipes, but his participation in the forums. Miller was known for his wonderful low-sodium recipes, his warmth, and last, but not least, his wicked, dry sense of humor. Liza at Recipezaar ********************************************************* No, the picture to the left is not me. It is, in fact, a picture of famous TV Chef Jamie Oliver (a/k/a Thpit Boy)’s grandfather, the late Sir Topaz McWhacker. Note the strong family resemblance, most noticeable in the nose, eyebrows, and general lack of cleanliness Legend has it that Topaz taught Thpit everything that he knows about whacking and about only washing and combing his hair twice a year. . Instead of the trivia that many Recipezaar members have displayed on their “About Me” pages, I thought it might be a tad more helpful if I were to provide some beneficial information that you can put to good practical use either in your own kitchen or when you are watching the antics of some celebrated TV chefs. So, for your enlightenment..... . . Chairman Kaga: When he says “Ion Shff”, he really means “Iron Chef” or, perhaps, “I need a Kleenex” . Chef Paula Deen: When she says “awl”, she really means “oil”. When she says “y’all”, she really means “everyone except m’all”. When she says “bring the water to a bawl”, I have no clue what she means - I thought you could only make a baby “bawl”. And, boys and girls, you can easily Deenize the sentences that you use in your very own kitchen, such as “All y’all can bawl your corn in olive awl or wrap it in aluminum fawl”. . Emeril Lagasse: When he says “confectionery sugar’, he really means “confectioners’ sugar”. When he says “pappa-reeka”, he really means “paprika”. When he says “inside of”, he really means “in”. When he says “a little”, he really means “a lot”. Have you ever tried to count the number of times he says “a little” during any given show? Don’t – it will drive you nuts. When he says “cardamin”, he really means “cardamom”. When he says “my water don’t come seasoned”, what he really means is “I need a new joke writer”. When he says “that www dot food thing”, he really means “I flunked Computerese 101”. . Iron Chef Morimoto: When he says “Foo Netwu”, he really means “Food Network”. . Dessert Dude Jacques Torres: When he says “I going”, he really means “I am going”. (The verb “to be” has apparently been deleted from the French language.) . Spit Boy Jamie Oliver: When he says “whack it in the oven”, he really means “I am into hot, kinky stuff”. When he says “Bob’s yer uncle”, what he really means is “you’d better ask your aunt how well she REALLY knew that mailman named Robert”. When he says “rocket”, he really means “an older weapon being used in Iraq”. When he says “Fewd Netwuk”, he really means “Food Network”. . Numerous chefs: When they say “codfish” and “tunafish”, what they really mean is “cod” and “tuna”, respectively. Please note that they use these terms so that you don’t go out and buy “codanimal” or “tunavegetable” by mistake. Having said that, I have no clue as to why they don’t refer to “troutfish”, “salmonfish”, “red snapperfish”, etc., etc. . Giggly-Wiggly Rachael Ray: When she says “EVOO”, she really means “don’t use BOCO (boring old corn oil)”. When she says “a little lettuce action going on”, she really means “with only 8 minutes left in the game, cabbages are still in the lead, but lettuces are making a strong comeback”. . Two Fat Ladies: When they say “I gwing”, they really mean “I am going” or “Sorry, but we have been watching too many episodes of Jacques Torres’ show”. . Please note that the above is not all-inclusive. If there are other celebrity chef words or phrases that have you stumped, please post an "ISO" message in the discussion forums and I will find the translation for you.
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