You don’t need butter and eggs to make a stellar chocolate cake. You just need to know me. You go on now and make this cake, no one will know the difference. In fact, Cake #12 proved to be such a winner, Michael and I didn’t bother sharing it with anyone. We gobbled and picked at it from the kitchen counter, and it was gone completely within 72 hours.

One word on the glaze. I’m including the recipe Martha uses for this cake, but I actually had frosting left over from Cake #12. I have however made the glaze included here, and it’s foolproof, though the frosting from the buttermilk cake is also great. The choice is yours.

I would like to also say that this is a great cake for a young person who doesn’t have a lot of experience baking. Not having to use butter and eggs keeps the entire situation a little tidier. Mom or dad can handle the ganache, while the little ones whisk the wet and dry ingredients togethers. Everyone can play a part, and the kid will feel like a real champ when this baby comes out to the dining room table.

Easy No-Butter Chocolate Cake (Listed in Martha Stewart’s Book as “Lighter Chocolate Cake”)

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil or safflower oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Vegetable or cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray. 

In a small bowl whisk together water and cocoa in a small bowl until smooth

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Add cocoa mixture, oil and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in vinegar.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen; turn out onto rack to cool completely. Transfer cake to a serving plate or cake stand.

For Glaze:

2 ounces dark chocolate (preferably at least 70 percent cacao), finely chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly. 

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and water until smooth. Add melted chocolate in a slow, steady stream, whisking until thickened and spreadable. Immediately pour glaze onto center of cooled cake. Using an offset spatula, gently spread the glaze over top and sides.