a chocolate cake in a round metal pan with two candles burning on the cake and a bouquet of flowers near it

This is a very tasty, simple cake that requires just one pan, where the batter is mixed, and no bowl, which makes cleanup very quick. Made with extra virgin olive oil, no butter or eggs, and just a reasonable amount of sugar, it is an excellent cake for an everyday treat. This is my young son’s favorite recipe to make and share, so the recipe is in demand.


  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 3 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit more to grease the pan
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 2 vials powdered vanilla)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 4 tablespoons melted dark chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius.

  2. Grease an 8-inch square or round pan (or even a pie plate) with olive oil. (Do not use a non-stick pan, since mixing batter in it with a fork would ruin the non-stick coating.)

  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda into the pan. Stir in the salt and sugar with a fork.

  4. Make three holes in the mixture in the pan.

  5. Pour the oil into one hole, the vinegar into the second hole, and the vanilla into the third.

  6. Mix the water and melted chocolate together, and pour that over all the ingredients in the pan.

  7. Mix the batter well with a fork, making sure to reach the bottom and edges of the pan (and the corners, for a square).

  8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top springs back when touched lightly with a clean finger, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  9. Allow the cake to cool before cutting. The cake can be dusted with powdered sugar or eaten as it is or with fruit.

Adapted from a recipe in The Walking Magazine, November/December 1996. If your children want to make you a birthday cake, you might suggest this!

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