Lenten Chocolate Cake

The following recipe for Lenten Chocolate Cake was submitted by Abigail Burke. Thank you Abigail!

"I was raised in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and during Great Lent we followed a strict fast of no meat or dairy products (with the exceptions of Sundays). My parents, as well as other members of our church, were creative in coming up with recipes for families during this time. For example, if a birthday fell during Lent we made Lenten Chocolate Cake. It's a cake that requires no dairy or animal products. It's surprisingly moist and tasty. Here is the recipe--hope you enjoy!"

Lenten Chocolate Cake


3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp good unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp vinegar (any flavor will do; I generally use apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cooking oil
2 cups cold water


Sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.

Add the vinegar, vanilla, oil, and water to the dry ingredients and mix well. Because of the soda and vinegar combination you'll see some bubbles and that's normal.

 Pour batter in a greased 9 x13 pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

You may make a butter cream frosting using margarine instead of butter if you like (to keep the cake dairy free) or dust with powdered sugar to serve. It also goes well with fresh fruit.

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  1. what a great recipe ... all pantry items so good for baking at the end of the month when finances are tight and groceries are at a minimum!

  2. I love this recipe! My oldest sister used to make it with us younger kids when we were little -- she called it "Crazy Cake" and mixed all the ingredients directly in the cake pan. We loved seeing the chemical reaction! :) Thanks for reminding me of this -- I haven't thought of it in years, and my own children would love it, too!

  3. I have this recipe from an old vegan cookbook, I think it was called "Please Don't Eat the Animals Cook Book", and it is a delightfully light and fluffy chocolate cake.

  4. Does anyone know if this needs high-altitude adjustments (6700 ft)?

    -Anne Marie

  5. I just made this cake tonight (even though it isn't lent) and added chocolate chips. I used powdered sugar instead of frosting. It was so yummy! Because there wasn't eggs in it, my 2-year-old and I snuck some bites of batter, too! I live at high elevation (5400) and made no adjustments and it turned out fine.