Tag Archives: Peg Bracken

"Cockeyed" Cake with Jelly Frosting

Whenever I visit the Smithsonian American History Museum, I must go see the Julia Child exhibit. If you haven’t seen it, please click on the link and take a virtual tour.

I’ve visited the exhibit many times. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m looking at all the details of her kitchen. What brand of blender did she use? What cookbooks did she have on her shelf? I was intrigued by one of the cookbooks last summer. It’s called the I Hate to Cook Book and it was written by Peg Bracken. It’s a very humorous collection of recipes that Peg put together with some friends. It’s an excellent read and has many easy recipes for every occasion.

Last week, I was going through the dessert chapter and found Peg’s recipe for Cockeyed Cake. This is simply a cake you mix right in the pan. It’s unfussy and bakes in a flash. It’s very moist and chocolatey. I topped it with Jelly Frosting which is made with an egg white, jelly and a dash of salt. This is the perfect cake for a last minute get together. Word of warning! Peg’s recipes are very sparse. It turns out that Peg hated cookbooks that had too many recipes with too many directions that are “telling you what any chucklehead would know.” In other words, Peg assumes you have some common sense. No details on how long anything takes to do. As I was making the frosting, I was left wondering how much longer it was going to take to get the “stiff peaks.” I’ve added that information.

Cockeyed Cake
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cold water

1. Sift all the ingredients into a greased 9×9 baking pan. I greased mine with butter. I’m not sure cooking spray would work for this but give it a try and let me know.
2. Make three holes in the dry ingredients. Put the oil in one, the vanilla into the next one and the vinegar into the last one.
3. Pour the water over the top.
4. Mix until smooth.
5. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes.

Jelly Frosting
1 egg white
1/2 cup jelly – I used strawberry
dash of salt

1. In a double boiler, combine the ingredients and cook, while mixing with a hand mixer, for 5 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and continue mixing until stiff peaks begin to form. It’s going to take at least ten minutes.
3. Spread on cool cake.

I realized while I was typing this, the cake is actually vegan! Who knew! And with no butter, eggs or milk, it’s got to be good for you, right?

Anyway, it was fun to make because it reminded me of my mom. I took the picture on a pretty little plate that was hers. It’s a little late for her birthday. She would have been 76 on Friday. So Happy Birthday to my mom!

Enjoy!