About the author


Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.

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  1. BethR

    LOL – I love the name. It makes me want to try it even more. Sounds great!!

  2. Loretta

    Wow! She is outspoken and if the truth be told there may be a lot of other women who feel that way.

  3. Barb Wright

    The reason for the name of this cake is because you can mix it the baking pan..hence saving a dish. There would be no mixing bowl to wash!! Call me old-fashioned,but I hope that Amish women in general keep their traditional roles and values.Society is on a downward spiral as it is!! (My 2 cents worth).

  4. Joseph P. Goodwin

    Reminds me of notes Barbara Schwartz posted by the door inside her bakery: “If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put them all there?” “If you want something done right, ask a woman.” I was really surprised to see those comments in an Amish bakery! Her husband wouldn’t give her the money to open the bakery, so she took out a loan herself and paid it off in a year. (I don’t know what she used for collateral. I do remember that the Bank of Geneva had a specially adapted drive-through to accommodate Amish buggies.)


    This sounds like a recipe that my Great grandmother used to make she called it screwball cake though.
    In her recipe you mix the dry ingredients in the cake pan, make three wells in the dry ingredients pour oil,vinegar, and water in each mix up and add vanilla.
    we always ate it without icing, just a cold glass of milk.
    Oh the memories.

    1. Jodi

      We called it Chocolate Atomic Cake, because of the reaction of the baking soda and vinegar.
      Mom couldn’t get the frosting made fast enough before we started eating it, so she gave up!
      In fact, I just made it last night for a co-workers birthday!
      An easy dessert to make, it can be baking while you eat supper and have warm chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert!!

      1. Kevin

        Thanks for stopping by Jodi, I like your name for the cake!:)

  6. Christine

    Is it baking soda or baking powder? Also it looks like there are Choc. chips in it too.

  7. Sharon Cole Tutt

    I seem to remember a similar cake that my mother used to make, only it was called a “Wacky ” cake. It was very good.

  8. MJ

    RE: Lazy Woman’s Cake Similar to a cake that my mother made that she called “Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake”. I have also heard it called “Depression Cake” She always added raisins.

  9. MJ

    Similar to “Eggless Milkless Butterless Cake” or “Depression Cake”

  10. Colleen rohrer

    This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe! It is so easy and so moist – delicious besides!! Last July 2013 I used the recipe and made 150 cupcakes for my son and daughter-in-laws wedding reception. I frosted them with a butter cream frosting with a decorators bag. They were the HIT of the day and did not last long!!! I got the recipe out of The Amish Cook’s Baking Book – thank you Kevin and Lovina!!!!! Colleen

  11. Gwendolyn Morse

    I’m sure this cake is quite good. I never understood cakes with a whole cup of oil in them. It just doesn’t seem good health wise.
    Worse is the thought of cakes with mayonnaise in them. I just made bran muffins, the best ever, had only 1/4 cup oil and 2/3rds cup sugar of which I used half Spenda and added extra raisins. So much more healthy to me than the cup of oil. Glad the rest of you are enjoying it but found after baking with lots less sugar when I finally get a piece of really sugary stuff want very little of it.
    There are ways to bake healthy if you want to.

    1. Kevin

      THanks for sharing your thoughts Gwendolyn, healthy and tasty are great combinations!

    2. Diane

      Gwen, Oil is for “Moistness”

    3. Gail Ann Fuller

      These cakes are often a remnant of WWII. Butter was scarce, unless you lived on a farm, and oil, and mayonnaise, were more readily available. Health had nothing to do with it. It was a fat providing moistness.

      There are several food history books that trace the history of various items. You would benefit from reading them. Cooking, like anything, has a history, and knowing it is important. The Chinese consider knives at the table barbaric, and do all prep work prior to cooking. Most people think of only certain provinces with respect to Chinese cooking, namely the provinces sending immigrants to the west coast to work in the railroad. Frying was introduced by African cultures, which is why it is associated with the American south. Middle Eastern cultures use yogurt and cheese because they had no way to store milk, so they developed other ways to use it. Fruitcakes were the original trail mix, with proteins and fruits. The alcohol prevented molding. Molasses recipes gained favor during the world wars, particularly WWII, as a substitute to the rationed and difficult to obtain sugar.

      Most food practices have to do with ingredient availability and the creativity of cooks, not a particular concern for health. You are fortunate to live in a time with an abundance of ingredients, but it is wrong to criticize recipes as not “healthy” when they were developed for a different era. Try one, and look at it as a history lesson, not a way to demonstrate your “healthy” habits.

      1. Kevin

        Gail, thank you for the informative post, good points!

  12. Bonny Lee

    I found a similar recipe, years ago, in a Phi Beta Kappa Cookbook. It was called Mix-in-the-Pan Chocolate Jiffy Cake, and made a 1 layer, 8″ square or 9″ round, cake. I liked it because all the ingredients were mixed right in the baking pan, and it didn’t make a huge cake, that would have left overs. It’s very quick and easy to make, for unexpected company, and only makes a few servings.. I’m also a Pastry Chef and use this recipe, to make any flavor cake (with a few variations), and can use it for clients who are allergic to eggs. (I’m going to try it soon for a client who has Celiac’s Disease, with a special flour.) It does not call for baking powder.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Servings: 6-9
    Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 cup cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup cold coffee (good way to use up left over coffee)

    In an 8″ square, or 9″ round, UNGREASED cake pan, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix together with a fork to combine well. Form 3 wells in the dry mixture and into each one, put one of the following: oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour over all the cold coffee. (Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate, and no, the vinegar will not be tasted in the baked cake. It is needed to react with the baking soda, as a leavening agent.) Stir well to combine but do not overmix. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. When cool, frost with 1/4 recipe of your favorite frosting.

    You can bake a 2 layer cake (or 9″ X 13″ cake) by doubling the ingredients. If you are making 2 layers, mix the ingredients in a large bowl, and divide between the 2 cake pans. For the sheet cake pan, mix right in the pan.

    To make the cake(s) a day ahead, line the pans with parchment paper and spray the sides of the pans well. BEFORE THEY ARE COMPLETELY COOL, cover the cake, in the cake pan still, with a piece of plastic wrap, flip over onto a cookie sheet, lift off the pan, and wrap tightly for up to a day. If cakes can be made a day ahead, they seem to “season up” and get moister, and they are less crumble to work with.

    VARIATIONS: If you don’t want to make a chocolate cake, omit the cocoa, and substitute another flavor extract for the vanilla. I love to make an orange cake with orange extract and orange zest, or lemon cake with lemon extract and lemon zest. Substitute water for the cold coffee. You could make any flavor you want by modifying the extracts.

    When I was the Pastry Chef at the Thousand Islands Inn and Conference Center, on Wellesley Island, I used this recipe to make cakes serving up to 150 people. I only needed a large bowl, and didn’t need to use the commercial mixer.

    Categories: Budget, Cakes, Desserts, Entertaining, Lactose-Free, Non-Dairy, Other Special Diets, Special Diets, Special Occasions, Vegan

    1. Kevin

      BonnyLee, welcome and thank you for sharing that! – Kevin


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