It’s interesting to see how generations past used to handle scarcity. Many families during the Great Depression had to cut back on supplies and were limited not only by income but by what was in store. Despite this, the resourcefulness of the Greatest Generation’s cooks meant that most families still had enough to eat and even had a yummy dessert now and again. There’s no question that folks stretched what they had, but the cakes and desserts of the era are quite appetizing nonetheless.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons oil
2 cups water
3 teaspoons cocoa powder [optional]
1/2 cup powdered sugar for garnish [optional]
Preheat oven to 375˚. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.
Combine flour, sugar, and baking soda in large bowl.
Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. If making chocolate version add cocoa during this step. Mix until blended, but do not overmix.
Pour batter between the 2 greased cake pans.
Bake on a middle rack for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool before adding frosting or dusting cakes generously with powdered sugar.