Sure, people usually think of sauerkraut (it's cabbage that has been pickled) as something to put on hot dogs, but in this cake, it adds a nice moist texture without the sour taste. Yummy! Some people call it the "Don't Ask Cake" because people who eat it can't guess what the secret ingredient is -- and don't want to believe it when they find out.
Add your favorite chocolate frosting or sprinkle the cake with confectioners' sugar, if you'd like.
Yield: Makes one 13-by-9-inch cake
- 2/3 cup (10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons) unsalted butter or butter substitute, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
- 14 1/2 ounces canned or fresh sauerkraut
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-9 baking pan with butter, butter substitute or nonstick cooking oil spray.
Place the sauerkraut in a colander and rinse under cold running water for several minutes. Drain the sauerkraut, and squeeze until it is almost dry. Transfer to a food processor and finely chop, scraping down the sides of the work bowl as needed.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Place the butter or butter substitute in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed for several minutes, until it is fluffy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, gradually add the sugar, eggs (one at a time) and the vanilla extract until well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add half of the flour mixture; beat on low speed to incorporate, then add the remaining flour mixture and the water, beating to form a smooth batter.
Stir in the sauerkraut by hand.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly into the corners. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely before cutting into 15 equal squares.
From the recipe files of Washington writer Ann Cameron Siegal.
Tested by Ann Cameron Siegal and Bonnie S. Benwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.