We don't do much to celebrate Valentine's Day in the Lick The Bowl Household. When Mr. H and I first got together I had high expectations for this holiday, it is the day of love after all. I expected dinner out, a romantic movie at the theater, red flowers, puffy hearts, chocolate and all that other cuddly crap! Before you start rolling your eyes at me I have to mention that we started dating in high school and I didn't know any better. haha! It only took me one year together to realize that the holiday is way overrated.
We started dating in March of 1999, so he was off the hook that year, but in 2000, I expected the works and I was sadly disappointed. I was stubborn- heck, I still am- but as the man in the relationship I thought he needed to make the reservations for dinner WITHOUT me having to tell him. He didn't and I refused to make them myself so needless to say, we drove around town for a couple hours trying to get into any restaurant without having to wait for 3 hours for a table. A few hours later, we were both grumpy and hungry and decided to just go to our favorite Tex-Mex joint and enjoyed a fajita dinner and dessert for 2 for less than $20! I realized then that it didn't matter where we ate, whether or not I got chocolate truffles or long stemmed roses. It mattered that we were together.
I was a brat, I admit it, but I like to think that I've more than made up for it over the years. Now on Valentine's Day, I bake up a favorite chocolate dessert or a steak and potatoes dinner for the man I love. We are both happy to stay in and eat dinner in our lounge clothes in front of the television watching our usual DVR'd sitcoms. This year will be no different, though we have a new little Valentine to spend the evening with- he will be having milk.
This cake combines two of Mr. H's favorite things- chocolate cake and cinnamon sugar. They happen to be my favorites too. The vegan cake was light and moist, tender and quite flavorful. It was even simple enough that little Hayden helped me whip it up for his Poppa. My family loved this cake too. There was one large slice left and we all hovered around the pan with forks in hand and devoured it. I hope you'll enjoy it too.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups cold coffee or cold water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add oil, vinegar, vanilla and coffee or water to the bowl. Stir together with a whisk - but be sure you don't overbeat. (Do not make this in a KitchenAid mixer or electric mixer - a fork or whisk are just fine. You'll see bubbles because of the reaction of the baking soda and vinegar.)
When combined, immediately pour into the 9 x 13 pan. Evenly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar topping.
Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.