Of Writers and Wacky Cakes

Guess who dropped by the kitchen this week?

Author Annette LeBox, who is launching her latest book  ‘Circle of Cranes’ this week, that’s who.  She brought her favourite cake recipe with her, so she can come back anytime. Of course, so can you, but just – you know – share the goods. And goodies.

Annette calls herself One-cake Woman, because this is the one cake she makes for special occasions – can you see why? Oh, yummy chocolatey goodness. Half a cup of cocoa *swoon* Mmmm. My.

Where was I?

Oh, yes. Annette is the author of six books, and the keeper of this special family recipe.


One-cake Woman’s Favourite Recipe (chocolate of course)


2 cups of sugar
3 cups of white flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 cups warm water
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease pan
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
Make 3 large holes in dry ingredients
Add wet ingredients one at a time in same bowl
Mix quickly until lumps gone and pour (Don’t mix too much)
Bake for about 50 minutes (baking time varies, when cake pulls away from the sides it’s done)

If you are in the local area, you can meet Annette in person at her book launch, Sunday April 22nd 2pm – 4pm at St. Andrews Heritage Church Hall in Maple Ridge. I’ll be there, too. I hope there’s cake.


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About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.


  1. Val Patenaude says:

    That is my family’s one cake solution for everything too. Its incredibly versatile. If you split that in half, you get one layer of a cake or a half-dozen cupcakes. You can multiply it any number of times to feed a multitude. When I was bush-cooking, I’d make an 8x recipe for cupcakes. Its our *only* birthday cake. Its a WWII sugar, eggs and butter saving recipe.

    • Practical and delicious (irresistible!). I’ll have to put this one in the easy-bake category, too. And Val – you simply have to post more about “When I was bush-cooking…”. Dish.

      • Val Patenaude says:

        In the summer of 1986, I had a 2 1/2 yr old child and was bored in Richmond so I took a job as ‘bull cook’ at my husband’s exploration project in the Toodogone region in northern BC. The bull cook assists the main cook and makes snacks and lunch. We were supposed to be cooking for 20 but it ended up being more than 40. Very interesting when all your ingredients arrived in a sling under a helicopter and you had to order everything you might need at least 10 days in advance!

        • Thanks for telling us more, Val. So many stories in the world of food – and in the world of camp life in the north! Curious to know what were camp favourites?

  2. Val Patenaude says:

    Drillers are very basic guys. Every morning I made 80 each of chocolate cupcakes and blueberry muffins plus chocolate chip cookies. If I made any other kind of muffin, I got quivering lips and “but there’s no blueberry”. The best part of the job was making soup. It only stopped snowing for two weeks that summer so soup was appreciated every day. I had lots of leftovers to deal with so the previous night’s meal became the next day’s soup. Some days it was easy and other days it was a real challenge.

    The worst part of the job was helping with the dinner prep to the extent that I had to cook vast quantities of meat first thing in the morning. Just before going to the job, I got pregnant with my second child. When pregnant, I could not stand the smell of cooking meat so I really earned my salary during those weeks of cooking up to 35 lb of meat in the morning. Incidentally, I was paid more per day for that cooking job than I have ever been paid for either archaeology or museum work.

    One funny camp favourite was for the Ukrainian drillers. After work, when they were still black with grease from the drill, they wanted a bowl of cold, cooked macaroni with white sugar sprinkled on it. Not difficult to provide but I was never tempted to try it.

  3. Vicki,

    Here is my Paella recipe. I cook it in my rather large 21″ paella pan right on the BBQ. Anything on this list can be substituted with anything else, thats the magic of a paella

    feeds: lots
    calories: lots

    Skinless, boneless chicken breasts 6-8 cut up into manageable pieces
    20-30 tiger prawns – deveined and tail off
    Chorizo sausage (the good kind, not the crap you but at superstore) 6-8 cut up or diagonally sliced
    2 onions – chopped
    however much garlic you like – minced or chopped
    3 bell pepper – chopped
    3 baby bok choy chopped large
    1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
    2 cups Arborio rice (best kind for paella, do not substitute with brown or wild)
    1 cup of your favorite red wine
    3 cups of low sodium chicken stock
    3 tbsp Olive oil
    1 tsp rosemary
    1 tsp fennel seeds
    2 or 3 tbsp oregano
    1 tsp ground pepper
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp chili flakes
    3 bailey leaves

    1-open up wine, pour glass
    2-heat up bar-b-que, place paella pan on bar-b-que
    3-put the chicken and chorizo in the paella pan and cook at high temperature
    4-once a bit of carmelization takes place, remove the meat from the pan, but do not clean out the pan.
    5-add olive oil(2 or 3 tablespoons) and onions, cook at high heat till carmelization starts
    6-add bell peppers, cook at high heat for a few minutes, not long
    7-add diced tomatoes, cook briefly
    8-add rice, spread it out evenly
    9- add red wine and chicken stock, ensure all the rice is covered with the liquid
    10- add spices evenly.
    11- put the chicken and sausage back into the pan and reduce the heat to medium and cook with the bar-b-que lid down for 25 minutes
    12- after 25 minutes spread the prawns and the baby bok choy on top, close lid and cook until prawns done (approx 5 minutes)

    thats it, prep is the big part of this meal. If you prep all items this is an excellent and easy bar-b-que meal while on the deck with friends… enjoy

  4. Ah, mystery solved! Now I know who ‘One Cake Woman’ is. I love cocoa and so I will likely love this cake as well! Well thank you for this lovely cake recipe – I think I will test it out and if it is successful then I will be sure to copy it out on an index card and put it in my Recipe Box!
    And I am sorry to have missed the Book Launch this past Sunday! But my garden was calling me and I listened!
    Have a great week!

  5. Thanks Dar! Would love to hear your reviews on the cake recipe – and so glad to hear you heard your garden – always good to heed the call of the growing!


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