1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons neutral oil (like corn, canola, or vegetable)
1bcup cold water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar
Confectioners’ sugar (optional, for dusting)
Heat the oven to 350° F. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Sift. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Whisk together the wet and dry mixtures. If lumpy, whisk until smooth, or pour through strainer in to a bowl and break up lumps, pressing them through.
Mix again, and pour into a greased 9-inch round cake pan. Tap the edge of the pan against the edge of the counter, or drop from 6 inches to the floor several times to pop air bubbles. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed gently. Cool before removing from the pan and dusting with confectioners’ sugar, or frosting if desired.