I found this recipe in an old magazine a couple of years ago and of course I can't remember which magazine it was so that I can give credit where credit is due. Edited to add: I found the source.
Anyhoo, some variant of this recipe has been around for many years. I've heard that it must from the 1930's since the recipe uses no eggs or butter. I've also heard it must have been developed in the WWII era for the same reasons.
You may be more familiar with the name 'pudding cake' or 'hot fudge cake'. It's the kind where as it bakes, it turns into a cake layer and a hot fudge layer. You'll notice that the recipe only has three tablespoons of oil in it so it is a low fat recipe depending on what you decide to put on top of it before serving. I've been craving this recipe for a couple of weeks but, I think you really need ice cream with this recipe and so I kept putting it off till later. Then on Friday, I went grocery shopping and they had pints of ice cream on sale.
I was a little bummed out at the selection, until I heard an "Excuse me" behind me, and the lady that had picked out her ice cream before me had returned. She says " I don't know if you are interested but, they have more flavors in the case up front." I thanked her and made my way up the front of the store where a plethora of flavors awaited me. So I got some vanilla, chocolate, rocky road, and cookies and cream. Yes, I do have PMS now hush or I won't let you have any cake!
1 cup self-rising flour
(substitute: Place 1 1/2 tsps baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt in a measuring cup. Add enough all purpose flour to measure 1 cup and proceed with recipe.)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa,
1/4 cup baking cocoa,
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups hot water
vanilla ice cream (optional)
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and 2 Tbsp cocoa. Stir in milk and oil until smooth.
Pour into a greased 8 inch square baking pan. Combine the brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa;
sprinkle over batter.
Pour hot water over top. DO NOT STIR!
Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched. Yep, it's kinda ugly looking!
Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Serves 6-8.
If you live alone, let it cool, cover it up, and store your leftover cake in the refrigerator. If you live with other people and have cake left over, you might consider whether or not you wish to continue your relationship with people who are not bright enough to scarf down hot cake and melting ice cream like they haven't eaten in days. I'm just saying...
Anyway, when you want some more, scoop out desired amount of cake and sauce into microwave safe bowl and heat until warm before serving.