Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Brooklyn Blackout Cake. Ask questions or share tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this food, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

One minor correction, Ebingers wasn’t just a Brooklyn thing. That’s a modern take on things. Ebinger’s was beloved and well represented in Queens. I can’t speak for S.I. or the other boros but in Queens, we dug Ebingers.

This reminds me of the war time “Wacky Cake” my mom made. It was common in northern Indiana farm country. The same women who made Sugar Cream Pie made Wasky Cake. It was stirred in the pan it was baked in- flour sugar egg and vinegar. I forgot there may be other ingredients.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and was gifted with regular helpings of Ebinger’s products from parents who were loyal patrons. the blackout cake was one of my favorites, chocoholic even back then as a child. But I remember their Othello‘s: chocolate cake with whipped marshmallow on top of it and covered completely with dark icing in the shape of a mini volcano , or chocolate egg: yellow cake with a small surprise of a chocolate center And covered also in chocolate icing. Their black and white cookies…their mini fruit tarts, their breads…ooo lah lah…no one comes close to rivaling their breads…like their Jewish rye, their heavy and dense corn bread made with corn flour and was a rising bread. I could go on and on…Ebinger’s deserves its legendary status. Thank you for this article.

My Mom’s Whacky Cake recipe was popular in the 50’s:

Mix and bake in 9” square pan.
Sift into the pan 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Mix well. Add:
1 cup cold water
6 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix well. Bake 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes or touch rest.

Mzother used to serve squares warm with ice cream at her ladies’ “Bunko” card parties. I have no idea now how “Bunko” is played.
My sisters and I always hoped for a taste. In our teens we baked the easy cake for our boyfriends

I lived in the Flatbush area in the 1950s (East Flatbush). My grandmother worked in a Jewish bakery and I would go after school and get cookies, eclairs, Napoleons, etc. A very fond memory. I do not remember any Blackout cakes, though.

My parents both grew up in Flatbush and are deep lovers of Ebinger’s blackout cake. This article does gloss over the fact that Ebinger’s closed due to a proactive boycott of their widely known racist hiring policies. See here: The Civil Rights movement : Ebinger's Bakery by yonique matthews on Prezi Next