Cooking with Kids: Our Favorite Chocolate Cake

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

Cooking with kids is so much fun but let's be honest, it can take a lot of patience, too! It goes without stating that there will be a lot of fun messes! My kiddos always want to stir like a tornado is hitting or throw flour everywhere. Then, of course, they seem to always want to lick their fingers or the spoon. I am so thankful, though, that they love being in the kitchen and learning to cook!

The chocolate cake recipe below was one of the first recipes I used to teach them to bake. This recipe has been in our family for years. Not only is it really yummy but it also just calls for pantry staples earning it the name Pioneer Cake. It doesn't contain milk or eggs like some other recipes. It is definitely one of our favorites!

Pioneer Cake



  • 3 cups flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup cocoa

  • 2/3 cup oil

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 cups cold water



  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Step 2: Grease and flour a 9X12 inch pan.

  • Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.

  • Step 4: Add the remaining ingredients - oil, white vinegar, vanilla, and cold water.

  • Step 5: Cook for 30 to 35 minutes.

  • Step 6: Let cool and top with powdered sugar (optional)

  • Step 7: Enjoy!


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Fun Finds

Metal 9x13 Covered Cake Pan

Growing up, we always baked our Pioneer Cake in a metal pan as shown here. Both my sister and I agree that for some reason, it just tastes better baked in a metal pan!

Check it out here >

Girls Apron

There are so many adorable girls aprons. This is just one of the many cute ones.

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Boys Apron

My boys love wearing there aprons in the kitchen! Plus, sometimes it helps keep them clean, haha.

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