The Pantry Staple That Turns Chocolate Cake Into A Moist Masterpiece

Decadent, moist, and insanely rich, chocolate cake might just be one of the greatest desserts of all time. One bite of an amazing chocolate cake can transport you to a world of flavorful fancy, but not all chocolate cake recipes are created equal. There are tons of tips for including yummy, bonus ingredients in chocolate cake, like adding mashed banana to chocolate cake batter to prevent dryness or mixing in some coffee to enhance the flavors of cocoa. But sometimes the best secret ingredient isn't what you'd expect.

For truly terrific texture, add vinegar to your next chocolate cake recipe. Adding vinegar to a delicious dessert might sound like a major taste bud turnoff, but it's actually a key ingredient for getting that perfect bite of cake. Vinegar elevates the moistness in a cake, and it's also a great boost for leavening agents, helping the cake rise properly to achieve that light-as-air texture. Plus, if you add vinegar to the frosting as well, you'll have the perfect balance of sugary sweetness and a smooth frosted finish on your cake. Even though it's normally associated with tangy salad dressings or salted chips, vinegar is the secret weapon pantry staple you need for a divine dessert.

Vinegar adds volume to chocolate cake

Right alongside serving up cocoa and fermented cabbage in a sauerkraut chocolate cake recipe, vinegar chocolate cake sounds startling, to say the least. As with many interesting ingredient swaps, adding vinegar to cake mixes began as a result of World War II food rationing. People would substitute vinegar for otherwise essential baking ingredients because it was cheaper and easier to acquire, but created similar results.

So, how the heck does this vinegar trick work? Well, remember the classic science fair baking soda volcano? It's sort of like that, only this experiment yields something a little closer to chocolate lava cake, rather than a simulated lava eruption. When acid combines with the baking soda in the cake mix, it releases carbon dioxide bubbles into the cake batter. These bubbles make for a light, airy cake, with the added vinegar compounding the fluffiness factor of the leavening agent. Vinegar is also a stabilizer, adding acidity to the cake batter to help set the proteins from flour during the baking process. So not only will your cake come out fluffy, but super moist too.

To make your own moist masterpiece, just add 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to your cake batter, making adjustments based on how many eggs and how much baking soda your recipe calls for. You might love this surprising trick so much that you'll start adding vinegar to other desserts.