Super Tuesday Santorum Cake

An ex-boyfriend introduced me to the idea of the wacky cake.

When I asked him what on earth was so “wacky” about it, he proceeded to tell me he wasn’t sure, but that his mother would bake one every Christmas, crown it with shattered peppermint bark, pierce it with candles, and force the whole family to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus– the savior to whom his family had committed their souls in what I can only imagine to have been a very painful mass re-birth.

I thought it sounded more whacked than wacky.

This cake whose sanity has been called into question is the descendant of other unfortunately named confections: the pioneer-era Dump Cake and the Crazy Cake of The Great War. Popularized during The Second World War thanks to strict food rationing, like its ancestors, it is a cake made from deprivation and succeeds in fooling the eater into believing he is in no way deprived. It is lush and moist; quick and easy to prepare; there are no extraneous bowls to wash. And any idiot can make a decent one.

It is, quite possibly, the sanest cake I know.

And yet…

As I was making one the other day, I couldn’t get this guy out of my head. Not my ex, mind you, but former Pennsylvania Senator Richard John Santorum.

I would never stoop so low as to suggest that Mr. Santorum was wacky, crazy, or even dumpy, but the recipe itself just screams the man’s name.

So I did the only logical thing one could do in such a situation– I made a Wacky Cake in his honor.

Santorum Cake

This rich, chocolatey cake is entirely egg-free. Not due to wartime rationing, thank heavens, but because the author believes deeply in the concept of chickenhood. All eggs– both fertilized and non– have the right to grow into the poultry God intended them to be: clucking, happy, beheaded, fried, and eaten on the campaign trail.

The absence of dairy products means the texture of this dessert utterly oil-dependent.

And, of course, there are nuts.

Serves 9, but please save the nicest piece for Jesus. 


• 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
• 1 cup of white sugar. Darker versions are not recommended.
• 1 teaspoon of baking soda
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 1 cup finely-groud macadamia nuts. Frankly, any sort of nut will do, as long as it is an American nut*
• 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 5 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 cup of cold water


1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F and tell yourself there is no such thing as global warming.

2. Pulverize your nuts, then set them aside.

3. Rub a greased palm along the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan. Combine all of the dry ingredients (except nuts) and sift directly into the center of the pan.

4. Dig a large hole into the center of your dry ingredients so that it looks not unlike a dormant volcano.

 5. Pour oil, vinegar, and vanilla into the crater. As you stand over it, watching it bubble and spit, you a) understand why some recipes call for each liquid to have its own hole, b) think (in this particular case) three holes would be less entertaining and more work, and c) realized you’ve essentially just made the same vinaigrette your friend just made for her blood orange and farro salad, but you’re about to bake with it.

6. Sprinkle in the nuts, pour over the cold water, and stir up the muck until thoroughly combined.

7. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the cake looks done. Do not commit the blasphemy of probing deep into the center of the cake with a toothpick or bamboo skewer.

8. Let cake cool and rest for at least 30 minutes. Gently rub the tip of a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and remove.

9. To decorate, sprinkle the top of each serving with ground nuts and dust with powdered sugar. No frosting. No frills. Keep on message.

10. Serve to the Presidential candidate of your choice this Super Tuesday in one of two ways: a) down his cake hole, or b) up his Sanctum Santorum.

And hope he does what this cake is sure to do: disappear quickly.

* The author is aware of the fact that macadamia trees are native to Australasia. They are, however, grown in the United States proper (California) and what some might consider the United States improper (Hawai’i). And, by the way, Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.

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About Michael Procopio

I write about food and am very fond of Edward Gorey. And gin.
This entry was posted in Celebrities, Sweets and the Like and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Super Tuesday Santorum Cake

  1. Garrett says:

    You won the internet today with this

  2. Ryan says:


    I’m certain the filled volcano crater photo is the most disturbingly accurate, SFW photo depicting Santorum in existence.

    • You know I wasn’t even consciously aware that said photo looked like a Sanctum Santorum until it was pointed out to me. Everyone is going to find that hard to believe, but it’s completely true.

  3. Ha! I must admit that there is no phrase more disgusting than “Santorum Cake”- well, perhaps “Santorum Salad” (Google it, it’s SFW). Wait, I take it all back, the most disgusting phrase of all would be (sweet baby Jebus) “President Santorum”.
    The cake, however, looks lovely!
    Thanks for the link love.

  4. Stephanie says:


  5. Jay Floyd says:

    I wonder if Frothy The Blowman’s aides will stumble across this indelicate homage? I sure hope so.

  6. Lynde Thames says:

    Thank you …thank you …thank you..
    for this luscious recipe….which I was so excited to find….I am severely allergic to eggs & dairy….well, ok…and yeast too so I will have to substitute the vinegar with something….I haven’t had chocolate cake in 3 yrs because I couldn’t find an egg-less dairy-free recipe…you are my hero…

    Thank you also for such witty writing…..absolutely made my day!!!.

    • Hello Lynde,

      I’m glad you like the recipe and thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I wish I knew what to do about substituting the vinegar. Are you okay with distilled white vinegar (which is what I have used in this recipe)? It’s certainly not guaranteed to be completely yeast-free, but the purpose of its distilling (I think) is to both concentrate the acid and remove the yeast proteins from the final product.

      I’m not an expert, so please don’t take my word for it. It is, however, worth investigating.

  7. Kitten says:

    This cake sounds so beautiful, but any mention of Santorum (in any of its meanings) turns my stomach. So conflicted…

    • Hi Kitten,

      It’s actually a really good cake with an incredibly forgiving recipe (which rather plays against Santorum-type). I love the fact that the name of this cake is turning people’s stomachs. And I adore conflict. All in all, I would say my work is done.

  8. Lisa says:

    brilliant! made my day.

  9. Lindy says:

    Can I hear an Amen! You are good! Made my snotty nose run, freed the sinuses up, gave me breathing room, thank you!

  10. K says:

    Oh wow… that picture really says 1000 words when describing a santorum.

  11. Steve C. says:

    Amazing. I saw your Santorum cake post the other week and now I find this other abomination, similar to yours but a pie, on the internet. Interesting to see how different people interpret Santorum through dessert. Here’s the pie:

    • Hi Steve,

      Sorry, I’ve gotten a bit lost regarding my comment section this week.

      I just read the link to the Santorum pie. I have no words. I did my best to avoid the froth, so to speak, but my photo of ingredients proves that my mind was right there, however unintentionally it was photographed.



  12. Penandra says:

    Although I grew up on a dairy farm (where we also raised our own chickens, hence lots of fresh eggs as well), I also grew up with this cake. We always had dessert for both lunch and supper and this was one of Auntie’s favorites to whip together.

    It was quick and easy to put together, and it left Auntie with plenty of time to spoil her favorite niece! I can tell you that adding whipped cream (or homemade ice cream — which, of course, required both cream AND eggs) just adds to the enjoyment!

    Thanks for the delightful memory!

  13. Time left over for the spoiling of favorite nieces is time well spent, in my book.

    And I am jealous of the fact that you had dessert for both lunch and dinner.

  14. Alanna says:

    Best recipe directions ever!

  15. Susan says:

    Hi Michael,

    This sounds really yummy and easy, too. Thanks. I’ll try it.

    Too funny about your ex and his family singing Happy Birthday to Jesus every Christmas. Then again, I relate to the egg thing which some people might view as whacky. lol


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