Baking in a tiny RV is a bit like being marooned on a desert island. We have limited space for tools and supplies. And not every recipe works under survival conditions. It has to have few ingredients, require minimal equipment, and bake without complaint in our small convection/microwave oven.
On our trek West, I came to realize which recipes are my true loves—the cakes, breads and cookies I can’t live without. The revelation is like the finale of a cheesy rom-com, except there’s no race to the airport before the plane takes off.
My heart and head picked a dear old favorite, fudge squares. A snack-style cake that looks and cuts like brownies, it has the velvety soft crumb of fudge cake. It’s got what you crave from fine chocolate—a delicious melt-away mouthful that boosts both spirits and energy levels. Split and filled, a fudge square transforms into a knock-out ice cream sandwich. Add a plop of whipped cream and it makes a perfectly respectable company dessert.
The recipe comes from the venerable Manna to Mousse cookbook, the source of One Bowl Apple Cake. It’s attributed to one Mrs. Solon Silverstein in 1969, but there the provenance ends. It uses basic ingredients and methods, typical of a beloved classic. And happily, you don’t need an electric mixer, only a fork to beat the egg and a silicone spatula to beat the batter—so it’s RV friendly.
It’s so easy and quick, I’ve been making it over and over. You want chocolate? It does the trick. No matter how tiny or mobile your kitchen.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup flour
- Pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar. Stir in beaten egg.
- Add cocoa and oil and beat until smooth.
- Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl or on wax paper. Add to beaten mixture, alternating with milk and vanilla, mixing well. Add nuts if desired.
- Pour into greased 8” square pan.
- Bake 30-35 minutes until just done.
Eat within three days or freeze to keep fresh.