1) Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" square or 9" round pan that's at least 2" deep. If you don't have a 2"-deep pan in either of those sizes, use a 9" square pan.
2) Traditional method: Measure all the dry ingredients into the prepared pan. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations. Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third. Take the cup of water and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until well blended.
3) Updated method: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
4) Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
5) Serve the cake right from the pan; warm from the oven, it's wonderful with a big glass of milk.
6) Or, once cool, frost the cake with this simple chocolate frosting: Heat 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips with 1/2 cup half & half until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake.
Yield: about 16 servings.