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Cake Made Easy: Make it a Dump Cake!

Updated on February 20, 2017
DzyMsLizzy profile image

Vegetarian recipes, healthy foods, kitchen tips and shortcuts interest Liz, but she also likes desserts!

Rainbow Layer Cake

Whether a fancy layer cake or a simple sheet cake, any cake can be a dump cake
Whether a fancy layer cake or a simple sheet cake, any cake can be a dump cake

Make it a Dump Cake

That does not sound very appetizing, on the surface. A cake from the dumps? A cake you accidentally dumped on the floor and scabbed back together with toothpicks? A cake into which you dumped a wrong ingredient?

Well, take heart. It's none of those things. It's actually a way to make scratch-made cakes go together as easily as a cake mix.

I first heard of this from my grand-aunt Eunice, who lived in New England. Perhaps this is a regional expression; I don't know. I only know that she was the one from whom I learned the term and the technique.

Now, an Internet search for the term will come up with a multitude of cake recipes involving various fruit additions, which, seem to me more closely related to cobblers than cakes. It was back in the late 1960's that I first heard my aunt use this term in just the way I've presented it here; no fruit involved.

What Do I Have to Do?

It's very, very simple. Here are the steps:

Just Four Steps!

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. (Be sure to measure accurately!)
  2. Add the shortening (or oil), any other liquids, and the eggs, all at once to the dry ingredients. (have the eggs at room temperature for best results)
  3. Beat with a spoon or electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently
  4. Pour into prepared pans and bake.

Note For Purists:

If you prefer to use cake flour, and if you are all out, the substitution is:

1 cup all purpose flour, minus 2 Tablespoons = 1 cup cake flour (per cup of flour called for). So, for example, if the recipe called for 2 cups cake flour, you'd measure 2 cups and remove 4 Tablespoons.


Modern flour does not truly require being sifted, but, by sifting all the dry ingredients together, you get them blended in better.

What is your rating for dump cake?

4.5 stars from 2 ratings of Dump Cake Instructions

You're Done!

That's all there is to it. What you are doing, in effect, is pre-making your own cake mix by mixing all the dry ingredients first. Then, just as with a store-bought cake mix, you add the liquids then the eggs.

This method makes scratch-made cakes a lot less intimidating for folks accustomed to using cake mixes.

It also has the added benefit of using only wholesome ingredients from your kitchen, which you control. You won't be dealing with any chemical preservatives or "conditioners" such as are found in commercial mixes.

The Dump Cake Method Can be Used on Any Kind of Cake

Multiple layer cakes?  Of course!
Multiple layer cakes? Of course!
Basic sheet cakes?  Why not?
Basic sheet cakes? Why not?

Have you ever made a 'dump cake'?

See results

Calorie-Saving Tip

Did you know? Plain applesauce can be substituted for the oil in any cake mix or recipe. The cake will be nice and moist, and no one will be the wiser, for the applesauce does not impart any real flavor.

It will also not affect the rising of the cake, as the oil is not an ingredient that has to do with rising; that would be up to the baking powder to control.

Photo Credits

All photos for this hub are by Jennifer Davis, and used by permission.

© 2013 Liz Elias


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