Busy-Day Dump Cake


This chocolate cake recipe from Lucinda Scala Quinn's "Mad Hungry" cookbook involves minimal cleanup -- the ingredients are blended in the very pan that goes into the oven.


  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 cup cold water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an 8-inch square baking pan, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture and add oil, vanilla, vinegar, and water. Whisk until well combined. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

    busy day chocolate cake
    Johnny Miller


To frost this cake, make a batch of simple buttercream: Sift 1/2 pound confectioners' sugar. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sifted sugar with 1 cup (2 sticks) room-temperature unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of kosher salt. Beat on high speed 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

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