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Busy-Day Dump Cake

Recipe photo courtesy of Johnny Miller

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.

Source: Everyday Food, November 2009




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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How would you rate this recipe?
  • MS11918610
    15 AUG, 2018
    This cake is always a winner and so easy to make. Also good with chocolate butter cream frosting.
    • donnaman1943
      15 FEB, 2019
      Can this cake be made with Splenda?
  • MS212822731
    3 DEC, 2018
    Delicious cake, very easy to make and so moist and rich.
  • juliemperry67g
    15 SEP, 2016
    This was awful. Ate you sure 1 tablespoon white vinegar? The end product tasted vinegary.
    • MS11069157
      15 AUG, 2018
      Julie, my comment to you got misplaced. Here it is: I have made this cake (also called "depression cake" from the depression time in the 40tieth) many times, as I have family members who do not eat eggs. However, I use apple cider vinegar - full tablespoon - and coconut oil. It always comes out great.
    • carolkelley63
      20 MAY, 2018
      I think that 1 tablespoon is a mistake. I have a similar recipe in another cookbook and it calls for 1 TEASPOON. I made this recipe with 1 teaspoon of vinegar and it seemed to turn out just right.
  • jasnaoklop50
    15 SEP, 2017
    Dear Martha,I am frim Croatia,please can I get meausers in grams/ml? No way with cups.I like your..everything.And you:))
    • MS11069157
      15 AUG, 2018
      Jas, there are plenty of websites that will convert cups to grams and visa versa. I am from Europe too, and do this all the time.
    • ladk29087499
      20 OCT, 2017
      You can use a teacup, it works well. Or you can buy a cup-set. This is not expansive and very handy. I am French.
  • halfnelson79079
    22 FEB, 2018
    I have this recipe and one for white (crazy) cake. They are quick and wonderful cakes. I have frosted, added nuts and fruit, liquid flavoring. My favorite is cranberries, bitter chocolate and pecans. No frosting.I have served these cakes to guests and on special occasions. The dish is always empty! To the chocolate ! like to add orange extract, excellent with espresso!! Enjoy!!raf
    • MS11069157
      15 AUG, 2018
      I have made this cake (also called "depression cake" from the depression time in the 40tieth) many times, as I have family members who do not eat eggs. However, I use apple cider vinegar - full tablespoon - and coconut oil. It always comes out great.
  • susanatgilbertaz
    24 AUG, 2016
    I wonder why the author of the Mad Hungry cookbook called this Busy Day Dump Cake? I hope she wrote in her cookbook that this recipe is not an original from her. It is the EXACT same ingredients as WACKY CAKE. I am 70 years old and my grandmother made this cake when I was very young. This recipe showed up shortly after WWII and was thought to be concocted because of rationing. At that time, eggs, butter and milk were scarce.
    • MS11676808
      23 FEB, 2018
      This recipe has been in my family forever. My great grandmother made this. I knew the story, but in my family, it's called Crazy Cake!
    • MS11903936
      22 FEB, 2018
      Thank you for the comment! I suppose since "dump" everything is "in". I never knew the story about the Wacky cake and the rationing. Good to know!
  • MS11391672
    19 OCT, 2017
    When I clicked on the simple buttercream, the site took be back to the cake recipe-3 times. I often find there are glitches in navigating the website.
  • summrbrz
    15 SEP, 2017
    Just took it out of the oven at 30 minutes (toothpick is clean!). I also used a Pyrex pan, so I lowered my cooking temp to 325 deg. Looks dark and dense. I'll let it cool completely as instructed.
  • MS10207203
    8 MAY, 2017
    One of the easiest and tastiest cakes. My family just love it. It is very moist and many people would have all the ingredients in their pantry. I make it quite frequently especially when company is coming. It's a keeper that is for sure.
  • Dudley90029
    29 MAR, 2017
    I really like this cake. I've made it twice and everyone loves it - it's very moist but also light. First time I made it I dusted it with powdered sugar, second time I didn't use any topping - just cut it up into little squares. You'll want to let it cool otherwise it will fall apart when you try to cut it. Last time I made it I had to use extra virgin olive oil (ran out of canola oil) and I think it added a very nice fruity flavor - I recommend trying it!

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