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Housewife 101: Chocolate Dump Cake

2012 April 11

In this second installment of “Housewife 101” (aka follow along as I learn how to do the most basic domestic tasks for the first time), I introduce you to the wonders of the “dump cake.”

Sounds appetizing, right?

I decided that after the extravagantly amazing birthday bash we threw Little D one week before her birthday, that on her actual day, we would celebrate in simple style with family and homemade cake. Problem is, mama has never made a cake before in her life. So I promptly Googled “easy chocolate cake recipes” and came across this little gem – the dump cake. You just dump all the ingredients into a bowl, blend and cook. Simple enough, right? Well, let’s see…

Ok, step one is assembling the ingredients:

Any old dummy can do that, though it did involve a trip to the grocery store for me. Here’s what you will need:

  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) whole milk
  • 2/3 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup(s) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 cup(s) butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

Step two: dump. That I can do:

Step three: blend. On it:

Step four: ok, this stressed me out a bit. I had to prepare two 8-inch cake pans by lightly brushing them with butter and then coating them in flour, shaking off the excess. I am telling you, I am a novice. This kind of stuff stresses me out. But it worked just fine:

Step five: pour into pan. I am feeling like Nigella Freakin Lawson at this point.

Then I reference the recipe and read this: “Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the tops spring back when lightly touched.” That’s it. No time. WTF. I read it out loud to skater hubs to make sure I am not missing something obvious. Nope, no time. So in go the cakes, on goes the oven light and goodbye goes the next 20 or so minutes of my life, while I sit there and watch it bake. Paint drying sounds pretty freaking exciting right about now.

Step six: stare in wonderment at the beautiful cake you just baked. Pat yourself on the back:

Step seven: cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then invert the pan and completely cool on wire rack. That didn’t go so well:

But that’s ok, because next up is frosting! I can cover that hot mess right up.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounce(s) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoon(s) (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoon(s) whole milk
  • 3 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup(s) cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
Softening the cream cheese was a bit of an ordeal. I had to Google that when the whole room temperature thing was taking too long. Otherwise, super easy.
Step one: dump. Sort of. You dump a bit. You beat a bit. You dump a bit. You beat a bit.
This is starting to look like frosting and I am starting to get excited. Then came the most annoying part of the whole process: sifting the powdered sugar. I have since complained on Twitter about this and a lovely reader told me she never sifts powdered sugar from a bag, so I am hoping she is right and I can skip this altogether next time, because it was a royal mess. And by royal I mean I had to change my pants AND wash my kid’s hair after:
But in the end, it was worth it:
Frosting the cake was a little nerve-wracking, too. Cake kept sticking to the spoon and tearing up, but I got over it, and was very pleasantly surprised with the final product:
And was even more surprised when it tasted absolutely delicious at dinner that night.
And, of course, the next morning for breakfast:

*All photos taken with Instagram

5 Responses
  1. April 11, 2012

    I’m so excited for you! Hooray!

  2. April 11, 2012

    this looks amazing! I seriously am considering making this right now. looking forward to meeting you Saturday! ox

  3. May 28, 2012

    LOL love the idea of a DUMP cake. I hate having to scroll up and down on the screen for the measurements as I put the ingredients in the correct order. I suppose I could pre-measure in pretty cups like they do on cooking shows, but I don’t want to do that many dishes (well Peter doesn’t…shhhhh…the guy does the dishes!).

    Looks like it was success! I’ll admit flouring a pan freaks me out too for some stupid reason.

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