Dump-it Cake (small recipe)

This is our go-to, quick cake recipe. It is technically vegan, but it is not vegan by design. It’s simply lovely. We think it comes from World War II-era cooking when there was a lot of rationing. We have seen variants of this recipe from around the US and Poland.


  • (180g) 1-1/2 c. AP flour
  • (120g) 1 c. sugar
  • (68g) 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • (82g) 6 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • (236g) 1 c. cool water


Preheat oven to 350. If you are serving the cake from the pan, you may mix all ingredients in an ungreased, unfloured 8×8 pan. If you would like to take the cake out of the pan, line with parchment paper (leave some overhang to help lift the cake from the pan). For this option, mix ingredients in a bowl.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into the pan (or bowl) and mix thoroughly.

Make three indentations in the dry mixture – one each small, medium and large. Pour the oil into the largest well, vinegar into the medium and the vanilla into the small well. Pour the water over the top and stir gently with a fork or flat sauce whisk (be sure to get in the corners). Don’t overmix – some small lumps are OK.

Bake for 30 minutes until the top springs back when touched and a tester comes out clean.

Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar or your top with your favorite frosting.

Adapted from ‘in the sweet kitchen’


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