Monday, April 19, 2010

Crazy/Wacky/Dump Cake

This one's for the allergy crew!

Our family seems to suffer from lots of allergies .. Allergies to eggs and dairy being too common which is unfortunate, as it rules out quite a few sweet things and I am all for the sweet things! Sadly that means less cake for the afflicted - though not necessarily more cake for me.

Since sharing is caring, I went in search for a cake recipe that someone with these allergies could eat and came across the recipe below. Alternately called crazy/wacky/dump cake, this cake was thought to have been developed either around World War I or perhaps the Depression, when households were subject to rationing and ingredients such as eggs and dairy were rare. Not quite sure why the cake is crazy/wacky but dump cake kinda makes sense because mostly the recipes call for the dry ingredients to be 'dumped' and mixed in the tin the cake is supposed to be baked in.

There are lots of versions of this cake on the internet - some have the occasional egg or dairy - but the recipe listed below has neither.


  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

  • Preheat oven to 175°C.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into an 8x8 inch ungreased cake tin. (I didn't want to scratch mine so I did all my mixing in another bowl and transferred it super fast to get maximum reaction between the baking soda and vinegar make sure my cake rose! Having baked it now, I suspect the batter isn't that sensitive. The added time of transferring it didn't seem to harm the cake.)
  • Create 3 wells in the dry ingredients and into each, measure out the oil, vinegar and vanilla extract.

  • Pour water over all other ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
This is the result! I was surprised - straight out of the oven, the cake was fluffy and moist with a nice chocolate flavour without being too sweet.

As you can see the cake did stick to the pan .. Not sure whether that was my eagerness to taste it or whether it's a problem that required remedying ...Might try baking paper next time!

Another idea that came to mind, is that since practically all the flavour is coming from the cocoa powder, you could change the flavour by substituting the cocoa for matcha or even all spice.
Another bonus, since this cake is animal product free, vegans can eat it too!

So here's to cake for the masses!!

Sugar and spice and all things nice,

la chouquette sucrée


  1. And having sampled it, I can testify that it truly works! A deliciously light chocolatey cake that is suitable for most of the allergy sufferers in our family (apart from the gluten free people :( )but I bet you could substitute a gluten free flour! And being the inveterate recipe fiddler that I am, maybe we could substitute melted dairy free chocolate for some of the cocoa too! And add icecream or cream or a chocolate ganache to zooosch it up a bit for those of us who can still eat dairy!

  2. It does go very well with ice cream - that's how we finished off the corner I cut out .. Hehe

  3. Hahaha, what a well named cake! I love the pic of the cake straight out of the oven! The cracks and the texture of the top looks amazing! It's nice to see that allergy sufferers don't have to compromise on eating a good cake!

  4. I love it, not only is there no beater to clean up but there's no bowl too and it tastes great! :D Major wins all around :)

  5. Thank you soooo much for making this cake for me. It was so moist and delicious and most importantly CHOCOLATEY in spite of not having the usual cake ingredients, that I'm sure to try making it myself.

  6. There's a lot of sugar to flour ratio though. Wag

  7. Awesome...., the cake to cook when the pantry is 'almost' bare ;) Likin' it a lot ;)