Easy Dump Cake Recipes

There are a lot of dump cake recipes out there and this one’s a keeper.  Just hit the print button now and put it in your cookbook.  There are so many vanilla cake recipes out there and I’ve tried most of them and I have to tell you this is hands down the best.  Unfortunately,  I can’t take credit for this one.  A gentleman by the name of James Peterson gets all the credit.  He has a series of cookbooks that are all worth buying, but if you like to bake start with his BAKING book.  Really, it is the best general baking book I’ve ever seen or owned.  I fully admit that I arrogantly tried to tweak his vanilla dump cake recipe to make it my own, but truth is, he has nailed the vanilla dump cake and there is nothing I can add, subtract or change to make it better.  It’s perfect and I love it.  And I want to give all credit to where it is due.

I have used this recipe for birthday cakes and frosted it with a whipped ganache.  (I’m going to post a video of that soon.)  I have also served this cake in a single layer dusted with powdered sugar.  It really doesn’t matter how you’re presenting it, it is outstanding!   I wasn’t kidding when I said that I’ve tried most vanilla cake recipes.  See, I went through a phase early in my career where I made cakes for people – full on fondant encased works of art, but that’s another story.  During that period, I made so many test cakes it got a bit ridiculous. So when I found this recipe I was overjoyed.  I no longer make cakes for anybody but my family and this is always their choice.  Funny thing is, the kids prefer it with the powdered sugar instead of the frosting.  Go figure? As I like to say, if I know, you know. And now you know the best vanilla dump cake out there  compliments of James Peterson.  And it’s so easy to make.  This is one of of those recipes that makes you look like a baking ninja, but is really simple.  My hat’s off to him and I share it with all of you happily!  Over the next few weeks I am going to make some flavored dump cake recipes that did require some tweaking but this is the base.

Vanilla Dump Cake Recipe

(makes 2 round layer cakes 9×1 or 1 round layer cake 9×2)

  •  2 1/2  cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾  cup plus 2 tbsp butter, sliced
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together. In another bowl whisk the eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 cup milk and vanilla. Add the butter and remaining milk to the dry ingredients. Then add the egg mixture in 3 batches to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth, but don’t overmix. Transfer batter to a greased 9″ cake pan(s). Bake on 350 for 25-30 mins for a 1″ thick cake or 35-40mins for a 2″ thick cake. Insert a toothpick in the middle of cake, if it comes out clean then it is done. If not, continue to bake in 5 min increments until done. Let cool 5 mins before turning cake onto a cooling rack. Plate and dust with powdered sugar or frost to your liking.

* You can use a non-stick baking spray OR butter cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper, butter parchment paper and lightly flour all interior surfaces.

Tools of the Trade

Cooking is both art and science.  And like a painter loves his brushes and paints, I love my cooking equipment.  And it can make a big difference.  Getting the right equipment always means making your life easier.  But in a lot of cases it will make a difference in the taste and texture of the food because it impacts how it is cooked.  And that means it impacts everything you are doing.  So, I always like to let you know what I am using and why.  When it comes to dump cake recipes it’s simple:  Get a good stand mixer and some good cake pans.  I live with my KitchenAid and love it.  At work I have a 60 quart Hobart mixer – basically picture a 5 foot tall KitchenAid mixer with a huge bowl that weight about 1,000 lbs – but at home, it’s all about the KitchenAid.  I have linked to the best deals I could find. Free shipping on the stand mixer saves a lot.

KitchenAid 5 quart stand mixer (it is available in 33 colors)

And I generally use 9″ Wilton cake pans.  There are other brands that are good, but Wilton are durable and do the job well.