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+ servings
sliced chocolate dump cake with one piece missing

Chocolate Dump Cake

Chocolate dump cake is an easy, from-scratch chocolate cake that doesn't require a mixer or even a mixing bowl!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Kelsie



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water or tepid coffee*


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted if it’s clumpy
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into the baking pan.
  3. Make a well (an indentatioin the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla into it.
  4. Pour the water or coffee over that. Stir until smooth—be sure you don’t have any lumps in your batter or you'll end up with pockets of dry ingredients in your final cake.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool to room temp before frosting. (Or dusting with powdered sugar, etc.—see notes below.)


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the cocoa powder; mix vigorously to eliminate any clumps. (You can do this in a bowl but I just mixed the frosting right in the pan I used for the butter.)
  2. Stir in the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and the salt. Stir until smooth, adding more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
  3. Frost the cake, then slice and serve.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • *I like to use coffee because it deepens the cake’s chocolate flavor but use water if you prefer.
  • Uneaten cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to 2 days or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.
  • The frosting here is optional. If you’re in a hurry or don’t like frosting, you can dust the cake with powdered sugar, serve with ice cream, or top with whipped cream—whatever you like.