House Cake

I admittedly have found very few recipes that rival the ease of cake mix in that time crunched “I need a cake!” moment.  If you’re one of my super awesome loyal readers, you’ll know that I rarely do cake recipes.  The reason for that is  that I have tiny, little kids with a ridiculous amount of energy.  The dishes, the excess of sugar, the attention to detail are all things that I tend not to want to deal with, unless of course I’m feeling fancy.  Quite honestly,  I tried recipe after recipe and was never satisfied with any “from scratch” recipe that could out-do the ease, the lack of dishes, the quality moist crumb and the consistency (regardless of slight human error) of a box of science-laden cake mix.

That all changed the moment I read a recipe from a magazine.  “Dump cake”, it’s called.  Not an attractive name, but the idea behind it is magnificent, indeed.  I changed the flavor to what we had in the house at the time.  Since I don’t bake that often, I don’t keep a ton of brown sugar, chocolate, unsalted butter and confectioner’s sugar in the house; unless, of course I have a recipe in mind that I plan to make and showcase to you wonderful readers.

The baby was asleep and I didn’t feel like running out, so I substituted shortening for butter and flavored it with a lime I had in the fridge (instead of chocolate) and I used white sugar instead of brown sugar.  Yikes.  That’s a lot of substitutions.   I really didn’t expect it to turn out all that great.  But, really, what did I have to lose?  With the highest of hopes and the lowest of expectations I made my version of the “dump cake” and it astounded me, amazed me, my jaw literally dropped.

My 4-year-old pickiest eater in the world (yes, even for cake.  Especially for cake.) ate a huge piece without any icing at all! He then went on to rave about how “awesome” the cake is.  This might sound like a small feat for a 4-year old, (you’re thinking, “what four-year old wouldn’t eat cake?”) but I tell you that child has the palate of the snobbiest of food snobs in the world and he absolutely loved it.

So, I present to you, my new go-to house cake recipe.

This particular is the original “experimental” dump cake – lime cake with lemon syrup glaze.  I added the glaze since I didn’t have any frosting or confectioner’s sugar on hand.  Plus it makes it ridiculously moist. If you plan to layer the cakes with frosting in between, the glaze might not be necessary depending on your taste and the sweetness of the frosting you’re using.  But again, this one is really difficult to screw up and I say that with the utmost respect since I often screw up fickle baking recipes.

This recipe changed my entire attitude about cake in general.  That is saying a lot.


Lime House Cake with Lemon Syrup Glaze

For the Lime House Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brush 2 9-inch cake pans with softened butter and tap a handful of flour around until all butter is covered with a light dusting of flour.

Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix with electric mixer on low speed (or by hand) for three minutes.

Pour half of batter into one prepared cake pan and the other half into the other prepared cake pan.

Place pans into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes clean from center of cakes (in my not-so-great oven, this took exactly 21 minutes – came out beautifully).

Cool cakes to warm or room temperature.  Poke holes with a fork about 5 times in each cake/layer.


For the Lemon Syrup Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water

Heat lemon juice, butter, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to boil and then cool slightly.  Pour half of syrup over one cake and the other half over the other cake.


Adapted from Source: “Country Living”

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20 Responses to House Cake

  1. Anonymous says:

    I actually do one-bowl cakes ALL THE TIME! This is so good for me though, I LOVE citrus!

  2. Barbara Tintle says:

    This looks like a real winner! I love simple plain cakes…with a lemon-lime twist sounds delicious! I’m bookmarking this one!

  3. basilmomma says:

    Yum! I make something similar. Great thing is EVERYONE loves it no matter what it’s called. Nice thing is you can also use different things. I use lemon juice, zest and blueberries :) Great post!!
    By the way…what is top 9? I don’t get it…!

  4. Sandra says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of baking cakes from scratch. Looking forward to trying your recipe!

  5. Ann says:

    This cake recipe is so amazing – it’s no surprise it made Top 9! Congratulations!

  6. Congrats on Top 9!!! That cake looks fantastic!

  7. ooo my citrus loving stomach is very much liking the sound of this one!! would be a dangerous recipe to have on hand though, knowing i could whip up a cake in next to nothing! Gorgeous recipe indeed, one i fully intend to bring to life in my little kitchen some day :)

  8. Chef Dennis says:

    That cake looks delicious! Lime and lemons call out to me!
    I love your new look, very cool!

  9. Parsley Sage says:

    Oooh! Great use of lime :) My fridge sounds alot like yours…more citrus than sugar! Great cake, bookmarked!

  10. Ann says:

    Delish! It looks so moist and delicious! I love recipes that I call “dump-and-stir”….so this is right up my alley!

  11. This recipe looks really tasty. And I’m glad you found something that your kiddos enjoy!

  12. Looks like attitude change well deserved!

  13. A one bowl cake recipe! Sounds great… I often have those ‘i need cake’ moments, and rarely for chocolate cake. This lime cake sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing, Kate! I’m bookmarking this one…

  14. I love this Kate! It’s the perfect yellow cake (my favorite) with a citrus twist! So glad that you made the substitutions you did! And I love a glaze on a cake instead of frosting….helps to keep it more moist too! This looks scrumptious! : )

  15. That is what being creative is all about-taking chances and changing things up. I am so glad it came out a winner! You picked a lovely summer flavor of lime and that piece looks delicious. Well done.

  16. Love it! If you can please a picky kid you can do anything! The cake sounds moist and delicious!

  17. Adora's Box says:

    What a lovely one bowl ( not dump) cake. Love the lemon lime flavour, too. Looks so fluffy!

  18. I like your name MUCH better! House cake sounds better than dump cake anyday… but no matter what you call it, it sounds AWESOME!

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