Monday, May 16, 2011

Sad Cake

     I was so intrigued by this recipe when I first saw it that I knew it would be something I had to try in my dutch oven.  I was drawn to it because it has few ingredients and is something you can scoop right out of the oven rather than having to carefully remove to a platter.  There is a reason it is called Sad Cake.  After you take it off of the coals the puffed center of the cake deflates and you are left with a warm, gooey, delicious blonde brownie/bar cookie that reminds you of unbaked cookie dough. The first time I tried it, I was very sad because I lost track of time, loaded the lid of my dutch oven with too many coals and burned the cake.  All was not lost.  After it cooled a bit, under the blackened crust was essentially a giant, warm, soft chocolate chip cookie that melted in your mouth.  It didn't look very nice but it it was pure bliss on a spoon.
       As delicious as the first cake was I wanted to show you how the cake was supposed to look. I went back inside, whipped up another batch of Bisquick, brown sugar, eggs, and oil only this time I added coconut instead of chocolate chips. I kept a close watch on the temperature and baked it with fewer coals in the center of the lid and more in a ring around the outside.  When the cake has risen around the outside and the edges are pulling away slightly from the sides of the oven it should be done.  You don't want it to rise too high and dry out in the center.  The second cake rose beautifully then once I brought it inside it fell with a sugary thud.  The fun part is watching it collapse right before your very eyes.
     I baked both cakes with 12 coals in a ring around the outside edge of the bottom of the oven and about 18-20 on the lid. Serve it with a spoon, slice it in wedges or cut it in bars. However you decide to make this scrumptious dessert, with nuts, chips or coconut, give it a try, it definitely is a conversation piece. 

Sad Cake

2 cups Bisquick or baking mix
1 1 lb. box of brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 cup nuts
and/or 1-2 cups of chocolate chips
     Spray well or oil a 12 inch dutch oven.
     Mix brown sugar, vanilla and eggs in mixer.  Add oil and Bisquick, blend well.  Add coconut, nuts or chocolate chips.
     Pour into dutch oven.
     Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Rotate oven and check halfway through cooking time to make sure cake isn't browning too quickly.
     Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow cake to deflate before serving.

Ready for the coals

Chocolate chip cake looking pretty sad

Coconut cake golden and puffed around the edges

Cake settles as it cools

Sad cake means happy campers


  1. I just want to thank you so much for this site. I know this post is over a year old but I made this recipe (with chocolate chips,) two of them actually, at a Dutch oven feast I coordinated this weekend for our Cub Scout Pack. (100 people total - scouts and families, 8 recipes, 14 Dutch ovens. Lots of full happy tummies, for less than $3 per person!)

    I have bookmarked several of your recipes to try and am so excited to have found your blog!

    Like your story here, I think we overcooked our "cakes" this weekend. But boy did they still taste so good! I can't wait to try it again! We got rave reviews from the families!

  2. Sounds like a great time, thanks so much for sharing. Glad you liked the Sad Cake and hope you find more recipes you can use for your Cub Scout Pack. I am in awe of anyone who is involved in Scouting! Liddy