While you might remember making dump cakes in second grade science class, this sophisticated version is nothing like the messy, below average results in your mind’s eye. A crispy chocolate crust studded with toasted pecans blankets creamy whiskey-infused vanilla custard. Sound like a mouthful? That’s because it is—a downright delicious one. Here’s the difference: most dump cakes start with store-bought ingredients like instant pudding and boxed cake mix. We tried baking instant pudding and it bubbled, thickened, and strangely took on the flavor of scrambled eggs, leading us to conclude that making a quick homemade custard is the best option. You’ll also make your own cake mix for a tastier, preservative-free treat.
For the base:
Butter or nonstick spray for baking dish
3 large eggs
⅔ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the cake mix:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.
Make the base: Combine eggs, milk, whiskey and vanilla in a blender and blend until evenly combined, 1 minute. Add sugar, crème fraîche, flour, and salt and blend until smooth. Pour the custard into the prepared baking dish.
Make the cake mix: Whisk flour, pecans, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and sprinkle evenly over the custard. Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate the butter evenly over the surface of the cake.
Bake until top is set around the edges but still wobbly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before serving.
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