These Magic 2-Ingredient Cakes Are Like Dump Cake, But Easier

Each one contains a surprise ingredient.

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Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

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There’s the time and place for elaborate homemade desserts. Then there’s the time you’re craving something warm and sweet and homemade, and wanted it, like, yesterday.

Under these circumstances, you could very well make a dump cake. For the uninitiated, dump cakes involve dumping your cake ingredients into a baking dish and stirring them right inside the pan. That’s all well and good. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to bake something that’s even easier? And not have to make a trip to the grocery store?

Photo by: Sean Rosenthal

Sean Rosenthal

Enter the magic 2-ingredient cake that starts with a box of cake mix. Leave it to pastry chef Lasheeda Perry, who leads the pastry team at Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, to teach us something that's this darn delicious and easy. Surprise, it’s much easier to create good recipes with many ingredients than it is to create great ones with very few. Think about it like writing an essay. It’s more challenging to write something clear and concise than it is to draft up something rambling and long-winded.

Photo by: Heather Baird

Heather Baird

Perry’s 2-ingredient recipes, Pineapple Angel Food Cake, Black Bean Brownies and Pumpkin Spice Muffins, all follow a simple formula. They start with boxed mixes that you can find at any supermarket. Then you add a single ingredient that contributes both structure and moisture to the cake. For example, the pineapple angel food cake’s secret ingredient is two cans of crushed pineapple packed in fruit juice that add structure, moisture and sweetness. Triple action, baby. Black beans (unsurprisingly) are blended into the black bean brownies for moist and chewy texture (but none of the bean-y flavor), while pumpkin puree adds a tender crumb to the Pumpkin Spice Muffins.

For the full how-tos, you’ll have to head over to the Food Network Kitchen app and check out Lasheeda Perry’s 2-Ingredient Cakes class. Oh, and one more thing: you might want to work up an appetite for something sweet. Because it's just as easy to devour these cakes as it is to make them.

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