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Sad Cake

An old Bisquick recipe that takes just five ingredients and five minutes of time.

The thing about Sad Cake is that while it looks rather sad, it won’t make you sad at all. Quite the contrary – it’s a deliciously sweet pecan-studded cake that uses only five ingredients and is the perfect easy treat to whip up on a whim and serve a la mode. An old Bisquick recipe, it’s a simple vintage cake recipe that works just as well today as it did a few decades ago.

So why is it ‘sad’? Well, it looks pretty sad, and that’s what the name refers to. It rises up in the oven and falls when it comes out, which might make you cry with other cakes, but in this case that’s what it’s designed to do. It ends up with kind of a crackly top and a gooey interior, so it’s more of a scoop and serve cake than a sliceable one.

But that just means it’s perfect served over or under ice cream. It’s one of the easiest cakes we’ve ever made; it’s literally five ingredients and five minutes of mixing those things together. It starts with Bisquick mix, and all you add to it is eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix, pour into a 9×13 pan, pop it in the oven, and your work is done.

It has a subtle caramelly, toffee flavor thanks to the brown sugar and that goes oh-so well with the pecans. A little crunch, a crackly top, an ooey-gooey crumb, and the easiest preparation you can imagine… I wouldn’t call that sad at all!

Serves 12

5m prep time

30m cook time

Rated 3.9 out of 5
Rated by 94 reviewers
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Mix together all ingredients and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake 30 minutes. Cake will rise while baking, then fall.

Recipe adapted from Mrs Happy Homemaker.

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