Monday, August 27, 2012

Cherry and Pineapple Dump Cake

 Have you ever heard of a dump cake? It's so named because you're supposed to just dump everything into the pan and bake it. Actually, it doesn't really turn out like a cake at all. It's more like a cobbler. So, maybe it should be called a Dump Cobbler? Hmm, maybe. Anyway, this recipe has been around for years and years. It's one of those recipes that Moms and Grandmoms have been making for ages. It's also the perfect last minute dessert if you have to quick whip up something for unexpected company, or just if you're short on time. I recently made one for Lea, Katie, Brooke, and Denny when they came over for dinner and it was a big hit! Actually, I did a caramel apple variation for them and it  was SLAMMIN'. (recipe follows!) It's a great baking project for a novice baker because there's no measuring, and it's REALLY delicious! You should definitely make it! 

1 14oz can cherry pie filling
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 18oz box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13x9-inch pan.
Dump pineapple with juice into pan. Spread evenly.
Dump in pie filling.
Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over cherry layer.
Sprinkle pecans over cake mix. Dot with butter. Bake 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

OK, I know it's called a dump cake, so you just dump everything into the pan and bake, but I do it slightly differently, and with better results, I think.
I've tried it several ways, and it seems to me that often some of the cake mix doesn't get any of the butter, and it winds up staying in powder form during the baking. I tried dotting it with butter, I tried melting the butter and drizzling it over the top. Same results. The best way to fix this was to melt the butter and mix it with the cake mix. You don't need a mixer, just a spoon and a bowl. It becomes sort of like a cookie dough that you can then crumble all over the top of the filling and then bake it as directed. SOOO much better. It becomes crispy and browns more evenly. Problem solved!

To make the caramel apple variation:
Use 2 cans of apple pie filling and a Duncan Hines Apple Caramel Decadent Cake mix.
Dump the pie filling into the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix up the caramel as directed on the package. Spread over apple filling. Combine the cake mix and 1 stick melted butter. Crumble evenly over everything. Bake until lightly golden and bubbly.

If you'd like more of a cake than a cobbler, mix up the cake mix according to the package directions, then pour the batter over the fruit mixture and bake. It'll be a completely different dessert, but it'll still be delicious!

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