I first heard about Dump Cake from a woman named Lilly that rode in a vanpool with me, back when I was still collecting a pay check in my name. She told me that all you need is some dry cake mix, and a few cans of fruit, be it peaches, blueberries, cherries, apple pie filling, whatever, and then you dump it all in a pan, add some butter, and bake it. She said she brought it to family reunions, pot lucks, housewarming parties, wherever, and always received compliments on it.
Now, I know enough about baking to know that I’m getting a gift of a recipe if someone tells me about it and can’t give me exact measurements. You know– “a little bit of this” and “a few handfuls of that”. Those are the keepers. I can’t tell you the number of times I have wished I had paid more attention to my paternal grandfather as he stood in the kitchen and effortlessly made flour tortillas from scratch over a gas stove. No measuring, he just knew when the dough was perfect. I have never had a tortilla as delicious as the ones that he made for me in his kitchen, and how he got them to be perfectly round is an art that I never took the time to study. Having said that, do yourself a favor and call your mother, grandmother, father, aunt, cousin, whomever makes something they are “famous” in their circle for, and ask them to teach you how to make it. You know what recipe I’m talking about, that famous french onion soup of your father’s, or grandma’s lasagna, or your cousin’s perfect buttercream icing. If you don’t, that recipe might one day die with them, just like the recipe for my Papa’s tortillas, and that my friends, is tragedy that can easily be prevented.
Anyway, back to Dump Cake. Lilly told me about it a few years ago, and I don’t have the benefit of standing in her kitchen and watching her add a little of this and a little of that. So, I googled it.
You know Pioneer Woman. Author, bloggess, homeschool mom, star of her own TV show, THAT Pioneer Woman. She is the master of all things, and I LOVE reading her blog. And SHE has a version of Dump Cake.
I did a happy dance, and I said to myself “Self, PW has a Dump Cake recipe. It. Is. ON!”
So I made one.
And my whole family, and some of my friends, are glad that I did.
You only need four things. A box of dry cake mix (I used yellow), 2 large cans of fruit (I used cherry and crushed pineapple, like PW did, but remember, Lilly said you can use any fruit you want. I want to try it with cherries and peaches next) and 1.5 sticks of butter. (Yes, as in one-and-a-half sticks of butter. PW says you can make it with a stick of margarine and a half stick of butter if you want, since that’s what she did, but I don’t have margarine, and it turned out fine using only butter.)
Start by preheating your oven to 350, and then go ahead and dump both cans of fruit, juice and all, into a 9×13 baking dish.
Mix the fruit together to make it uniform.
Then cover the fruit with the entire box of dry cake mix, and pat it down to break up any big lumps.
Here’s a side view:
Chop your butter into slices and place them all over the top of the cake mix.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, until it’s browned on top, and the filling is bubbly. I checked it through the oven door every 5 minutes after the 45 minute mark and took it out after 55 minutes.
I let it cool for little while, and then I scooped it out and topped it with whipped cream– the kind you spray out of the can. My kids were pretty stoked about it, they pretty much think spray whipped cream is a dessert all on its own. Poor deprived kids. But I think I made up for the fact that I don’t make whipped cream from scratch by simply serving up this awesome concoction. Christopher was pretty pleased.
We served it when we had friends over for company, and everyone had more than one serving. People can’t believe how easy this is to prepare. If you didn’t tell them, they’ll think you slaved in the kitchen to make this, it is just that good. Then we made it again a few days later so that my husband could take it to work for a pot luck luncheon, where it was also a big hit.
His Majesty got a taste, too. Look how he’s hawking the bowl. If you want him to like you, give him food.
I only gave him a bite if he answered the trivia questions correctly.
“Who loves you the most, baby?”
That’s my boy.
This recipe is one to hang on to, but then again, EVERYTHING I’ve tried that is PW inspired has been a surefire hit.
What about you? Do you make something that you are a legend among your friends and family for? Is there something someone you know makes that you keep meaning to get the recipe for? Do you have a favorite Pioneer Woman recipe?