I’ve made a pumpkin dump cake for years and years. I think it was a product of the years when I was a Tupperware dealer. Yes, I was and still am into amazingly handy plastic things for the kitchen. I have a kitchen and a basement full of it. The dump cake was fast and made during parties and eaten warm.
I’ve made the cake off and on, around Thanksgiving usually, when I think of it. But in the past year I’ve seen the concept done with all kinds of fruits as the main base. I found it on so many blogs I was curious enough to want to try it with new fruits. And I had cans of tart cherries in syrup in my cupboard courtesy of my P.S. (Pantry Stocker/hubby). Since February was approaching, and we all know that old wives tale about someone chopping down a cherry tree, it seemed fitting to try a cherry dump cake.
I opened the can of cherries and tasted the liquid with a spoon. Quite tart indeed! I poured the contents of the can into a bowl and added 1/2 cup of sugar and stirred well. I didn’t want super tart cherries on top of my dump cake. Mildly tart, perhaps, would be more to our tastes.
When I looked at the 9×13-in pan with the cherries and juice spread out I wondered if I should use a second can. The recipe called for a 24 ounce can of peaches. I shrugged and left it at one can of cherries. Next time I’ll go with two of the 15 ounce cans. I’d have liked more cherries I realized later, after it was baked.
But moving on, next I cut open the bag of yellow cake mix. I used Betty Crocker. Don’t you love the smell of yellow cake mix? Mmm.. the vanilla calls to me. I sprinkled it all over the top evenly.
Next I was to slice the stick of butter and layer it evenly over the top of the cake mix. As luck would have it, I was out of thawed butter and had to reach into the freezer for more. It was a little more difficult to slice but it worked out just fine.
A cup of brown sugar was sprinkled over the pan next. That seemed like a whole lot of sugar, but I obeyed orders and sprinkled it all. Finally I topped the brown sugar layer with a layer of crushed pecans, about 1/2 cup worth. The cake was ready to bake!
I slid it into my preheated 350°F oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. I just cannot describe how wonderful the house smelled those 40 minutes while the dump cake baked! My P.S. came home and let his nose lead him into the kitchen where he sniffed loudly and appreciatively.
The cake was bubbling and crisped after 40 minutes and I let the pan cool on a rack until after dinner. I served it topped with whipped topping and we loved the tastes. The caramelized sugar on top was crispy and crunchy, the cake was a lovely vanilla flavor and the cherries were the topping. I served it upside down so that the cherries were on top. As I mentioned previously, we could have had a lot more cherries for even more flavor.
I wondered how the cake would fare the next day. I covered it with foil and 24 hours later cut myself a piece for dessert. It was still crispy and crunchy and oh so nice mouthfuls of caramel vanilla cherry goodness. I had thought it might go soggy but it has held up at least 3 days so far! I liked the brown sugar on top that made it crispy. My pumpkin dump cake of old didn’t have that crust, it was more cakelike with a simple drizzle of butter on top of the cake layer. No brown sugar or pecans. This one was deluxe dump cake, I shall say!
Cherry Crunch Dump Cake
24.5 ounce jar of sliced peaches in light syrup (I used cherries)
1 package yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup); cut into slices
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Layer ingredients in a 9×13-in pan: fruit with syrup, cake mix sprinkled next, sliced butter spread evenly over cake mix, brown sugar sprinkled over the butter, topped with a layer of chopped pecans.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped topping.
Yield 12-15 pieces
Adapted from Bakerella