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NWTK: Pumpkin Dump Cake

I’d never heard of dump cake until I started seeing it in every single community cookbook out there. Come to find out, dump cake is a thing. The essential concept is, you want to open packages, dump them, and bake, and make a cake. Skeptical? I was, too. Turns out, it kinda works. And in some cases, it works really well. Here was our NWTK experience with Dump Cakes.

Pumpkin Dump Cake (Beckatron)

1 box white cake
1/2 stick butter
2 cans pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1/3 c. heavy cream
5 T. pumpkin pie spice mix

This dump cake wasn’t super dump-y. I ended up having to do a bunch of mixing, because the pumpkin wasn’t really “dump-able.” But it ended up actually tasting excellent, and was a great fall treat.

Basically, mix everything from the pumpkin to the spice mix in a bowl, dump it in the bottom of a greased pan, pour the white cake mix on top, melt the butter, and pour the butter over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes at 350.

So, I did some experimenting with this recipe. As always. I started off with an actual recipe. And I found a couple of things. The “bottom” part is essentially pumpkin pie. So if you have a favorite pumpkin pie recipe, make that filling and use it (I ended up making several substitutions from the original recipe–pictured–trying to make it just right). Second, the experience was much better when I made the actual cake mix and drizzled it over the top instead of dumping. But then it really wouldn’t be a dump cake.

I brought this cake to a party and it was super popular. People liked the pumpkin pie filling with the cake on top. It was a really excellent tasting dessert. And again, while the “dump” part worked just fine, I highly suggest trying it with the prepared cake batter on top. Just remember, if you make the cake batter, it will get big. So perhaps cut the pumpkin pie filling part in half and then make the prepared cake and pour that over and bake it. Also, because I’m in such a high elevation, it changed my baking times, so make sure you’re checking the center of the cake for doneness before taking it out for sure. The last time I made it, I ended up having to bake it for 60 minutes (with more eggs in the filling and cake on top) just to keep the center cooked. So keep an eye on it.

Enjoy! And report back if you make it!

Fruity Dump Cake (Tistylee)

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 can cherry pie filling
½ c. chopped nuts
½ to 1 c. butter or margarine

Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Dump in undrained pineapple, swirling it around to fill the corners.  Dump in the pie filling and push it around until layers of fruit are quite even.  Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the fruit to cover it all.  Melt butter and drizzle over the top (or put on in little chunks of butter).  Sprinkle with nuts.  Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.  Serve with whipped topping, cream or ice cream.  Contributor’s Note: one cup coconut may be added, if desired.  I usually don’t put in any nuts.  This is good with just the cherry pie filling, omitting the pineapple and nuts.

 

I made this for my husband’s birthday this year.  We had never tried a cake like this before, although I have seen similar ones on Pinterest.  Unlike other recipes in my cookbook, this one is quite direct and easy to follow.  So I did the obvious and followed the directions.  My main departure of the recipe was to buy raspberry pie filling instead of cherry (because my husband prefers the raz!).  And to follow her suggestion to use coconut in place of the nuts, so my nut allergy son could partake.  The instructions for this recipe were so simple that my 3 year old was able to do most of it.  She only needed help opening the packaging!  Well that and melting the butter!

The cake itself turned out beautiful.  It is a VERY SWEET cake.  The texture more closely resembled a pie or crumble than a cake.  The cake mix on the edges didn’t get completely baked in, so next time I would use one whole cup of butter, instead of just the half.  However, the flavors of the raspberry with the pineapple mingled were fabulous!  Adding in the coconut turned a small birthday party into a tropical vacation!  I strongly recommend serving it with whip cream or, even better, vanilla ice cream.  The cream helps cut the sweetness a bit, and enables a more thorough taste of the different flavors.  I also recommend refrigerating the cake after cooling/first serving.  My husband didn’t like the increasingly soggy texture as it aged on our countertop.  My kids did not share his complaint.  They were happy to keep right on eating it!

 

What about you? Have you made Dump Cake before? Did you enjoy it? What is your favorite fruit/filling to use with dump cake? Click here to find out what the New West Test Kitchen is, and how it got started.

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