When planning holiday meals, don’t dump dessert

Dump Cake

By Eileen Goltz, Food Editor

Desserts are not always the first thought on your mind when you’re plotting out Rosh Hashanah lunches and dinners. Yes, they’re important but seriously, after soup, fish and salad and meat and vegetables and oh yeah, numerous slices of challah a dessert, no matter how delicious, isn’t exactly a high priority.

However, you still have to have a dessert to serve and sometimes, when you have a small someone in the household who wants to help, the best and easiest way to take care of two things at once is a dump cake. Now before anyone gets on their soap box about using ready-made cake mixes just know, they have do have their place in the scheme of things, especially when the under-10 set really want to be part of the kitchen set.

First, let me say the moniker is at once brilliant and misleading and kind of fun. You literally dump your ingredients, in layers, into a bowl or pan and bake it: cake mix, fruit or flavor, a fat and sometimes chocolate or nuts and whatever suits your taste buds’ fancy. The extra bonus is that family members of all ages (and cooking expertise) can participate in the prep for the holidays. The other really nice thing about the dump cake is that when you are starting off with a cake mix with an OU certification it’s parve and a good parve dessert is something we’re always looking for.

Tips: Some recipes suggest melting the butter or margarine, but I prefer to cube the fat and sprinkle it over the top of the cake.

I prefer to use frozen or fresh fruits (peaches, strawberry, blueberries etc.). It’s a fresher, less chemical/fake flavor

Nuts are a terrific addition to most dump cakes. Chopped pecans, slivered almonds or chopped walnuts are all good.

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake (Parve or Dairy)

  • 1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
  • 1 16.5-ounce can pitted dark sweet cherries
  • 1 18.5-ounce package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Dump the cherry pie filling into the pan and spread it evenly over bottom of pan. Spoon the cherries, including juice over the top of the filling. Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the fruit. Don’t stir, just shake the pan a bit to make sure the cake is evenly distributed over the fruit. Sprinkle the chopped pecans and chocolate chips over the top. Dot the butter pieces evenly over the top. Bake for 45 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.

Tropical Dump Cake (Parve)

  • 21-ounce can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 sticks margarine, melted
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 box yellow cake mix

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. In a bowl combine the fruit cocktail and pineapple. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. In a bowl combine the cake mix and its required ingredients. Pour the batter over the top of the fruit. Pour the melted margarine evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle the coconut and pecans over the top of the melted margarine. Bake 1 hour or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Serves 10 to 12.

Peachy Strawberry Dump Cake (Parve or Dairy)

  • 2 cups frozen sliced strawberries, thawed, with juices
  • 2 cups frozen sliced peaches, thawed, with juices
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 1 stick butter or margarine, melted
  • For the glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar;
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream or rice milk

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Pour fruit and juices into the prepared pan. Pour the box of cake mix over the fruit. Pour the melted butter over the cake mix and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until cake becomes golden and bubbly. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before drizzling the glaze over the top

To make glaze: In a bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cream or milk and mix until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. Serves 10 to 12.

Salt Carmel Chocolate Dump Cake (Dairy)

  • 1 small (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped caramels
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9- by 13-inch pan and set aside. In a large bowl combine the chocolate pudding and milk. Mix for 1 minute. Add the cake mix and mix until combined. Spread batter evenly over bottom of prepared pan (it will be very thick). Sprinkle the chopped caramels over the top and then sprinkle the sea salt (not too much) on top of the caramels. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, just until edges pull away from sides and a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out clean.

Remove cake from oven and let cool on a cooling rack. Pour chocolate chips into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is fully melted. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate over cooled cake. Serves 10 to 12.

~ Modified from bettycrocker.com

Marshmallow Apple Pie Spice Dump Cake (Parve or Dairy)

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 1 stick melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350°. In a greased 9- by 13-inch baking pan spread the can of apple pie filling evenly across bottom of pan. Sprinkle the cake mixture evenly over the pie filling. Shake the pan slightly so the cake mixture spreads evenly over the filling. Pour the melted butter evenly over the cake mix. Some clumping will happen, this is OK, don’t worry about it. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove immediately and sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the top of the cake. Turn up the oven to broil and place the cake in the oven for no more than 30 to 45 seconds. Watch this closely as it will burn. Remove from the oven immediately and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

~ Modified from epicurious.com

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