Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dump Cake Desserts ~ Cobblers, Crisps, Pandowdys and Buckles

These dump cake desserts are all the rage today, so I wanted to give you a couple recipes and discuss the pros/cons of these quick and simple sweet treats. I previously made a Pumpkin Pecan Crunch dump cake which was very popular and I very much enjoyed it. But I'm less fond of the canned fruit variety, often referred to as "cobbler", which they are not.

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
I'm not sure why people seem to confuse the terms cobbler, crisp, pandowdy and buckle, but even the famous TV chefs do it. Paul Deen's peach cobbler recipe is actually a buckle, as she calls for spooning cooked peaches on top of a cake batter and then baking until the batter rises above the fruit. This is the classic buckle definition. Southern Living published "14 Crazy-Good Fruit Cobblers,” of which there are three pandowdy recipes (fruit topped with pie crust), two crisp recipes (fruit topped with streusel), a buckle, and a shortcake recipe. OK, I'll get off my soapbox now. Suffice it to say using the correct term to describe your dessert is important in informing your diners of what they are about to be served so they have the correct expectation.

Simple Dump Cake Ingredients
Use Any Cake Flavor You Prefer
So, what we are talking about here are 'dump cakes' and not cobblers, crisps, etc.  While the recipes below calls for specific fruit ingredients, really any combination or single type of fruit can be used and will yield about the same results; a sweet fruit filling with cake-like sweet topping. The problem with the canned fruit filling dump cakes is largely the fact you get a lot of gooey filling and not much good fruit. As such, I prefer to use fresh fruit either as a substitute for the canned (with some added sugar) or to add fresh fruit to the canned pie filling. Doing this will greatly improve your recipes. Of the recipes below, my favorite by far is the blueberry and it's just as easy as the others.

Finally, I know some people just pour the melted butter on top of the mix, but this will not yield as good a result as mixing it into a crumb mixture first, as you would in making a traditional crisp. Instead always mix the butter with the cake batter first to form a loose crumb topping.

Ingredients
Cherry/Pineapple
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
If you spoon the melted butter on top of the mix,
use 1 cup instead of 1/2 cup for a more cake like topping.
-or-
Apple/Peach/Pear
1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) sliced pears, drained
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
-or-
Blueberry
1 can (21 ounces) blueberry pie filling
4 cups fresh blueberries, washed

-plus-
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Instructions
Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). In large bowl, stir together cake mix and butter until crumbly; set aside.

Spread pie filling and pineapple in ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix mixture evenly over fruit.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until deep golden brown. Serve warm or cool with optional ice cream.

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