The Simple Art of Dump Cakes

Some say this dessert is more of a cobbler than a cake, but we say, "Who cares?" It's sweet and gooey, and barely requires effort.

©food network 2015

food network 2015

Dessert Made Easy

Good luck finding a dessert that’s easier than the dump cake. It may not have the most-flattering name, but bakers of all skill levels love it for its sweet taste, gooey texture and effortless assembly. Usually, dump cake is a combination of canned fruit (cherries and pineapples being the most popular) that’s been drained and layered on the bottom of a baking dish. Yellow or white cake mix is then — quite literally — dumped over the fruit and baked. Since there’s no need for tedious measuring cups and spoons, even the littlest kids can get in on the action. Experiment with taste and texture by changing the fruits you use, or try substituting chocolate cake mix for a richer version.

Banana Split Dump Cake

The classic dump cake gets a sundae-inspired makeover with banana-flavored cake mix. Start by dumping a can of cherry pie filling into your baking dish, followed by a can of pineapple chunks (with the juice), a box of banana cake mix, some butter and chocolate chips, in that order. Bake until golden brown on top and cooked through.

Pineapple Upside Dump Cake

Dump 2 cans of pineapple chunks (with the juice) in a baking dish, then top with a jar of caramel sauce. Cover with vanilla cake mix and several fat pats of butter on top. Bake until the cake smells fragrant and has browned on the bottom. You can eat it right-side up, or take a chance and flip it upside down onto a platter.

Pear Chocolate Dump Cake

Place 2 cans of pears at the bottom of a baking dish, then dump some chocolate cake mix on top. Add a few pats of butter on top of the cake mix before scattering some slivered almonds on top as well. Place the prepared baking dish in the oven, and take it out once it’s baked through.

Photography by Heather Ramsdell

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