Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bearded Eagle's Award Winning Dump Cake

My daughter, Kris, and I won first place in a dessert contest using her Dad's recipe.* I've received many requests for the recipe, so it has the honor of being the first post on the new cooking blog.

We like to cook when we camp (our camping is fur-trade era reenacing). My husband, Bearded Eagle, cooks this desert in an iron dutch oven using hot coals. It really does taste better that way. If you do try it in a dutch oven, we have recently discovered that a double batch works great.

For this blog,  I'll give you the "kitchen equipped with gas oven" version.  :-) 

1.  1 can of pie filling
We usually use cherry, but you can use whatever you like.
2.  2 cups any fresh fruit, or one larger can crushed pineapple, drained
1 box yellow or white dry cake mix
Just the mix. Don't make the cake! We like yellow best. Lemon also works, depending on what else you are going to add.  Peaches go nicely with lemon cake.
3.  1 stick butter, melted
4.  1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

What to Do
It's called dump cake because it is so simple and ingredients are just dumped into the pan. So start with layering the ingredients in the order listed in a greased 9"x13" pan.  Cook at 350 degrees for about one hour. Check often. The top should be nicely browned, but the consistency is much softer than a regular cake.


It's quite rich, so portions should be relatively small. Nice served with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

The fun of this recipe is that it has endless variations. Use what you like--the combinations are endless and the amounts are very approximate.

Canned pineapple is fine, but fresh fruit is better. Strawberries are great, as are blueberries, especially with the cherriy filling.

Try a can of apple pie filling with sliced fresh apples for the fruit. Fresh peaches are great too. The best version we ever tried used seedless concord grapes, but they are not easy to find.

I usually use more than a cup of nuts, because I love the crunch (and we have been known to double the strawberries). I tried a cup of homemade rhubarb sauce instead of the pie filling, and added strawberries.
* The combo that won an award was cherry pie filling and fresh strawberries.

If you find a particularly good combination, please let me know in the comments.


  1. From the name, I was imagining something else :)

  2. Heh heh, yeah I know. Not the best name in the world. ;-)

  3. Melting the butter isn't the best way and Dad doesn't melt the butter.
    Instead cut in to squares and spread across the top. Works MUCH better that way.

  4. I am a man, I used this recipe "Dump Cake" I received many compliments about this cake, I use a twist in the recipe, I used macadamion' nuts with vanilla and butter cake flavoring drizzled on top of the fruit, I also used 1/4 cup of dried cranberries and whipping cream topping after cooling, thanks for the great recipe.

  5. Sounds delicious! I always serve this cake with whipped cream, but I LOVE the idea of the cranberries. (I'm a big fan.) Thanks for the ideas. We have played with this recipe so many ways, and never had a loser. My husband loves Macadamia nuts, so I'll give those a try sometime.