I love a recipe that utilizes convenience foods in a quirky way.
I came across a recipe recently for a “Dump Cake”.
The name is very off-putting but basically it is tinned fruit poured into a cake pan, sprinkled with unprepared cake mix and topped with butter.
The whole concoction is baked to achieve what I believe to be similar to a cobbler.
It’s hard to imagine that something so simple could possibly work.
When I first read the recipe, I had to admit that I scoffed a little. It didn’t sound at all appetizing but in the interest of experimentation, I tried it and was pleasantly surprised.
I will say that my first attempt was a failure. You do need a lot of liquid from the fruit to make up for the fact you are sprinkling dry, unprepared cake mix over the fruit and baking it.
I would suggest at least 2 x 420g tins for a 20cm cake.
The cake mix absorbs the syrup from the tinned fruit and the butter as it melts from the top and then it magically turns into cake during baking!
I find it also helps to give the pan a good shake after I’ve sprinkled the cake mix over the fruit. It allows for more of the dry cake mix to be immersed in the fruit syrup and thus ensuring that the cake mix does achieve a proper cake texture.
Hence why I’ve dubbed this recipe, the “Shake Cake”.
Sounds better than “Dump” cake, am I right?
The first time I tried this I didn’t have enough liquid and was therefore left with mouthfuls dry, powdery, clumpy cake mix – gross!
It’s important also to cover as much of the surface area of the cake mix with the butter.
Slice the butter as thinly as possible and place it evenly over the dry cake mix. The butter will melt over the dry mix and into the fluid underneath which somehow turns it all into a cohesive cake like dessert.
The top should achieve a crunchy golden crust while the bottom should be fruity, soft and tender.
I have seen some recipes that use fresh fruit in their recipes but I would imagine you would need to add sugar and more butter to the recipe to make up for the lack of liquid provided by tinned fruit.
Also this recipe is really only for lovers of cooked fruit. My husband hates cooked fruit and therefore wouldn’t try this dish. I do intend on finding fruitless alternatives for this recipe so stay tuned!
I scoop large spoonfuls of this cake into bowls and serve it hot with cream, which I feel is an essential accompaniment to cut through the sweetness of this dessert but you could also serve it with custard.
The best thing about this recipe is that it really is something you can rush together in the final few minutes before serving dinner and it should be done by the time you’ve finished eating.
It uses cheap, convenient pantry items and it’s a recipe you can tweak according to your tastes.
You can use any tinned fruit or cake mix you fancy. In this recipe I’ve chosen to use peaches but below are some suggested variations:
- Chocolate cake mix with tinned cherries
- Vanilla cake mix with tinned blueberries
- Vanilla cake mix with tinned apples and/or pears and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Butter cake with tinned fruit salad or apricots
Again, more variations to try so stay tuned for more!