Sometimes It’s OK to Cheat: Dump Cake
So I know that here at ES (and in my life in general) there is a no-cheating policy. That is, make your own damn food, don’t use a bunch of boxed, pre-made mixes and shortcuts. Basically, don’t be Sandra Lee. Sometimes, just sometimes, though… there is a time to break the rules.
Now is that time.
Have you ever heard of “dump cake?” Kind of a gross-sounding name, I know. My mom used to make it for us when we were younger. It’s a very easy, quick, and delicious dessert comprised solely of peach pie filling, cherry pie filling, and yellow cake mix. After dumping those in a cake pan and baking, it kind of comes out as a cross between an actual cake, a cobbler and a pie. Anyway, this summer I got to thinking about my mom’s dump cakes and decided I wanted to bust out my grownup version of the old favorite. It still uses some of the “cheater” ingredients—canned pie filling and cake mix—but I changed up some of the flavors (coconut instead of cherry) and added a few more interesting elements to the topping (toasted coconut-almond crunch versus just cake).
I wasn’t sure if this old recipe would stand up, but the acclaim I received from everyone who tried it confirmed my actions. Sometimes it’s okay to be a cheater.
Peach, Almond, and Toasted Coconut Dump Cake
1 21oz can coconut cream pie filling
1 24oz can peaches packed in syrup
1 box yellow or white cake mix
2 Kashi Soft-baked Almond Squares, broken into small crumbles
1/2c slivered almonds
1/2c shredded coconut
2tbsp butter, cut into small squares or slices
Vanilla ice cream (optional, but highly recommended)
Okay, this is easy.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take a 9 x 13 baking pan and evenly pour your peaches (including syrup! You need that moisture for the cake mix to absorb) across the bottom. Next, pour out the coconut cream pie filling and spread it as evenly as possible across the peaches. They will probably get kind of mixed together and messy looking. That’s okay. Now dump the dry cake filling on top of that. Sprinkle the Kashi almond crumbs, almonds, and shredded coconut over the top of the cake, and scatter the small pieces of butter over that.
Bake for an hour. It’s okay if the topping looks a little bit dry—the layers underneath will be very gooey (almost pudding-like), so the contrast in textures is perfect. Take it out to cool for a bit, then serve warm. I used a big ladle to scoop it out into bowls. I like to top mine with vanilla ice cream—if you’re lucky enough to live in the southern part of the country, I highly suggest Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. It will look and taste like an elaborate cobbler you spent forever preparing… nobody has to know your dirty little secret.