Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dessert

column5 088Dump cakes are new to me. Whenever one would pop up on Facebook, I’d just move along because why would anyone want to eat something with the worddump” in it? Seriously, can you think of a single positive connotation? Besides that, they use a boxed cake mix, which I try to stay away from.

Then I ate a pumpkin dump cake at a club meeting, and was smitten. The flavors, the crunch. (Cue erotic moaning here.)

When I was experimenting with homemade make-ahead cake mixes for my October Food for Thought column (which will be up on October 2) the logical thing to test it on – besides a cake –  was a pumpkin dessert. I wheedled the recipe from the lady at club, added pockets of cheesecake to the recipe and used lots of pecans. I also may have topped the warm dessert with a scoop of maple nut ice cream.

And I was, for once, speechless. It was beyond good. My personal preference when it comes to desserts is for something plain. A slice of angel food cake. A brownie. A bowl of ice cream. I have no problem with making complicated recipes – the harder and more involved it is, the more I enjoy the process – but I  would rather eat something simple, and this was just so…busy looking.

Honey, let me tell you – looks aren’t everything. The complex flavors will make you weep.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how to make the filling for pumpkin pie, right? You just grab a 15 oz. can of Libby’s solid pack pumpkin and follow instructions. Or you buy the pre-made kind in a can. Or you follow your grandma’s recipe with condensed milk or whipping cream and brandy.

The foundation of this dessert is a batch of pumpkin pie filling. Covered with dollops of cream cheesy goodness. Suffocated with a thick layer of dry cake mix. Drizzled with melted butter. Adorned with pecans. What’s not to love?

If you must use a boxed white cake mix, that’s OK.  If you would like to make yours from scratch, here’s a small version of my cake mix. You’ll use about 1/2 of this (my cake mix is a little more generous than the packaged kind). Save the rest in an airtight container for your next dump cake, or check out the October Yummy column for the full cake recipe.

White Cake Mix

3 cups cake flour
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1 3/4 cups sugar (I use superfine, but regular is OK)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly whisk together all ingredients. Use half of this recipe for topping a dump cake and store the rest in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

Here’s how it all gets put together:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dessert
Serves 12 A scoop of ice cream is lovely over this warm dessert.
  • Pumpkin pie filling for one pie
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 package white cake mix, DRY!
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup (or more) chopped pecans
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour (I use Baker's Joy spray) a 9x13 cake pan or casserole dish.
  3. Spread the pumpkin pie filling evenly in the bottom of pan.
  4. Cream the cream cheese, powdered sugar, flour, vanilla, and egg together well.
  5. While beating, slowly add the milk a little at a time. You may not need all the milk - it depends on the size of your egg. I use jumbo eggs and 2 tablespoons was just right. The goal is to have the mixture the texture of thick pudding.
  6. Drop the cream cheese mixture in rounded tablespoons over the pumpkin. Take a knife and pull it through gently. You don't want to mix the pumpkin and cream cheese...you just want to have it evenly distributed. Another option would be to put the cream cheese filling in a zipper bag, cut the tip off, and pipe it all over the pumpkin.
  7. Cover completely with dry cake mix.
  8. Drizzle evenly with melted butter.
  9. Sprinkle with pecans.
  10. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Let it cool on a rack and eat it when it's barely warm.
  11. Refrigerate leftovers.


Globs of cream cheese mixture, covered with dry cake mix.

Drop globs of cream cheese mixture over the surface OR use a zipper storage bag with the tip cut off to squeeze it evenly over the pumpkin.

(Yes, I know. I didn’t pull a knife through the cream cheese before I covered it with cake mix. I learn as I go!)

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Drizzle with butter

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

I always get excited about new recipes (I wish I could be that passionate about housework) but this one has really stolen my heart. It is my new go-to Fall “company vittles” dessert, and will probably take the place of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Now that I shared my new addiction with you, may I ask for a favor? Pretty please? I’m one of the top 13 finalists for Blogger Idol, and just finished my first assignment which will go live at noon on Wednesday, October 2nd. Would you please check it out and vote for me? Thank you, Foodie Friends!

Pumpkin Sandwich Bread

IMG_9657Hmmmm. That’s a terrible name for this bread, isn’t it? I mean, it makes me wonder who would eat a pumpkin sandwich! But if I just say “Pumpkin Bread”, people will scroll past my post because everyone has a recipe for sweet pumpkin bread, right?

So, to be specific, this is a yeast bread that is only slightly sweet, and is perfect for sandwiches or toast. It is soft and tender and slices like a dream. I’m super-excited about this recipe and pleased to pass it along to you! It makes three large loaves of bread or two loaves and eighteen rolls. Think THANKSGIVING, folks! These rolls would be a big hit.
IMG_9627.JPG cropped
My garden was less than cooperative this year. We got loads of potatoes, green beans, peas, and tomatoes, but almost no squash. Usually I have a wheelbarrow full of squash and sugar pumpkins, but this year I got two pumpkins that were the size of my boobs Satsumas, so I had to resort to canned pumpkin. Oh well, it’s lots less work and certainly convenient, though with all the pumpkin recipe ideas I have floating around in my head I’d probably better buy it by the case.

Pumpkin fever is a common malady among foodie bloggers. My first thought goes to sweets, of course: pumpkin cookies, fudge, muffins, sweet rolls, cakes. For grins I’ve been making myself think of non-sugary options, with some interesting results.

That’s the problem with being OCD. If I think of a new idea, it must be tried. That’s why the chickens get fed so many goodies from the kitchen! Last night I was making homemade egg noodles for a chicken soup (no, not MY chickens, thank you very much) and was compelled to add pumpkin to the noodle mixture. That was a winning idea and the guys gobbled them up with gusto, which tickled me; I love sneaking vegetables into food undetected.

Pumpkin Rolls - perfect for Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Rolls – perfect for Thanksgiving!

We ate the pumpkin rolls with the soup, and between the three of us made a serious dent in eighteen dinner rolls. Even if you’re a yeastophobe (and yes, Baking In a Tornado I mean you) you really should give this recipe a try. It’s not that hard, honest!

Pumpkin Sandwich Bread
A beautiful light orange bread that slices beautifully. Great for sandwiches or toast. Makes 3 large loaves or 2 loaves and 18 rolls.
  • 2 pkgs active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup very warm water
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup solid pack canned pumpkin
  • 7-8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, ⅓ cup warm water, and sugar. Let it sit until bubbly (about 5 minutes)
  2. In a large bowl (preferably using a stand mixer) combine the boiling water, butter, and molasses until the butter is melted.
  3. Add the wheat flour, eggs, yeast mixture and pumpkin. Mix well.
  4. Add 3 cups of the all-purpose flour and the salt. Mix very well for several minutes.
  5. Slowly add 4 cups of all-purpose flour, one cup at a time, mixing continuously.
  6. The goal is to have dough that is soft but not sticky. It should come cleanly away from the side of the bowl. Add flour if necessary, a little at a time. If you are kneading by hand, this can be done by kneading for 6-7 minutes on a heavily floured surface. If you are using a stand mixer with a dough hook, add any additional flour as you knead for 5 minutes.
  7. Place dough in a very large greased bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise until doubled, at least an hour.
  8. Prepare bread pans by greasing generously (or spraying with a flour/oil mixture like Baker's Joy.)
  9. Punch the dough down and form into loaves or rolls and place in pans. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled.
  10. Heat oven to 375 F.
  11. Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Bake loaves for approximately 40-50 minutes. The top should be a dark brown.
  12. Allow the loaves to rest in their pans on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then dump them out on their tops to cool.

Too sticky still. See the dough around the side of the bowl?

Too sticky still. See the dough around the side of the bowl?

My dough doubled in about 90 minutes. It all depends on the warmth of your kitchen!

My dough doubled in about 90 minutes. It all depends on the warmth of your kitchen!

Go ahead, get out all those aggressions!!!

Go ahead, get out all those aggressions!!!

And the best part…the final product!

Mmmm. You beautiful rolls...get in mah belly!

Mmmm. You beautiful rolls…get in mah belleh!

Did I say that was the best part? Silly me. The BEST part is slapping some soft butter on a piece of roll and eating it!

Please pass the butter!

Please pass the butter!