Dump 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 word “dump” 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
- 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
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Grease and flour (I use Baker's Joy spray) a 9x13 cake pan or casserole dish.
- Spread the pumpkin pie filling evenly in the bottom of pan.
- Cream the cream cheese, powdered sugar, flour, vanilla, and egg together well.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover completely with dry cake mix.
- Drizzle evenly with melted butter.
- Sprinkle with pecans.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour. Let it cool on a rack and eat it when it's barely warm.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
(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!)
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!