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Fun Friday: Dump Cake for April Fools Day or any day!

4 Apr
This was a quick and easy dessert!

This was a quick and easy dessert!

In a recent What’s for Dinner Wednesday post, I mentioned that the stir fry recipe I was trying out reminded me of a cake recipe I’d once heard of called Dump Cake, because like that cake recipe, the stir fry recipe was one where you just dumped a whole bunch of ingredients in and cooked them.

That reference in my post got me thinking about Dump Cake recipes. I couldn’t remember having had one myself and I wasn’t even sure where I’d heard about Dump Cake, but I knew I had somehow, from somewhere. So of course I turned to Google and searched the term Dump Cake to see what kinds of recipes would come up and to see if Dump Cake was something I’d like to try making. As I looked, I found that they varied slightly in the types of ingredients that could go in them. Some had canned fruits, some had fresh. Some had butter: one stick or two, and some had a can of soda. They all used a yellow cake mix and all called for an optional addition of chopped walnuts.

I decided to find one somewhere in the middle. I had a can of crushed pineapple already and a yellow cake mix. I did not want to go the soda route, so I knew I’d be using butter (we use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter), but I didn’t want to use a lot. Ultimately, I chose a recipe that used a can of crushed pineapple, a can of cherry pie filling, one stick of butter and a cake mix. I did not choose to use the walnuts.

The recipe I chose was from Allrecipes.com, and it claimed to be “as easy as dumping ingredients in a pan,” and it sure was. There were enough steps for everyone to have a turn helping to make the cake. We were using this as part of this year’s April Fools Day dinner, our first ever, and the girls and I were in cahoots, creating a fun meal for their dad. Part of the fun was having a “cake” for dinner and this Dump Cake for dessert.

The “cake” for dinner was going to be heart-shaped and as it turned out, our Dump Cake turned pink, so it was a very funny meal to be eating in April.

The recipe, as it appears on Allrecipes.com is below. It truly is as easy as they say, and it was really tasty too! We had ours with a simple squirt of whipped cream, but I’m sure it’d be delicious with ice cream on top too. I’m also sure that any variety of fresh fruits would be good as well. The only thing I was unsure of was whether or not to spray my pan with non-stick spray, and I opted to do so, rather than risk the cake not coming out of the dish.

Next time you’re looking for a fun cake to make, remember my April Fools Dinner and try a Dump Cake!

DUMP CAKE BY ALLRECIPES.COM

A few ingredients were all we needed!

A few ingredients were all we needed!

INGREDIENTS

 Original recipe makes 1 – 9×13 inch cake

  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 8 ounces chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a 9×13 inch pan mix cherries and pineapple. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pineapple, and cherry mixture stir until just combined. Then sprinkle walnuts over top. Drizzle top with melted butter or margarine.
  2. Bake in a 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 35 or 40 minutes or until golden brown. 

    "Cake" for dinner and Dump Cake for dessert for April Fools Day!

    “Cake” for dinner and Dump Cake for dessert for April Fools Day!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: An April Fools Day Dinner!

2 Apr
Not for pranks, but just for fun, an April Fools Day Dinner

Not for pranks, but just for fun, an April Fools Day Dinner!

If you’re a fan of The Whole Bag of Chips, you know from reading over the years that I incorporate creativity into our meals whenever the opportunity exists, whether it’s green smoothies for St. Patrick’s Day or creating a special cake for a sleepover birthday party. I always try to make things fun whenever I can.

But I don’t love April Fools Day and I never commemorate it in any way at home. In general I don’t love pranks, especially when they’re mean, but last year specifically, we had a terrible April Fools Day, with a funeral in the morning and a wake in the evening. It had been such a sad day all around, and yesterday I was thinking back to that day and all that took place throughout, and I was thinking of those two families one year later in their own lives, as well.

As sad a day as it was last year, I decided that I’d do something fun this year. For the first time ever, I’d acknowledge April Fool’s Day with some mealtime antics.

For once, we didn’t have to be anywhere before or after dinner and it was a beautiful day outside. I clicked over to Pinterest, and I searched for April Fools Day Dinners. There was certainly plenty to choose from! I quickly assessed what was offered and thought about what I wanted to do and what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to have candy or dessert for dinner, so that ruled out all of the neat ideas for making things that looked like dinner, using candy. As cool as that sounded, I wanted dinner to be dinner. I saw lots of ideas for using meatloaf and mashed potatoes for cupcakes and cakes, which I thought would have been perfect, had I not just made Shepherd’s Pie last week, and a whole lot of it, enough for leftovers a couple of times. We were meatloaf and mashed potato’d out, but it’s something I’d consider for another year.

I finally found something I could pull off: an April Fools Cake recipe that looked like a cake but was actually similar to a pizza. It was from Taste of Home, and it called for using a bundt pan, of which I only have a heart-shaped one, but I thought that’d add to the fun. At first I thought I’d do this to surprise the kids, but then I decided that time-wise that wouldn’t work out very well since I’d have to do it while they were all here. I opted instead, to let them in on the fun and give them all a job to do in creating our “cake” for dinner and they could in turn, surprise their dad when he got home from work. The months of March and April are pretty insane for an elementary principal, with lots of dinner-less late nights, and I thought this would brighten his day as well as give the kids something fun to do.

I also decided to make “Dump Cake” for dessert so that they could then say we were having cake for dinner and cake for dessert. I had them help out with that also, but that’s a post for this week’s Fun Friday! You’ll have to check back in a few days to see that post!

The recipe was an easy one and I had to modify it to use what I had at home because I didn’t want to go out to pick anything up or spend any additional money on ingredients. Their recipe called for a Bisquick type of mix, which I had here. It called for three cups, and when I measured what was left in my box it was *exactly* three cups. That was pretty great. It called for sausage and pepperoni in the “pizza” type of filling but I opted to use meatballs instead, since everyone likes them. I also threw in olives. It called for slices of mozzarella cheese for the “frosting,” which I did not have. I had shredded instead. I decided we’d be “drizzling icing” instead of frosting our cake. It worked out fine.

Overall, this was a fun recipe for April Fools Day dinner. I don’t know that it’s something I’d incorporate into our regular menus throughout the year, as we regularly make some kickin’ real pizzas that I like much better. But, it was fun, and the kids liked surprising their dad, and he liked playing up the surprise as well. He enjoyed the meal. We followed dinner by a long walk outside until after dark, and came in for our Dump Cake dessert, which was really just a perfect day to replace my memories from last year. Now next year when I look back on April Fools Day, it won’t have such a dark shadow in my mind. Instead, I’ll remember this day, which was much, much better. No sadness or pranks, thankfully, but some great, great family memories.

And I’ll take that ANY day of the year.

Below is the Taste of Home recipe as they have it on their site, with all of my modifications in italics. Their recipe served as my inspiration, but I adapted it to suit our needs quite a bit. Next year, when April 1 rolls around you might want to give it a try too!

APRIL FOOLS CAKE BY TASTE OF HOME

Ingredients

  • 1 jar (14 ounces) pizza sauce
  • 1/2 pound Johnsonville® Mild Ground Italian Sausage, cooked and crumbled  *I used meatballs and olives*
  • 1 package (8 ounces) sliced pepperoni *I skipped this*
  • 3 cups biscuit/baking mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted *I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt *I had to make my own with garlic powder and salt*
  • 5 to 6 slices mozzarella cheese *I used shredded mozzarella for icing instead of frosting*

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine the pizza sauce, sausage and pepperoni; set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine the biscuit mix, milk, eggs, butter and
  • garlic salt. Spread half of the batter on the bottom and up the
  • sides of a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Spoon meat mixture over
  • batter; cover with remaining batter.
  • Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until browned and a toothpick
  • comes out clean. Invert onto a baking sheet. Arrange cheese over
  • cake. Return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Using two large metal spatulas, transfer cake to a serving platter;
  • serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.