Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall and Baking with Kids

Today is officially the first day of Fall. Ah, I'm so excited it's finally here. I did a little cleaning up and organizing this weekend. I rearranged my China cabinet to accommodate more of the cake stands I keep buying. It's an addiction, I tell you! I rearranged my cookbooks and bookshelves and while I was at it, I set out all of my Autumnal decorations. Now if only I could find someone to put my laundry up and dust for me, I'd be all set :-)

Look for the Lucky Leaf Premium. It's made with real sugar rather than corn syrup.

I'm a nanny and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I pick the little guy up from school. He's only 3 years old so he goes to a Montessori preschool and they're teaching him about Fall. He kept saying that he couldn't wait for Thursday so the leaves could start falling. If only it worked that way. I told him that first the leaves had to change from yellow to orange to red or brown before they turned brown and fell. He was so excited to go to the window and see that the leaves were turning yellow. Then he declared that he wanted to bake a pie for Fall (I love this kid!). When I told him that he'd have to wait til we got all the ingredients to make the pie he started crying, "I want to baaake. I want to baaake." I couldn't help myself, but I laughed :-)

ooh, so pretty!

He then took a deep breath and wiped his crocodile tears. I cut him a healthy slice of chocolate birthday cake and we sat at the kitchen table to read through cookbooks- Joy of Cooking and Deceptively delicious, if you're curious. We read through the pies and tarts sections in which we found pumpkin pies, pecan pies and several fruit tarts and galettes. None of those were good enough. He went to the fruit basket, grabbed a plum, a peach and a couple limes and said that's all we needed, no pie crust necessary. We didn't bake today but we might tomorrow.

I made this dessert a couple weeks ago, alone in my own kitchen, but it's simple enough for your little helper to make it on his/her own with a little supervision. It's called dump cake, which is rather gross if you ask me so I'm calling it crunch cake. There is no mixing required, just layering ingredients in a pan, pouring on some melted butter and baking it. It's surprisingly good and if you use the Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake mix, it tastes a little less artificial. It's sweet, fruity and crunchy, very similar to a fruit crisp. It's good warm with ice cream or cold straight from the fridge. I used cherry pie filling, but blueberries, blackberries or peaches would be good too. Get your kids in the kitchen and bake- Fall is here, so celebrate! And if you don't have kids of your own, invite the neighbors kids over or go rent some for the day :-)

If you're interested in a pumkin crunch cake, click the link.

Pineapple Cherry Crunch Cake adapted from Paula Deen

  • 3/4 cup butter, plus more for dish
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, in juice
  • 1 (20-ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish.

Melt 3/4 cup butter in saucepan over low heat.

Pour the pineapple with juice into the casserole dish and evenly spread cherry pie filling on top.

Cover with dry yellow cake mix and top with pecans, if using. Drizzle with melted butter and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

NOTE: I was reading the reviews for this recipe, and someone complained because she was expecting a cake, not a fruity crisp. So please note that this is not your typical fluffy iced cake, it's a cake mix used to make a crisp topping :-)

If you haven't already, go enter my giveaway sponsored by Novica!

32 comments:

jelena said...

I love this combination! Crumble and the softness, just plain perfect!

Selba said...

It seriously looks so delicious!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

This looks amazing! My family makes something similar to this with apples and sour cream and the cake mix. YUM!

From the Kitchen said...

I haven't made this "crunchy" cake in years. Thanks for the reminder!! I thought I was alone in my cake stand addiction so am glad that you stepped forward and shared yours. My husband recently asked just how many did one need. I told him I didn't know yet!!!!

Happy autumn!

Best,
Bonnie

Avril said...

OMGosh Monica! - where do I start?! First of all....I've been itching to find out what you do during the day - horray for you being a nanny! Goodness that family is lucky to have YOU! :-) Second of all, I LOVE that you had to re-arrange your cabinets for your cake stands. Where do you find and buy yours? I too have a special place in my heart for cake stands. I recently broke my most favorite one...so sad. Thirdly, LOVE the crunch cake (thank you for re-naming it - Dump Cake is definitely not as nice a name) ....I've made similar ones before and always have my eyes rolling back in my head with yumminess.

Smiles and hugs to you Monica!
~avril :-)

Avril said...

p.s. (I knew there was one more thing I wanted to tell you) - I ADORE your cherry dish towel!!!! Cherries make me sooooo happy! :-)

oneordinaryday said...

Hey! Aren't you the same person who was determined to wait until Fall officially arrived to get the pumpkin out? I was expecting to see some amazing pumpkin recipe here today. LOL

vickdn said...

looks yum! I hope to try this soon :)

Keeley said...

Monica, this cake brings back memories! I remember baking it at my grandmom's house, but we called it a Dump Cake. Wow, this is really old school. I remember loving that cake and being so happy that I baked something.

vanillasugar said...

its that 'crunch' part that i love best.

buttersweetmelody said...

I don't bake with fruit nearly enough...don't ask me why, I guess I just prefer other flavors (chocolate)and colors (chocolate) and ingredients (chocolate). But lately I've been craving something like a crisp or crumble and this is so easy to make! Thanks again!

-Amalia

http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com/

Katie said...

That little boy sounds adorable and quite the baking enthusiast! I have fond memories of my mum baking a dessert like this - cherry filling in the base and then a crumbly mix on top with pecans. We used to call it Lazy Betty - no idea who betty is though :)

bella (roz) said...

Oh Mama Mia, Monica! I love this cake, but have never added pineapple! Thank you for posting it, cuz I never had the recipe before, and have had it at several homes . . . mmmmm! Thanks for posting your healthy oatmeal banana cookies on my fresh friday link up last week. I have selected it as one of the most inspirational fresh food posts of last week. It will appear tonight when the linky begins again.

Kerstin said...

Awww, how cute you had a little helper! I'm so excited for fall too :)

Maranda said...

Oh that looks good! And the picture of the cherries and the pineapple was awesome! That little boy sounds like a cutie. I'm glad he has you around to help him figure out baking and falling leaves. ;-)

tamilyn said...

Yeah, I never liked the name dump cake either.....

cookies and cups said...

We make this at home...but we call it "Dump Cake" which is really an unfortunate name, isn't it?
Such a great and easy dessert!

Joycee said...

So simple and soooo good! I've made versions of this, but yours is a keeper. Have a great weekend!

The Captain's Daughter said...

You and I were cleaning our China cabinets at the same time! I so get your cake stand addiction. I'm in denial over my own issues with the same!

Beautiful dessert and story! Those kids are LUCKY to have you!

AngAK said...

Try using Spice Cake mix next time---truly yummy! and mix together the butter and cake mix and then add some oats and nuts. makes it more special! I made some for work today and added apples and pears and blueberries and the last of my rhubarb instead of the pineapple. so very good and so adaptable to whatever you have on hand. Dump Cake never sounds gross to me since it describes how you make it---dumping the ingredients into the pan. Maybe some think of "the Dump" instead??

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Our grandson is three, don't they say the cutest things! I made this once, I can't remember what fruit I used...maybe just cherries. Did you think it was too sweet? That is the one thing I remember thinking about it. I wonder if your pineapple cut the sweetness a bit.

Monica H said...

AngAK- A spice cake sounds delish with this. I bet it would be great with apples or pears like you suggested.

Yes I know that Dump cake describes how the cake is made, but that's not the first thing everyone thinks of :-)

Sue- The pineapple does cut the sweetness a bit, but it is still a sweet dessert. The crunchy topping was my favorite part.

~Monica H

Julie said...

I think crunch cake is a much better name. Looks delish!

Debbie said...

I love dump cakes! They are so simple yet delicious and the combinations are endless. Have fun baking with your little partner!!!

kids furniture said...

I agree. Crunch cake is a lot better. Yummy!

Ingrid said...

Did I know that was called a dump cake? It just doesn't sound familiar to me..... either way this is definitely something my kids would enjoy and I would because it's so easy to make.

That last photo is a killer!
~ingrid

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

Oh I forgot about this one! I like this with just cherries and a splash of almond extract mixed into the butter. Pecans are a great addition. Used to make this all the time, yum!

Red30 said...

Oh my goodness, my mom used to have a recipe for this that she got from a lady at our church, she used to make it and it was soooo good and I am not a cherry lover at all. I asked her about it the other day and she couldn't remember what she had done with it, needles to say I was a little sad :-(. Now you have it on your site and I am happy again!! I am going save this and print this out for my mom!!

Chef Basket said...

Thanks for the Pineapple Cherry Crunch recipe. I think this could be a hit for Thanksgiving.

Marina said...

Just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe and it was devine! It was gobbled up in it's entirety. In fact, my mother in law grabbed the serving dish and scraped out every last bit! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Lara said...

I have made this recipe since I was a child, we called it Dump Cake also...because you just dump in the ingredients and bake it! I heard that if you use blueberries and lemon pie filling its also delicious but have never tried that, its just on the recipe card that was in my mothers cook book that I inherited when she passed!

Lara said...

Oh and it really does need the vanilla ice cream to cut the richness of it...OMG I could just eat it straight out of the baking dish! YUM!

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