One of the first meals I ever ate in my husband’s home was lovingly prepared by his precious Mama. I was invited to attend church with his family and then stay for lunch. We had delicious roast, rice and gravy that was to die for. Also black-eyed peas, strawberry congealed salad and her homemade biscuits. It took me years to perfect roast gravy that didn’t look and taste like Play-Doh. My biscuits are still hit or miss — mostly miss.

Dessert was a cake I had never had before. It was called a dump cake and was served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

The first dump cake was originated in 1980 from a Duncan Hines holiday baking brochure published that year. They are usually made with a boxed cake mix and canned fruit or fruit pie filling. Ingredients can always be on hand in your pantry. You never know when you might need a quick and easy dessert. As the title reads, you just dump it all together in the pan you will be baking it in. Nothing could be easier.

Hope you will give these a try. Thanks for reading.

CARAMEL APPLE DUMP CAKE

2 (21-ounce) cans apple pie filling

1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour apple filling into bottom of prepared pan. Drizzle caramel ice cream topping over apples. Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top evenly. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, and let cool slightly. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

JAN JAN’S DUMP CAKE

1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

1 (15-ounce) can crushed pineapple, do not drain

1 box yellow cake mix

1½ sticks of butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dump the cherry pie filling and pineapple in the bottom of a 9-by-13- inch baking dish, and stir together. Sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the fruit, distributing evenly. Slice the butter into tablespoons and place evenly over the top of the cake mix. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until top is brown and bubbly. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

LEMON BLUEBERRY DUMP CAKE

4 cups fresh blueberries

1 lemon, zested

1 box lemon cake mix

½ cup sugar

1 cup butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour blueberries into pan. Sprinkle with lemon zest and sugar. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top, and distribute evenly. Cover with butter pieces. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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