The folks at Epicurious describe the dump cake as “the worst name in the history of desserts.” I, on the other hand, snickered when the name first graced my being. In fact it was more of a snortle of sorts.
The year was 2005 and my Cousin Julie had emailed me the dump cake recipe below that she was impressed with. Being one of the early bathroom humor pioneers (poo-oneers?) I simply replied: “you know I’ll try this because it has the word DUMP in it!” Well that email got filed away with good intentions and sadly forgotten. This year when I was missing my Cousin I went digital dumpster diving into my old email account and a few clicks later the recipe floated to the surface (pun intended).
Flashback: Dump Cake
Before we dive into this recipe I was curious the glorious origins of the dump cake. While some online posts said the first dump cake would send us to 1980, others threw me off track saying the dump cake actually went by other names, including “wacky cake.” For my purposes my culinary etymological research is purely of “dump cake.”
As can be seen by the Google Books Ngram Viewer let’s have a peek at the usage of dump cake over time. There it was – nestled on page 50 of 1917’s The Los Angeles Times Economy Cook Book No. 5: Practical and Economical Recipes by Skilled Cooks – this nugget for Dump Cake. Albeit the recipe instructions read more like a conventional cake (think more effort), the origins of the name take us back to when my Grandmother “Nanny” was 17. You can click this link and see for yourself! I can’t wait to let this useless trivia factoid rip at my next party!
What’s even more interesting is I discovered I lived at the trifecta of perfection – when word usage of dump cake and two sidekicks near and dear to my heart – “pac man” and “bean roll” – were in pure alignment. The year was 1979 and little did I know I was living the glory days. Who knows if this moment in time will rise again?
❤ I have to admit I was leery that this cake would come together. But just as the name implies the magic of the dump cake took over once it was in the hot oven and things began to mingle.
❤ Striving to curtail holiday overeating (which later proved to be a farce) we split the recipe into three greased 9″ round foil pans. I was nervous if they would turn out OK and they did! We gave two cakes to unsuspecting neighbors who said they enjoyed it greatly.
Total prep: About 60 minutes.
29 ounce can | Libby’s 100% pure canned pumpkin
12 ounce can | evaporated milk
3 | cage free eggs
1 cup | sugar
1 teaspoon | salt
3 teaspoons | cinnamon
1 box | Duncan Hines classic yellow cake mix
1 cup | Texas pecans, chopped
¾ cup | unsalted butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
to serve | whipped cream or ice cream (optional)
iii. What To Do
1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
2. Mix the first six ingredients until well blended and pour the batter into a 9″ X 13″ greased pan.
3. Sprinkle cake mix on top and then sprinkle that with pecans.
4. Pour melted butter or margarine over top. Bake for 50 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. My Cousin Julie topped her cake with dulce de leche and said it was really good!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Let’s have a peek at some vintage Libby’s pumpkin ads:
When I was growing up, Mom wasn’t the only Kiker foodie in the kitchen.
My Dad had his own assortment of culinary “secret weapons” and you’d find him outside, grillside, or inside making S.O.S, banana sammys or one of his signature dishes, San Diego Steak, which is still a family favorite.
Dad was loved by all. He’s remembered as a great story-teller and someone who had the priceless gift of an infectious laugh. He could hypnotize a saltwater crab (no kidding), he loved wade fishing in the Texas gulf, the simple “pop” of a Lone Star beer and deer hunting (not in any particular order).
Above all, he loved and cared for his family.
Dad also loved anything made with pistachio; ice cream, pudding… and with certainty, this pistachio marble cake.
This one’s for you, Dad!
1 package | 2-layer size yellow cake mix
1 package | 4-serving size Jell-O pistachio instant pudding + pie filling
4 | cage free eggs
1 cup | water
½ cup | oil
½ teaspoon | almond extract
¼ cup | chocolate syrup
to garnish | confectioners sugar
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and extract in a large mixer bowl. Blend well by hand.
2. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
3. Measure 1½ cups batter off to side and stir in chocolate syrup.
4. Spoon batters alternately (50% / 50%, with the chocolate batter last) into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.
5. Zigzag spatula through batter to marble.
6. Bake for 50 minutes.
7. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan and allow to finish on a cooling rack.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Before adding the eggs to the dry mix, rough ’em up a bit with a fork. Don’t be cruel; just scramble them a bit.
♥ Love chocolate? We won’t tell if you add a little extra sauce!
♥ Greased and floured Bundt? Or sprayed with Pam baking spray.
♥ Without a picture of the finished result, it was a little hard to understand the marbling technique as described. So we vertically dipped the two batters together. Now that I re-read things, I think it’s dump things together by spoonfuls multiple times until everything is together then zig-zag your way. Hum, OK! I better make this again just to be sure!