To Dump or Not To Dump.

To Dump or Not To Dump.

Infomercials, they seem to be taking over, not just entire cable channels, but advertising altogether.  One I admit falling for was Cathy Mitchell’s Dump Dinners Cookbook which came with an awesome 9 x 13 baking pan plus Dump Cakes Baking Book.  What a bargain for $19.95 plus shipping and handling!  While I have not dumped any dinners as yet, I have tried a couple of cake recipes which led me to a question.

Why the term “dump cake”?  Actually this term covers baking methods as far back as the 1600s, colonization of the United States and creativity due to a lack of ingredients.  Names like Cobbler, Grunt, Pandowdy, Sunken and Brown Betty became synonymous with locations throughout the eastern states.  Two basic methods developed, the first being “one bowl”; all ingredients mixed into a batter within one bowl, poured into a baking pan, baked and served.  The second was layering and topping with uncooked biscuit dough (origin of WW1’s dough boys), rolled oats, bread crumbs, crushed crackers or graham crackers.

American cooks (1800s to present time) tend to use fruit as a major component, whereas the British colonists brought over their recipes of savory recipes using beef, lamb and mutton.  Personally, while discussing this next baking project with friends, it seemed that almost everyone had recipe dating back to mom, or grandma.  To judge both methods, I prepared two  “cakes”, the first being one bowl using spiced apples (thank you to the late Marie Watkins) , the second with cherry pie filling from a can. 

Apple Pie Dump Cake

Page 8, Cathy Mitchell’s Dump Cakes Baking Book


  • 1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling (or another fruit pie filling)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1 can (21 oz.) peach pie filling
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ cup melted butter
Read the whole recipe on Food Adventures of a Comfort Cook