Cherry Pineapple Cobbler (Dump Cake)

cherry pineapple cobbler dump cakeThis is a super easy dessert that is perfect for potlucks or quick family dinners. I usually have all of the ingredients in my pantry so I can throw it together at a moment’s notice.

I’m redoing an earlier post of this recipe because I could never get any good photos of the dessert – it was always gone before I remembered to take a picture! Enjoy!


2 cans crushed pineapple

2 cans cherry pie filling

1 box yellow cake mix

2 stick of butter

1 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pour both cans of crushed pineapple with juice into a 9 x 13″ baking pan.  Pour cherry pie filling over the top, distributing it as evenly as possible.
  2. Open the bag of dry cake mix and pour it over the fruit. Try to spread it evenly so the crust will be the same thickness throughout. Sprinkle the nuts over the top.
  3. Slice the butter into thin pats, and place on top of the dry cake mix. It may take 1 1/2 – 2 cubes of butter depending on how thick you cut the slices. It will work either way.
  4. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and set in the middle. The fruit  should be bubbling up around edge of the dish.
  5. Serve warm or serve at room temperature; it’s nice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!  Refrigerate leftover portions.
Family size pan of cherry pineapple cobbler

Baked to golden perfection and ready to serve hot with vanilla ice cream. Delish!



Chocolate Cake with Real Buttercream Frosting

This is an awesome chocolate cake! I had been eyeing this recipe in my copy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook for a while, waiting for the right occasion to make it. Sean’s 6th birthday party seemed like the perfect time!

We were having between 30-40 people so I decided to make a double batch to fill a large 11 x 15″ cake pan. I carefully calculated the double amount of each ingredient and wrote them out ahead of time. That helps me avoid mistakes when making the recipe and make sure I buy enough ingredients to make the recipe!

chocolate cake batter

This batter is so thick and rich!

The cake batter includes buttermilk and sour cream so I knew it would be fantastic. And it was. The batter was the most delicious chocolate cake batter I have ever tasted!

chocolate buttercream spread on chocolate cake

It was so smooth and creamy and tasted delicious too!

I was a little intimidated by the buttercream frosting. I’d never made it before, and this was a real buttercream from a meringue base, not vegetable shortening. It took a while to make–melting the chopped chocolate, separating and whipping the egg whites, mixing in the butter one tablespoon at a time, but it was definitely worth the trouble! This buttercream is smooth and rich and spreads like a dream.

With the cake being so much work I kept the decorations at a minimum. We had a Lego Pirates of the Caribbean theme so I decided to make a pirate treasure map. The palm trees are plastic by the way, I wasn’t feeling that crafty at 11 pm! (They came from Michael’s craft store in the California Missions supply area.) I used some Milk Duds for rocks, blue sprinkles for the water and Wilton Turtle Brownie Crunch sprinkles for the sand.

treasure map cake

My little pirate had a great birthday!

Here is the recipe for Ina Garten’s Chocolate Buttercream Cake. It is found in the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (and I found it listed online as well). I can’t say enough good things about this cookbook. I’ve made almost all of the dessert recipes and several of the others. Ina uses simple quality ingredients and most recipes are very easy. This chocolate cake and buttercream frosting is a lot more involved than other recipes in the book.


For the cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 tablespoons milk

For the frosting

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup egg white, at room temperature (from 3 extra-large eggs)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
2 Tablespoons dark rum (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, butter the paper, and dust the pans with flour, knocking out any excess. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light, approximately 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. On low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended.

Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, remove from the pans, and allow to finish cooling.

To make the frosting, chop the chocolates and melt in a bowl over simmering water until smooth. Allow to cool.

Mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Heat the egg whites in the bowl over simmering water until they are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes or until the meringue is cool and holds a stiff peak.

Add the butter, 1 tablespoons at a time, while beating on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the chocolate, vanilla, and espresso and mix for 1 minute or until the chocolate is completely blended inches If the buttercream seems very soft, allow it to cool and beat it again.

To frost the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate, flat side up. Frost the top of that layer with buttercream. Place the second layer on top, also flat side up and frost the top and sides.


  • I used the brewed coffee in the cake, but left out the espresso and rum in the frosting. I was afraid the coffee flavor would be too strong for the kids.
  • I made a double batch of the buttercream but it wasn’t necessary. A single batch would have been plenty since I didn’t have multiple layers to frost.
  • If you make this cake ahead be sure to refrigerate it, just to be safe. Unlike buttercream make with margarine, this will not have moisture bead up on it from refrigeration. And I just didn’t like the idea of having an uncooked meringue based frosting sitting out for 12 hours.
  • Pull the cake out of the fridge a few hours before serving so the frosting can soften. Think butter in the fridge vs butter on the counter. That stuff was hard as a rock when it first came out!

Recipe Review: Caramel Apple Crisp

This caramel apple crisp is perfect for a fall or winter evening. This recipe makes a huge batch so it’s ideal to take along to a party or for serving guests. I found the recipe via Pinterest, but it is from Taste of Home. The original recipe can be found here.

This is actually the first crisp I’ve ever made. I’m usually more of a cobbler or pie kind of girl, but the chunks of melted caramel candies convinced me to give it a try.

Tart apples & sweet caramels!

Tart apples & sweet caramels!

Crispy golden crust.

Crispy golden crust.

This was so good served hot with vanilla ice cream!

This was so good served hot with vanilla ice cream!


3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
7-8 medium size tart apples (about 3 pounds)
1 (14 oz.) bag caramel candies
1 1/2 cups apple cider


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13″ baking dish with a light coating of non-stick spray.
  2. Unwrap caramels and cut in half or quarters. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until butter is evenly distributed.
  4. Press half the mixture into the pan. Set the rest aside.
  5. Peel apples and slice thinly. Layer half the apples, half of the caramels, and half of the oat mixture, repeat.
  6. Pour one cup of apple cider evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Carefully pull oven rack forward and pour remaining 1/2 cup of apple cider over the top. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until crust is browned.


  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!
  • If peeling and cutting all the caramels sounds like too much trouble you could probably use a jar of good quality caramel sundae topping (not the kind in the squeeze bottle).
  • Slice the apples thinly is key to make sure they get completely cooked. To make it easier I like to use my apple peeler/corer/slicer. It works so fast!
  • You could leave the skins on the apples if you like, it gives it a more rustic appearance.


Chocolate Almond Praline Cake

This cake is SO good and easy to make too. I brought this over to my in-laws for Christmas Day dinner and it was a big hit! When it was time for our New Year’s BBQ I was asked to make it again. Yeah, it’s that good!

I promise this is easy to make – it uses boxed cake mix and a few extra ingredients.

Ready to serve!

Ready to serve!


For Praline:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

2 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cups chopped almonds

For Cake:

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix

1 1/4 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 extra-large or 4 regular eggs

Fresh Whipped Cream:

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In order to prevent messy clean up, I advise lining the lower rack of the oven with a sheet of aluminum foil to catch drips, which are likely to occur.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°
  3. In a medium sauce pan melt the praline ingredients over medium heat, stirring until ingredients are combined. Remove from heat and pour into cake pan. Either two 8″ round cake pans or one large rectangular pan.
  4. Mix cake batter ingredients. Pour over praline in the cake pans.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before inverting onto a cake plate.
  7. In a medium bowl beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Chill until ready to use.
  8. Chill cake thoroughly before frosting with fresh whipped cream.


You pour the cake batter right over the praline mix. You can see some of the melted praline mixture peeking out from the edge .

You pour the cake batter right over the praline mix. You can see some of the melted praline mixture peeking out from the edge .


Finished cake. If you dump the pans out too soon the praline will be too runny. Be sure to let it cool in the cake pans for at least 5 minutes before trying to flip it over.

Finished cake. If you dump the pans out too soon the praline will be too runny. Be sure to let it cool in the cake pans for at least 5 minutes before trying to flip it over.

mini blueberry pie with homemade crust

Pie Crust Recipe

Need a basic recipe for pie crust? I’ve got you covered! I used to be intimidated by making pie crust, but it’s actually really easy. I’ve been using this pie crust recipe with our Pie and Cake Maker often and it is so easy. Enjoy!


For a single 8-9″ crust:

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup Crisco shortening

3 TBSP ice cold water


Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender. Add cold water. Mix until combined. Knead a few times on a floured work surface, then roll out into a circle. Makes one 8″ pie crust.


  • For most large, double crust pies I go ahead and make a triple batch. 3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup Crisco, 9 TBSP cold water. That gives plenty of dough to make a nice bottom and top crust on a 9 or 10″ pie plate.
  • After making a double or triple batch of dough, divide in half and roll each half out into a large circle 1/8 to 1/4″ thickness.
  • Make ice cold water by filling a measuring cup with water and ice cubes. Carefully dip out the chilled water by the tablespoonful when the time comes to add it to the recipe. Do not bits of get ice into the dough!
  • Move crust to pie plate by rolling crust over rolling pin and lifting. Gently place on pie dish or on top of filling and unroll crust.

Pie Party Review

Avocado Pie

I somehow stumbled into a “Pie Party” on Facebook this week. People from all over the internet posted their photos and links to pies they had made. I added my Avocado Pie to the party. I loved all the variety shared, including several gluten-free and savory options.

Here’s the link to the Facebook Event

And here is a categorized (as best I could) and consolidated list for your enjoyment!

Fruit Pies

Triple Berry Oatmeal Cookie Pie by Oh Cake

Mixed Berry Pie by Family Bites

Blueberry Thyme & Strawberry Brandy Phyllo Pies by Georgie Cakes

Blueberry Crumb Pie by Apt. 2 Baking Co.

Blueberry Crumb Pie by Tiramisu’

Blueberry Jam Pie by Flamingo Musings

Rustic Blueberry Pie by Tidy Mom

Deep Dish Cherry-Berry Pie by Fields of Cake

Red Cherry Pie by Gluten-Free Travelette

Sour Cherry Pie by Nothing in the House – A Pie Blog

Tart Cherry Lattice Pie by At the Baker’s Bench

Mini Grape Pie by Mango & Tomato

Huckleberry Pie by My Communal Table

Maine Berry & Frangipane Crostata (gluten-free) by A Baking LIfe

Nectarine Blackberry Open Face Pie by Eat the Love

Peach Pie by Documenting Our Dinner

Peach Pie (cooked in cast iron skillet) Z Tasty Life

Peach Blueberry with Oatmeal Crumb Topping by Andrea Meyers

Peach Ginger Cardamon Pie by Sunchowder’s Emporia

Peach Raspberry Pie by Stetted

Peanut butter Apple Pie w/ Wheat Crust by Binomial Baker

Peach Bourbon Pie (in mason jars) by Harvard Common Press

Peach Plum Galette by Kosher Cookbook

Sour Cream Plum Pie by Whatcom Locavore

Pumpkin Pie by M(i)s Ch(i)ef

Pumpkin Pecan Pie by Living Rancho Delux

Rhubarb Pie by 124 Park

Rhubarb Pie by Nancie McDermott

Rhubarb Cherry Strawberry Galette by Undercover Caterer

Rhubarb & Cherry Pie by The Adventures of a Very Personal Chef

Strawberry Pie by Holy Cow (vegan)

Strawberry Pie by My Kitchen Addiction

Fresh Strawberry Pie by Sweetness Hunter

Strawberry Apricot Pie by Domenica Cooks

Strawberry Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie by Sass & Veracity

Strawberry Meringue Pie by Kitchen Frau

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie by Cooking Lessons

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (gluten-free crust) by C4C

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (gluten-free) by Hungry Rabbit

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (gluten-free dairy-free) by Sylvana’s Kitchen

Strawberry Rhubarb Cherry Pie (gluten-free) by The Recipe Renovator

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette by Random Recycling

Naughty Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Pie by Jackie Writes


Custard Type Pies

Avocado Pie (Mine!)

Buttermilk Pie w/ Bourbon Brown Butter Peaches by The Tomato Tart

Chocolate Pie by Kristen’s Life

Chocolate Strawberry Pie by A Gilt Nutmeg

Chocolate-y Goodness Pie by 52 Sweet Treats

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Grain-Free Crust by Against All Grain

Chocolate Cream w/ Banana Whipped Cream by Tickled Red

Coconut Cream by C4C

Candied Kumquat Passionfruit Chiffon Pie by Munchie Musings

Light, Just Right Key Lime by Three Many Cooks

Easy Squeezy Lemon Blueberry Pie by Rhubarb and Honey

Lavender Lemon Meringue Pie by Restless Chipoltle

Lemon Meringue Pie by Sweet Remedy

Lemon Meringue Pie by Farming on Faith

Lemon Chiffon Pie by Life’s a Feast

Lime Raspberry Italian Meringue Pie by Nothing in the House

Mango Lime Pie by No Fear Entertaining

Oreo Cream Pie by Vanilla Garlic

Rhubarb Custard Pies w/ Walnut Crust by Simple Bites

S’mores Pudding Pie by Cupcakes and Kale Chips


Savory Pies

Chard Fennel and Feta Pie by Life’s a Feast

Chicken Corn & Broccoli Pie by So So Simple Food

Corn Tomato & Cheddar Pie by Clockwork Lemon

Savory Tomato & Zucchini Pie by Cookistry

Roasted Tomato w/ Sharp Cheddar Crust by Not Without Salt

Paleo Pot Pie – Thai Chicken by Munchie Musings

Torte di scarola (Savory Endive Pie) by Z Tasty Life

Fennel Tart (gluten-free) by Smith Bites

Tomato Tart by Renee & Ari’s Kitchen Conundrum

Other Pies

Bittersweet Chocolate w/ Hazelnut Meringue Crust (gluten-free) by Justcook NYC

Smores Pie by Kelly Bakes

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie by Running with Tweezers

Fudgy Brownie Crunch Banana Ice Cream Pie by Keep it Sweet Desserts

Strawberry Cream Puff Pie (gluten-free) by Gluten-Free Doctor

Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream Pie by Some the Wiser

Cookie Crisp Ice Box Pie by Cravings of a Lunatic

Creamy Blackberry Raspberry Ice Box Pie by Coconut & Lime




Blueberry Country Tart w/ Buttermilk Whipped Cream by The Runaway Spoon

Blueberry Purple Yam Tart by The Queen’s Notebook

Cherry Frangipani Tart by Fudge Ripple

Cherry Coconut Cream Tart by Dessert First

Whipped Lime Cream Tart by Life’s A Feast

Strawberry Custard Tart by Once Upon A Feast

Berry Tart w/ Rosewater & Lavender Mascarpone Cream by Fun & Food Cafe

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Tarts by Kelly Bakes


Other Pie-Like Dishes Shared

Cherry Pie Cookies by Created by Diane

Apple Tarte Tatin by Smitten Kitchen

Apple Crostata with Breadcrumb Streusel by herbivoracious

Apricot & Amaretti Crostata by Over a Tuscan Stove

Summer Fruit Kuchen by A Thought for Food

Fresh Fruit Crisp by OMG Yummy

Blackberry Mini Pies w/Walnut Thyme Streusel by Blue Kale Road

Mini Pies (on a stick) by Z Tasty Life

Mini Strawberry Rum Pies by Brooklyn Galley

Mini Cheese Pies w/ Roasted Plum Jam (gluten-free) by Healthy Green Kitchen

Rustic Strawberry Crostata by Cooking Gluten-Free with Anna

Four Pies – one for each season by A Well-Seasoned Kitchen

Hand Pies & Dumpling Pies by My Communal Table

Boston Cream Pie by Jo Boston is a Foodie

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream “Cake” Pie by Kitchen Confidante

Mississippi Mud Cake-Pie by La Mia Vita Dolce

Cherry Pies n Cream Sandwiches by The Creative Orchard

Avocado Pie

 Avocado Pie

This is a sweet (not savory) avocado recipe. The flavor is reminiscent of key lime pie – a bright, fresh citrus flavor. The pie is no-bake and if you use a prepared graham cracker crust prep time is about five minutes.

First you mash the avocado.


Whisk in the lemon juice and the sweetened condensed milk.

Pour into a pie shell and refrigerate for at least an hour for it to set up.


1 cup mashed avocado
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

2 cups of crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

or prepared graham cracker crust


  1. Mix graham crackers and sugar in a small bowl. Pour in melted butter and stir until combined.
  2. Press into a pie plate and refrigerate 30 minutes or bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
  3. Mash avocado until smooth.
  4. Whisk in lemon juice and condensed milk
  5. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust.
  6. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  7. Serve with whipped cream on top or cool whip.