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I didn’t get a picture of the cake I made for this year but I thought I’d share this fun picture of my husband.  He is holding his free cake from a restaurant for his birthday.  We ate on that sucker for days (4 of us).  Unfortunately, food allergies make it difficult to enjoy such things.

I was thinking about making something special for my husband but it’s hard since we have to watch the eggs and the dairy.  I can use some dairy but I have to be careful especially since it’s my husband who has the dairy allergy.  And sometimes you don’t get the perfect cake using egg substitutes.

Then an idea came.  When we were involved in scouts, we discovered Dump Cake.  This is a very popular camping recipe (at least in our area).  In fact, my son and I made up a variation for a cooking competition.

This is a super easy recipe and requires minimal ingredients which worked perfectly.  All you need is canned fruit, a cake mix and a soda.

I had one vanilla cake mix that I had made up.  The vanilla is not our favorite so it’s sat for a lot longer than I had hoped.  I thought about what I could do with this cake mix that didn’t require me to buy anything more than a soda.  I went to the vending machine at work and looked at my choices.  It was limited but cherry coke with vanilla cake would be good especially if I still had some cherries canned in vanilla syrup at home.

Guess what?  I had 2 half pint jars of cherries in vanilla syrup.

To make a dump cake – grease your dutch oven.  This is a dutch oven recipe and since we own a large collection of dutch ovens, I have no need to figure out what other pans can be used.  You want someone that is deep, not much wider than your average round cake pan (about 10 inches) and has a lid.  It has to hold up to being in the oven as well.

Back to the cake – I used coconut oil to grease my pan.  Typically I would use butter but we don’t have any in the house right now.  Then dump in your fruit.  The fruit should cover the bottom of the pan.  Since I only had the 2 half pints of cherries available (in that flavor), I pulled a few cherries out of the freezer to fill in any open spaces.  You don’t have to have that many cherries but I didn’t want there to be sections of the cake that didn’t have cherries.  We usually do this with peaches and a pint is a perfect amount.

Then top with your cake mix.  No stirring just pour over the fruit and then use your hand to smooth out the top.  Add 12 ounces of soda to the top of that.  Place on the lid and bake at 400 degrees for 55 minutes.  If you use a lighter pan, you may want to check it starting at 40 to make sure you are not over cooking.

I had plans to make a frosting but my husband felt that frosting was too much.  So I threw on some chocolate chips while the cake and oven were still warm.  It’s a perfect topping to the cake.  Tastes a bit like something you’d buy in a store (like a Hostess Cupcake but not).  If I had a gluten free cake mix, then the cake would be gluten free and still so easy to make.

Even if you can eat anything without getting ill, this is a great cake.  We love playing with different combinations.  Previously to this one, our favorite was peaches with brown sugar, yellow cake mix and ginger ale.  So yummy.  Mmm, think I need more cake.