I've noticed there are more and more cookbooks being produced on making dump cakes. I had my first one a couple years ago when someone brought it for dessert at a pot luck. I really didn't care for it because it had a bit of an after taste . I suspect the recipe was one with a cake mix and can of lemon lime flavored soda.
The general description of a dump cake is you dump a box of cake mix, fruit, and liquid, stir, and bake. I hate using cake mixes because the final product is too fluffy. I prefer my cake to be a bit heavier with fruit and nuts. something that sticks to my bones.
I think my mother did something similar but it was more like she made a yellow cake mix up and poured it into a cake pan with brown sugar, and butter on top of slices of pineapple for an upside down cake mix. She never did anything like that.
I admit some of the recipes I've seen look quite good. What about one made with 1 box chocolate cake, 1 box of chocolate pudding, 8 oz of Reece's mini peanut butter cups and 1 3/4 cup milk. Bake at 350 till done.
Just a quick search reveals tons of recipes for dump cakes from caramel apple to pineapple coconut to a variety of chocolate cakes but according to an article Epicurious.com not all recipes result in a consistent product. Furthermore, they don't always taste that great. One combination she mentioned involved a white cake mix with orange soda. That one holds no appeal at all. I've never liked orange soda.
The author gave herself a challenge to create a better than average dump cake made from scratch that was just as easy as using the prepackaged ingredients. She did it. She created a quick "cake" base, uses butter, fresh or frozen fruit, gives it a shake before baking. There is a link for making your own yellow cake mix base. To add some texture to the cake, she suggests using nuts.
After reading her recipe, I'm willing to consider making my own "dump cake" because this is home made and made from reasonably healthy ingredients. It doesn't use over sweetened fruit, soda pop, or other ingredients I find unhealthy.
Check it out and let me know what you think.