- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Don’t be fooled by the unflattering name of this cherry dump cake. It is a time-tested recipe, and, true to its name, you simply dump the ingredients into the pan one by one.

When you smell this dessert baking, you’ll only wonder why it took you so long to try it. It’s more like a cobbler than a cake, and it is to die for served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Mom will love it, especially if it is preceded by her favorite grilled chicken or fish, easy baked potatoes you zap in the microwave and serve piping hot with butter and chives, and a salad to her liking.

When you plan menus for Mom, or for anyone, and you’ve got a dazzling recipe to showcase (such as this dump cake), my advice is to keep the rest of the meal simple.

That means to marinate the chicken overnight in a good bottled balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Keep the salad simple, too, by serving a Caesar or a wedge of iceberg or a medley of baby greens with a light vinaigrette.

Cherry dump cake

The preparation time is 10 minutes, and the baking time is 55 to 60 minutes.

1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling

1 18.25-ounce package plain yellow cake mix

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) butter, melted

½ cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed

1 cup chopped pecans

Vanilla ice cream

Spoon pineapple evenly over bottom of ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

Cover pineapple with cherry pie filling. Pour dry cake mix evenly over fruit mixture so it reaches all sides of the pan.

Drizzle entire pan with melted butter. Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over the top of the cake. Place pan on center rack of preheated 350-degree oven.

Bake cake until it is deep brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake topping comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Spoon warm cake into bowls, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve. Serves 18 to 20.

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