I have some news to share. My second cookbook, Dump Cakes from Scratch, releases today! When I published my first cookbook, it was a dream come true. And to think that now I have a second cookbook, well it still feels completely surreal.
I received my author copies of the books in the mail on Friday and I’m so thrilled to see the final product. The photos, the colors– everything just came together so wonderfully. And there’s my name in the corner of the book! Squeal!
Dump Cakes have been around for decades, though they’ve recently become very popular again. The desserts are called dump cakes because you “dump” ingredients into a pan and bake. There is no need to mix batter beforehand, eliminating a lot of the usual preparation and reducing the amount of clean-up after. Classic dump cakes are usually made with boxed cake mix, canned fruit, canned pie filling and butter. The ingredients create a cobbler-like dessert that is quite delicious, especially when served warm with some ice cream and sauces. It’s the perfect easy dessert to serve at a party, take to a potluck, or make for your family and it’s so easy that even your kids can help.
What makes this cookbook different is that I’ve written a series of recipes allowing you to make dump cakes from scratch, using homemade cake mixes, fresh fruit fillings, etc. They are still easy but also healthier than traditional dump cakes. And the recipes are all versatile enough that you can still use boxed cake mix, canned fruit filling, etc, if desired.
Update! Here is a video of me making one of the dump cakes from the cookbook. This one is a chocolate cherry crisp.
When my editor and I first discussed the idea of a Dump Cakes cookbook, I was initially a little hesitant. I definitely enjoy dump cakes and have made them many times. And while I have nothing against using products like boxed cake mix (I always keep a few boxes in my pantry), I do strive for healthier alternatives, which is why over the years I’ve shared so many DIY recipes, healthy recipes, and homemade versions of popular snacks, drinks and candies. So I didn’t really feel comfortable writing a book when every single recipe would require boxed cake mix, canned fruit pie filling, etc. So instead, I suggested a book making dump cakes from scratch, which is not a cookbook I’ve seen on the market. I actually prefer making dump cakes with fresh fruit filling and homemade cake mix as I find regular dump cakes a tad too sweet for me. I wrote up my proposal and hoped for the best. And luckily, they really loved the from scratch angle.
Even though this is my second cookbook, it was actually a lot harder and much more time consuming than my first cookbook. I had about 2 months to write the book and create completely brand new recipes. With 5-Minute Mug Cakes, I had already done nearly 100 mug cakes before I started writing the book, so I felt really comfortable with the recipes and creating new ones. But with dump cakes, I was basically starting from nothing. Before I could even start creating the actual dump cake desserts, I spent several weeks just creating the ideal homemade cake mixes that would work for the recipes.
The actual recipe testing took much longer as well. With mug cakes, I would know within a few minutes whether a recipe was a flop or a success, since the cakes take only one minute to cook. But dump cakes take as long as traditional cakes to bake, so I needed to wait close to an hour to know the result. Sometimes I would go through several days of baking without creating a single successful dessert.
Because these are full-sized desserts, I also went through a lot of ingredients. My grocery bills were the highest they’ve ever been and I silently cried a little each time I saw the receipts. I was buying flour, sugar, baking powder in bulk from Costco and went through them so fast, you’d think I was filling a sandbox. Also, finding fresh fruit in December is not very easy.
Much like the first book, I went through moments when I questioned why I was writing a cookbook and felt like I’d never finish. There were days I was up writing until 4 AM and nights I was so tired, I fell asleep with flour dust still on my clothes. But now that it’s done and printed, I’m really happy I did it and I just can’t stop looking at my new book.
Every recipe in the book, with the exception of the homemade sauces and syrups, is completely brand new. They have not been published on the blog before and while I’ll be sharing a few in the future, the majority of the recipes will remain with the cookbook.
Much like with 5-Minute Mug Cakes, I also wanted to make sure to include gluten-free, low calorie and single serving dessert recipes. I also wanted to go beyond just the fruit cobbler dump cakes. Otherwise, the cookbook would get too repetitive. So I also created cookie cakes, dessert bars, and more. Don’t feel like turning on the oven? I also have microwave dump cakes and slow cooker dump cakes.
The photos in this book are so beautiful that I had a hard time just choosing a few to show you. I did not style or shoot any of the recipes, so it is even more exciting to see the recipes come to life.
I also really love the color coordination. It’s the little things that I think make a big difference and the way the recipe pages blend with the actual images is just one of the many little details that went into this book.
The book is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and most major book retailers. Thank you for your support!
*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).