Apples, pumpkins, cooler temperatures, the sound of crunching leaves under your feet are just a few things I personally love about fall. The other day while grocery shopping I noticed my favorite apples were on sale. Honey Crisp. They were 99 cents a pound! My entire family loves these apples. They are sweet but have a tinge of sourness along with a nice texture that gives you a good crunch when you bite into them. Needless to say when I saw they were on sale I stocked up on them.
My boys love to have these for a healthy snack option. I can cut them up and give them a dollop of peanut butter or almond butter and they are happy campers. I can honestly just give them the apple slices and they are just as happy but I like to sneak in more protein when I can. Sometimes these apples can be very large and a little too much for my little guys so I tend to cut the apple in half and save the other half in the fridge until the next day. Will it brown? Yes, slightly but the apple still taste delicious and more importantly it generally has held it’s crunchy texture. No one likes a mushy or mealy apple…at least no one I have met thus far. Needless to say I love these apples and ended up implementing them in the following recipe but allow me to give some history as to how I got a hankering for this dessert.
Dump cakes are so easy to make and usually taste so delicious. However, my husband generally balks at the idea of them because he says they are “too sweet”. Knowing full well he does not care for them, I decided to take the gamble and make it anyways. I grabbed my crock pot and inserted a liner to help with an easy clean up. Next, I opened the can of apple pie filling and poured it into the crock pot. Boy was I sadly mistaken that one can would do the trick. It looked as if I just waved the can over the crock pot, there were so few apples in it. Great! Now what?! I had remembered the remaining few apples in my fruit bowl and the half of one from earlier that morning. I decided to peel the one and half apples, slice them, and place them in a pot on the stove top.
With the apple slices on a medium heat, I added a table spoon of butter, about a 1/4 cup of light karo syrup, 1/4 cup of water, roughly 2 tablespoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. I stirred the ingredients together to coat the apples and brought it to a boil. Be sure to keep a close eye on the apples stirring occasionally to prevent them from burning. I used karo syrup just as an experiment but you can use sugar in place of the karo. The aroma that the spiced apples produce is so comforting to me. It reminds me of my childhood when my mama would make us cinnamon apples as a special treat. After a few minutes of the apples boiling (I would say about 5ish) I removed them from the heat and carefully scrapped them into the crock pot. You do not want to overcook the apples because they will continue to cook in the crock pot. Next, I took the box of spice cake mix and poured it over the top of the apples. Then I took one whole stick of butter said in my finest Paula Deen voice, and sliced it into pads to place on top of the cake mix. To help give this cake another level of texture I wanted to add some pecans. I grabbed my bag of pecan halves from the freezer and gave them a quick rough chop. The amount of pecans is up to you. I used maybe half a cup and probably could have used a little more. I then sprinkled those on top as well and cooked on low for about 2 hours. Honestly, once you see the cake topping begin to bake you can use your best judgment, should your crock pot work differently from mine.
Once the cake topping is finished baking I removed my pot from the heater and placed on a heat safe spot to prevent it from any further baking. When it was time for dessert I scooped up a heaping scoop of the apple dump cake and placed it in a bowl. I knew the homemade vanilla ice cream (Bluebell of course) would give this dish a creamy cool balance to the warm spiced cake. Grabbing my favorite Pioneer Woman ice cream scoop that I recently picked up from Wal-Mart, I scooped up some of the ice cream and dolloped it on the warm cake. Funny enough, I went to take the first bite and my husband caught me. The look he gave me implied he wanted a bowl so naturally I gave him mine and divvied up another bowl for myself. He confessed it was not nearly as rich as other dump cakes and that he really enjoyed it…probably a little too much.
Should you not want to cook your own apples you can definitely do two cans of pie filling instead. Or make it more of your own and skip the pie filling and make your own like I did (sort of). Either way I hope it is a dish that will bring you and your loved ones warmth this fall.
- 2 cans of apple pie filing
- 1 box of spice cake mix
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (optional)
- vanilla ice cream
- Spray or line crock pot to prevent the dessert from sticking.
- Dump the apples into crock pot.
- Dump the cake mix evenly on apples.
- Slice the butter into pads and place on top of cake mix.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans on top (optional).
- Bake on low for 2 hours give or take.
- Remove from heater element carefully and place aside to prevent further baking.
- Scoop into bowl and add your ice cream on top.
Should you want to make your own apples my experiment is below.
- 4-5 apples depending on the size
- 2 tbsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup light karo syrup or sugar
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp of butter
- Peel and slice apples.
- Place all ingredients into pot and stir to coat. Set the flame to a medium heat.
- Stir occasional to prevent burning. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.