When you’re a kid, baking looks like a fun, sugary, messy process: You throw everything together in a big bowl and pop it in the oven. Flour gets everywhere, but that’s half the fun. As an adult who has to clean up and do some of the heavy lifting involved with baking, that aspect is much less appealing.
But just because you have to clean up doesn’t mean baking has to lose all of its child-like attractions. The fun, sugary side of baking is back thanks to dump cakes and “kitchen sink” recipes. For both, you throw together what you have lying around the kitchen to create whichever dessert you want. Scrounge up your favorite ingredients, because these eight recipes will have you acting out your inner kid in the kitchen, with minimal cleanup.
1. Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake
Dine and Dash says this cake is best served hot and fresh out of the oven — especially if you top it with vanilla ice cream or even whipped cream.
- 2 (20-ounce) cans cherry pie filling
- 1 (18.5-ounce) box Devil’s Food Cake Mix, unprepared
- ¾ cup butter, melted
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dump cherry pie filling into a 13×9 inch cake pan. Spread evenly out in pan. Top cherry pie filling with unprepared cake mix. Make sure it is evenly spread out. Drizzle melted butter over the top.
Bake for 1 hour. Serve topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
2. Kitchen Sink Cookies
Pretzel M&Ms in these cookies from Annie Eats provide a slight crunch and add to the sweet-salty balance. There is no flour in the dough, so the texture will differ from what you normally see when preparing cookies.
- 1¼ cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1⅓ cups creamy peanut butter
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4½ cups quick-cooking oatmeal
- 1¼ cup pretzel M&Ms
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup raisins
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugars, peanut butter and butter. Beat on medium-high speed until well blended. Mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the baking soda, vanilla, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the oatmeal just until incorporated. Fold in the pretzel M&Ms, chocolate chips and raisins with a spatula.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving a couple of inches between each dough ball. Bake 8 to 11 minutes, until light golden and just set, being careful not to overbake. Let cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
3. Blueberry Crunch Cake
Home Cooking Memories has taken the dump cake, and given it a crunch factor by adding pecans, while blueberries and pineapple will keep the cake moist.
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 11 ounces blueberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 can crushed pineapple, undrained (20 ounce)
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 stick butter, melted (½ cup)
- Optional: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13×9 baking dish. In a bowl, combine blueberries with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar and gently coat blueberries with the sugar.
Pour pineapple into the bottom of the baking dish evenly. Sprinkle blueberries and sugar evenly over pineapple. Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix evenly on top of blueberries. Drizzle melted stick of butter on top of cake mix. Sprinkle pecans on top of cake mix/butter. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until top is browned.
4. Kitchen Sink Monster Cookies
Another take on the salty and sweet cookie comes from My Invisible Crown. The options are limitless, and if you dislike butterfingers or mini peanut butter cups, try another candy, such as one with caramel or peanuts for a different texture.
- 1 stick butter, softened
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- ½ tablespoon vanilla
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup oats
- ¼-½ cup each of the following or whatever you choose: mini butterfinger candies, roughly chopped, mini peanut butter cups, roughly chopped, chocolate covered pretzels, roughly chopped, fluer de sel caramels, roughly chopped, kettle corn popcorn, regular potato chips (the thicker the better, to help them hold up)
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla and mix again.
In a small mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk lightly. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until completely combined stopping to scrape the sides once. Add oats and any other ingredients except potato chips and mix on low until distributed. Add chips and stir by hand.
Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes. Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop out balls, roll in your hand to compact them down and then place on parchment and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
5. Peach Dump Cake
Although this AllRecipes.com cake calls for canned peaches, you could use fresh peaches in a simple syrup if you prefer. Fresh fruit and simple syrup could also be used in any dump cake called for a canned fruit.
- 2 (16-ounce) cans peaches in heavy syrup
- 1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
- ½ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Empty peaches into the bottom of one 9×13 inch pan. Cover with the dry cake mix and press down firmly. Melt butter and pour over the top of the peaches and cake mix. Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes.
6. Kitchen Sink Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies
Spoonful of Sugar found these kitchen sink brownies on the Pillsbury Bake-Off website. They will easily kick any sugar craving you have to the curb and will satisfy even the sweetest of sweet tooths.
- 1 box (19.5 ounces) fudge brownie mix
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup water
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 bag (14 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups slightly broken pretzels (4.5 ounces)
- ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 jar (18 ounces) crunchy peanut butter
- 2 cups Reese’s Puffs cereal, slightly broken
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 13×9 pan. In large bowl, make brownie mix as directed on box using oil, water and eggs. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes. Cool.
In a medium bowl, microwave caramels and water on high for 1 minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 15-second increments, stirring after each, until caramels are completely melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in broken pretzels until well coated. Spoon and spread carefully over cooled brownie layer.
In a large bowl, mix melted butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in peanut butter. Stir in broken cereal until well blended. Spread over caramel layer.
In a small bowl, microwave remaining 2 cups chocolate chips on high for 1 minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 15-second increments, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted. Spread over cereal layer.
Refrigerate until chocolate is set and caramel mixture in center is firm, 2 to 3 hours. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. These are super sweet and rich, so a little goes a long way.
7. Kitchen Sink Muffins
Kitchen sink baking can be good for you too. Momables has “kitchen sink muffins” that can be stuffed with dried fruit, fresh fruit, or nuts. This is in addition to whole wheat flour and flax, creating a breakfast or snack that is brimming with good-for-you ingredients.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce or yogurt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ⅓ cup milk
Measurements for add-in ingredient options
- 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit, thawed
- ½ cup pecans, walnuts or almonds, chopped
- ⅔ cup dried fruit
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place muffin liners in a 12 standard-size muffin pan. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients; flour, ground flax, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Add in yogurt, melted butter and milk. Stir until thoroughly combined, creating a smooth, stiff batter. Gently fold in additional ingredient options, then divide batter equally spooning into the muffin cups.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tops are golden. Transfer to cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, store remaining muffins in an air tight container.
8. Apple Dump Cake
Instead of canned fruit, this recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures calls for apple pie filling for a deliciously easy dump cake. Again, ice cream or whipped cream is recommended as a topping for the finished cake.
- 2 cans apple pie filling
- 1 yellow cake mix ( or spice cake mix, gluten free cake mix works here as well)
- 2 sticks butter, melted
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread apple pie filling in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle (or dump) cake mix over the top. You use the dry cake mix here, you do not mix it up into a batter. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.