Sunday, August 19, 2018

Lemon-Blueberry Dump Cake from Peggy Ehrhart

A very warm welcome to our friend, Peggy Ehrhart! Peggy writes the Knit & Knibble Mysteries. Don't miss her giveaway of a copy of DIED IN THE WOOL! Enter at the bottom of the this post.

My sleuth Pamela Paterson usually bakes from scratch, as do I. But sometimes a person wants a shortcut. In my cookbook collection I have something called Dump Cakes & One-Bowl Baking, found long ago at a garage sale. The premise is that the cook starts with boxed cake mix and canned fruit and then dumps the cake mix on the canned fruit, tops the creation off with lots of butter, and sticks it in the oven. The result is something in the cobbler or crumble family.

In my Knit & Nibble series, the Arborville knitting club’s most unlikely member is Roland DeCamp, a hard-driving corporate lawyer whose doctor advised he take up knitting to lower his blood pressure. Club members take turns hosting the group and providing the evening’s nibbles. When it’s Roland’s turn in Murder, She Knit, he’s determined not to be outdone by other members who have shown off their culinary skills. He resolves to bake a sweet treat, but something manageable—a dump cake.

It turns out pretty well, though as his patient wife Melanie observes, ice cream has come to the rescue of many a cook. 

In my version of a dump cake below, I substituted fresh fruit—blueberries—for the canned fruit Roland used. I added a bit of sugar to the blueberries, but the cake mix is already so sweet that blueberries can probably be used as is. The recipe could also be made with four cups of sliced peaches or other fresh fruit and with plain yellow or white cake mix.  

2 pints fresh blueberries, about 4 cups
1 box lemon cake mix, about 15 ounces

1/4 cup sugar, or less

1 stick butter, cut into about 28 slices
A bit of soft butter for buttering the baking dish.

Butter a large Pyrex or ceramic baking dish, 8” X 12” or 9” X 13”. Add the blueberries in an even layer. Sprinkle the sugar over them if you are using it.

Dump in the cake mix. Spread it over the blueberries.

Lay the butter slices on top of the cake mix layer. Four in one direction and seven in the other works well. The point is for the butter to cover as much of the cake mix as possible.

Bake the dump cake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. You can test it for doneness by poking it with a wooden toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the dump cake is ready.

The top should be light brown. It will look crumbly.

Serve the dump cake warm—not hot, or at room temperature, with ice cream if you like.

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. 
Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, published by Five Star/Gale/Cengage, feature a blues-singer sleuth. Sweet Man Is Gone appeared in 2008 and Got No Friend Anyhow appeared in 2011. Both are out of print but available on Kindle.  
Peggy is currently writing the Knit & Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, the series features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. The first book in the series, Murder, She Knit, came out in March. The second, Died in the Wool, will appear August 28, and the third, Knit One, Die Two, in May 2019. Peggy recently signed a contract to write three more books in the series. 
Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She is an enthusiastic crafter, dating from her childhood as a member of the 4-H Club in rural Southern California. She also plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. 
Visit her at .

Leave a comment to enter to win a copy of DIED IN THE WOOL. 
Remember to leave your e-address so Peggy can contact you if you win. Good luck! 


  1. This recipe looks easy enough that even I could make it. Thanks for sharing! mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

  2. Yummy! I make something similar, but use pineapple tidbits on the bottom. But the addition of lemon cake, instead of plain yellow would be wonderful I bet!
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

  3. Dump cakes are the best dessert! They are very versatile and a quick to make dessert. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
    I have just started the audio book for Murder, She Knit. I love the covers!
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  4. Sounds delicious. Have you ever made a dump cake with chocolate cake mix and cherries?
    Nancy R in Ottawa, Canada

  5. My mom used to,make a dump cake with apples.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  6. Baking from scratch is fun but a dump cake is so easy and everybody always loves it! Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. Peggy, I used to make this with cherry pie filling and white cake. It is so good! Congrats on the new series. ~ Daryl

  8. All of these dump cake ideas look awesome! So does the book!
    skforrest1957 at gmail dot com

  9. This recipe looks easy and tasty! I'm a novice knitter, so a series that includes knitting intrigues me. Looking forward to reading it.

  10. I've never met dump cake I didn't like, and can't wait to try this one! Thanks so much for visiting Mystery Lovers' Kitchen and sharing your recipe and introducing us to your Knit and Kibble series ~

  11. I love lemon & blueberry flavors together. This is perfect to take to family get togethers. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. I love dump cake! I never thought of using fresh berries though. Thanks for the recipe twist.
    You are a new author for me. I love the cover of Died in the Wool. It just looks so fun and cute. It is the type of cover that screams entertainment. I definitely want to check out this series now.
    I find medieval times to be so fascinating! With your doctorate in it, have you thought of, (or have you), writing a mystery in that setting?

  13. Taylor R. WilliamsAugust 19, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    Your dump cake recipe has me drooling ! Sure would love to win one of your books, so thank you for the chance. trwilliams 69 at msn dot com

  14. I love the book's cover, especially the cat's face!

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  15. Roland in "Murder, She Knit" sounds like a character that I'm going to have to explore.

    Love dump cakes! The make me think of my Mom and all the variations that were made in my growing up years. Mom mostly cooked from scratch, but on occasion when time was limited she made the dump cakes. I remember one that used fresh peaches and a can of crushed pineapple with chopped nuts added to the top. Of course, Mom always thought anything had to taste better with nuts so not sure if the recipe was that was or how she adapted it. Hadn't thought of making one with blueberries, but with our surplus of them I will surely be giving it a try.

    Thanks you for the chance win a copy of the soon to be released "DIED IN THE WOOL". I have it on my TBR list and would love the opportunity to read it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  16. Sounds delicious I am going to have to make it. Thank you for the chance. Lamonicaks (at) gmail (dot) com

  17. I would love to win a copy of this amazing book. The recipe looks like something I have to try. Thanks for your great generosity.

  18. Dump cakes always sound so good and so easy. I wonder why I never make them. I'm going to have to change that. And, soon.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  19. Sounds delicious. Thanks for the chance. sable677 at yahoo dot com

  20. The recipe and book both look great! Thank you, I would love to win the book.

  21. This recipe sounds so good. I will have to write this down. The book cover is just absolutely adorable. Thank you so much for the opportunity to try and win.

  22. This recipe sounds so good. I will have to write this down. The book cover is just absolutely adorable. Thank you so much for the opportunity to try and win.

  23. What an exciting life you have led. Sounds like my dream vocation. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book
    robsnest60 {at} yahoo {dot} com

  24. Oh my, I must make this cake when I go visit my new granddaughter. The kids will love it and I won't eat the whole cake by myself!

  25. This cake looks good. I love blueberries!

  26. Blueberries and lemon are a great combo! I would love to read this book!

  27. This cake looks absolutely delicious!! Love blueberry and lemon, I eat Special K's blueberry and lemon cereal for breakfast!! Thank you for the opportunity!

  28. I love this recipe, so easy and looks delicious! lclee59(at)centurylink(dot)net

  29. When my daughter was in high school Graduating in 1991, our house was the one her group of friends loved to go to a few days a week and on weekends. I always cooked and baked everything from scratch but when 8 or more hungry teens showed up unexpectedly, I didn't always have the time to make a dessert from scratch. So I started with the dump cakes and over the years I must have tried every mixture possible. In the spring my fresh rhubarb an strawberry white or yellow cake was their favorite. Then in the summer months they were extremely fond of red raspberries or blackberries. I also made fresh peach cake if I had enough on hand which I almost always did. I always had canned pineapple on hand so with the addition of a few delicious Bing cherries scattered over the pineapple it was like having pineapple upside down cake. The trip down memory lane came on full force when I read the recipe as I don't ever remember making even one of these quick desserts once our girl went off to college! But I surely made plenty of them and other things all those years.

    Congratulations on your release. I'd love to get to read this series as I haven't done so yet. Thank you for the possibility and for giving me my lively trip down my favorite road ....Memory Lane! ceblain AT tmlponline DOT net

  30. The cake looks delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe, and thank you for this chance to win! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

  31. I'll have to try a dump cake sometime. I just finished Murder She Knit and enjoyed it. It's nice to have a varied group of people in the knitting club.

  32. I've never made a dump cake before but it looks pretty easy so some day I'll give it a try. Thank you for this chance at the giveaway. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  33. Love easy recipes!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  34. That cover is absolutely adorable!!! I love the cat, but really want to buy one of those plushies!!! The cake sounds delicious and oh so easy. I just bought blueberries from the farmer's market this morning. Perhaps...

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

  35. Love dump cakes- Thank-you for the chance to win. kckendler at gmail dot com

  36. Congratulations on your release. You are a new author to me. Book looks like a great read. So hoping. The recipe looks yummy. I just bought a flat of blueberries. Was planning on making a recipe from New England colonial days that's been handed down. It is so rich. But this dump cake? We will do that in a few minutes. Thank you for that. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

  37. Love the cover for "Died In The Wool". My.kind of book, I really enjoy knitting and also reading about it. Cake looks easy enough that even I could make it.

  38. "DIED In The Wool" sound really interesting, plus the cover is so cute. I haven't tried knitting yet, but I do crochet, quilting and cross stitch.
    Thinks for the cake recipe I am going to have to fix it soon.
    jenbates1967 (at)gmail (dot)com