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