Apple Dump Cake

Lately I have been obsessed with “dump cakes”. I know, terrible name, but the reason for the name is essentially because you “dump” the ingredients into a dish, pan, etc. I guess it sounds better than a “plop cake” or something like a “throw it in cake”. Aside from the name, I am utterly fascinated by them. I have my favorite recipe for a “dump cake” in my cookbook – it is a cherry and pineapple dump cake that is beyond incredible – but the recipe I am sharing today is incredible in its own way.

I have also been obsessed with “step by step” pictures lately when it comes to recipes – I am blaming Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Mine are not nearly as “professionally done” as her photos but they get the job – and the point across. I have updated a lot of the recipes here on my blog to include my “step by step” photos and here are their links –

I will be updating a lot more of them in the future to contain this feature so follow me on Twitter, Instagram or my Facebook to get the “updated recipe” alerts.

Oh – and speaking of Facebook, I am currently in “Facebook Jail” for sharing too many recipes! Can you believe that!? Is there such thing as TOO MANY recipes? According to Facebook I guess the answer is yes. What can I do to get out of “Jail”!? Anyone have any recommendations? Email me and in the meantime – try this delicious recipe – and feel free to substitute the apple pie filling for another favorite fruit flavor.

Apple Dump Cake





Apple Brownies with Cinnamon Sugar 

I have been obsessed with brownies lately – and not the chocolate variety. I am talking about strawberry brownies, lemon brownies, banana brownies, pineapple brownies and even blueberry brownies. My latest development though!? Apple brownies! Think of the taste of your favorite apple cobbler in brownie form. These are moist, delicious, simple and perfect for any time of year! Stay tuned for other “brownie” recipes that will be on their way to you sooner than you think! Try these – enjoy – and let me know what you think! Fabulous! 

Apple Brownies with Cinnamon Sugar

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, soft
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Granny Smith apple
1 Red Delicious apple
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8×8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. Line with parchment paper, leaving excess hang over – creating handles – alongside two sides of the pan – then spray again lightly with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the soft unsalted butter, white granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. 

Beat in the large egg. 

Add in the ground cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix until combined. 

Peel and core the apples. Cut into small pieces and add to the batter. Stir together. 

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes. 

Remove and allow to cool. 

Store and eat straight from the refrigerator if you want your brownie to have a more “traditional” brownie texture. 



Chew This! Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings

I am SO excited to share this recipe with everyone! Yes, it calls for a can of crescent rolls, and yes it calls for a can of Sprite, but trust me – TRUST ME… This. Is. Amazing! You have to try it…

This is the perfect combination of apple, cinnamon, sweet and savory – all at the same time.

Before I share this recipe – let me take a minute to say THANK YOU for all of the support and positive feedback I have been getting from my “Chew This!” column! I absolutely LOVE hearing from all of you, and it makes me happy when so many of you say that YOU are happy because of my recipes. Drop me a line at if you have a question, comment, suggestion – anything! And thank you again for the dedication and support…it means a lot.

Now – on to the recipe…

Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings Chew This Blaise Doubman

Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 17th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Inspiration is key in recipe development…
Blaise Doubman

I have always had a fascination with family reunions, pot lucks, pitch-ins and Church dinners. Not just because of the familiar faces that usually greet you at these functions, and the good times that usually ensue, but because of the delicious food that is shared. I can’t remember one function that I’ve been to, that didn’t have tables and tables of food. I love those times, because it gives me a chance to taste familiar dishes, as well as give me ideas and inspiration in making and creating my own.

I am fascinated by people sharing their recipes and the history and stories behind them. Usually a recipe is “invented” through necessity, greed, or mistake. Let me give some examples. Years ago, in war time rations, cakes needed to be made without eggs and oil so mayonnaise was used. This is a good example of a recipe developed through necessity. I, on the other hand, when developing recipes, fall more into the category of greed. What is it that I would like to eat? Why haven’t there been a peanut butter, white chocolate and pretzel cheesecake invented? Sounds absolutely delicious to me! Recipes made my mistake are often one of the most popular methods in recipe development. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been making a recipe, and forget to add this, or add a little pinch of that, and it takes the recipe to a whole other level.

This recipe was inspired by a dessert that I had at a Graduation open house years ago. It was good…but I knew I could make it even better. I changed the recipe by using crescent roll dough instead of puff pastry, changed the type of apple, left out the raisins, added more cinnamon and used Sprite instead of 7-Up. I also changed some of the measurements to find that perfect constancy in the glaze. I find it to be the perfect combination of sweet, tart, citrus and cinnamon all at the same time. This is so much better than your typical baked apple dumplings that you may be familiar with. A recipe developed by inspiration through something I had had before, but wanted to change and make better. I love recipes like this…

Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings

Using “Granny Smith” apples for this recipe is really the best choice because it gives a perfect tartness that is needed to cut through the sweetness of this dish. Also make sure you use regular “Sprite” – not the “Diet” variety – it will not result in the same flavor.

2 cans crescent rolls
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 8 slices per apple
2 (4 oz.) sticks salted butter
1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup white all-purpose flour
1 (12 oz.) can of Sprite

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add white granulated sugar and cinnamon to the melted butter and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often.

After 2 minutes, stir in the white all-purpose flour and cook another 2 minutes.

Wrap each apple slice in a single crescent roll and place in prepared baking pan.

Next, pour the melted butter mixture evenly over the rolls.

Pour the can of Sprite over everything and place in preheated oven and bake for 38 minutes exactly.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.


Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

I made this cake a couple of days ago and it was delicious! It is a spin off an OLD recipe from the 1940’s. I love finding old recipes and updating them to meet today’s flavors! I WILL admit that this recipe produces a cake that is NOT to photograph! Ha! It’s…just not the prettiest cake. But cake is about taste, and less about presentation right?! At least, that’s the way I look at it…

It’s important to start on the glaze the minute the cake goes into the oven. Why? Because you need to cook it and immediately pour it over the cake as soon as it is out of the oven.

It produces a delicious cake that stays moist the longer it sits! Make sure and store any leftovers (I did not have many) in the refrigerator. When reheating – place in the microwave for a few seconds. AND if you want a dessert that is simply over the top – cut a piece and serve it with vanilla ice cream. Oh – and a little caramel drizzle wouldn’t hurt either…but it is really up to you and your tastes. (My tastes are SWEET!) 

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before starting…

Apple Cake Blog

Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

For the cake…
2 cups diced and peeled apples (you can use any apple but I prefer Granny Smith)
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the glaze…
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly grease an 8-inch square cake pan with baking spray.

Start making the cake by combining the white granulated sugar and the diced and peeled apples in a large bowl. Mix well to make sure the sugar is coating all of the diced apple pieces. Let stand for about 5 minutes (while you prepare the other ingredients) until the sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, ground cinnamon and baking soda. Whisk together to sift and combine.

In the bowl with the sugar and apples, add the egg and stir well to coat and combine.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar, apples and egg and stir well to combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.

Place into preheated oven for exactly 37 minutes.

Start making the glaze by placing the brown sugar, white granulated sugar, flour, butter, water and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan and stir over medium / low heat.

Stir and melt all of the ingredients together slowly.

Once it comes to a boil, cook until thickened – which should take around 10 minutes.

Once the cake is finished baking, remove from oven and immediately poke holes all over the top with a fork. Do not be afraid to poke A LOT of holes all over. The more holes – the more moist!

Pour on the hot glaze SLOWLY all over the top of the cake, being sure to coat evenly.

With the back of a spoon, spread out to make sure there is glaze in each and every hole.

Try to wait for it to cool slightly before serving.


Apple Cake Slice Blog


Simple Strawberry Jam

It is strawberry season in Indiana and you know what that means!? All of my strawberry jam, strawberry pizza and strawberry shortcake recipes get pushed right to the top of my “to try” list! So far, I have had pretty good luck with all of my strawberry “recipe testing” experiments. Matter of fact, right now (in the refrigerator) I have a new recipe I’m trying for “No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Cups”! They look incredible and I can not wait to test them! (Which IS after all, the best part of “recipe testing”!)

Many of you requested the recipe for the jam I made a few days ago, but I was still “tweaking” the recipe. It was inspired by a recipe from Ina Garten (“The Barefoot Contessa”). I changed a few things in the recipe, (including the sugar amount, the amount of fruit, the cooking time and the liqueur substitution) and I think it is incredible! DO NOT panic that this recipe calls for a candy thermometer. I have tried this recipe with AND without one, and if you pay close attention…it will work out either way.

I have used the finished product on toast, angel food cake, ice cream…and straight out of the jar! It is really simple and delicious – you will be wanting to make this year around!

Strawberry Jam Blog

Simple Strawberry Jam

3 pints fresh strawberries
3 cups sugar (see NOTE on sugar in recipe)
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons orange zest
1 Granny Smith apple (cored and diced)
1 cup fresh blueberries
Candy thermometer

Place the strawberries into a colander and rinse them under cold water. Be sure the strawberries are clean and free of any debris.

Drain the strawberries and place on a paper towel. Cut the tops off the strawberries (hull / clean them).

Cut the strawberries in half – but leave the smaller ones whole.

Place the cut berries into a heavy bottomed pan (Dutch oven). I used a cast iron dutch oven for this, and it worked great. I try and use cast iron when and where I can – big fan!

Pour the sugar in with the strawberries and toss to coat. Be careful not to “break up” the strawberries.

NOTE ON SUGAR – I used the “C&N” brand “Baker’s Sugar” for this recipe, which is “ultra-fine pure sugar”. The difference between this sugar and “regular” sugar is that this particular type of sugar is finely processed and “melts” into the jam better. BUT you can also use “regular” sugar – I have tried both and both work well…

Zest the orange FIRST before you try for the juice. I zest the orange right over the pot. Just eyeball 3 tablespoons. If you need to measure, please feel free.

Next, cut the oranges in half (for 3 tablespoons of zest and juice you should need about THREE oranges) and juice them. I use a juicer, but you can also use a fork and “squeeze” the orange around the fork. Do this in a measuring cup – or right into the pot for those who would rather “eyeball”.

Stir the juice and zest into the strawberries and sugar mixture carefully.

Place the pot over a MEDIUM heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Once the mixture is to a boil, add the blueberries and apple and continue stirring.

Skim any foam that might rise to the top…

Using a candy thermometer, have the mixture reach 220 degrees. This should take about 30 minutes. IF you don’t want to use a candy thermometer (I have tried this recipe with and without one) watch the jam closely at about 25 minutes. If the color is RICH and DEEP – remove from heat. Trust me…it only takes a second for the mixture to burn! As long as you are stirring the jam and watching for the rich color it will be fine.

Once the jam is dark and rich in color (ABOUT 30 minutes) the jam is done. Remove it from the heat.

Pour the jam into a large container (I used another deep pot) and let it cool to room temperature.

Once it is cooled to room temperature, place into jars and keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

To keep it longer, place in canning jars and can according to manufacturer’s directions.