Fall weather in Texas is perfect for outdoor cooking and is a special time when our Dutch Oven Gatherings (aka DOG) start back up after a break during the hot summer months. We cook with the Prairie Dog Chapter of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society and look forward to cooking and eating with our Dutch oven friends in the DFW area. The Prairie Dog’s Facebook group is a wonderful place where we share information about Dutch ovens, tools & equipment, and recipes. This week, the group started an online discussion about what everyone is thinking about cooking at our October DOG, which set me thinking about something that shouts fall, like pumpkins, and is an easy and fun dessert. Then, I discovered Lizzy’s Your Cup Of Cake blog and her recent post Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dump Cake. Perfect!
I also am getting ready to take Emmy out to stay with her uncle while we are away and I need to take him something to say thank you for loving her so well. Uncle Dale loves Emmy even though she is an unruly guest who helps herself to food on his counters, tracks in mud from the back yard, and spreads her short, black hair everywhere. Emmy is a mess! So, I will bake Uncle Dale this Pumpkin, Pecans, and Cream Cheese Dump Cake to share a bit of love and appreciation for his care for Emmy despite her messiness. Ingredients
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 29 ounces (one large can) pumpkin
- 12 ounces evaporated milk (not condensed!)
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice (save the extra mix for cookies, pies, and coffee!)
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Make your own Cinnamon Sugar (save the extra for coffee, coffee, and coffee!)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Prepare a 12″ camp Dutch oven. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the oven. Spray with Pam.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the warm cream cheese, powder sugar, milk, and vanilla until it is smooth. Some lumps are ok. Transfer to a quart size plastic bag. Set aside.
- Prepare pumpkin layer. In a medium size bowl, add pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and one tablespoon of the pumpkin spice mixture. Whisk together and pour into prepared 12″ camp Dutch oven.
- Melt butter in a small Dutch oven.
- Cut a small hole into the plastic bag holding the cream cheese yumminess and do your best to evenly pipe it out on top of the pumpkin. I cut a big hole and did a poor job of distributing the cream cheese evenly. Good thing perfection doesn’t matter in outdoor cooking! Side note: Next time I will double the cream cheese and make the hole less than 1/4 of an inch to make sure the cream cheese gets spread across the top of the pumpkin.
- Sprinkle the yellow cake mix evenly on top of the cheese and pumpkin.
- Take a bamboo skewer and poke holes through the cake mix but not to the bottom. Pour the butter across top, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture as much as you like, and end with chopped pecans.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit by placing 16 hot charcoals around the outside of the lid and 10 underneath. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes when a toothpick comes out clean and cake is pulling away from the sides of the oven. To avoid hotspots, I made sure to rotate the lid clockwise and rotate the oven counter-clockwise every 15 minutes. Depending on the environmental conditions, you may need to remove old charcoal and replace with hot charcoals to maintain a constant temperature so that the cake bakes completely.