How to Make a Cherpumple for Thanksgiving
Inspired by the legendary turducken, where a chicken is stuffed inside a duck which is then stuffed inside a turkey and roasted, American self-styled retro king Charles Phoenix came up with a similar idea, but extended the culinary theatrics to dessert with this incredible cherpumple: an apple pie baked in a spice cake, a pumpkin pie baked in a yellow cake and a cherry pie baked into a white cake. More awesome than elegant, this is an impressive feat to pull off for Thanksgiving and should fill up even the hungriest of dinner guests. If you want to follow in the great Phoenix's footsteps, follow this OneHowTo.com guide on How to Make Cherpumple for Thanksgiving and start thinking how you might make it even more lavish.
There are different approaches to this cake, but you'll have to bear in mind that the key ingredient to this culinary feat is time. Technically six different desserts in one, if you decide to bake all the component parts from scratch then you are going to spend a long time preparing the dish, especially so if you have a normal sized oven. If you are making it for Thanksgiving then you will also be sacrificing a lot of time which could be spent with family or friends bent over an oven.
Phoenix himself chooses to use pre-bought pies and ready to go cake mix, which we agree is a good idea as the end product will still be impressive and any kudos you get for being meticulous won't really be as important to anyone but yourself. So, for the simple version of a cherpumple you'll need the following:
- store bought apple pie
- store bought cherry pie
- store bought pumpkin pie
- spice cake mix
- yellow cake mix
- white cake mix
- 2 tubs of vanilla buttercream frosting
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1.5 sticks of butter
- 9 eggs
- water (divided)
Your tools will also be important, so you'll need to decide on these before you begin. An electric food mixer (or at least an electric hand mixer) will be ideal, otherwise you might run low on elbow grease by the end of it when beating 3 cake mixes by hand. If you have the space to cook 3 cakes in the oven all at once, then great! If you don't have 3 cake tins at home, you should buy a pack of disposable aluminium catering tins rather than buying more cake tins for your home which you're unlikely to use again in the future. Just make sure they are big enough to fit the pies inside and have enough room for the cake batter as well. This means they will have to have tall sides, unlike a pie tray.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 ºF, perfect baking temperature for cake batter. Open the spice cake mix into the mixing bowl and add 1/3 cup oil and turn the mixer on slow. Gradually add 1 and 1/4 cups of water and increase the speed. Finally, add 3 eggs one by one until you get a homogeneous batter. These are guidelines for cake mixes, but ensure you check the box first in case it differs.
Grease the pie tin with some butter or margarine and add about half an inch of cake batter. Carefully remove the apple pie from its case and then place right side up in the batter. If your pie has a particularly long crust around the edge, then you should trim it a little so you can fill up the cake tin better. Pour over the remaining cake mix, making sure that it covers the sides of the pie as well as the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, although keep an eye so that it doesn't burn on top.
When you put the first layer of cherpumple in the oven, start mixing the second yellow cake mix using the same amount of oil, water and eggs as before.
Similarly, add a half inch of batter to the bottom of the greased tin and carefully remove the pumpkin pie from its case. Gingerly set it into the cake tin and pour over the batter, again making sure it covers the sides of the pie. Put this in the oven also, but make sure you don't leave the oven door open too long or you'll affect the other cake already in there.
This easy sponge cake tells you how to do it if you want to go all out.
Make the white cake mix in the same way as the other two as long as the packet has the same instructions.
In another greased cake tin add a layer of batter, followed by the cherry pie and more batter. If you have room in your oven, then put the third cake in also. If not, wait for the first to finish and then replace it. You'll just need to make sure you keep an eye on when you put each in so make a note of the starting times if it's helpful.
If you want to bake the white cake yourself you could try this homemade French yogurt cake.
Once all three cakes are done, leave them to cool for a little while, then carefully remove them from the tins. This will be more difficult than a usual sponge as you need to keep the pie inside safe, so be gentle.
Set the apple pie in spice cake on a display stand or cake board and cover the top of it in a layer of buttercream frosting. You could alternatively use cream cheese frosting if you like, but don't use simple powdered sugar icing as it will be too thin.
Set the pumpkin pie in yellow cake on top and add a layer of frosting to this. Then put the cherry pie in white cake on the top. Frost the top and sides with more frosting. You will likely need a lot of frosting as you have more surface area than usual to cover.
Smooth down the sides with a palette knife or spatula and make it as neat as possible. You can further decorate it with some chocolate buttercream frosting or even some regular frosting with food coloring added. You could even mix it up and put the layers in a different order, use chocolate cake for one layer instead or decorate it with fresh fruit.
And there you have it, a towering cherpumple (cherry, pumkin and apple pie cake if you haven't worked it out yet) which will make the center of any Thanksgiving Day dinner table a sight to behold. A thin slice should be enough for anyone, so if you eat more than that you can be most thankful for elasticated waistbands.
If the thought of Thanksgiving is giving you a little anxiety, check out this article on How to Avoid Thanksgiving Stress. If you are unfortunate enough, or you simply prefer it, to spend Thanksgiving away from friends and family, take a look at this article on How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Alone.
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