There's an overt absence of cake in the years between childhood and when you start to attend weddings and baby showers.
After which, you return to a bleak, cakeless existence until you have your own child.
Only then are you guaranteed cake at least once a year--more if you learn to gaze longingly at their friends' birthday cakes.
But the problem with cake: The more you eat it, the more you want it.
Enter the "dump" cake--an uncouth name that speaks to a homely process yet belies its ambrosial result.
In this variation, a can of crushed pineapple--juice and all--goes into a bowl with five other ingredients that all measure out in twos.
The two cups of sugar are most likely excessive and the two pinches of salt could just as readily be called one large pinch, but then it wouldn't be so easy to commit to memory.
Which means it wouldn't be quite so easy to recall the next time it's months away from a qualifying occasion and your brain becomes singularly consumed with the thought of cake.
The cinchy cream cheese frosting is, well, the icing on it.
Pineapple "dump" cake with cream cheese frosting
For the cake:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 pinches of salt
- 20-oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, "dump" all ingredients together and mix with a rubber scraper until well blended, about a minute or two.
"Dump" batter into an un-greased 9-in x 13-in baking dish. Stare at it wondering if that could possibly be all that's required.
Bake about 35 minutes, but because ovens vary so, begin checking it after 30 minutes. The top browns very quickly, so use touch as your guide. If it jiggles in the middle or doesn't spring back after pressing it with your fingertips, it needs more time.
For the topping:
- 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
As the cake bakes, "dump" all ingredients into a small bowl and use an electric mixer to whip all ingredients into smooth and creamy shape.
"Dump" the frosting onto the warm cake and spread it evenly with an offset spatula.
Lick your tools clean before cutting the cake into squares and making peace with the name "dump" cake.