As promised, here is the first ever GUEST POST on the topic of CHERPUMPLES and the making thereof. The author is famous–she’s been in the Wall Street Journal and everything. Enjoy this pre-Thanksgiving treat!
SO! You think you have what it takes to make a cherpumple? Well. First let me tell you a few things:
1. Cherpumples do not taste great. They don’t taste nasty-ass, either. What they taste like is if you take a bite of pie and a bite of cake together. There is no magical melding of taste and flavor into the Ultimate Desert Experience 2010 Thunderdome To The Extreme, sadly. And at somepoint during your eating of your cherpumple, it is likely you will think “this is good . . . but maybe this pie would taste better if not encased in this cake.” Remember how you like monkeys, and you like ponies, but a half-monkey-half-pony monster wouldn’t necessarily be the awesomest? Same kind of idea.
2. Cherpumples take for-ever-eva to bake. So don’t plan on rushing it: these suckers have got some depth.
3. Cherpumples are heavy as shit. My cherpumple weighed 12 pounds. TWELVE POUNDS! Make sure you have some strong arms and some strong refrigerator shelving if you hope to transport and/or store this puppy. That said, cherpumples are fun and easy and impressive and you should TOTALLY make one. If you are the kind of person who delights in singing Christmas wreaths or in homemade popple costumes (ie, if you perk up whenever someone calls something “weird” because chances are, you’ll like it), then this is the cherpumple for you. If you’re a foodie though, you’ll have to put some of that aside because the cherpumple is one hot, epic, mess of gluttony and gorging. There are no subtle tastes here, my friend.
There isn’t really much to the cherpumple, unless you are getting all fancy and making homemade cakes and homemade pies from scratch (in which case, really, you should just make the cake and eat it without the pie encased inside, because dude, that’s so much work!). It’s basically following the directions on the back of the cake box and then plopping pies in’er. Buy your pies from a bakery or wherever, just make sure they will fit in your round cake tin (my cake tin was 9 inches, pies were 8 inches).
For the cake
- Oven preheated to 450
- 1 8″ pumpkin pie (frozen or premade)
- 1 8″ apple pie (frozen or premade)
- 1 8″ cherry pie (frozen or premade)
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 box white cake mix
- eggs (amount varies; get the number called for on the back of the cake mix boxes)
- vegetable oil (amount varies; get half the amount called for on the back of the cake mix boxes)
- water (if you don’t have this readily available, maybe you should be worried about things other than the cherpumple?)
For the frosting
- Your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, or store-bought
Step one: Rent some movies, because you are going to be watching them while the cherpumple takes its own sweet cherpumpin’ time baking up. Might I suggest Session 9, The Children, and Paranormal Activity? They are all scary movies, so even if you drop your cherpumple or the cher isn’t quite pumpledin the way you’d like it, at least you can still think “glad I wasn’t trapped in England with those zombie kids” instead of thinking of all the time and energy you wasted on a wrecked desert. Although, if you follow these directions your cherpumple will be just perfect, so that won’t even be a worry.
Step two: Make the spice cake first. That’s because it should be the bottom layer. Extensive scientific research has shown that the apple-pie-spice-cake combination is the sturdiest pie-cake combination known to man on planet earth. Therefore, if you don’t put it on the bottom layer and instead use, say,the pumpkin-pie-yellow-cake-combination as the bottom, your cherpumple will be less pumple, and more smushal, and you will be sad.
Step three: Once you followed the directions on the cake mix like your mama told you to and made the spice cake and dumped about a cup of the batter into the cake tin, put that ol’ apple pie right down there in the middle of the batter. Then cover ‘er up with the rest of the batter and bake ‘er good.AND I MEAN GOOD. Like, an hour or so. Check it every 20 minutes or so, using a toothpick to gauge consistency, but my cherpumple layers each took at LEAST 40 minutes. Don’t be scared. The cakes will be dry, but it’s still cake.
Step four: do all that again but with the other pie-cake combinations. Then you gotta let them all cool before you can frost them. I used homemade cream cheese frosting, because it takes two seconds to make, but if you are in the real spirit of the cherpumple (ie, minimum work for MAXIMUM gluttony) then you can buy the cream cheese frosting from the store. Get lots! Like, two or three tubs.
Step five: once they are all cooled and you have watched all the movies (how creepy was Session 9? With the lobotomy tool and the recordings! SO CREEPY, right?), frost the cherpumple! Make sure it is all well-cooled or else the frosting will melt and you will be sad (copyright to that advice is from Vivren, re: pumpkin cupcakes, circa 2005). It doesn’t really matter the order you stack them in, except for keeping ol’ spicey apple on the bottom.
Step six: sprinkles! Candles! Exotic flowers! Confetti! Decorate that sucker like the American you are. Then, even more importantly, stuff your cake/pie hole like the American everyone else in the world wishes they could be. YOU HAVE CONQUERED THE CHERPUMPLE AND LIVED TO EAT THE TALE.
For a more comprehensive cherpumple experience, including much more detailed instructions and pictures, go here.
BONUS AUTHOR PIC!
Thanks, Cammy! And good luck to all those who will undertake The Cherpumple. May the force of Americana be with you.