First Time Visiting? Start Here!

A dessert that would make Fabio switch to real butter

Usually when people find out that my sister and I were roommates in college, they inevitable ask questions like “jeez, how could you guys stand to live with each other”?  To which I respond “um, we had 18 years of practice…”.  Rooming with a sibling makes sense.  You KNOW this other person and how they operate.  There are no surprises of finding out that your roommate doesn’t clean or say, steals your food.  Additionally, siblings are the ONLY roommates you can tell to fuck off please leave you alone, and then you guys are “ok” 10 minutes later.

Anyhoo, two of my sister’s friends lived in the same apartment complex as we did in college.  We used to take turns cooking dinner and ate at each other’s apartments almost every night.  One of the girls used to make this dessert that we called “the cherry thing”.  It was a can of cherry pie filling, topped with one-third of boxed yellow cake mix.  On top of the cake mix, she’d put pats of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter (cause we were healthy ya’ll!), and then bake everything until the topping became crispy.  It was delicious…

I had forgotten about the “cherry thing” until I needed to make a dessert a few weeks ago and didn’t have time to run to the store.  After careful inspection of my freezer, I found cherries I had pitted and frozen earlier this spring.  Bingo.  A quick search of the interwebs found homemade yellow cake mix at Chickens In the Road.  As luck would have it, I had all the ingredients on hand.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
2 cups of flour (I used whole-wheat)
1 1/2 cups of sugar (I used 3/4 cup of organic evaporated cane juice – a less processed form of sugar I get at Costco)
1/2 cup of dry milk (I use Organic Valley, but it’s super $$$.  I often find it at Grocery Outlet!)


Sarah’s healthified “Cherry Thing”
1/3 of the above dry yellow cake mix recipe
1 tblsp of vanilla
1 stick of butter
Fruit of your choice

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) Place your favorite fruit in the bottom of an oven-proof baking dish.  I have 60 pounds of peaches, and we picked blackberries today, so the fruit of choice was a no-brainer.

3) In a mixer, place 1/3 of the yellow cake mix, 1 tblsp of vanilla, and 1 stick of butter in slices.

4) Process until it looks like this:

5) Sprinkle the crumbly topping on top of the fruit.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the topping is browned.

6) Eat, eat, eat!  Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Or none of the above if you’re a loser and don’t have any.

If you’re thinking of using this for an actual yellow cake, you’ll need to also add:

3/4 cup of water
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs

Place cake mix in a bowl.  Add water, vanilla, butter, and eggs.  Combine with an electric mixer, then beat 2 more minutes.  Pour into a grease and floured cake plan.  Bake at 350 degrees.
8′ or 9′ cake rounds – 20-25 min
13×9 pan – 35-40 min
cupcakes – 12-15 min
tube/bundt pan – 45-50 min

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 comments on “A dessert that would make Fabio switch to real butter”

  1. My mom used to make the “cherry thing” when we were little. I didn’t like cherries at the time (I know that surprises you) so I would just eat the cake mix off the top of it. 🙂

  2. Oh Mary, the list of things you don’t/didn’t like always boggles my mind. It’s amazing you ate anythign at all!

    Troy’s cousin only eats the top as well. For his birthday each year I make him a crisp with like 1 apple and a triple batch of topping.

  3. I make your cherry thing but with tropical fruit and coconut. I also add a couple of handfuls of oats to cut down on the sweetness.