I admit it. I was captivated by the internet's proclamation that piecakens are the "in" dessert this holiday season. I decided to enter a Cherpumple (that's cherry-pumpkin-apple for those of you not in the know) into my family's annual Thanksgiving pie contest. Three pies in one was sure to win!
Here are some things you should know before attempting a Cherpumple:
It takes a long time
Its not cheap
It weighs something like 17 pounds
But in the end, it was totally worth it.
9 inch cherry pie
9 inch pumpkin pie
9 inch apple pie
2 boxes of devil's food cake mix
2 boxes of spiced cake mix
2 boxes of yellow cake mix (I can't lie, I totally used Duncan Hines!)
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups water
Cooking spray (I like Kelapo)
Flour for dusting the pan
3 pounds cream cheese (that's 6 8 oz boxes)
18 Tablespoons of butter (that's 2 1/2 sticks)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup of vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350.
Spray a 10 inch springform pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Set aside.
Mix up 1 1/3 box of the devil's food cake mix with 4 eggs, 1/3 cup + 2 slight Tbl of oil, and 1 1/3 cup water per the box's instructions.
Pour a small layer of cake mix into the bottom of your springform pan - just enough to cover the bottom.
Remove the cherry pie from it's pie pan. This can be tricky. I found that cutting the pie pan away in flaps made the job much easier:
Place the pie in the springform pan, centered. Pour the remaining cake mix over the pie. Spread the cake mix around until it completely fills in the sides of the pan and covers the top of the pie.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the center of the cake isn't jiggly. Resist the temptation to open the oven door and check.
Remove this layer from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let it cool about 30 minutes before removing the pan sides.
To remove the layer from the bottom of the cake pan, I suggest using a really large spatula - like a grilling spatula. Each layer is HEAVY.
Repeat the cake/pie steps for each of the pies. Combine the pumpkin pie with spice cake mix and the apple pie with yellow cake mix.
Let the pies cool completely before building the final Cherpumple. I let my layers sit overnight.
When you're ready to assemble, make the icing. Start by bringing the cream cheese and butter to room temperature.
In a food processor, mix the cream cheese and butter together.
Slowly add the powdered sugar into the mix, letting the mixture beat until smooth between each addition.
Add the vanilla extract for a little extra tastiness.
Assembly should take place on the cake stand you want to use for presentation. Remember how heavy each layer was? Now multiply that by 3 and add icing. Yeah.
Pace the cherry/chocolate layer on the bottom. Add a generous layer of icing. Stack the pumpkin/spice mix next, followed by another layer of icing, and finally the apple/yellow cake layer, followed by more icing.
Finally, use a long icing spatula or a knife to carefully ice the rest of the cake. I am not a professional icing spreader, and I was competing against a bunch of under-12 year olds, so I didn't worry about making it perfect.
I was amazingly surprised by how good the Cherpumple is. I didn't have high expectations for it, but it was a huge hit. And, I won "Tallest Pie" and "Best Overall Pie."
Robert liked it, too!