The Cherpumple
The Cherpumple is a towering six-layer dessert made with cherry pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate cake, yellow cake and spice cake
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When it's time to bring out the big guns for Christmas dessert, there's only one recipe you need: The mighty Cherpumple. Technically six (yes, six!) desserts in one, the Cherpumple combines cherry, pumpkin and apple pies with three different flavors of cake, all stacked high under a blanket of cream cheese frosting. Consider it the turducken of desserts.

Whoa, right!?! It sounds intimidating, but it's way easier to pull off than you could imagine. All you need is an oven, a few pans and our step-by-step prep instructions, of course! Follow our lead and you'll have a towering impressive finish to your holiday dinner this year.

Equipment Needed: You'll need a roll of aluminum foil for lining your baking pans, three 3-quart disposable aluminum casserole pans to hold the pie-inside-a-cake layers, and three 9-inch pie pans in which to bake the pies. If you don't have three pie pans that are all the same size, pick up some disposable aluminum versions along with the casserole pans.

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin pie

    • 1 store-bought refrigerated pie dough round
    • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
    • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Apple pie

    • 1 store-bought refrigerated pie dough round
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 pounds apples, peeled (if desired), cored, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cherry pie

    • 1 store-bought refrigerated pie dough round
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 pounds fresh, jarred, or thawed frozen sweet or tart cherries
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (if using sweet cherries) or 1 teaspoon lemon juice (if using tart cherries)
  • Cake Layers

    • 1 box yellow cake mix
    • 1 box chocolate cake mix
    • 1 box spice cake mix
    • Eggs, per each box's instructions
    • Water, per each box's instructions
    • Vegetable oil, per each box's instructions
    • Nonstick baking spray
  • Cream cheese frosting

    • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 4 sticks (32 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
    • 8 cups (2 pounds) powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup dark maple syrup

Preparation

DAY 1: Make the pies

To blind-bake pie crusts:

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Line three 9-inch pie pans with three piece of large pieces of aluminum foil, leaving overhang on all edges of the pans.

Unroll the pie dough rounds and place them in the pie pans.

Fold the edges of the dough under to create a 1/2-inch lip of crust around the edges of the pans. Freeze the dough for 15 minutes.

Loosely cover the dough with two more large pieces of aluminum foil, criss-crossed over one another. Fill the foils with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake the pie crusts for 12 to 15 minutes, just until the dough begins to look cooked and matte instead of raw and shiny.

Place the pies on a wire rack, carefully lift off the foil, and cool to room temperature.

Bake the pumpkin pie:

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Stir the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice together in a large bowl until blended, then pour into the first blind-baked pie crust.

Bake uncovered for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the pie is puffed and set with barely any jiggle in the center. If the crust starts to brown too deeply before the pie is fully baked, loosely cover it with foil or a crust cover.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

How to Make The Cherpumple Step-by-Step: Bake the apple pie Casey Barber

Bake the apple pie:

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the apples, lemon juice and vanilla extract until combined.

Pour the filling into the second blind-baked crust, using a spatula to scrape any remaining liquid out of the bowl.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 30 minutes more, until the filling is bubbly and the crust edges are golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Bake the cherry pie:

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Whisk the sugar, flour, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the cherries and lemon juice until combined.

Pour the filling into the third blind-baked crust, using a spatula to scrape any remaining liquid out of the bowl.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 30 minutes more, until the filling is bubbly and the crust edges are golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

How to Make The Cherpumple step-by-step: Bake the pumpkin pie, apple pie and cherry pie Casey Barber

The pies can be covered tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and stored overnight at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

DAY 2: Make the cakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare each boxed cake batter according to package instructions, then prepare the cake pans as follows:

Spritz the bottom and sides of each aluminum 3-quart casserole dish with nonstick baking spray. Ladle 1 cup of each cake batter into each of the 3 pans: one with yellow cake, one with chocolate cake, and one with spice cake.

Lift each pie out of its pan using the foil overhangs. Slide a wide, thin spatula (like a pancake turner) underneath each pie to loosen it from the foil, then carefully lift each pie into its respective cake pan as follows:

Some of the crust edges may crack off, and that's okay, as long as the pie fits snugly into the cake pan. If the entire pie starts to break apart, stop and cut the pie into halves or quarters. Then, place the wedges into the cake pan to reassemble the pie.

How to Make The Cherpumple Step-by-Step: Pour the remaining Yellow Cake batter over the Apple Pie Casey Barber

Pour the remaining cake batter over each pie: Spice Cake batter over the Pumpkin Pie, Yellow Cake batter over the Apple Pie and Chocolate Cake batter over the Cherry Pie. Gently but firmly tap each cake pan on the counter a few times to make sure the batter settles around each pie.

Bake for about 90 minutes, until a knife inserted deeply into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Yes, this is much longer than the package instructions direct. These are very dense cakes and take more time to cook through.)

Transfer the pans to racks and cool completely.

The cakes can be covered tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and stored overnight at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

DAY 3: Assemble and frost the Cherpumple

Make the frosting: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 2 blocks of the cream cheese and 2 sticks of butter together on medium speed until blended. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in 4 cups of the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, then stir in 2 tablespoons maple syrup.

Scrape the frosting into a large bowl and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Line your serving plate with 3 strips of waxed paper, layering them so all the edges of the plate are covered and so they form a triangle of uncovered plate in the center. This will make it easy for you to frost the cake on your serving plate and then remove the waxed paper, leaving everything clean when you're done.

With kitchen shears, snip through the edge of the aluminum cake pans and carefully peel the pans away from the cakes. Be careful because the peeled edges may be sharp!

Slice the domed tops off each cake with a serrated bread knife, leaving a flat surface so the cakes can stack easily on top of one another. Gently brush any loose crumbs off the top and sides of each cake.

Place the cherry/chocolate cake layer on the serving plate, centered directly over the triangle.

Scoop 1 heaping cup of frosting onto the center of the cake and spread to the edges in a wide circular motion with a large icing spatula or knife.

How to Make The Cherpumple Step-by-Step: Scoop 1 heaping cup of frosting onto the center of the pumpkin-pie-spice-cake layer and spread to the edges in a wide circular motion with a large icing spatula or knife Casey Barber

Place the pumpkin pie/spice cake layer on top of the frosting and repeat.

How to Make The Cherpumple Step-by-Step: Place the apple-pie-yellow-cake layer on top of the frosting and scoop 1 1/2 cups of frosting onto the center of the cake and spread to the edges in a wide circular motion with a large icing spatula or knife. Casey Barber

Then do the same with the apple pie/yellow cake layer, using 1 1/2 cups frosting to finish the top of The Cherpumple.

How to Make The Cherpumple Step-by-Step: Apply a thin layer of frosting around the sides of the Cherpumple to "crumb coat"—this layer seals in any stray crumbs so they won't be visible on the finished cake. Casey Barber

Apply a thin layer of frosting around the sides of The Cherpumple to "crumb coat" — this layer seals in any stray crumbs so they won't be visible on the finished cake. Swipe lightly with the icing spatula or knife just to coat the sides. Refrigerate The Cherpumple for 1 hour to firm up the frosting.

How to Make The Cherpumple Step-by-Step: Apply a final, thicker layer of frosting to the sides of the Cherpumple Casey Barber

Apply a final, thicker layer of frosting to the sides of The Cherpumple. Carefully remove the waxed paper strips lining the serving plate, slice it up, and dig in! Or refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving.

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