Southern Mom Loves: Behold the Amazing Piecaken {Make it the Easy Way!}

Behold the Amazing Piecaken {Make it the Easy Way!}

Friday, April 15, 2016

You may have heard of the Piecaken: a pie baked inside of a cake. It's the dessert equivalent of the Turducken. I recently saw it for the first time around Thanksgiving and my mind filled with delicious combinations. I showed my teenage son and he said, "Is this something that's happening?" with such excitement that I knew I had to make one. After considering our favorite pies and cakes, I came up with a fantastic combo and went to town. 

There are lots of recipes out there for Piecakens from scratch, but I decided to take the simplest possible route, and I'll show you how you can make this awe-inspiring dessert the easy way!


All of the Piecakens I've come across are completely homemade. Why spend all of the effort making a beautiful pie when you won't even see it? And by now, you've probably picked up on my love for shortcuts. Anything that will speed up the hours I have to spend in the kitchen every day is a plus in my book. Yes, homemade always tastes better, no doubt, but when you don't have the time, I usually have a solution. ;)

So for this Piecaken, I'm using boxed cake mixes, pre-made pies from the freezer section of your grocery store (you can also grab them from the bakery), and canned icing, and I'll give you the instructions and tips to make this beast!

When it comes to choosing flavor combinations, choose your own favorites. If you know you love pecan pie and you love chocolate cake, that will be your favorite layer! I would advise staying away from chiffon and sponge cakes like Angel's Food; The batter is far too thin to hold a hefty pie.

When choosing the pies for your Piecaken, keep in mind that it will have to be baked in a hot oven inside a liquid cake mix, so creme pies are out, and if your pie has whipped cream (like a Pumpkin pie), scrape it off before baking. Fruit pies with a top crust will do well, as will a firm pecan or sweet potato pie. If your pie requires baking, do that the day before and allow it to cool completely.


Some other combinations could be blueberry pie inside lemon cake, sweet potato inside carrot cake, cherry pie inside a german chocolate cake, pumpkin pie inside spice cake, peach pie inside a yellow butter cake, apple pie inside caramel cake, blackberry pie inside raspberry cake. The possibilities are endless!

I thought long and hard as to what the perfect Piecaken for my family would be and I ended up doing 2 layers: An apple pie inside a spice cake, and a pecan pie inside a dark chocolate fudge cake. I finished the whole thing off with a cream cheese icing and it was magnificent! My son asked for one for his birthday cake!

The Piecaken

Ingredients:
  • 2 cake mixes
  • 2 pre-made, pre-baked and cooled pies
  • 3 cans of icing


Equipment:
  • 10" springform pan (at least 2" deep)
  • 10" Cake board, plate, or something to support your cake as you move it. It will be heavy!
  • baking sheet
  • aluminum foil
  • (optional) If you have Wilton's Bake-Even Strips, those would come in handy.


Directions:
  1. Make sure to pre-bake and completely cool any pies that need baking. My apple pie required baking, so I did that the day before, then popped it in the fridge overnight (don't cover them as they cool!) If your pies are frozen and don't need baking, defrost them in the fridge overnight then set on the counter to allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. Start with your bottom layer. Pre-heat your oven as directed, then mix your cake mix as directed. Spray your springform pan with spray oil and lightly flour.
  3. Pour half of your cake mix into the pan and tap against the counter to release any bubbles and even out the batter.
  4. Turn your pie over into your hand upside down and remove the aluminum pan from the bottom. Gently set your pie face down into your batter and gently push down a bit to make sure it's even.
  5. Pour the remaining batter over your pie and smooth it evenly with a spatula.

  6. The timing for these is much different: Bake your cake as directed under "Bundt", which is usually around 35 minutes. At that point, cover your cake pan tightly with foil, place it on a foil-covered baking sheet and continue baking an additional 40-50 minutes. If you're using Bake-Even Strips (fabric strips that you soak in water and fasten around your baking pan to keep the edges from getting overdone), put them on now. If you don't have them, that's okay. I didn't use them, but I can see where they would have helped as some of my cake edges became crispy.
  7. After 25 minutes, check your cake every 5-10 minutes. You want to pull it out as soon as the center is set and no longer wet.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for around 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cake board or plate. I placed mine in the fridge to cool while I baked my second layer.

  9. Make your second layer exactly as you made the first, checking to make sure the oven temperature is correct. Allow the second layer to cool completely.
  10. Now it's time to assemble your cake! I didn't have to level mine as they came out pretty even. Make sure when placing your layers that you place them both top-down so the pies will be right-side-up when you cut it. I ended up using a whole can of whipped cream cheese icing in between the layers, then another whole can for the crumb layer. Make your crumb layer as smooth as you can, then freeze for about 30 minutes. Pull it out and use the last can of icing to completely ice and smooth your cake. You'll need additional icing if you want to do decorations.



Enjoy your Piecaken!






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What do you think of the Piecaken? Will you be trying it? What flavor combinations would you make? I love to read your comments!

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