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Not Quite A Pie ... Not Quite A Cake ...

by John Asante
Nov 24, 2010

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John Asante

Each Thanksgiving, my sister and I always agree on the essential sides for the dinner table. Stuffing is a must, as are mac and cheese, and a few traditional Ghanaian dishes (like jollof, a tomato and meat-based rice dish).

When it comes to dessert, though, we're like many, many other people — I'm a pie kind of guy, and she's a cake lover. We can never seem to pick just one. And yes, we can just buy both ... but that's a lot of dessert left over.

Well, in the spirit of all things "epic" and "American" when it comes to food, we may finally be able to agree on something, thanks to author and humorist Charles Phoenix.

Behold: the cherpumple. Phoenix explains the ins and outs of the confectionary creation in The Wall Street Journal — think of a turducken, but meatless, and really, really sweet:

... a three-layer cake with an entire pie baked into each layer—a cherry pie baked inside a white cake, a pumpkin pie baked inside a yellow cake and an apple pie baked inside a spice cake. He stacked the layers and sealed them with a coat of cream-cheese frosting.

Looks like someone is giving Paula Deen a run for their money! With all that fruit gooeyness inside, it seems pretty tricky to make sure the cherpumple is structurally sound. But it seems as if Phoenix has got that covered as well.

Pies are heavy and have little structural integrity in their mid-sections, so many cherpumples fall apart. "The physics of it provide a kind of 'will or won't it collapse' situation," says Mr. Phoenix. "But if your cherpumple does collapse, you can act like it was meant to happen and serve with spoons." When Mr. Phoenix, an author and humorist, made a cherpumple recently in Denver, the "cake collapsed into a big mound, kind of like a volcano with three different lava flows." He blames the altitude.

If you're interested in making a cherpumple of your own, click here to watch the creator's demo. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

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