How to make it

  • Compote: One or two days ahead, place the dried fruits in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let the fruit sit in the water for an hour and then drain.
  • Place the fruit in a saucepan and add all the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 50-60 minutes. The fruit should be tender but not falling apart. If needed, add more sugar or orange juice, to taste.
  • Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean pod, if used.
  • Refrigerate until ready for use.
  • Cake: Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box, substituting milk for the water.
  • Pour the batter into a floured 9 x 13-inch pan.
  • Spoon the compote gently onto the batter. If you have any leftover pie filling (cherry, apple, blueberry) spoon that onto the batter also. The more fruit the merrier.
  • Combine and stir to mix, the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the almonds if using.
  • Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top of the cake.
  • Bake for an hour at 350 or until the cake is done; cake tester should come out clean.
  • Top cooled cake with optional powdered sugar icing made with 1 cup powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons milk. stirred until smooth, and drizzled over the cake.

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