Desserts – Parson’s Cake

Julie here.
Confession Time
I haven’t quite figured this out yet, but I was really on a roll on my health kick for a good 4 months. I lost a good amount of weight, and was increasing my exercise and fitness. All good stuff.

But then vacation hit. The first week was fine. The second week not so fine (since I was eating at a college cafeteria). Ever since then I’ve not been able to budge the scales. I’m back on track, eating well, even to the point of being crazy with how carefully I’m regulating my diet. I’m exercising almost every day, and not easy exercise, but running, for example, 2.5 miles. That kind of thing.

So I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’ve decided not to a) freak out or b) give up. My goal is simply to be healthier, and I feel like I’m doing that. Hopefully more weight will come off eventually, but I’ve realized two things while doing this. First, deprivation doesn’t work. That’s why I like Weight Watchers’ model. You eat a well-balanced diet, but also allow small indulgences. Why? If you totally deprive yourself, eventually you’ll go back to more reasonable habits. The problem is that yeah, you lost a bunch of weight while depriving yourself, but as soon as you go back to “normal,” you’ll gain it all back–and maybe more.

The second reason I like Weight Watchers is because I don’t have to track anything. I know which foods to choose and which ones to avoid on the buffet line. It’s about a change of thinking and attitude, not a diet. It’s also about consistency, not speed. So for now I’m just plugging along. Maybe you’ll join me?

Parson’s Cake


I guess this recipe (p. 85) is named Parson’s Cake because it’s cheap. It’s also super easy. And super delicious.

I guess I should be a little annoyed that a delicious recipe should be labeled “Parson’s” just for being inexpensive. I mean, the parson could be independently wealthy. Or his wife could be.

But here’s the funny thing: when I went to the store, instead of buying a name brand cake mix, like Duncan Hines, I got cheap-o Jiffy! Without even thinking about it! So, I guess I earned my reputation on that score. (And don’t you love how “Jiffy” is in quotation marks. It’s only a so-called jiffy!)


Or maybe it’s called Parson’s cake because the parson (or wife) has no time to make an actual cake. He’s too busy doing parson-y stuff, and she’s too busy ironing his black clerical shirts or some such.

I’ll buy that explanation too because you’re not even going to believe how easy this is. Here’s what you do. Buy some pie filling (any flavor), crushed pineapple, a yellow or white cake mix, nuts, and butter. Take a 9×13 pan. Open the two cans and dump them in, spread them around to the edges.

Then, dump in the cake mix with no additions to the fruit. It’ll look weird and powdery, but that’s how it should look. Dump on the chopped nuts. And then slice pats of butter to put on the top.

You might have correctly guessed by now that this recipe is alternatively called “Dump Cake.” That brings up strange connotations for me, though, so I’m sticking with Parson’s Cake.

I’ll be serving this to the high school girls when they come for Bible study on Sunday evening. They can afford the calories. They’re all skinny as rails. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Yum!



One response

  1. The “Jiffy” factory is just a few miles from my hometown! For an internationally famous product, you think it would be a giant Wal-Mart type affair, but NOPE. It’s a small building, a couple silos, all right in the downtown area. AND there is a great restaurant nearby that now I must… go… see/eat… soon. nom.

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