I like apple; my husband likes cherry. One of our children liked plain white cake; the other liked apple pie. One of our grandchildren doesn't like nuts; another loves spices. You just can’t please everyone with one dessert. Or can you?
That’s why I came up with Split Decision. It has something for everyone in our family. It’s based on a simple recipe that’s been around almost my entire 45 years of housekeeping, but it was desperation, frustration, and a desire to make everyone happy that led to this variation of an old favorite.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
I kept going back for another bite of this over and over and over. I just loved the nuts on the apple side and the softness and flavor of the cherries on the cherry side. The white cake brings the cake together. This will be a bit hit at your next party!
white cake mix (no pudding in the mix)
butter (margarine will work but won’t taste as good)
2Spread mixture evenly on the bottom of an oversized cake dish. I used a 15”x11”x2” glass dish here, but I’ve made it in a jellyroll pan, too. (This recipe is too big for a standard cake pan)
3Spread a can of cherry pie filling gently over half of the mixture. Spread a can of apple pie filling gently over the other half of the mixture.
4Cut the other stick of butter into the other box of cake mix. Divide the mixture in half.
5Add the nuts and the spices to half of the mixture. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the apple pie filling.
6Sprinkle the plain mixture evenly over the cherry pie filling.
7Bake for about one hour at 300 degrees. Time will vary according to the size of the pan and individual ovens. A smaller pan will make a thicker dessert and take longer to bake. Remove from the oven when the edges begin to brown and the top of the plain cake mixture begins to look golden. Don’t over-bake it, and don’t turn the oven higher than 300 degrees. Rushing it will give an uneven, unsatisfying result. It needs to bake slowly.
8Allow to cool for at least half an hour before serving. Serve in dessert bowls, garnished with a dollop of whipped topping. Add a cherry or a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar if desired.
9Use any two flavors of pie filling to make this dessert, or use two cans of the same flavor if you happen to have a very agreeable family. But be sure to get “filling” for both of these—not pie apples or pie cherries.
To make a smaller dessert, use one cake mix, one stick of butter, and one can of pie filling. Bake in a standard 9 x 13 cake pan.