Everything You Need To Know About The Cherpumple

Thanksgiving has always been a highly respectable holiday. A time to give thanks for our many blessings, gathering with loved ones, and even take an acceptable nap after too much tryptophan-laden turkey. It's hard to believe that this seemingly innocuous event could spawn a whole collection of bizarre dishes that involve cramming a bunch of foods into one another to form a sort of Franken-dish. 

This is exactly what happened in the 1970s when Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme supposedly created the turducken – a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey. The popular TV sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" introduced viewers to the turbriskafil, a turkey stuffed with a brisket stuffed with gefilte fish. Admittedly, this is a fictional food, but it's likely that someone somewhere attempted this dish after the episode aired. In 2008, the trifecta of Franken-dishes was completed when Charles Phoenix brought confused epicureans everywhere the cherpumple, a conglomeration of six desserts enmeshed into one giant mound. So who is Charles Phoenix and why did he feel the world needed another unusual Thanksgiving dish? 

You've likely seen the cherpumple's creator before

While Charles Phoenix hasn't yet achieved "household name" status, it's quite likely that you have seen him grace your television screen at some point. He has judged "Cake Wars," he has appeared on "Conan," and has been a frequent appraiser on "Storage Wars" (per Food Network). He has also penned numerous coffee table books and has a series of videos called "The Charles Phoenix Test Kitchen." It was on one of these videos that he introduced the masses to the cherpumple – a behemoth that he nicknamed the "Monster Pie-Cake." 

Since Phoenix's video, the cherpumple has almost (but not quite) received a cult following. It was the most head-scratch-worthy dish in the 2016 Thanksgiving episode of "Chopped." Food52 and Serious Eats battled one another in a Cherpumple-off to see who could create the "craziest, most imaginative, most delicious cherpumple-inspired confection." And Delish has pondered whether the three-layered cherpumple would be dethroned by the simpler dual-layered pumpple. 

Yes, it seems that Phoenix's whacky dessert has garnered a great deal of attention and may even go down as one of the best desserts you've never heard of, until now of course. And now that you have heard of it, you may be wondering how to create your own cherpumple.

Baking a cherpumple is not an easy task

If you think baking one dessert is hard work, the cherpumple is the equivalent of six. Consider yourself warned — this is no "cake-walk." The base is an apple pie ensconced in a spice cake. The middle consists of a pumpkin pie baked into a yellow cake. And the crowning layer is a cherry pie inside a white cake. Once each layer is carefully stacked (this may involve retrieving a level from your toolkit), the entire concoction is slathered in cream cheese icing. Yes, that's three pies and three cakes. You have your work cut out for you. 

On the upside, this Thanksgiving dessert should have something that will appeal to everyone. This was, in fact, the whole point of the cherpumple. While talking to the Wall Street Journal, Phoenix explained, "I was inspired to combine all my family's traditional holiday desserts into one." No more having to choose between your favorite pies. Thanks to this creative concoction, guests can now have their cake (and their pies) and eat it too.