This blog features news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

RSS feed of this blog

Help a Spotsy resident earn a year of free groceries (and enjoy some apple dumplings)

Patty Whitley

The warm, fluffy dumplings Patty Whitley remembers from her childhood could end up winning her a year of free groceries.

The Spotsylvania resident’s recipe for cinnamon apple dumplings is one of three to make the final round of a national contest sponsored by Hungry Jack baking mix.

The brand’s “Use Up the Box” contest asks folks to find creative ways to use boxed pancake and waffle mix.

Whitley cooks a lot for her household of five, including a lot of baking. She said she makes most of her breads, cookies, muffins and other goods from scratch, but when she read about the Hungry Jack contest last fall in a magazine, she knew she could come up with something that fit the bill.

Her mind immediately wandered back to the peach dumplings her mother used to make when she was little. The recipe used pancake mix to create the batter.

“It was something my family had done for years,” she said.

Since Whitley’s husband prefers apples to peaches, she switched up the recipe and experimented with different spices to create her cinnamon apple dumplings.

She sent it off to Hungry Jack and waited.

Then, two days before Christmas, she got a phone call telling her she was one of three finalists in the “comfort food” category.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

The hardest part—Hungry Jack officials told her she could not tell anyone outside of her family until the finalists were revealed in February.

“That was really hard,” Whitley said. “Time passed, but not quickly enough for me.”

As of Feb. 1, Whitley’s recipe has been posted on the contest’s website, Anyone can vote in the contest, and Whitley has been trying to get the word out through Facebook and other channels to try to get votes from her community.

Whitley’s recipe is under the “comfort food” category. Online voting closes March 14.

The prize is a year’s worth of groceries.

Whitley said the dumplings have become a favorite comfort food in her house. Her family has eaten them for dessert, for breakfast, for snacks, and on particularly crazy days, even for supper.

She said she kept the ingredient list simple, so the recipe would appeal to cooks of all levels, and would be easy to whip up on a busy evening.

“This is comfort food to me,” she said.

Cinnamon Apple Dumplings


  • 2 cups apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup Hungry Jack® Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preparation Directions:

  1. Peel and slice apples.
  2. Combine apples, water, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice in a medium sized pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix together oil pancake mix, brown sugar, nutmeg and milk. Stir with a whisk.
  5. Add dumplings by dropping spoonfuls of batter into boiling apples.
  6. Cover and cook 15 additional minutes.
  7. Serve with vanilla ice cream.