Cherry Dump Cake is one of the easiest desserts! But don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you, dump cake (despite the name) tastes absolutely incredible! This effortless recipe needs just a handful of ingredients including canned cherry pie filling, boxed cake mix, and butter. Simply dump all the ingredients into a dish and bake until golden and delicious. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

serving of cherry dump cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

If you need a super easy dessert recipe, this is it! I explain all about what a “dump” cake is below, so don’t let the name scare you away. This was the first time my husband ever tried a dump cake and he was in love! I kept catching him sneaking bites from the dish after we were done eating the recipe.

Cherry Dump Cake is perfect to serve to your family and friends for any holiday gathering because it makes 12 servings and everyone loves it! A recipe I’ll definitely be making again and again.

what is a dump cake?

Dump cake recipes are all over the internet! I’ve heard the recipe has been around since the 70’s! This easy dessert typically calls for a box of cake mix, some type of fruit filling and butter. You dump the ingredients into a dish and bake it until it’s hot and bubbly, just like a cobbler, but quite possibly even more delicious.

This recipe is the perfect dessert for novice bakers or busy moms because there’s no mixing or whisking required!

scooping a serving of cherry dessert out of a glass baking dish

ingredients for cherry dump cake

With just four ingredients, there’s absolutely nothing complicated about making this dessert! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canned cherry pie filling. I’m a huge fan of cherries and I love the cherry and almond extract combination, but feel free to use other fruit fillings. How perfect would apple pie filling with a spice cake topping be for Thanksgiving?!
  • Almond or vanilla extract. This ingredient is totally optional, but we love the boost of flavor it gives this dump cake recipe.
  • Cake mix. For this particular recipe, I use a yellow or white boxed cake mix. However, if you love chocolate, a chocolate cake mix would be fabulous! We like Betty Crocker Super Moist cake mix best.
  • Melted butter. Gives this cake buttery flavor and makes the cake part bake up just like the crust on a cobbler!

how to make a dump cake

Okay, here’s where the name dump cake comes in – we’re going to dump all of the ingredients into the dish! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Preheat oven and prepare your baking dish. Now, grab all of the ingredients. Your butter will need to be melted.
  2. If using, almond (or vanilla) extract, stir 1/2 of it into each can of cherry pie filling.
  3. Pour both cans of filling into the baking dish and spread it out, so it’s even. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the top of the cherry pie filling, then slowly pour melted butter evenly over the top of the cake mix.
  4. Bake until the top is golden brown and the cherries are bubbly.

Remove from oven and serve with a big dollop of whipped cream or even better a scoop of ice cream!

steps for making cherry dump cake

can you make dump cake in a slow cooker?

Yes, this dessert totally works in the crockpot! Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Pro tip: Condensation can form on the lid of the slow cooker and then drop onto the cake, so I recommend placing a few layers of paper towels just under the lid to absorb that additional liquid.

how to serve cherry dump cake

A juicy, warm dump cake recipe is amazing on its own, but topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or even crème fraîche, dump cake becomes a dinner party-worthy dessert. We even love it cold, for a slightly indulgent breakfast as an addition to yogurt. Yum!

I’ve also used it as a topping for buttermilk pancakes. It was every bit as amazing as what you might imagine!

servings of cherry dump cake on small white plates

variations

There are many slightly different types of dump cake recipes out there. You can easily change up the fruit, use another flavor of cake mix or even add some chopped nuts to the top. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Nuts. Add slivered almonds or chopped pecans over the top at the end of the baking time.
  • Cake mix. Feel free to use any flavor of cake mix you’re craving! Chocolate, spice, lemon, cherry chip… the options are endless!
  • Fruit. Any canned fruit filling works great. You could even use one can cherry with one can pineapple to change this recipe slightly.
  • Shredded coconut. A little shredded coconut sprinkled over the top at the end of the baking time would be delicious.

dump cake recipe topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

storing & reheating dump cake 

Cooked fruit desserts usually last just 2-3 days. If you are going to eat the dump cake within a day of making it, you do not need to refrigerate it. Simply cover it with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature. After 24 hours, cover it and place it in the fridge.

  • To reheat in the microwave. Scoop out an individual portion and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and reheat for 30-45 seconds or until dessert is heated through.
  • To reheat in the oven. Remove the dessert from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes or until heated through.

can you freeze dump cake?

Dump cakes, just like cobblers can be frozen up to about 1 month. Use freezer and oven safe containers to avoid extra dishes!

To freeze: For best results, wrap the dump cake in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil to keep moisture out and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw and reheat using one of the methods above.

taking a fork of cherry dump cake with vanilla ice cream

Cherry Dump Cake is a wonderful dessert for holiday gatherings, summer dinner parties, BBQs, and celebrations or an easy weeknight treat. It’s SO good on its own, but it’s next level delicious paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

more favorite dessert recipes

If you love this easy dump cake recipe, try one of our other favorite desserts next:

serving of cherry dump cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
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Cherry Dump Cake

This is an easy 4 ingredient cobbler style dish, perfect any time of year!

Ingredients

  • 2 (21-ounce) cans cherry pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box yellow or white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Stir 1/2 teaspoon almond extract into each can of cherry pie filling.
  • Pour both cans of filling into baking dish and spread to even it out.
  • Sprinkle cake mix evenly over cherry pie filling.
  • Slowly pour melted butter evenly over the top of the cake mix. (It won't completely cover the top)
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes and until top is golden brown and cherries are bubbly.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Notes

*This cake is definitely not my invention. I've heard it's been around since the 70's and you can find it all over the internet!
Storing leftovers: Cover leftover dump cake or place in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
To reheat in the microwave, scoop out an individual portion and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and reheat for 30-45 seconds or until cobbler is heated through.
To reheat in the oven, remove from the fridge and allow dessert to come to room temperature. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
 
 
 
 
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 348mg, Potassium: 124mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 440IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 1mg

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