Cherry Dump Cake – Only 4 Ingredients!
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!
If you need a super easy dessert recipe, Cherry Dump Cake is it! I explain all about what a “dump” cake is in the FAQ section, so don’t let the name scare you away. This was the first time my husband ever tried this delicious treat and after one bite, he was in love! I kept catching him sneaking bites from the dish after we were done eating the recipe.
Dump cakes are perfect to serve to your family and friends for any holiday gathering because the recipe makes 12 servings and everyone loves it! I’ll definitely be making this dessert again and again.
I made this and loved it! So easy and delicious! Will definitely make again!— Kate
Why you should make this recipe
- Perfect for serving a crowd. This cherry dump cake recipe makes 12 servings, so it’s a wonderful dessert for holiday gatherings, summer dinner parties, BBQs, and celebrations or an easy weeknight treat.
- So delicious. If you love cherry pie and cherry cobbler, you will love this dessert too! It’s SO good on its own, but it’s next level delicious paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
- Quick & easy. Whipping this up is absolutely effortless. All you need is 4 ingredients and about 10 minutes hands-on time.
- Totally customizable. Not a cherry fan? You can use any fruit filling you want. Feel free to mix up the flavor of the cake mix too.
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 cake mix 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 this recipe
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.
- Prep. Preheat oven and prepare your baking dish. Now, grab all of the ingredients. Your butter will need to be melted.
- Add almond extract. If using, almond (or vanilla) extract, stir 1/2 of it into each can of cherry pie filling.
- Add pie filling to pan. Pour both cans of filling into the baking dish and spread it out, so it’s even.
- Add cake mix. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the top of the cherry filling.
- Pour the melted butter. Slowly drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cake mix.
- Bake. Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the cherries are bubbly.
- Serve. Remove from oven and enjoy with a big dollop of whipped cream or even better a scoop of ice cream!
- Consistency. Once fully cooked, this should be gooey (like a cobbler) but not runny. If needed, place it back in the oven until the top is golden brown. Since there aren’t eggs in this, we don’t have to worry about the ingredients cooking through. Rather, how “done” you want your cake. Keep in mind it will continue to cook and set up as it cools.
- Gluten free. To make a gluten-free dump cake, simply use your favorite gluten-free cake mix. Be sure to check all labels before using, including the fruit filling.
- Make ahead. This is a great dessert to make ahead of time! You can prepare and bake it earlier in the day and let it sit out until guests arrive. To reheat, microwave portions separately or warm in the oven. If you’re worried about the top getting too brown, loosely place foil on top.
Frequently asked questions
Dump cake recipes are all over the internet! I’ve heard it’s 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!
If you’re a fan of cobblers and crisps, you’re sure to enjoy dump cakes! They are one of our favorite desserts to make and eat. This particular cherry dump cake tastes similar to cherry pie, but it may be even more delicious with the yellow cake as the crust. Yum!
Yes, this 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 crock pot 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.
A juicy, warm cherry 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!
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, chopped pecans or walnuts over the top at the end of the baking time.
- Spices. If you’d like you can stir in a couple of teaspoons cinnamon or nutmeg to the pie filling.
- Cake mix. Feel free to use any flavor of dry cake mix you’re craving! Chocolate, strawberry, spice, lemon, cherry chip… the options are endless!
- Fruit. Any canned fruit filling works great. Blueberry or peaches would be delicious and you could even use one can cherry with one can crushed pineapple to make a cherry pineapple dump cake. Pumpkin dump cake is another option.
- Shredded coconut. A little shredded coconut sprinkled over the top at the end of the baking time would be delicious.
Storing & reheating
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.
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.
more favorite dessert recipes
If you love this easy dump cake recipe, try one of our other favorite desserts next:
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves this recipe as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Cherry Dump Cake
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13″ 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.
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.
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I made this and loved it! So easy and delicious! Will definitely make again!
So happy you enjoyed!
Can you do some desserts that don’t ALL contain cream cheese and whipped cream? I’m lactose intolerant.
this recipe doesn’t contain dairy, if you use vegan butter. Search my desserts, I have quite a few without cream cheese or whipped cream. You could also try using dairy free cream cheese/whipped cream.
I made this yesterday and it was EZ and delicious. I made my first dump cake back around 1965 and it was a flop. I tried one again in the 80s with similar results. But when I saw this I thought I would take another try. The cherry pie filling got me to thinking why not put chocolate cake on it and then some icing and have an imitation Black Forest Cherry Torte? I made the recipe exactly as directed. After drizzling the melted butter over the top I held the pan at different angles to let the butter run over more of the cake mix. I could not use browning as an indicator so cooked it a bit longer than called for as insurance. Took it out of the oven and let it cool. Then I made a whipped cream cheese frosting which included whipped cream plus the cream cheese. It was an easy and delicious frosting. It spread easily over the entire cake. I had a piece at room temperature which was delicious then put it in the frige for overnight. Can’t wait to taste it later this morning as I think it will taste even better! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
So amazing to hear! Thanks so much for all of your feedback. The frosting sounds like an amazing addition!
Can’t wait to try this recipe. One question, this may be a dumb question but when freezing, is this before or after cooking? I plan to make as many variations of this as possible in preparation for summer vacation 😎
I love that idea! I always freeze after it’s baked. Let me know how it turns out!