Dishing up a delicious dessert doesn’t get any easier than my Peach Dump Cake! Loads of luscious fruit marry a warm, buttery cake for a sweet, effortless ending to any meal.
No two words reflect the plight of the busy home cook quite like “dump cake.”
I need a dessert, and I need it now! A “dump cake” is just what the name implies: a one-dish dessert where all the ingredients are “dumped” into the pan you’ll actually bake the cake in, requiring minimum effort to (almost) instantly impress.
Whether you’re whipping up a last-minute celebration or rewarding your family with a sweet ending to an unfairly long week, just a few items from your pantry, a baking dish, plus a little time in the oven is all that stands between you and a big bowl of yum.
There are so many variations of dump cake, truly something for everyone. You can make a tangy lemon cake with blueberries, a rich chocolate cake with cherries, or a warm spiced apple cake.
Since summer time is here, though, that always makes me think of tender, juicy peaches, so that’s the version I’m sharing today.
My Peach Dump Cake recipe is a little bit sheet cake and a little bit cobbler – a rich, buttery cake full of sweet, luscious peaches that’s sticky-sweet and gooey underneath with a crispy top.
The whole recipe has only four ingredients (unless you count the optional scoop of ice cream or obscenely large dollop of whipped cream), so there’s no excuse not to make this Peach Dump Cake from scratch and enjoy it right out of the oven!
My recipe is a super easy take on the type of peach dump cake Paula Deen makes, which she calls a cobbler likely because the number of ingredients in her recipe – flour, sugar, etc. – makes it seem not quite so “dump-able.” I’ve replaced the dry ingredients with a cake mix without sacrificing a thing except extra measuring and dishwashing time!
I use a yellow cake mix, but you can follow a recipe for peach cobbler with white cake mix instead or just substitute it in my recipe. Egg yolks give yellow cake mixes their signature color but they also add richness and fat, yielding a moister result. I also think yellow cake mixes have a little more vanilla flavor, so I just prefer that in this dish.
I’ve used plenty of butter, though, so I’m sure Ms. Deen would approve!
As much as I love fresh peaches (and I definitely eat my share during the summer between peach ice cream and white sangria), making a fresh peach dump cake can be a little tricky. The size and moisture content can vary quite a bit from one peach to another which makes baking with them, particularly in a cobbler or cake, hit or miss.
If the fruit is on the dryer side, your cake will be too; if it’s on the juicy side, you can end up with cake chunks floating in a pond of peach juice.
The other thing that varies a lot is the overall sweetness of fresh peaches, making adding the right amount of sugar another challenge. I’ve tried using frozen peaches too, but often run into the same problems.
Using canned peaches ensures all the peaches are sweet and ripe, and there’s a set amount of moisture in each can to yield consistent results with the recipe. You don’t want to make this peach dump cake with peach pie filling, though, because the added starch will throw off the consistency and the extra spices will change the flavor.
This Peach Dump Cake is perfect as-is, trust me, but If you like a little extra texture, you can add a cup of chopped walnuts and/or a cup of shredded coconut on top before you bake it.
It’s definitely best served fresh and warm while the topping is crispy but leftovers can be reheated in the microwave for a few seconds, just until warm enough to soften that vanilla ice cream.
If you happen to be at my house on just the right summer morning, you might just see me serving leftover Peach Dump Cake for breakfast. It has fruit it in, right?
Peaches – Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and only drain one of the cans. You’ll need the syrup from the other two to mingle with the cake mix for the perfect cake texture. If your neighbor dropped off a big basket of peaches or you went a little overboard at the farmer’s market, you can substitute fresh fruit. Make your fresh peach cobbler with cake mix by using about 12 sliced peaches, mixing 1 c. of water with 1 c. of sugar, then pouring that over the peaches before adding the cake mix and butter.
Cake mix – Evenly spread the cake mix over the top of the peaches (yes, just the dry cake mix), then press down firmly using your hands to make sure the peach syrup mixes a bit with the cake mix on the bottom. You don’t want to skip this step! You’ll still have some dry crumbles on top of your Peach Dump Cake even after it’s baked, but that’s exactly how it’s supposed to look. Once you scoop it out to serve, you won’t notice anything except the yum factor!
Butter – Distributing the butter in 24 thin pieces is another one of the secrets to achieve an evenly browned, crispy crust. While I appreciate pools of melted butter on my mashed potatoes, it’s not what you want on this Peach Dump Cake. Instead of slicing, you can also grate the butter using a box grater and sprinkle it evenly over the top. Just make sure whichever you choose, you start with really cold butter!
Special editions- Want to gild the lily a bit? Try one of these ideas. To make a praline peach cobbler dump cake brown sugar, butter, and pecans are all you need! Combine ¼ c. melted butter, ½ c. packed brown sugar, and 1 ½ c. chopped pecans, then sprinkle the mixture over the pats of butter before baking. If you want to offset some of the sweetness in this dish with a little lemon and lime, you can make a peach cobbler dump cake with Sprite. Just drain all three cans of peaches and replace that syrup with a 12 oz. can of lemon-lime soda. The soda thickens up really nicely and adds a little acidic component to the flavor.
- Prep Time : 5 minutes
- Cook Time : 60 minutes
- Yield : Serves 12
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X13 inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray.
- Pour 2 cans of peaches in baking dish. Drain the 3rd can of peaches, then add to the baking dish.
- Evenly spread cake mix over top of peaches and press down firmly. Arrange butter slices evenly over top of cake mix.
- Bake in preheat oven, 50-60 minutes, or until top is deep golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm