Apple Dump Cake is a delicious, simple anytime dessert? Tender fruit and a rich, buttery cake covered with crunchy crumbs – queue the applause!
Four things that make this apple dump cake recipe fantastic: It’s easy to put together, quick to make, it’s absolutely delicious, and it only requires three ingredients. Yes — it’s pretty much the ideal dessert. Apple Dump Cake is one of my main go-to’s for dessert pronto because, well, I’ve always got the time, even when the world is pulling me in a million directions.
What Exactly is Dump Cake?
The name may be inelegant, but the concept is delightfully simple. Dump cake is a combination of cake mix, butter and whatever filling you want to use. This can be fruit, chocolate, caramel, and or other ingredients that satisfy the flavor you’re hankering for.
The name “dump cake” comes from the method used to make the cake. In other words, you dump all of the ingredients into a single pan together. It winds up looking a bit like cobbler once it’s baked and served, but it has that cake flavor and texture instead.
How to Make Apple Dump Cake
Making apple dump cake is super easy. Prep your work area by preheating your oven and spraying your glass baking pan.
Then, dump in the apple pie filling into your prepared baking dish. Next, you’ll evenly spread the cake mix over the apple pie filling and press it down. This will leave a crumbly layer on top of the fruit.
Next, you’ll lay out the butter pats evenly across the mix, and you’ll stick the apple cake into the oven. Easy as pie. Well, actually, way easier!
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Dump Cake?
One thing I love about this dump cake recipe is the fact that it only requires three standard ingredients that most of us have in our kitchens a good bit of the time.
You’ll need two 20-ounce cans of apple pie filling, one standard sized yellow cake mix – your preference, 1 1/2 sticks of real butter — or 12 tablespoons – cut up in 24 thin slices (You’ll be evenly arranging these over the cake for moisture and deliciousness) – that’s IT!!!
The Pioneer woman apple dump cake with pecans sprinkled on top make a nice addition.
Can You Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?
Much like cobbler, dump cake is going to be best fresh from the oven. But, since we all live in reality and have ten million things calling for our attention, it’s sometimes best to bake ahead. With dump cakes, you can bake and then freeze them for a later date, or you can bake them and let them chill in the fridge overnight. If you prefer it hot, turn the oven to the warming setting, and serve it up warm.
How Do You Freeze Apple Dump Cake?
Freezing apple dump cake isn’t hard. Just follow a few simple instructions, and it’ll turn out beautifully. Let the dump cake cool completely after baking. Any warmth creates condensation which will cause freezer burn. If possible, transfer the dump cake into a disposable aluminum container with a lid. Generally a dump cake will hold up in the freezer for up to two months if it’s completely sealed and airtight. After this, the flavor and moisture will start to leach out.
What Do I Serve With Apple Dump Cake?
Vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream is what you typically serve with apple dump cake, of course. Cinnamon flavored ice cream is wonderful too (if you can find it) or make your own by mixing up a carton of vanilla ice cream with 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon per one cup of ice cream.
If you’re thinking beverages, try serving this cake with milk, black tea — a nice Irish Breakfast pairs perfectly with this one — or a dessert coffee like a Guatemalan roast from Antigua with vanilla or maple syrups blended in.
More Delicious Dump Cakes:
If you want to mix things up and try some other flavors of dump cakes, try some of these fruity choices below instead.
Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
This simple, easy-to-make dump cake is tangy and sweet and one of my absolute favorites. The citrusy tang of the canned pineapple layered in with the sweet cherry pie filling is amazing in the Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake. You won’t regret giving it a go.
Pineapple Dump Cake
Or, if you’re not feeling the cherries so much, make a pineapple dump cake instead. It’s another simple to make, delicious recipe that you’re sure to love.
Peach Dump Cake
For a little Georgia love, grab some peach pie filling and make some Peach Dump Cake. It brings together the best qualities of cake and cobbler and loads you up with peaches.
Strawberry Dump Cake
For the berry lovers, this simple-to-make dump cake recipe is perfect. Strawberries and cake — what else could you ask for? Oh, right… Easy to make. Well, the strawberry dump cake wins all categories.
Chocolate Dump Cake
If you’re not feeling the fruit thing, make a chocolate dump cake instead. The richness of the chocolate, the crumble of the cake… A match made in heaven.
Recipe Notes for Apple Dump Cake Recipe:
Butter – Slicing the butter is the key to ensuring the perfect topping texture, and you really don’t want to cut any corners (literally) in evenly arranging the slices across the cake mix. Starting with a really cold stick of butter will help with the slicing. Some recipes suggest melting the butter first, but, while that takes a teeny bit of the prep time off my recipe, the results just aren’t as good. Pouring or drizzling isn’t the most precise technique in the first place, but I also find the butter separates a bit during the melting process, and you may find soggy little pockets that impact the texture of this cakey-cobbler in a negative way.
Variations – Yes, they’re pretty much endless, but here are two of my favorites because they’re still super easy. To make an Apple Pineapple Dump Cake, you just need to sprinkle a 20 oz can of drained, crushed pineapple over your apples before finishing the recipe. If you want to try a Caramel Apple Dump Cake (much less messy than those things on sticks), drizzle ¼ – ½ c. of your favorite caramel topping over the apples or about 1/3 cup of chopped caramels (the ones you use to MAKE those things on sticks). If you really want to kick up the whole “spice” thing a bit, you can still use a yellow cake mix but make it an Apple Spice Dump Cake by mixing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of allspice, and 1 tablespoon of sugar together in a bowl and sprinkling it over the pie filling. I also like to add 1 cup of chopped pecans on top of the cake mix if I’m making this version. For another treat in the apple family try my Apple Cake you won’t regret it.
Crockpot – If you’re oven’s too busy working on supper, you can bake this in your slow cooker. To make an Apple Dump Cake crockpot version, put everything in the pot (following the same instructions as the recipe), and cook on low for about 4 hours or on high for 2-3. Everyone’s slow cooker is different, though, so I’d suggest starting to check it after about 1 and ½ hours. It just needs to feel set and have a nice golden brown crust with sugary, bubbly bits around the edges.
Gluten Free – If you need the option, you can make a gluten free apple dump cake easily by substituting the regular yellow cake mix for a gluten-free mix. You follow exactly the same process when making it.
Apple Dump Cake Recipe
- 2 20 Ounce Cans Apple Pie Filling
- 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
- 12 Tablespoons -1 1/2 Sticks Butter Cut into 24 Thin Slices
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour both cans of Apple Pie Filling into the prepared baking dish.
- Evenly spread cake mix over the top of the filling and press down firmly. Arrange better slices evenly over cake mix.
- Bake in preheated oven, 50-60 minutes, or until top indeep golden brown and bubbly. Let set a few minutes and serve.
More Apple Desserts?