When my sweet tooth acts up, I scour my pantry for ingredients to make the perfect dessert. As a home cook, getting creative with what I have on hand comes naturally — but I admit I’ve resorted to ice cream more than a few times. While I love a good sundae, I often crave a warm dessert to cozy up and enjoy after a long day. That’s why I was excited to try a cherry pineapple dump cake recipe that’s supposed to take less than five minutes to prepare. Here’s how it went along with other ideas for mixing and matching the flavors of dump cake.
Why the dessert is called dump cake
Dump cake is named quite literally: Most recipes call for dumping canned fruit filling, cake mix and butter into a baking pan. From there, the mixture is baked until it’s golden brown and bubbling similar to fruit cobbler.
The origins of this simple (and practically foolproof) dessert can be traced back more than 40 years. “The earliest reference Food Timeline researchers have found to the dish known as dump cake … is from a Duncan Hines holiday baking brochure published in 1980,” columnist Denise O’Toole Kelly writes. Over time, dump cake became a favorite quick treat that you can make for a potluck or as a weeknight dessert.
A dessert that requires no measuring, mixing bowls or dirtying up whisks? That’s a sure-fire way to win anyone over, but one you’ll want to resist mixing the ingredients for best results.
What happens when you stir dump cake
Stirring the ingredients before the baking the dump cake is actually a big no-no. Why? Because in order to create individual layers of cake and fruit, the butter needs to melt on top as the filling warms up at the bottom. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a mushy baked dessert that doesn’t resemble dump cake. The great part about dump cake is that it’s one of the few instances where skipping a step is completely fine and will yield mouthwatering results!
How to make a cherry pineapple dump cake
There are many versions of dump cake online that use various types of canned fruit and boxed cake mix. But, the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake is worth trying as it requires just four ingredients — and you can swap white cake mix for yellow or chocolate to add a unique twist.
Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
- One (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling
- One (15-oz.) can crushed pineapple, with liquid
- One (18-oz.) box white cake mix
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter
- Active: 15 mins
- Total time: 1 hr., 15 mins
- Yield: 12 servings
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Dump cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple into 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Stir together.
- Sprinkle cake mix over top of fruit. Slice butter into 12 Tbs. and distribute evenly over cake mix sugar.
- Bake until top is brown and bubbly, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream.
My taste test
I’ll get right to it: The dump cake was fantastic! The cherry pie filling did a lot of heavy lifting, adding sweetness and pieces of fruit to the cake. By contrast, the crushed pineapple ensured that the dessert wasn’t too sweet by providing it with a hint of acidity. I used yellow cake mix for the topping, which gave the dessert a vanilla flavor. The recipe was so easy, I know it’ll become a weekly go-to of mine!
4 additional dump cake flavor ideas
Wondering what other flavors you can use to whip up a delicious dump cake? Well, here are four ideas that have Woman’s World Test Kitchen Manager Susan Chiusano‘s stamp of approval.
- Mocha madness dump cake: For a cocoa lover’s dream dump cake, use chocolate cake mix and chocolate instant pudding as the base ingredients. This creates a spongy yet fudgy texture within dessert. You can take this a step further by adding 1 tsp. of instant espresso powder to the mixture before baking for a rich coffee flavor.
- Apple caramel dump cake: Instead of canned cherries, opt for two 21-oz. cans of apple pie filling for a fall-themed dump cake. This canned fruit works well with buttery cake mix flavors like caramel or yellow. Plus, chopped pecans give the cake added crunch and nuttiness.
- Peach melba dump cake: Similar to apple pie filling, other canned fruit that can be transformed into dump cake is canned peaches. Whether sliced or in chunks, peaches in syrup add a sugary and moist element to the cake, preventing it from drying out. Use frozen raspberries as well for a true peach Melba-inspired dump cake.
- Black Forest dump cake: If you’re a fan of decadent chocolate and tart cherries, then this Black Forest flavor is right for you! All you need is cherry pie filling, chocolate cake mix, butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips before you’re in dessert heaven!
Keep reading to satisfy your sweet tooth with more dessert recipes!